25 Jul 2003 20:21:05
Lynn Stephens
One Time Membership

To everyone that thinks people that only want to play in one or two
tournaments a year should be able to do so by only paying a small fee to
participate in a sanctioned tournament. How would you handle rankings? Just
not report that they played? How do you keep up with that? For the small fee
you don't think they care about any of the frills, right? Isn't rankings one
of the frills of membership? What about the person that played them? Don't
they deserve to have the match(es) reported? After all, they are a paying
member. Where do you draw the line on what they (the non-member) get and
what they don't get?

The bottom line on this debate is that this very thing was tried and didn't
work. The states didn't want to continue with it. They felt it was a
mistake. Do we want to learn from our mistakes or repeat them? If something
doesn't work, shouldn't we try something else?

Lynn




26 Jul 2003 01:47:43
RCS111
Re: One Time Membership

>Subject: One Time Membership
>From: "Lynn Stephens" ihatespam@nospam.com
>Date: 7/25/2003 7:21 PM Central Standard Time
>Message-id: <bfshhg$u7$1@slb4.atl.mindspring.net>
>
>To everyone that thinks people that only want to play in one or two
>tournaments a year should be able to do so by only paying a small fee to
>participate in a sanctioned tournament. How would you handle rankings? Just
>not report that they played? How do you keep up with that? For the small fee
>you don't think they care about any of the frills, right? Isn't rankings one
>of the frills of membership? What about the person that played them? Don't
>they deserve to have the match(es) reported? After all, they are a paying
>member. Where do you draw the line on what they (the non-member) get and
>what they don't get?
>
>The bottom line on this debate is that this very thing was tried and didn't
>work. The states didn't want to continue with it. They felt it was a
>mistake. Do we want to learn from our mistakes or repeat them? If something
>doesn't work, shouldn't we try something else?
>
>Lynn

Lynn,

Let try to clarify my position. There are 4 or 5 million racquetball players.
There are 15,000 or 16,000 USRA members. Most of these 4 or 5 million players
don't give a **it about ranking points or insurance or what ever else the USRA
is promoting to tournament directors and I would bet most of them don't know
what the USRA is. If you want to try and maintain the number of players that
are USRA members then keep doing what you are doing. If you want to increase
the number of USRA members and perhaps the overall number of players then we
need another approach.

My experience with helping to put on tournaments is pretty much before
sanctioning became the norm. So, as the racquetball world has changed maybe I
have been left behind. If insurance is a must have item, if the states have
accurate ranking systems and if you can't get entrants without a mailing list
then maybe we do need to sanction every tournament.

We just need to be careful we aren't rearranging deck chairs.

Ross


25 Jul 2003 19:42:39
Kathy Geels
Re: One Time Membership

Where do you draw the line on what they (the non-member) get and
>what they don't get?
>
>The bottom line on this debate is that this very thing was tried and didn't
>work. The states didn't want to continue with it. They felt it was a
>mistake. Do we want to learn from our mistakes or repeat them? If something
>doesn't work, shouldn't we try something else?
>
>Lynn
>
Those seem like excellent questions to begin conversations about positive
change. In answer to the first: Maybe a way to look at it would be to consider
the idea that if there IS a divide between what a recreational rb player enjoys
and the USRA member enjoys, it might be constructive to try and visualize a
compromise between the two points, or at least increase or expand services
offered to attract the former. But before you start that conversation, you have
to motivated, and accept rather than deny the premise that the membership fee is
in fact a deterrent to first time tournament play. If you don't agree, there is
no point to look at the situation as a problem that needs to be solved.

What problem are YOU trying to solve? Probably increased participation. But
apparently you think the introductory venue of first time tournaments is doing
ok the way it is. Or do you think there IS room for compromise,to consider at
least expanding membership services to reach out beyond the top 2% of
competitors that attend National events, and spend hours every week training,
and appreciate the thoughtful articles on stringing and elite skill development.

I am not knocking these items at all, but playing the Devil's Advocate, and
suggesting that these things may not directly have much value to someone that
has never played a tournament. What would have value? Ahhh...there's the rub.
I think stuff that makes people feel cool and confident, not like an inadequate
dweeb. Maybe if the USRA membership fee could include a little gift package (I
think you've already adopted this in your state), with cool but inexpensive
little handouts - a low-grade glove and eyeguards for example. Not only do you
give the new person something they can feel immediately gratified about, but
you're also removing another barrier (I have to go buy EYEGUARDS TOO?!!!), and
introducing them to the cool new world of consumer racquetball. I think if some
promotion were keyed up a little before events, to where a promoter set up a
booth at local courts other than the host facility, and worked his recruiting
from that angle, as kind of a give-away incentive to play a first tournament,
you'd rapidly expand the circle of particiption at the lower levels. Especially
if the tournament services offered included some social activity other than just
being around cool, great rb people. Like a band. I keep seeing local
restaurants utilizing artists in this way; my grocery store has a live
saxophonist on the weekends. A local lunch diner has great paintings by local
artists. Win/win. So you throw in some non rb activities that the novice can
relate too, and not make his participation based on being the supreme rb deity
of the world, I think that would also increase participation. But you are
requiring more work of the TD, and his return is really marginal. More free food
donated? His courts are probably already maxed out...The participation has to
first saturate, which is going to be painful and non-lucrative, before it go on
to the next level of people being interested just to hang out and watch, which
is where the revenue will come in. Increased traffic increases value?

