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Sandbagger123

Does having to prepay for a club match help

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or hinder ?  the clubs in my area reg on practiscore.  most of them do not require payment to reg and squad.   recently one has started to require payment at reg with a refund the day before.   So is this a good thing? there are still a few folks that shoot uspsa but are not computer literate or prefer to pay cash.  . so how do they get in? i personally prefer the reg and pay later model. 

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For space limited matches that tend to fill up, pay at reg is good. Keeps people from holding spots then withdrawing last minute as often.  For matches that always have room or do open squadding then I don't see the need to pay at reg. Other ranges want the ability to approve shooters first, so pay at reg is not optimal. 

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as a customer, i like to pay at the match, and if folks register and don't show up a time or two, don't let them register anymore.  stuff happens and i hate getting stuck with match fees on the rare occasion i don't attend (though i always let the MD know as soon as i know i won't make it).

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56 minutes ago, davsco said:

as a customer, i like to pay at the match, and if folks register and don't show up a time or two, don't let them register anymore.  stuff happens and i hate getting stuck with match fees on the rare occasion i don't attend (though i always let the MD know as soon as i know i won't make it).

I would love this system, but to implement it would require quite you to individually approve for squadding every shooter that enters, at that point why bother with pre registering.

 

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I prefer the pay at the match model.  That is the way we do it at the club that I'm in charge of registration.  There are two other clubs that I shoot at that do the pay in advance and I don't normally register for the match until I'm sure I can make it.  I have had to jump in early and not sure before and then had to withdraw.  The club ended up with fees for receiving and sending back the money.  I don't think that is going to be good for the clubs in the long run.

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2 minutes ago, MikeBurgess said:

I would love this system, but to implement it would require quite you to individually approve for squadding every shooter that enters, at that point why bother with pre registering.

 

I do this for the 3-gun match that I run registration for.  Practiscore has a mode for it.  We do it for those matches because we have a limited number of slots and we have a catered lunch as part of our match that has to be accounted for in advance.

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3 minutes ago, aandabooks said:

I do this for the 3-gun match that I run registration for.  Practiscore has a mode for it.  We do it for those matches because we have a limited number of slots and we have a catered lunch as part of our match that has to be accounted for in advance.

I know you can set it up that way but it is just additional work, if your taking money at the match and approving or not approving people to squad in online registration what are you saving over register at the match?

 

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4 minutes ago, MikeBurgess said:

I know you can set it up that way but it is just additional work, if your taking money at the match and approving or not approving people to squad in online registration what are you saving over register at the match?

 

We have to know how many are coming so we can reserve the proper number of lunches and know how much income we will have.  We only run 3 of these matches per year.  

 

All of the Level 2 and up matches use the prepay method so that they can manage shooter numbers and budget for the matches.

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there are two clubs in our area that started doing this.  One club is not worth shooting at so it's a non issue for me.

The other one I started shooting the afternoon slot time, because they accept walk on shooters and always have openings in the afternoon.

That way if the weather sucks (yes sometimes I snowflake!) I don't loose my fees.

 

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We just started taking online payment but are not requiring it.  But I will say it speeds up check in.  On match day I print a list with prepay peoples info.  They can just check in and check the info and dont have to stop on talk me witch helps keep the line short.  

 

If you pre pay and cant make it I refund your money less the stripe fee so club dose not lose cash on refunds.

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Having Online Prepay for club matches only works in the clubs favor if the match regularly sells out. If matches are not selling out then there is no point in doing an online prepay. It saves the registration process at the match minimal time and gives the credit card processing companies their pound of flesh in fees. Is not needing to collect match fee's the morning of the match really worth giving away 2% - 3% of the total match revenue in credit card processing fees? I would say NO. But that is just me.

 

The real problem I see happening with increasing frequency is clubs offering Club Match Online Registration via Practiscore but not requiring payment. In this scenario you get several shooters that sign up for the match and squad but don't show up. This throws off the squad sizes due to no shows and causes log jams during the match because there are unbalanced squad sizes due to inconsiderate dead beats that couldn't bother to withdraw from the match. Even if the no shows are identified and removed during the morning registration/check in then it forces the MD to manually edit the squading to keep the squads balanced. This causes more butt hurt from the shooters who did show up and wanted to shoot on a specific squad but ended up getting moved because someone couldn't bother with withdrawing when they knew they couldn't make it.

 

I understand that emergencies or life happens which force last minute cancellations in match attendance. I am not talking about those valid match cancel scenarios. I am talking about the repeated dead beats that sign up for every single match but then only show up to 50% or less of them. I don't understand why these people find it acceptable to sign up for a match that they know fully well that they will not attend, then not even give the match staff (or their fellow shooters) any respect by withdrawing.  

 

Call me old school, but as the MD for my club I refuse to do online match registration to avoid these hassles. For the matches I run, registration opens at 8:30AM at the range and closes at 9:45AM, pay in cash, write your name on a squad, and enjoy the match. If you show up late once, we will squeeze you in. If you show up late again too bad for you, registration is closed and enjoy your lonely drive home. This process has worked wonders in weeding out time wasters and dead beats from attending my matches. 

