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Accessibility

Discussion in 'TOPL Discussion' started by Vengeance, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    This is a question I'm interested in, the league continues to grow by leaps and bounds and this season alone just 6 weeks in we have already had 45 unique individuals play and are averaging 23 people a night.

    But I am curious what things make the league inaccessible for new people to join.

    Obviously there are a few things set in stone that we cannot change such as:

    Playing on Monday's
    Starting @ 8pm
    Location of hosts (we'd love more hosts, especially central or downtown ones but don't have any current volunteers)
    Security around the yahoo groups/Facebook and league locations (Hosts, myself included, don't want their address available to everyone who googles Toronto Pinball)

    I like that PBRev has been a place of more open communication on the league, the yahoo groups don't really support it as it's more just a mailing list to keep everyone informed and is locked down security wise.

    But I am curious if there is anything from people who currently aren't attending that might make the league more accessible to them.
     
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  2. REVOLUTION

    REVOLUTION Administrator
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    Playing on Mondays and location of hosts are my two biggest hang-ups I'm afraid. :(
     
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  3. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    Since TOPL is a weekly league we needed to find a night where people could dedicate the night to the league and not take away from work or family.

    Monday's are a good fit. Honestly think, what else have you got to do on a Monday night? Friday's, weekends, days you think would be a better fit, most likely wouldn't work as well because those days are usually filled up by plans with family, friends or other activities. It would work fine if we were a monthly league as people can dedicate 1 weekend a month to pinball I'm sure, but weekly it wouldn't work.

    No body like's Monday's except people playing in TOPL :)

    Locations like I said are a constant struggle, there are no public locations left (Other than the Playdium complex) and when they did exist machines were no where near the condition that you find in that of a collectors home.

    So we go where the machines are, we are always looking for new hosts, but our minimum requirement for machines has gone up to about 7 machines at this point.

     
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  4. Menace

    Menace Well-Known Member
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    Ouch... I understand why you would require that number now with membership up, but I would think that would seriously limit your locations big time.

    D
     
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  5. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    It's not as bad as you think :)

    4 used to be the old minimum, but 7 makes more sense. 24 people a night average breaks down to 6 total games being played weekly, so that leaves us one game spare in case something breaks down.

    Most collectors who have 4, end up getting 7 shortly after as I'm sure your aware :D

     
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  6. brewmanager

    brewmanager Active Member

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    Monday is squash league night...not much I can do to change that. Would love up come to topl....
     
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  7. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    You could always divide your time, 1 week at Squash, 1 week at TOPL :D
     
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  8. brewmanager

    brewmanager Active Member

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    I start missing squash, I might not be able to reach the flippers after a while.
     
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  9. frolic

    frolic Member

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    The far off locations is what stopped me from coming till recently. Now that I'm a part of it it I make the effort, but it was hard for me to get started.

    And there is such a balancing act, between being an open club, and the realities that the league is hosted in people's homes. How could the league handle being more popular than it is? It could not handle many more, and for a city like Toronto (and area) that would not take much.

    My background is in promoting, I like to get people to support things I do, I wrote the newbie faq to be helpful, but it seems like topl can't be pushed too hard or risk it being a victim of its own success.

    Adam, since you are plugged into leagues all over, how do other places handle it?

    Anyhow, as I've mentioned I definitely look forward to adding a 416 location back into the mix when the time comes.
     
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  10. slacker

    slacker Member

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    First off I'm very thankful for TOPL it has allowed me to play many of the games I would never see in the wild. As we all know its very hard to find any now and forget seeing any A-list games on location unless its a NIB.
    But I think Chris has a valid point, TOPL could become a victom of its own success.
    Speaking from my own point of veiw I almost reach the game number to be able to host with 6 games but after being out to all the league nights this season I could never fit 24-35 people in my games room. I'm pushing it at a half dozen the next thing is with the numbers you are getting now it could scare some of the current host away if the number were to go up?
    As many of the polls show many of the members other halfs will allow it up to a point but they don't really like Pinball so its just one more reason for them to say "Thats our last time"
    That being said If someone wants to buy me a bigger house my wife is all in :D she had a great time at Adam's and would love to host in return but we just don't have the sq footage.
    J..
     