One other obstacle I see to this is that the same policy holds true for
tournament directors as the USRA - they have a break-even point where it is hard
to administrate and the return is not too dramatically increased. So they too,
are part of the risk/investment chain in that they are sort of paying a price to
develop participation. And the return doesn't come until participation passes a
certain point so that they have to turn people away from the draw, but because
so many people are interested and excited by the game and the tournament, a
small commercial demand has developed. So the tournament director, like the
USRA goes through some growing pains where increased participation is really
just a hassle for him. Until information management kicks in, and
administrating tournaments become truly automated and hassle free, I can't
really visualize tournament directors buying into this scheme of promoting
participation. Too much work, the return is too intangible.

We need a sugar daddy.

Kathy



26 Jul 2003 03:14:30
Jordan Kahn
Re: One Time Membership

Lynn,

How do you handle rankings for a person who is allow to play just one
tournament, at a "guest" fee plus tournament entry?

The same way you handle rankings for a member who plays just one tournament!

No problem.

Same as a member who plays a tournament the week before their membership
expires and doesn't renew!

What do you do about that?

Lynn, show me where the USRA has a published list of a members ranking?

How up to date are those lists? How many non top placed members even care?

Instead of investigating how to increase membership, you are taking the same
stance the USRA and many states have by saying its too much work to allow
non-members to play, even at an added nominal profit.

Gee, I hope you don't get a club that tells your state they can't host a
tournament unless all the players are club members.

How would you like the club telling you "we tried it, it was too much work,
inconvenienced our members and is not part of our membership policy". Isn't
this what you are saying?

Lynn, things change.

The USRA needs to change too.

Jordan

--

Subject: One Time Membership
From: "Lynn Stephens" ihatespam@nospam.com
Date: 7/25/03 7:21 PM Central Daylight Time
Message-id: <bfshhg$u7$1@slb4.atl.mindspring.net >

To everyone that thinks people that only want to play in one or two
tournaments a year should be able to do so by only paying a small fee to
participate in a sanctioned tournament. How would you handle rankings? Just
not report that they played? How do you keep up with that? For the small fee
you don't think they care about any of the frills, right? Isn't rankings one
of the frills of membership? What about the person that played them? Don't
they deserve to have the match(es) reported? After all, they are a paying
member. Where do you draw the line on what they (the non-member) get and
what they don't get?

The bottom line on this debate is that this very thing was tried and didn't
work. The states didn't want to continue with it. They felt it was a
mistake. Do we want to learn from our mistakes or repeat them? If something
doesn't work, shouldn't we try something else?

Lynn




26 Jul 2003 15:08:59
Lynn Stephens
Re: One Time Membership

Ross states:

> If you want to try and maintain the number of players that
> are USRA members then keep doing what you are doing. If you want to
increase
> the number of USRA members and perhaps the overall number of players then
we
> need another approach.

I guess I'm just dumb or confused. Maybe it's the heat. We're talking about
letting people play one tournament a year without becoming a member. How
does this increase membership?

The way we overcome the objection to becoming a member is by giving all new
members a nice gym bag with our logo, a t-shirt w/logo, balls, magazines,
rulebook, newsletters, and other goodies ranging from grips to gloves to
water bottles. This is our new member package. It's been very successful.
When we hand them this package we never hear any objections. And now they're
a member and receive all the other stuff that comes with membership too.

I just think the *play sanctioned tournaments without becoming a member* is
approaching it the wrong way. But maybe that's because we've had success
with another approach. Has anybody (other states) considered our approach?
We know it works. The free member thing was tried and didn't work. So
instead of trying something we've shown to be successful, people would
rather try something again that was unsuccessful. There is more than one way
to overcome objections.

Please explain this to me. I'm trying real hard to understand.

Lynn




26 Jul 2003 21:51:48
Lynn Stephens
Re: One Time Membership


Jordan asks:

snipped [lots of more questions]

Jordan, I've tried to answer all your questions as completely and honestly
as I could. I could also answer all the ones you posed in this post but I
grow weary of this back and forth with you when you won't answer all my
questions, or you answer them with a question. You are also asking me
questions I've already answered in another post. You're making my fingers
tired retyping the same thing again and again. One thing I would like to
know if you would tell us:

Jordan, are you now a volunteer for any organization that helps to promote
racquetball?

Insert answer here:


I have some other specific questions that I would like to have you and
anyone else interested answer.