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8 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

Having Online Prepay for club matches only works in the clubs favor if the match regularly sells out. If matches are not selling out then there is no point in doing an online prepay. It saves the registration process at the match minimal time and gives the credit card processing companies their pound of flesh in fees. Is not needing to collect match fee's the morning of the match really worth giving away 2% - 3% of the total match revenue in credit card processing fees? I would say NO. But that is just me.

 

The real problem I see happening with increasing frequency is clubs offering Club Match Online Registration via Practiscore but not requiring payment. In this scenario you get several shooters that sign up for the match and squad but don't show up. This throws off the squad sizes due to no shows and causes log jams during the match because there are unbalanced squad sizes due to inconsiderate dead beats that couldn't bother to withdraw from the match. Even if the no shows are identified and removed during the morning registration/check in then it forces the MD to manually edit the squading to keep the squads balanced. This causes more butt hurt from the shooters who did show up and wanted to shoot on a specific squad but ended up getting moved because someone couldn't bother with withdrawing when they knew they couldn't make it.

 

I understand that emergencies or life happens which force last minute cancellations in match attendance. I am not talking about those valid match cancel scenarios. I am talking about the repeated dead beats that sign up for every single match but then only show up to 50% or less of them. I don't understand why these people find it acceptable to sign up for a match that they know fully well that they will not attend, then not even give the match staff (or their fellow shooters) any respect by withdrawing.  

 

Call me old school, but as the MD for my club I refuse to do online match registration to avoid these hassles. For the matches I run, registration opens at 8:30AM at the range and closes at 9:45AM, pay in cash, write your name on a squad, and enjoy the match. If you show up late once, we will squeeze you in. If you show up late again too bad for you, registration is closed and enjoy your lonely drive home. This process has worked wonders in weeding out time wasters and dead beats from attending my matches. 


How many people are typical at your matches? How many squads and shooter per squad?

 

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My match is usually 50 - 60 shooters.  We restrict the squad size to no more than 12 shooters. Beyond 12 and shooters get a mindset that there is someone else that can do all of the work then nothing gets done effectively.

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2 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

My match is usually 50 - 60 shooters.  We restrict the squad size to no more than 12 shooters. Beyond 12 and shooters get a mindset that there is someone else that can do all of the work then nothing gets done effectively.

 

If i ever make it to Colorado (not likely), I really want to shoot one of your matches.  I continually find myself thinking that you got it right in these threads.  

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32 minutes ago, CHA-LEE said:

My match is usually 50 - 60 shooters.  We restrict the squad size to no more than 12 shooters. Beyond 12 and shooters get a mindset that there is someone else that can do all of the work then nothing gets done effectively.

 

Smaller matches I think can get away with the register-morning-of method. The ranges I shoot are 15-20 per squad and 5 squads, so managing registration the morning of is more difficult. It also allows for squad balancing and moving/distributing ROs since we use squad ROs rather than dedicated RO for the Level I stuff

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Posted (edited)

I run registration for a couple of outlaw multigun matches (size 75-110 shooters, 4-5 squads, match fees $17-22). For many years we used the pay-on-the-day model. Our matches routinely sold out in minutes and folks were unhappy that they could not get a slot - if they didn't get in via PractiScore pre-registration, they had to come to the range on match day on the off chance that they could take a no-show slot. Sometimes we sold an apparent no-show slot to a walk-up, and then the original shooter arrived late so the squad was overloaded. No-shows were a persistent problem, and the sign-in-and-pay process became cumbersome, so a couple of years back we started requiring pre-registration and pre-payment, and we stopped accepting walk-up entries all together. We do allow folks to withdraw for a full refund up to 36-hours before the match, which most seem to feel is reasonable.

 

Under the new regime, the number of withdrawals/no-shows is acceptable (maybe 5%?). Note that Stripe does not return fees for withdrawal refunds, but we eat that cost because of the convenience factor, and it is usually offset by late withdrawals where we keep the fees. The shooters like that they can go straight to the stage instead of having to stand in line to sign-in and pay.

 

Overall, the process works well for us, the fees are an acceptable cost of doing business, and I can't imagine ever going back.

Edited by StealthyBlagga

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Smaller matches I think can get away with the register-morning-of method. The ranges I shoot are 15-20 per squad and 5 squads, so managing registration the morning of is more difficult. It also allows for squad balancing and moving/distributing ROs since we use squad ROs rather than dedicated RO for the Level I stuff

Wow, 15 -20? Personal opinion, but I have seen the trend to larger squad sizes and I really think it is a major factor in shooter burnout. More than the work, standing around for 6-8 hours for a little over 1 minute of shooting just became a major turnoff for me. Heck even bullseye which is like watching paint dry is more active. We have to lower squad sizes either by limiting sign ups or adding stages or both. 10 to 12 is max with 8 being best.

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36 minutes ago, Paul B said:

Wow, 15 -20? Personal opinion, but I have seen the trend to larger squad sizes and I really think it is a major factor in shooter burnout. More than the work, standing around for 6-8 hours for a little over 1 minute of shooting just became a major turnoff for me. Heck even bullseye which is like watching paint dry is more active. We have to lower squad sizes either by limiting sign ups or adding stages or both. 10 to 12 is max with 8 being best.

