Monday, 27 July 2009

Duffa Hat 2009, what makes a good tournament great?

I returned late last night from Duffa Hat in Manchester. I think it's my 4th hat tournement and I was yet again amazed at the effort and organisation that goes into these weekends. In this case they did a great job and I had a fantastic time! There were a number of sponsers to the weekend who all contributed some sort of prize including Virgin trains providing first class travel to the winner of the party, 5 ultimate providing jerseys to the winning team and MVPs, discs for the runners up and a local toy shop providing toy pigs, monkeys and chickens for the spirit prize winners. Everything ran like clockwork, there were plenty of close games, a great party (a £100 3-pint-challenge bar tab helps...) and lots of people all enjoying the ultimate, about 160 in total.
When I'm at a tournement I want to feel like I'm at a music festival where there are no bands, travelling where there are no tourists and partying where there are no locals. For 48 hours the only goal is to enjoy yourself. It just so happens that for the majority of us that includes throwing plastic at each other and running until the burning sensation in your thighs is matched only by that in your lungs.

There are lot's of little things that help create that atmosphere you find at the best tournements. Clearly some thing can't be planned for like sunny weather and no injuries but here are some of the best things I've seen at tournements that for me have taken a well organised tournement from being good to great.

1. A range of sponsers who can provide goodies for players.
2. A sleep in on sunday morning (10.30 start earliest).
3. Pitches that are well maintained.
4. Enough toilets and showers close to the camp site.
5. Good food throughout the weekend included in the player fee.
6. A nice indoors and outdoors communal area where players can chill between games that is close to the pitches.
7. Too much pitch water
8. Free bananas for players.
9. Novel party ideas.

Indeed, if you put 'lack of' in front of each of those points your tournement will be like all the others, good because of the people and the sport, but not memorable. What have been the best tournements you've been to and why? People organising them love to hear it!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    I'm one of the organisers - was just looking online for comments about our tournament. Thanks for your kind words - these sorts of things really are noticed and keep us going!

    Hope you're planning to come in 2012!

    DUFFA Secretary