1. What is the exact purpose of letting people play in tournaments without
the benefit of membership? If it is to increase the number of players in
racquetball, aren't these people already playing rball since they are ready
for the next step which is a tournament? So they must already be hooked,
right?

2. Is it to increase membership? If so, then this seems the wrong way to
approach it. Everyone keeps saying these people only want to play one
tournament a year. So they will never be members if they can play free every
year.

3. Is it to increase tournament participation? Ah....this is what I'm seeing
people say. But will it increase overall participation or just for a
particular tournament? And how many additional people do you think would
play if they didn't have to have a membership? 5, 10, 25? Honestly, isn't it
really just a method to increase revenues for the tournament and the club at
the expense of the USRA? If it truly was to increase tournament
participation and get people started wouldn't the club offer a discounted
entry rate for these people? After all, aren't the people we are talking
about more than likely members at the club holding the tournament? Wouldn't
doing that add value to their club membership?

4. Is it to overcome their objections to becoming a member? If so, there are
other ways to accomplish that.

5. Is there a possibilty that some people are just using the membership as
an excuse to not play when their local TD is trying to encourage them to
participate? I would bet this is the case in a lot of incidences. I think
that if you overcame all objections anyone would have about playing, then
you are still going to have people say "Oh man, I can't play this weekend,
my wife already made plans for us. Maybe next time." Any TDs out there ever
heard this? I have. Multiple times.

6. How do the states make up for the lost revenues?

7. Do we start a whole new database for non-members? We couldn't include
them with the current database, there would be too much room for error.

Please answer the questions as best you can without answering them with
another question.

Thanks
Lynn




27 Jul 2003 07:44:16
Kathy Geels
Re: One Time Membership

In article <20030727050910.10479.00000608@mb-m05.aol.com >, fredwelfare@aol.com
says...
>
<SNIP >From the states' perspective, the answer is, absolutely, it is
>in their interests. But, from the TD's and member's perspective we get
>relativity, and this discussion, why?
>
<SNIP >
>FW

It is interesting that you use the word "interests". Identifying how interests
are met might be something handy for conversations that involves less
tail-chasing.

the club's interests are money and a steady or increasing membership population
that is satisfied with the level of service it provides

the state's interest are unclear to me. The money they make from membership fees
is a small percentage of the actual fee, they make some money from special
events, but I think primarily why you see such a failing at the state level is
because the state has no real mechanism for attainable interests. People serve
mainly because of prestige and visibility, and perhaps the small income that can
be generated as administrator of many of these events.

the USRA's interests are primarily dictated by USOC funding. That is where the
majority of their income is generated, which means the tail that wags the USRA
dog is mainly the well-being of a tiny percentage of high-performance global
players.


This discussion talks aboutlooking at the gateway between a non-member and a
tournament. Objections include increased administration with no reward. The
payoff is unclear: goodwill promotion? intended increased participation? I
agree with the notion that the payoff is nominal in that while almost all first
time players may balk or decline to play because of the fee, not that many
people want to play for the first time.

I don't think this change would achieve much, but neither do I think the reasons
for not doing it carry weight. In an automated system, fill in winners with a
NON-MEMBER tag. In a manual system, who cares, it's inaccurate anyway.

The point is, tournament participation revenue is more of a chump change
perspective on how to stimulate racquetball participation and economy. If you
have run a tourney or worked in a club, you know the club does it for a hefty
fee, and without significant contributions the return is not far beyond
break-even. It's a nice living if you are an independent promoter whose
operating expenses include the shirt on your back, but in terms of commercial
viability, most tourneys do not justify the operating expenses of the courts
they are played in.

So again, is this the kind of conversation that merits a lot of debate? It's
good debate, and both sides have compelling points. But it's kind of like
saying, should we use a thimble or tablespoon to take water from the well to
fill up the bathtub? Neither way is that great. We need to figure out how a
hose works, or something more modern and efficient.

Increased USRA membership is not a goal that is going to put food on anybody's
table. Not the USRA, not the state, and definitely not the club. I think it
might be more constructive to put aside that goal for the time-being and discuss
how the states can generate money they can keep, and how to make rb profitable
for the clubs. And I'm not sure that the clubs should not be the main priority,
because they really control the clock. The less popular rb becomes, the more
unlikely any club is going to include rb courts in their startup plan.

How do aerobics make clubs money? They keep steady traffic to the club looking
to buy memberships. That's what clubs like. They like money, big fat wads of
it, and they like incoming members that pay monthly dues. They don't like lots
of people using the club, they don't like heavy work for their already
overstaffed maintenance crew. They don't like people coming in wallpapering the
joint so it looks like a Sunday newspaper ad section. If you get paid for
programs going, related services for sale, two items that are fit into the clubs
scene fairly seamlessly, and then you work outside the internal environment to
promote those things, it draws the outside into the club (the club likes this).
If you find a way to increase interest to the degree that a tournament attracts
non-members to watch, not play, maintenance is not a problem, and if that
interest is sufficient to entice a sizeable pot, or equally positive, media
interest, the club, again, will probably like you. Other ways of doing things
you have to beg for favors because they really ARE doing you a favor.

