Opinion: A Solution to the Kid Problem

by Pikkdogs ~ March 18th, 2011.

Hey everyone in Omar-nation.  This is Pikkdogs here with an opinion article that analyzes an aspect of how tournaments are orgainized.  I want to point out that I am not a tourney orgainizer or a judge, or anything like that.  I don’t have the expierence that other people do, but I do have my expierence as a player.  And that is what this article shall be based on.

First, before I get going I want to officially welcome Joel to the Teamomar.com staff.  Joel is another Pokemon player in Michigan and I believe he runs a league in the area.  He is a nice guy and a good Pokemon player, he should be a great addition to the staff.  The only problem with Joel is his unhealthy obsession about Lady Gaga (the person not the deck).   Gaga fan or not, we are very happy to have Joel writing for us.  We thank Joel for writing and look forward to his future articles.

Pokemon tournaments are a marvel of diversity.  When I walked around the Michigan State Championships the other day I saw young people and old people, black people and white people, people who look like models and people who look like extras from the Planet of the Apes.

In today’s U.S. society diversity is a good thing, Americans are not just Finnish or Italian; they are African, Scottish, Irish, Polish, Norweigan, Croatian, Chinese etc …  It is this diversity that makes us fairly special.  But, however this article is about a diversity that I think is causing more harm than good.

Children have always been a mainstay of the Pokemon TCG.  Most of the current Master players have grown up on the game.  A lot of the master’s players are also Poke-moms and Poke-dads; this is great because it uses the game to bond father/mother to son/daughter.  But, right now I think the Juniors players are not handled right by TPCI.

As of now Juniors, Seniors, and Masters all play together.  Usually they are grouped in different divisions so they rarely mix, but they each play at the same time.  With so many people joining the game, this causes tournaments to get very large.  Just a couple months ago in my area tournament orgainizers were turning people away from a Cities championship just 20 minutes after registration started.

Not only are tournaments getting larger, they are getting longer.  The 30 +3 format is supposed to have taken care of long tournaments, but if anything the rounds now take longer since players no longer have to worry about time ending a match at an unpredictable period in the match.

Another thing slowing tournaments down is the myriad of announcements that have to be given.  The 30 +3 rules have to spelled out at very frigging event and judges have to constantly tell players to be on their best behavior.  Who are they talking to when they tell players the latter, not to Masters players but to Juniors and Seniors.  I’ve been to tournaments with great players, but I have never seen Chris Fulop runing in the halls screaming.  It is constantly the junior and senior players who are slowing things down.

Now I am not blaming the kids for anything, I did the same thing when i was their age.  A Pokemon tournament should be just like Chuck E. Cheese, where a kid can be a kid.  But, the fact is this behavior is disruptive to those who actually care about the event.  So what can we do about the problem?

The Solution

I think that the Juniors and Masters should be seperated, the Seniors tournaments can go whenever they like since they are not a large group.  If a tournament normally goes on from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. the tournament should be seperated.  It could go like this: the Juniors could play from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Masters can play from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.


There are many good things about this plan.

  1. The tournament will be broken down into 2 smaller tournaments allowing the rounds to go by faster.  The judges will no longer have to spend time worrying about 200 people, instead they will only have to worry about taking care of 100 people.  This makes the rounds go by faster and there will be less waiting time for all of the players.
  2. More people will be able to join the tournament.  Players will no longer be turned away because there will be many open spots if the groups are seperated.
  3. Players won’t be hampered by each other.  The kids will have more room to run around and be free, and the older people will not be disrupted by the kids.
  4. The timing is better for almost everyone.  The juniors will be able to leave the tournment by 1 p.m. making the parents of juniors very happy.  Masters will not be required to report to the tournament till noon.  This lets college students (who normally stay up late) get more sleep and have more time to travel to tournaments that are farther away.  Most judges will also be happy.  No longer will 10 judges be needed all day.  Instead 3 judges will be needed all day, 3 more will be needed for just the morning session, and 4 more will be needed just for the afternoon and evening session.

The Negatives

Of course there are negatives to this plan, every plan has them.

  1. Poke-dads and Poke-moms will be seperated.  They will no longer be able to play the game at the same time.  The parents will have to arrive early to watch their kids play, then make arrangements for them to leave when they are done.  The plus side is that they will no longer have to parent during the tournament.
  2. Some judges will have a long day.  Even-though the day will be shorter for some judges, the day will be longer for the tournament orgainizer and  a coupel judges that will need to be around all day.
  3. It could potentially be a long night for some Masters.  Starting the tournament at 1 will not make a huge difference, since the rounds will go by a lot faster.  But, it will probably push the ending time of the tournament back an hour.  Since most tournaments are held on Sunday this shouldn’t be a huge problem, but it could for some people who work on Sunday.

Okay, so there it is my solution to speed up tournaments and make the rounds faster and more enjoyable for everyone.  I know that it is not perfect, and is far from being polished; but at least it is a solution.  I haven’t heard many other people come up with anything that will speed up the tournaments, so this is an option.

What do you think about this plan? Am I on the right track? or am I way off base?

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