This morning, I read an email from a coach attending a tournament that attracts very competitive teams. His team had been scheduled around a group of four teams that were coached by one coach. As it turned out, he got a schedule that has him playing one early morning game and then then not again until very late in the afternoon on the first day. And then, again very early in the morning on the second day.
He was quite upset, and with good reason. He paid the same price to get in the tournament. He has the same expectations of good competition and should be given the same opportunity for a trophy as the four teams coached by the same coach. I doubt, however, the tournament can do little to even out the play. And this coach will probably not be back.
Our advice: As more and more clubs adopt the multiple-team-one-coach policy as a way to save money, consolidate skill, etc, etc, dealing with these teams is having effects on your tournament schedule in ways that had not been anticipated. NOW is the time to craft a policy, publish it and stick to it consistently!
If your policy is designed to attract teams that are coached by on coach and your marketing push is a schedule that suits them, be prepared to reject teams that have their own coach. Long term, we believe a multiple-team coach system is bad business for tournaments. It takes control of the schedule and brand away from the tournament and hands it over to the teams. While scheduling multiple-team coaches for no conflicts may look like customer service from the onset, it is usually the first step in the demise of the event. The next step is price breaks for multiple teams, comp rooms for the coach, etc, etc. If all you attract are mutiple-team coaches, you don’t need an MBA to see where that ultimately leads.
Never forget: The coaches are primarily interested in what gives them the best deal, not what is best for the tournament event.