I think a focus group would be productive if it included serious brainstorming
about ways to make money from racquetball. Different programs and goods
oriented towards the non-elite player. Yes, we have leagues. Is that it? Even a
6 week program is more commmitment than a walk-in aerobics class. We need
things that give people a chance to taste. We need programs and events that
introduced the rules. I am still meeting people that are picking up the game and
saying "oh yea, after 3 months, we finally found out how to play by the rules."

We already know, until that kind of position pays, we can't afford programmers.
What are we going to do? We need to get creative with print promotion, we need
to get efficient with it, and we need to get organized, focused and methodical.
WE need reliable people following reliable schedules so that if interest is
generated, people can get predictable results. Perhaps a RB rep whose job is to
sell rb services, and introducing himself and promoting those services on a
scheduled basis, but brief basis. Why have a programmer spend 4 valuable hours
a night, in the hopes that one new person will gain interest? Create an
effective coupon or flyer that offers a lesson package or new player party and
brief the GM and staff on its terms. 15 minutes a week, you're in, you're out.
And instead of hanging out 1 or so nights, randomly waiting for interest, he
should make it a business venture, and inform the sales staff of his services,
including printed coupons the staff can give away. Let the sales staff make the
consumer aware, along with any flyer that can be distributed, and let someone
coordinate intereste remotely. The sales guy can even have somebody else do the
actual clinics and events. But the thing is that the relationship between the
sales, GM, and the rb rep is good and steady and gains strength. It seems this
is worth a try because the randomly administrated club pro is not working the
business relationship enough. I have been to way too many clubs where the front
desk does not know leagues are available, and does not know who the club pro is.
Even if people are stumbling onto RB services, if the business end doesn't isn't
aware of it, the returns for rb as a sport are diminished.

I think we should make a list of things to sell (goods and services). We should
review how to make the club want to buy it. We should define the selling method
(phone intro, walk-in meeting, regular follow-ups). And then define commission
and incentives for staff. And keep stats on results.

Priority 1 - get the rules into the club. The sales guys will hand it out like
candy. They are like those sting-ray fish, the glide along the bottom of the
ocean floor looking for ways to hook into conversations with club members for
potential referrals. Put rules into their hands, they will get around.

Priority 2 - get the sales guys to sell that game. Burns 600 calories an hour.
Have you seen the chicks? Fun. It's cool in there! No boring bike. No looking
like an idiot in a leotard.

Priority 3 - make sure the services happen when you say. Be predictable, be
reliable. Who cares what the schedule is at first. You are trying to impress
the sales guys, not the rb players. Say on the coupon "intro clinic once a
month", then do it. If you show up steadily and sales knows, they will find a
way to sell it if it is going to make them friends or get them new membership
commissions. Increase or decrease the schedule later, but don't sell out the
GM.

So that's it. A few simple coupons, first generic non-descript promos with the
rules and a hook. A job description for the rb rep. And a schedule. Run a beta,
use a phone number and see how many interest calls you get over x period of
time. Tweak it.

Or ignore me. That's why I'm here. :-).

Kathy



27 Jul 2003 20:17:10
Jordan Kahn
Re: One Time Membership

Racquetball is a luxury service.

The luxury increases as the price rises or the demand falls.

3 basic reason why people do not enter tournaments, of any type!

1) Public humiliation. Non-tournament players have no experience losing in
public and have a real fear of looking bad. The unknown fear is usually worse
than reality. (The same reason men don't dance unless they have to with their
wife, girlfriend or to meet a girl.)

2) Scheduling conflicts. If you are not a tournament player, you are used to
playing for a brief time that was scheduled in advanced. Many tournament times
are not revealed until the last minute and require players to be available, all
day, for 2 or 3 days!

3) Price. Most players play for free, or at an hourly fee ($2-$8) and are not
use to tournament fees, which cost almost as much as a clubs monthly
membership.

75% of all tournament players play about 2 hours, but are required to be
available to play all weekend.

50% of all tournament players play about 1 hour.

With entry fees costing $25-$35, who can blame the low percentage of existing
or new tournament players.

Solution:

Either create more players that increase the percentage that end up playing
tournaments, or make tournaments more user friendly for the existing
non-tournament players.

Jordan



28 Jul 2003 09:14:07
Lynn Stephens
Re: One Time Membership

Ed writes:

> > 3) Price. Most players play for free, or at an hourly fee ($2-$8) and
are
> not
> > use to tournament fees, which cost almost as much as a clubs monthly
> > membership.
>
> This is also bogus. Don't you read what others say??? Do you really
think
> that dropping $30 on a tournament means anything when people will drop $30
> in one night of drinking. If a person is ready to play in a tournament,
> they won't blink and eye at the entry fee. Jeez, most entry fees in other
> sports are 2-3x that of a racquetball tourney and they hardly get anything
> for it ... aside from competiting.

