Deciding Whether To Cancel Or To Postpone Your Tournament:
That is a tough question, with many things to consider.
Dear Tournament Directors, we don’t envy you at all during these very uncertain times. Actually, we never envy you because we have been tournament directors and we know the work that goes into pulling off a top notch pickleball tournament.
So the new COVID-19 virus has ground every pickleball playing event to an abrupt halt, and you had a tournament scheduled.
You had people registered, you had sponsors lined up with money committed, and you had vendors, ready willing and able to give your players a first class tournament experience.
We are sorry to see you in this predicament, but the reality is, you have to make a decision. Will you cancel your tournament and deal with everything that goes with it? Or will you postpone your tournament til a later date?
As you make this very important decision, there are a number of things to take into consideration.
From our personal experience from working and supporting hundreds of tournaments across the country, we have some observations that might help you.
We know that every tournament needs players, sponsors and vendors. These are a given.Throughout the year, there are anywhere from 15 – 20 good tournaments already on the PickleballTournaments.com or PickleballBrackets.com websites every single weekend.
If a tournament must be cancelled altogether, it is a reasonable expectation that, when you hold it next year on the same basic dates, you can get the same basic number of players back for it, along with the same basic sponsors and vendors.
If however you decide to postpone your tournament and move it from this spring or early summer to late summer or fall, then things will change drastically.
Since there were already 15 – 20 good tournaments already scheduled each weekend for late summer and fall, you will now be competing for players who were likely already registered or committed to one of those tournaments. So make sure you are counting on a lower number of registered players for your tournament.
The same basic premise for your sponsors. Business, whether pickleball related or not, are going through a really tough time right now, so expect that when things open back up for pickleball, their marketing budgets will be greatly reduced, especially if they had already committed funds or resources to the already scheduled late summer and fall tournaments.
As for vendors, they make a wonderful addition for the players at any tournament. Unfortunately, some of your smaller vendors may not survive the crisis. But for those who do survive, we can assure you they are not going to be able to pay the exorbitant vendor fees that have been so commonplace in the last couple of years. Our hope is that vendors will support those tournaments who support them. Make it easy for them to come back to your tournament.
So if you do decide to postpone and reschedule your tournament for the late summer or early fall, make sure you understand the obstacles and the consequences for everyone involved.
Pickleball will rise again, stronger than ever, but if everyone tries to operate tournaments and bootcamps and clinics all at the same time, it will only dilute the efforts of everybody.
So, don’t take your tournament planning decision lightly. There are a lot of moving parts. Plan your tournament carefully and we will all be better off for it.
We are extremely thankful for those who have reached out and continued to support Pickleball Rocks during the pandemic.
We will not forget it.
Pickleball Rocks because of all of you.
Rodney “Rocket” Grubbs
CEO: The Pickleball Rocks Clothing & Equipment Company