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Which competition format integrates new players?

As summer comes to an end we start to fall back into routines for the dark winter nights. People start pulling on football boots or runners again, and if like me you're a parent of sport mad kids, you're back to your role as taxi driver between different sporting venues.

We're creatures of habit though and we quickly accept the routine, and in a strange way we take comfort in knowing where we should be at any particular time, right?

It should be the same for cuesports. All around the country clubs are planning competitions, (both internally & regionally), for the next few months or so. But as we try to grow participation in our sports isn't it worth stopping to ask,

Which competition formats give people a playing routine, and encourage them to be regular cuesports players in their local venues? allows anyone to create simple & accessible competitions for players of all types. The competition format options are wide ranging and most of the time they can be tailored to suit the organiser's preferences, e.g.:

  • Straight knockout (flyer)

  • Groups & knockout

  • Straight league (multiple legs)

  • League with playoffs

  • Initial phase + multiple divisions

  • Double elimination knockout

But which of these is the most effective for attracting new and regular patrons?

A quick review of Facebook pages, club websites & the excellent SnookerHub site indicates the 'flyer' is the popular competition format choice for many venues. A flyer can be easily created on of course, with the additional benefits of allowing people to:

  • enter & pay in advance online

  • view who they are playing against

  • view who else is playing and what handicaps have been given

  • review the results afterwards, (or when you're at home after your race has run!)

But is it possible that the flyer format is more suitable for existing members than for encouraging the new visitor? There seems to be 2 schools of thought on this:

  1. It's great! - It lets new visitors get a quick taste of competitive action within the venue and they see the place in full flow and meet lots of new people.

  2. It's scary! - It's too much of a leap for the casual player to jump into a flyer. They risk being embarassed by seasoned players so they shy away from taking part. Some take the leap and join in but get well beaten, and then they never come back.

I've my own conclusions on this but I won't share those just yet, I'll post a follow up article on this subject by the end of this week.

For the moment I'd like to hear other people's views on competition formats. What are your experiences with flyers and other formats? Have you seen a format work well for bringing in new players?

Please also share any general thoughts on how to bring new visitors through the doors of venues and, just as importantly, how do we keep them coming back? You can comment below, or emailing, or via the social media channels. Looking forward to hearing from you!


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