Ever played in a golf tourney?

L




28 Jul 2003 13:22:37
Spiderman
Re: One Time Membership

no but I did hit some golf balls over the weekend and THAT cost me $9 for
150 balls ... total time = less than an hour

Ed.

--
Ed Arias

ProRacquetball.Net
http://www.proracquetball.net/

Racquetball Central
http://www.racquetballcentral.com/

Alt.Sport.Racquetball "Frequently Asked Questions"
www.geocities.com/racquetball_questions

"Lynn Stephens" <ihatespam@nospam.com > wrote in message
news:bg37me$lqu$1@slb5.atl.mindspring.net...
> Ed writes:
>
> > > 3) Price. Most players play for free, or at an hourly fee ($2-$8) and
> are
> > not
> > > use to tournament fees, which cost almost as much as a clubs monthly
> > > membership.
> >
> > This is also bogus. Don't you read what others say??? Do you really
> think
> > that dropping $30 on a tournament means anything when people will drop
$30
> > in one night of drinking. If a person is ready to play in a tournament,
> > they won't blink and eye at the entry fee. Jeez, most entry fees in
other
> > sports are 2-3x that of a racquetball tourney and they hardly get
anything
> > for it ... aside from competiting.
>
> Ever played in a golf tourney?
>
> L
>
>




28 Jul 2003 06:41:45
Jamserve
Re: One Time Membership

"Spiderman" <spiderman@proracquetball.net > wrote in message news:<0P_Ua.26964$BM.8795466@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com>...
> "Jordan Kahn" <jordanisra@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:20030727161710.28261.00000446@mb-m24.aol.com...
> > Racquetball is a luxury service.
>
> Jordan, I think Lynn corrected you on this so I won't comment.
>
> > 3 basic reason why people do not enter tournaments, of any type!
> >
> > 1) Public humiliation. Non-tournament players have no experience losing in
> > public and have a real fear of looking bad. The unknown fear is usually
> worse
> > than reality. (The same reason men don't dance unless they have to with
> their
> > wife, girlfriend or to meet a girl.)
>
> This is one of those "bogus" reasons that someone once says and may seems to
> make sense but is not true. Players don't play in tournaments because they
> are not competitive or don't feel they are competitive. Players are
> basically recreational or competitive ... that doesn't mean you can't be a
> great player and just not play tournaments. This has nothing to do about
> public humiliation ... it's more about the unknow, not knowing what to
> expect if you're out for the first time .. and on the other side, it's just
> as exciting to explore a new side of oneself.
>
> > 2) Scheduling conflicts. If you are not a tournament player, you are used
> to
> > playing for a brief time that was scheduled in advanced. Many tournament
> times
> > are not revealed until the last minute and require players to be
> available, all
> > day, for 2 or 3 days!
>
> This is also incorrect. Competitive racquetball players will schedule the
> tournaments in. They will commit to an entire weekend or half week if its a
> national event. Scheduling problems arise when circumstances change in a
> players life which conflict with their lifestyle ... maybe a new baby,
> different job committments, new significant other/spouse etc. "If you are
> not a tournament player, " ... once you play in your first tournament,
> you're hooked and you can't wait til the next ... if not, then you're simply
> more or a recreational player (and theres nothing wrong with that).
>
> > 3) Price. Most players play for free, or at an hourly fee ($2-$8) and are
> not
> > use to tournament fees, which cost almost as much as a clubs monthly
> > membership.
>
> This is also bogus. Don't you read what others say??? Do you really think
> that dropping $30 on a tournament means anything when people will drop $30
> in one night of drinking. If a person is ready to play in a tournament,
> they won't blink and eye at the entry fee. Jeez, most entry fees in other
> sports are 2-3x that of a racquetball tourney and they hardly get anything
> for it ... aside from competiting.
>

I'm sorry but $30 is a significant amount of money. I could waste
bandwidth to argue that point, but in the end price matters, it's
simple economics. I didn't read every word of every post, but I read
most of them and I didn't see anyone comment on my earlier suggestions
of charging $15 for the one-time or first time tournament player and
then charging that fee again if the player determines they would like
to play another tournament.

This would be an incentive to the player because $15 is ALSO REAL
MONEY!
If the USRA services are so expensive to provide then the USRA and the
state receive their share of each 1st timer and only has to provide a
fraction of the services, unless the player decides to play and pay
again. At which point the player has paid a full membership and gets
full benefits.

The main goal is to encourage more players to join the USRA right? I'm
sure everyone of us knows several players that became fanatics (also
lifetime paying USRA members) after participating and experiencing
their first tournament. So if we can get a few more people to try it
then we're going to get more lifers. It's a bait and switch where
everybody is happy in the end.

Jordan, I noticed you cut way back on your ""marks. You da man!