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  11. g-man

    g-man Member

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    Adam, you mention that Mondays are preferable to say, Friday or Saturday night. Have you done a survey / poll of members recently to determine if that is still the case ? Personally, I am so tired on Monday that I just don;t have the energy to head out for four hours ( or more ). If it were Friday or Saturday by comparison, then I would care far less about dragging my sorry butt home at 11:00.

    Weekends would not work very well during the summer months, I assume.
     
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  12. tim.sanderson

    tim.sanderson Active Member

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    If there were a poll, I'd vote for Monday's for me. Other than Tuesdays, and maybe a Saturday/Sunday or two every other week, no other days tend be be as wide open for me as Monday.
    And yes, Adam said it right... Mondays are totally my favorite day of the week thanks to TOPL!

    Tim.
     
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  13. luch

    luch Well-Known Member

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    what about ever two weeks , instead of weekly ?
     
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  14. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    There obviously would be a breaking point when the league got to large, I don't think we are there yet, but things always Eb's and Flows, so while things are hopping right now it could change in the future.

    Other leagues handle the attendance issue by limiting membership, I don't think we are there yet as we don't have a constant flow of what I would consider to many people, if we start to average 30 people a night it will be something to look at.
     
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  15. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    The latest test by us for weekends was the double headers which we recently just got rid of.

    We tried to condense two league nights into one on a weekend, and we found that attendance was sporadic at best and was never really attended well.

     
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  16. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    Since the league's inception about 16 - 17 years ago now it has been a weekly league, in the 9 years I've been with the league the one thing I really like about it is "It doesn't matter what time of year it is, if it's a Monday we will be playing somewhere".

    We've never really talked about going to bi weekly or Monthly but I think if we did we would reach critical mass for the league much quicker. A large portion of the league is made up of players who can't always make it out every week, so they come when they can.

    If we went to monthly or bi weekly I could see those players making more of an effort to attend since availability of league nights would be less.

     
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  17. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Well-Known Member

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    I like the fact that it's weekly, plus the fact that there's really no reason that you need to be there every week. If you're never going to take the high score or season point total prizes, then it's really just getting enough weeks in to get a percentage (and even that's optional). Playoffs are about the only time when you really need to make sure you're there on a certain day, and really that's 3x a year, which is completely manageable. Otherwise, I try to make it every week, but sometimes stuff comes up, or a location is way too long a drive, so I'll skip a week. Weekly also makes things really easy to schedule-everyone knows Mondays are pinball night.

    Too bad about the doubleheaders-I liked them, but it did mean more planning in advance to get another weekend free. I remember a couple of them where we had maybe 10 people out though, so I suppose it makes sense to drop them. Still, who says a season has to be 15 weeks?
     
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  18. SquidVicious

    SquidVicious Member

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    Actually I believe that the playoffs/seasons are now twice a year.
     
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  19. Vengeance

    Vengeance Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the year, this year 3 playoffs will fall in 2013, next year mostly likely just two.
     
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  20. frolic

    frolic Member

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    yeah, i agree, skipped weeks would guarantee BIG turnouts for the remaining weeks. Not exactly the goal.

    I've gotten into the Monday's thing myself. That was the best advice given, just make it part of your schedule and plan to be there.

    There will never be a "perfect" day of the week, so Monday is as good as any. Someone will have some conflicts, can't be helped.

    The latest night so far for me was the night at Nick's with the Avengers tournament because we all bottlenecked on that machine. Plus the drive home. So, if the league can start on time, and spread out the players on as many machines as possible, that helps.

    Maybe the next time some sort of launch tournament is worked into league night, a better more streamlined system is put together. Like, at the least, remove the outlane posts and make the game hard as hell for fast games.

    Anyhow, Topl has been great. I've really enjoyed being a part of it.
     
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