Sean Jones writes…
I thought I would share what we are doing at Worcester at the moment to keep the club playing backgammon. This is no lecture and I hope that it is not taken as so, it’s simply a humble sharing of information. I do hope that there is something in here that is of use.
I have a concern that we will lose players, despite what the Government says about taking it on the chin; I think this is going to affect us for some months. I wonder when our club reopens for business how many will return? So I have tried to be active with communication and activities.
I was one of the first to close my club, and I will not reopen until I believe that it is entirely safe to do so for the sake of the most vulnerable’s health. At the moment, if I had to pick a date, it looks like August, or maybe September.
So we need to continue to enjoy and practice the beautiful game…
Leagues in progress and League cup
We run 2 league seasons a year, with the current league due to end at the end of May. I have told my crew, that the league will finish when I say it does. We could end up just playing this one league this year, but it is also still possible that I set an end date of, say, August and then immediately start the next league that it could be possible to fit in the 2 seasons. Time will tell.
I am opposed to the UKBGF ratings accepting online results (with a very few rare exceptions as recently set out) and will do all I can to ensure that Worcester matches are all played live.
Our league cup runs through the year with rounds every 2 months. I again have just paused the league cup for now. Even if we don’t get started again until September, there is plenty of time to get the matches in. Yes, they are long matches but for most players one match a month should not be of concern. Again, these match results will be rated as they will all be played live. (Hopefully?)
I have sent the players a basic quiz. Shhhh, I used Robertie’s 501, popped it into XG and created a question sheet and then an answer sheet. This was quite popular getting almost half the club enter. I will shortly be sending out the April Quiz, hopefully the players will find it a good way to learn.
All the older players, the social sort, have been contacted with an offer to help and shop etc should the need arise. Many of the younger players would be very happy to help out the older club members and have offered if required. This is the group I fear will not come back. Some of the real club characters that whilst may not be great at backgammon but they do build the atmosphere of the club. It is essential that we as a backgammon community do what we can to ensure that they want to come back when normal life resumes.
Going to the pub chouette!
This was the latest thing we tried. I have access to Microsoft Teams; other platforms would work just as well. So, I invited 4 others into a meeting online so we could see each other. We then threw dice to decide the order of play.
The box went to Gridgammon and started a money game against the captain, and of course we could all watch the game by logging in to GG, whilst giving it large with banter as we could see each other. The best being when I desperately needed a 5×5 and explained to the others that I had spoken with the dice gods, and asked if they had seen my double five trick, and of course double five turned up!
That match ended, and the captain then became the box, who in turn then went back to GG and invited the new captain to a fresh money game, and so on… This worked really well, as long as you are organised. You need one player to keep a note of what is going on, also ask each player to keep a note of his winnings/losses to save disagreements.
The cubes were interesting, I thought that if we all had a cube visible on the screen then this would work… it sort of did, but would suggest that you appoint one player to keep a note of who has done what.
But the point is, it was different and it was fun!
I do hope that there is something of use to you, and hope that you keep virus free