28 Jul 2003 11:14:41
Lynn Stephens
Re: One Time Membership

Jamserve says:

> I'm sorry but $30 is a significant amount of money. I could waste
> bandwidth to argue that point, but in the end price matters, it's
> simple economics. I didn't read every word of every post, but I read
> most of them and I didn't see anyone comment on my earlier suggestions
> of charging $15 for the one-time or first time tournament player and
> then charging that fee again if the player determines they would like
> to play another tournament.

OK, I'll comment. I've heard $5, $10, and $15 mentioned for a one time
membership. But you know what it really takes to build membership? The
unpaid administrators need to do what they said they would do when they take
over leadership of the state. Show people there is value in a membership and
you won't have to go through this one time membership fee (so everyone can
find out for the second time that it won't work). When you build membership
with real value then you keep your members. Bottom line. This one time fee
is the lazy man's solution. Why not just do what some states do and charge
them $20, which will cover the USRA's portion and the state discounts their
portion. That's basically what we do except we think that putting something
in their hand for that $10 gives them more of that warm and fuzzy feeling.
They're instantly exposed to what membership has to offer. Just discounting
$10 doesn't do that.

Lynn

>
> This would be an incentive to the player because $15 is ALSO REAL
> MONEY!
> If the USRA services are so expensive to provide then the USRA and the
> state receive their share of each 1st timer and only has to provide a
> fraction of the services, unless the player decides to play and pay
> again. At which point the player has paid a full membership and gets
> full benefits.
>
> The main goal is to encourage more players to join the USRA right? I'm
> sure everyone of us knows several players that became fanatics (also
> lifetime paying USRA members) after participating and experiencing
> their first tournament. So if we can get a few more people to try it
> then we're going to get more lifers. It's a bait and switch where
> everybody is happy in the end.




28 Jul 2003 09:44:24
Jamserve
Re: One Time Membership

I forgot to address the ranking issue, not that I should have to
though.

If a person is not a member they don't get ranking points, same as it
ever was. Based on my $15 suggestion they would be priviledged to only
the most important benefit, participating in a tournament for which
they paid (in addition to the $15 prorated fee. Nothing else. USRA and
state orgs get more money for no more expenditure, nice. When they
show up at their next tournament (as they surely will!) with their
reciept and shell-out another 15 smackers, let the rankings begin!

To elaborate, the marginal cost (to the USRA, not the tournament
itself) for 1 more player in a sanctioned tournament is pretty close
to zero right? I've always viewed free money as a good thing!


"Spiderman" <spiderman@proracquetball.net > wrote in message news:<0P_Ua.26964$BM.8795466@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com>...
> "Jordan Kahn" <jordanisra@aol.com> wrote in message
> news:20030727161710.28261.00000446@mb-m24.aol.com...
> > Racquetball is a luxury service.
>
> Jordan, I think Lynn corrected you on this so I won't comment.
>
> > 3 basic reason why people do not enter tournaments, of any type!
> >
> > 1) Public humiliation. Non-tournament players have no experience losing in
> > public and have a real fear of looking bad. The unknown fear is usually
> worse
> > than reality. (The same reason men don't dance unless they have to with
> their
> > wife, girlfriend or to meet a girl.)
>
> This is one of those "bogus" reasons that someone once says and may seems to
> make sense but is not true. Players don't play in tournaments because they
> are not competitive or don't feel they are competitive. Players are
> basically recreational or competitive ... that doesn't mean you can't be a
> great player and just not play tournaments. This has nothing to do about
> public humiliation ... it's more about the unknow, not knowing what to
> expect if you're out for the first time .. and on the other side, it's just
> as exciting to explore a new side of oneself.
>
> > 2) Scheduling conflicts. If you are not a tournament player, you are used
> to
> > playing for a brief time that was scheduled in advanced. Many tournament
> times
> > are not revealed until the last minute and require players to be
> available, all
> > day, for 2 or 3 days!
>
> This is also incorrect. Competitive racquetball players will schedule the
> tournaments in. They will commit to an entire weekend or half week if its a
> national event. Scheduling problems arise when circumstances change in a
> players life which conflict with their lifestyle ... maybe a new baby,
> different job committments, new significant other/spouse etc. "If you are
> not a tournament player, " ... once you play in your first tournament,
> you're hooked and you can't wait til the next ... if not, then you're simply
> more or a recreational player (and theres nothing wrong with that).
>
> > 3) Price. Most players play for free, or at an hourly fee ($2-$8) and are
> not
> > use to tournament fees, which cost almost as much as a clubs monthly
> > membership.
>
> This is also bogus. Don't you read what others say??? Do you really think
> that dropping $30 on a tournament means anything when people will drop $30
> in one night of drinking. If a person is ready to play in a tournament,
> they won't blink and eye at the entry fee. Jeez, most entry fees in other
> sports are 2-3x that of a racquetball tourney and they hardly get anything
> for it ... aside from competiting.
>
> Ed.
> --
> Ed Arias
>
> ProRacquetball.Net
> http://www.proracquetball.net/
>
> Racquetball Central
> http://www.racquetballcentral.com/
>
> Alt.Sport.Racquetball "Frequently Asked Questions"
> www.geocities.com/racquetball_questions


