Jim "Sarge" Rossiter
Whether you are planning on attending the Amateur Open
in Pittsburgh or any other tournament for that matter, there are several
factors that must be considered when organizing a team and preparing for
such an event. Some of these are very basic but are often overlooked by
new and established teams alike. These are your team roster, use and availability
of alternates, preparation for the event and the level of play that your
team will be participating in (rookie, novice, amateur or professional).
These seem to be the simplest and most basic of areas but many teams over
look these, focusing on other topics, then finding themselves rushed to
make a decision that should have already been dealt with. Lets take a basic
class #101 approach to team management and look at these topics in detail.
What is a team roster? A
team roster is the list of team members that will be attending the tournament.
Above all else, this is probably the largest concern of a team captain.
It seems that inevitably, the very night before the tournament one or
more team members will call with major emergencies and multiple excuses
as to why they will not be able make the tournament. This will happen
and you must be prepared to handle such a situation. The other way that
the team roster will effect the team is in consideration of what level
or class of play that the team will be competing in.
Currently there are multiple
considerations as to how the team is ranked and this varies from tournament
to tournament. The ranking of a team is primarily influenced by the players
on the teams previous tournament experience, if you had a player who’s
name appeared on a professional team roster with in the last three years,
there is no way that the team can participate in the amateur division.
Currently there is a rule book in production that will unit all of the
tournament circuits as too a generalized criteria for the ranking of teams,
what divisions the teams may play in and other issues that govern tournament
A general rule of thumb is
have at least one alternate on the roster for a three man event, two alternates
at a five man event and three alternates at a ten man event. Often the
number of alternates is limited by the tournament promoter, check with
them and see how many you can have appear on the roster and utilize this
to you fullest advantage by filling these spots. It would be much wiser
to run a three man squad with one alternate than to run a five man squad
with no alternates. You never know what is going to happen at the last
minute, who will not be able to attend or who will not be able to complete
the tournament for any number of reasons.
Alternates have a multiple
of benefits when accompanying the team, but many people are uncertain
as to what being an alternate entails. The first mistake that is commonly
assumed in reference to an alternate is that they are not going to play
in the tournament unless there is an emergent situation (injury, down
marker, etc.). The person in this situation would not be an alternate,
he would be there for support. An alternate is a member of the team, who
plays with the team, practices with the team on a regular basis and will
play in the tournament equally. In the case of a three man event the alternate
player would sit out the first game, the second game he would be in, while
someone else would sit out and it would continue to rotate through the
squad until the conclusion of the event. An alternate pays his share of
the entry fee and plays his share of the tournament.
Another benefit of having
alternates on the roster is the cost of the event. Instead of five players
paying sixty dollars each for a three hundred dollar entry fee, if you
have two alternates it would drop the cost to forty three dollars each.
This is extremely beneficial to a team just starting out, without sponsors
tournament entry fees can be extreme at times, not to mention the cost
of lodging when you travel to tournaments. By including alternates on
the roster you lower the expense of the entry fee to more reasonable and
affordable level, this is extremely helpful when you look at some of the
national events who’s fees can be in excess of six hundred dollars per
When the team is at the crony,
so are the alternates. In the event that a marker is too hot and will
not come down to permissible levels or is malfunctioning, the alternate
will either exchange his marker with his teammate or the alternate will
assume the other players position entirely. The alternate is there in
the event of an injury, which prevents another player from continuing
with the tournament. An alternate is there when someone needs a break.
An alternate can assist in the staging areas by working on markers, loading
guppies, getting air or paint and cleaning old paint off fellow teammates
and their equipment when the alternate player is not playing. In a tournament
environment every available hand is a plus, especially in the staging
areas between games and the alternates are the ones who assist in picking
up the slack by not only assisting the team but playing as well. An alternate
is a valuable asset to a team, make the most of these positions on your
team roster and fill all the available spaces.
The preparation for the tournament
is critical and encompasses everything from practices before the event,
the paying of the entry fee, the condition of your equipment, and accommodations
for the team. Many teams focus heavily on one of these factors (usually
the practice category) only to find themselves blindsided and rushing
haphazardly to cover another issue that should have already been addressed
in their preparation for the event. Preparation for a tournament has many
sides to it and doesn’t always have to do with how you play, despite how
well you play there are numerous outside factors that will influence how
good of a time you will have at the event overall.
Do not make the mistake in
thinking that practice as a team is unimportant, it is the single most
important factor that will influence how the team fares overall but there
are other considerations that must be addressed for preparing for a tournament.
How you approach practice is almost as diverse as the styles of play that
individual players can use. Some teams practice on a weekly basis while
others may only meet on a monthly basis. Some teams only scrimmage, others
play walk on games, others may participate in extensive drills and maneuvers
while some do a little of everything. Who has the right to say what the
best method of practice is, it is more of an individual factor that will
effect each team differently. One thing that I would suggest is that teams
should mix the drills with the scrimmages, and when scrimmaging attempt