By Suhasini Sundar
On March 22nd the GCA had a successful Tournament Director (TD) training seminar at Emory’s Callaway building. Guest instructor and National TD David Hater led the seminar and provided comprehensive tournament case studies for analysis. Because of his vast knowledge on all aspects of a tournament, he was able to convey to the group of trainees the importance of being ready for any situation that is placed before them.
One such situation was as follows: “You are called over to a board and a player complains that his opponent has abandoned the game. The player states his opponent has been gone for 10-15 minutes. The opponent is down a piece, what do you do?” After a series of attempts at answers from newer TDs, Mr. Hater walked us through the thought process that should occur in this type of situation.
- First, attempt to locate the player. If the player cannot be found ask parents if they have seen the player.
- Second, if the player cannot be found after extensive searching, ask yourself, ‘what could have happened? Did he really abandon the game?’
- Third, confirm that no parents have seen the player recently.
As it turned out, the player was watching a game in the Open Section!
This case was one of the most basic problems Mr. Hater addressed. Other topics covered in the seminar were:
- – Dealing with a player that doesn’t have notation
- – Addressing games that are running over time
- – What to do if a player gets sick at a board and the board becomes unusable (yes, this really does happen!)
- – Manually pairing a tournament
- – Addressing clock problems
- – What to do if a player is moving in and out of checkmate and neither player notices for the next 10 moves! (As you can imagine, this typically occurs in the K-1 section.)
Even the more experienced TDs were able to learn a lot about tournament organization and from Scott Parker’s detailed explanation of the logic behind prize distributions.
As a part of my Girl Scouts Gold Award I am organizing a series of these TD training seminars to give parents and older children the opportunity to become Tournament Directors! I hope that by having these events I will be able to train successful Tournament Directors in Georgia and provide players with an even better tournament experience. Thanks to the constant help and support of Mr. Fun Fong and GCA this event was a great success and I encourage anyone to attend further seminars!
In upcoming events many more topics will be covered. Although the first seminar was spent discussing both common and interesting cases seen by Tournament Directors, the upcoming events will deal with a mixture of both floor TDing basics and Informatics (i.e., Windows TD, Windows TD BETA!!!) The Seminar lesson plan includes Basic Windows TD Tips and Tricks as well as how to create an import file and how to make on-the-fly changes to actual tournament files. The TD trainees who attend these free seminars will also be given an opportunity to volunteer at a tournament and gain experience solving disputes and making calls on the floor.
Seminars are advertised on the GCA website, under the calendar section and via the GCA facebook page. I hope to see you at an event soon!