28 Jul 2003 13:03:36
jason mannino
Re: One Time Membership

sdoneill@yahoo.com (Jamserve) wrote in message news:<fe40e6a7.0307280541.5594457f@posting.google.com >...
> "Spiderman" <spiderman@proracquetball.net> wrote in message news:<0P_Ua.26964$BM.8795466@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com>...
> > "Jordan Kahn" <jordanisra@aol.com> wrote in message
> > news:20030727161710.28261.00000446@mb-m24.aol.com...
> > > Racquetball is a luxury service.
> >
> > Jordan, I think Lynn corrected you on this so I won't comment.
> >
> > > 3 basic reason why people do not enter tournaments, of any type!
> > >
> > > 1) Public humiliation. Non-tournament players have no experience losing in
> > > public and have a real fear of looking bad. The unknown fear is usually
> worse
> > > than reality. (The same reason men don't dance unless they have to with
> their
> > > wife, girlfriend or to meet a girl.)
> >
> > This is one of those "bogus" reasons that someone once says and may seems to
> > make sense but is not true. Players don't play in tournaments because they
> > are not competitive or don't feel they are competitive. Players are
> > basically recreational or competitive ... that doesn't mean you can't be a
> > great player and just not play tournaments. This has nothing to do about
> > public humiliation ... it's more about the unknow, not knowing what to
> > expect if you're out for the first time .. and on the other side, it's just
> > as exciting to explore a new side of oneself.
> >
> > > 2) Scheduling conflicts. If you are not a tournament player, you are used
> to
> > > playing for a brief time that was scheduled in advanced. Many tournament
> times
> > > are not revealed until the last minute and require players to be
> available, all
> > > day, for 2 or 3 days!
> >
> > This is also incorrect. Competitive racquetball players will schedule the
> > tournaments in. They will commit to an entire weekend or half week if its a
> > national event. Scheduling problems arise when circumstances change in a
> > players life which conflict with their lifestyle ... maybe a new baby,
> > different job committments, new significant other/spouse etc. "If you are
> > not a tournament player, " ... once you play in your first tournament,
> > you're hooked and you can't wait til the next ... if not, then you're simply
> > more or a recreational player (and theres nothing wrong with that).
> >
> > > 3) Price. Most players play for free, or at an hourly fee ($2-$8) and are
> not
> > > use to tournament fees, which cost almost as much as a clubs monthly
> > > membership.
> >
> > This is also bogus. Don't you read what others say??? Do you really think
> > that dropping $30 on a tournament means anything when people will drop $30
> > in one night of drinking. If a person is ready to play in a tournament,
> > they won't blink and eye at the entry fee. Jeez, most entry fees in other
> > sports are 2-3x that of a racquetball tourney and they hardly get anything
> > for it ... aside from competiting.
> >
>
> I'm sorry but $30 is a significant amount of money. I could waste
> bandwidth to argue that point, but in the end price matters, it's
> simple economics. I didn't read every word of every post, but I read
> most of them and I didn't see anyone comment on my earlier suggestions
> of charging $15 for the one-time or first time tournament player and
> then charging that fee again if the player determines they would like
> to play another tournament.
>
> This would be an incentive to the player because $15 is ALSO REAL
> MONEY!
> If the USRA services are so expensive to provide then the USRA and the
> state receive their share of each 1st timer and only has to provide a
> fraction of the services, unless the player decides to play and pay
> again. At which point the player has paid a full membership and gets
> full benefits.
>
> The main goal is to encourage more players to join the USRA right? I'm
> sure everyone of us knows several players that became fanatics (also
> lifetime paying USRA members) after participating and experiencing
> their first tournament. So if we can get a few more people to try it
> then we're going to get more lifers. It's a bait and switch where
> everybody is happy in the end.
>
> Jordan, I noticed you cut way back on your ""marks. You da man!

Hi,


Do you think we will attract more people if the price was $15 instead of $30?


28 Jul 2003 17:13:46
Spiderman
Re: One Time Membership

Jamserve, it wouldn't matter if it cost $30 or $15 or $7 ... its not about
money, its about whether someone wants to get competitive or not. Money has
nothing to do with it ... if someone wants to compete, they will pay
hundreds of dollars.

I have a friend who decided to do some ironman race soon ... so I went to
any ironman site and look at what it costs to compete ... $160 seems to be
the going rate, plus if you don't want to just their org (USAT) ... you need
to pay an extra $7 to be in the race. Obviously there are differences in
costs ... don't know what it takes to put on an ironman race ... probably
hundreds of volunteers holding gatorade cups every step of the way ... and
you get a scenic view but you don't seem to get much more for your $160 ...
cause basically its all about the competition, not the money and not about
what else you're going to get out of it.