Yep, after one or two 15 to 20 shooter per squad matches I'm out on that sort of deal. Much like Cha lee said up top once you get over about 10 or 12 nobody seems to want to work. Seems like you'd be more efficient to run two back-to-back matches and max the squad size at 10 then have one match with 20 Shooters in the squads. It sure seems like when there's eight people in a squad you get done more than twice as quick it's when there is 16.

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I looked at prepay but the cost of using the service and one that is antigun pushes me away from it.  

 

I deal with no shows a lot.  I keep a list of every one of them that does it. And a withdrawal the night before or the morning of is a no show.  I understand emergencies happen but you start to see trends and if they are so inconsiderate that they can’t withdraw early enough for one of the waitlist people to shoot then I will not give them an advantage when they could make use of it.  I don’t remove them from the main match but they won’t come off the waitlist. My number of no shows has gone down considerably as people find out I keep a list. 

 

Theres no way I want to approve every shooter that signs up just to eliminate the possibility of no shows. It’s tedious enough and I get more than enough work out of the emails and what not leading up to match day

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None of the Level I matches I sign up for require prepay.  All require registration via Practiscore.  All fill up quickly.  At one club if you haven't registered in the first 90~120 seconds, you are on the wait list.  Same with the second.  A third club is more forgiving.  It is usually full in under 5 minutes.  Same with a fourth, except they will allow walk-ons even if full.

 

Singing up the day of the match would just start a timing race.  Show up way early to be sure you get a spot, or risk travelling a hour or so only to be sent home.  Then you sit around for 2-3 hours twiddling your thumbs.  That might work if you required everyone to assist in setup.

 

There are a lot of no shows.  Some people sign up for a couple of matches and then decide which one to go to at the last minute.  That sucks.  Each club handles it differently.   One club makes a point about no shows at the match briefing.  They request you withdraw NLT Thursday, so they can fill in from the wait list.  No show a couple of times and your name is mud.

 

Two clubs allow 10 shooters to squad for each stage.  If you miss out you sign up for the no preference squad (20 shooters).  If you want to shoot with your buddies, show up early to register.  If you don't, you are assigned a squad and you are stuck with it.

 

A fourth club allows you to pre-register on Practiscore, but does not allow you to squad until approved.  They approve all the ROs first and allow them to squad, requesting only that they squad so they are evenly represented.  Then they approve all remaining in the order they signed up.  

 

That seems to have minimized the no shows at all but one of the clubs.  That club shoots on the third Saturday.  Evidently that slot is popular with a few other clubs in the area.  It really pisses the MD off.  That's why he went to the no-pref squad.  He will attempt to accommodate a no-pref shooter's squad request, but he insists on balancing the squads. 

 

As far as squad sizes go, I think 10 is the minimum.  Shooter, on deck, in the hole, and timing and scoring ROs leaves five to tape, etc.  Three of the clubs have only 5 or 6 bays, so squad sizes go between 12 and 15.  15 is a lot, especially if one of the squads are slow.  That makes for a long day.

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Every club/match has its own optimal method of doing registration and squading. There isn't a one size fits all formula. If the MD is smart they will pick a process that minimizes administrative hassle and maximizes volunteerism to make the match happen effectively. Signing up the morning of the match at the range achieves those goals the best for my club.

 

As a competitor attending online pre-registration local matches it sucks when you end up on a squad with 2 - 3 no shows and there are only 5 - 6 people on the squad and I end up needing to RO 99% of the time because the squad is short handed or the other people on the squad can't RO for some stupid reason. Half of this is issue is due to the dead beats that sign up but no show. The other half is the match staff being lazy and not removing the no shows then making sure that the squads are balanced and staffed properly.  

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the club i am speaking of requires payment to even register . i understand there will be no shows if people can just reg without paying, but that how it is.  if people have to pay with a credit card while registering,  how do those that, for whatever reason do not have one or wish not to use one get to shoot? or those that are not computer savvy ?

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Sandbagger123 said:

the club i am speaking of requires payment to even register . i understand there will be no shows if people can just reg without paying, but that how it is.  if people have to pay with a credit card while registering,  how do those that, for whatever reason do not have one or wish not to use one get to shoot? or those that are not computer savvy ?

 

 

They may not get to shoot.  The club can set registration how they want and Shooters will be ok with that and shoot or go some place different.

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What I’ve found that most are able to if they have to.  We’ve got a guy that’s in his 80s that finds a way to do it.  We’re not talking about building a pc from scratch. We’re talking about clicking a link in an email or something similar and entering in a handful of lines of info. I don’t think I’ve had more than a handful of people over the years say something along those lines and they somehow always find a way to register online. 

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3 hours ago, Paul B said:

10 to 12 is max with 8 being best.

 

1 - S.O. , 1 - Score keeper , 1 On deck , 1 reloading , 4 potentially resetting

 

8 is ok if you have 8 healthy and fairly young people and the feels like temperature is not in the 90+++ range. 

 

I like 10-12. 

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