With racquetball its similar ... if someone thinks they can compete, they'll
gladly pay the $30 and if they think they can compete with the pros, they'll
pay the $100 or whatever.

Now the $7 org fee is interesting ... I suspect thats what goes back to the
org for something ... you can get credit toward membership by paying the $7
each time of you can join the org for $30 and you get a mag, excess accident
insurance (sounds similar :), hotel discounts (Choice Hotels no less ;-),
bumper sticker, ranking ... and $25 certificat to sportsbasement.com ... you
can also get a backpack for another $70 and even get your name engraved on a
brick at their new facility (under construction). Basically, a similar
situation as the USRA except for the $25 gift certificate ... how about a
$25 gift certificate at ProRacquetball.Net or Racquetball Catalog or
something?

Still ... it's not about the money.

Ed.
--
Ed Arias

ProRacquetball.Net
http://www.proracquetball.net/

RacquetballCentral.Com
http://www.racquetballcentral.com/

Alt.Sport.Racquetball "Frequently Asked Questions"
www.geocities.com/racquetball_questions


"Jamserve" <sdoneill@yahoo.com > wrote in message
news:fe40e6a7.0307280541.5594457f@posting.google.com...
> "Spiderman" <spiderman@proracquetball.net> wrote in message
news:<0P_Ua.26964$BM.8795466@newssrv26.news.prodigy.com >...
> > "Jordan Kahn" <jordanisra@aol.com> wrote in message
> > news:20030727161710.28261.00000446@mb-m24.aol.com...
> > > Racquetball is a luxury service.
> >
> > Jordan, I think Lynn corrected you on this so I won't comment.
> >
> > > 3 basic reason why people do not enter tournaments, of any type!
> > >
> > > 1) Public humiliation. Non-tournament players have no experience
losing in
> > > public and have a real fear of looking bad. The unknown fear is
usually
> > worse
> > > than reality. (The same reason men don't dance unless they have to
with
> > their
> > > wife, girlfriend or to meet a girl.)
> >
> > This is one of those "bogus" reasons that someone once says and may
seems to
> > make sense but is not true. Players don't play in tournaments because
they
> > are not competitive or don't feel they are competitive. Players are
> > basically recreational or competitive ... that doesn't mean you can't be
a
> > great player and just not play tournaments. This has nothing to do
about
> > public humiliation ... it's more about the unknow, not knowing what to
> > expect if you're out for the first time .. and on the other side, it's
just
> > as exciting to explore a new side of oneself.
> >
> > > 2) Scheduling conflicts. If you are not a tournament player, you are
used
> > to
> > > playing for a brief time that was scheduled in advanced. Many
tournament
> > times
> > > are not revealed until the last minute and require players to be
> > available, all
> > > day, for 2 or 3 days!
> >
> > This is also incorrect. Competitive racquetball players will schedule
the
> > tournaments in. They will commit to an entire weekend or half week if
its a
> > national event. Scheduling problems arise when circumstances change in
a
> > players life which conflict with their lifestyle ... maybe a new baby,
> > different job committments, new significant other/spouse etc. "If you
are
> > not a tournament player, " ... once you play in your first tournament,
> > you're hooked and you can't wait til the next ... if not, then you're
simply
> > more or a recreational player (and theres nothing wrong with that).
> >
> > > 3) Price. Most players play for free, or at an hourly fee ($2-$8) and
are
> > not
> > > use to tournament fees, which cost almost as much as a clubs monthly
> > > membership.
> >
> > This is also bogus. Don't you read what others say??? Do you really
think
> > that dropping $30 on a tournament means anything when people will drop
$30
> > in one night of drinking. If a person is ready to play in a tournament,
> > they won't blink and eye at the entry fee. Jeez, most entry fees in
other
> > sports are 2-3x that of a racquetball tourney and they hardly get
anything
> > for it ... aside from competiting.
> >
>
> I'm sorry but $30 is a significant amount of money. I could waste
> bandwidth to argue that point, but in the end price matters, it's
> simple economics. I didn't read every word of every post, but I read
> most of them and I didn't see anyone comment on my earlier suggestions
> of charging $15 for the one-time or first time tournament player and
> then charging that fee again if the player determines they would like
> to play another tournament.
>
> This would be an incentive to the player because $15 is ALSO REAL
> MONEY!
> If the USRA services are so expensive to provide then the USRA and the
> state receive their share of each 1st timer and only has to provide a
> fraction of the services, unless the player decides to play and pay
> again. At which point the player has paid a full membership and gets
> full benefits.
>
> The main goal is to encourage more players to join the USRA right? I'm
> sure everyone of us knows several players that became fanatics (also
> lifetime paying USRA members) after participating and experiencing
> their first tournament. So if we can get a few more people to try it
> then we're going to get more lifers. It's a bait and switch where
> everybody is happy in the end.
>
> Jordan, I noticed you cut way back on your ""marks. You da man!