Let's talk about why none of you register for contests on time.

Everyone tiptoes around this. Let’s do it.

As a contest organizer, the fact that you can open up registration three months in advance and everyone still signs up in the 4 days before the contest makes running a decent event terrifying.

As I see it, from the organizer side of things there are a few options:

  1. Open registration early, announce it loudly, and do not accept any new players 1 week before the contest date.

For all of you who saunter up the morning of the contest and say “Where do I register?” this is going to destroy you. There will be tears and probably angry parents because they drove you all the way to that contest and assumed that you had your act together, and now they find out you do not. Then they yell at me because they aren’t gonna yell at you. Then I have to make an on-site decision: do I stick to my guns and say “Sorry sunshine, I told you three times and you didn’t listen” while your father/mother is turning red with rage or do I suck it up and let you register anyway even though you, specifically, are the reason that I opened registration 3 months ago?

  1. If you register the week before the event, the cost doubles.

Considering how much people complain about contest registration fees, I’m sure this one will be hella popular. But frankly, you can swallow plenty of bitter pills if you pave the way with money first, and if I know that the price for your laziness is that I’m getting twice as much money to deal with you, well that’s not so bad.

I’m open to other options. I’m also open to explanations of why you register so late and if you have other ideas about what we can do as contest organizers to better encourage you to register early. Are we not announcing things well enough? Are you just not paying attention? Are we announcing once place but you’re all looking somewhere else? What can we do better? What can you do better?

Let’s hear it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Go.


shakes head I had no idea but should have guessed it. shakes head again.

In CO we’d say some people need to “cowboy/cowgirl up” and take some responsibility. However, when I come to an event please make exceptions for me! :wink: Just kidding.

Hey Steve!
Every semester my Frat does a sectionals conference where all chapters in the state come together for a giant day long business type meeting. We, on average, get about 200 students plus 100 higher up faculty; all of which have to register through the hosting college. 300 people seems like a fair number to use for amount of people who show up to yoyo contests. At least the smaller ones and not US Nationals or Worlds lol.

But last semester my school hosted and I was in charge of registration and logistics so I’ll give my 2 cents on how I ran it and how it can be transferred to yoyo contests.

So we opened registration about 2-3 months before the event. Ours was in May and I think we allowed registration starting in Feb or March.
We allowed colleges to register via paper or internet.
Paper registration would happen when a chapter president would find out how many people from their school would be attending and make a paper list of all people attending. Then they would calculate how much it would be for all those people to attend and they ship the list and a large check to us paying for everyone on the list.
I feel like paper registration would be a useful too for yoyo sponsoring teams to send out their team players. So for example is YYF knows that three of their players will be attending contest X, YYF send a list of those players to the contest along with a check paying for them.
Paper registration wouldn’t work for the general public but its a cool tool for teams. Even clubs like the NYYYC could use paper registration. Melford, what do you think?
Now lets say that someone from NYYYC wants to go but missed the paper list? That person just registers online. And the general public uses online.

What we did to encourage early registration was give “perks” for registering early. For example if you registered in the first half of open registration time, you were eligible to buy a conference t-shirt.
And as time went on we would increase registration prices. I think is was a $5 addition every 2 weeks or so.
We also closed online registration an exact week before the event so that we had a finalized head count and could start making preparations accordingly; such as seating and food.

We did offer day of registration but we made it very clear to each school that it was NOT encouraged. To compensate we made sure we had extra seating and food etc. enough for approximately 50 people. Not sure how that could transfer over to yoyo contests besides making it so only the first X amount of people at the door may register day of and after that you must cut the line and just say sorry but snooze ya lose.

Let me know what you think, Steve

Hope this helps in some way

-Dean Horneck

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Some people really have to think through something to do it. And some people go head first in to stuff with out even knowing if they will make it to the contest.

I can never understand this. The organisers have put in tonnes of their effort, time and own money in getting an event organised and yet people will still complain that they have to pay to enter/compete.

Entrance fees = more money for the organisers = better contests. :slight_smile:

Unfortunately, no matter how early or loudly you announce it, or how many safeguards you put in place… there are always going to be some people who try to sign up at the last minute. :stuck_out_tongue:

I think that raising the entrance fee as you get closer to the contest date is a great idea. Whilst it may not solve the problem of late entrants, at least the organisers get more funding out of it. The WYYC 2015 guys are doing a similar thing right now:

… though they have the option of signing up at the event if wished. Still, a $170 fee should be offputting for most people. :stuck_out_tongue:

I propose a little of both.

You could open registration months before the contest. Two weeks before the contest date the entrance fee doubles, and then one week before, entrance is cut off and nobody else can sign up.

This means that those who are going to sign up have the incentive of thinking “flip, if I don’t sign up before the two week mark, I have to pay double”, and you also get the benefit of a 1 week cut off to get things organised.

As far as ‘on the day’ goes, you could always stick up a big sign at the entrance that says “registration for the contest is closed” or something. At least then you’re not the person that these kids/parents find out the bad news from, so you’ll be a little less in the firing line.


“Darnit Timmy! We drove all this way for nothing! No more yoyos for you!”

Meanwhile, you’re in the background, cackling maniacally and rubbing you hands together like some kind of evil genius.

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Option 2. No question.

This is how many athletic events are structured. Sure you can register late or at the event but it will cost much more. This extra cost pays for the extra stress and uncertainty with running an event where you don’t know how many people will be attending. It allows those who do not plan ahead to still participate.

I find that public humiliation works best for things like this…

should they sign up for the contest late write their name on a piece of paper and when they come up to perform announce that so and so has signed up late because he is a procrastinator… when i went to school one of my teachers did this everytime someone was late… very few people were ever late…

If someone comes to a contest without registering, of course it’s going to be difficult on the organizer. But to treat someone so badly as to not let them compete, that’s just not right at all. If you can’t live with people like that, I almost want to say you shouldn’t be organizing a contest. Because it seems to me you’re organizing the contest for the people, and not your own personal ease. I would never register late, but some people may not have read about the deadline. What’s more is that you turn them off from wanting to be apart of the yoyo community, and that’s what a lot of these rules are trying to avoid the way I see it. Number 2 is a lot more appealing to me. I understand that it’s a pain, but I just don’t like to treat people that way.

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Put yourself in the organisers shoes though Stuart:

Imagine you had 100 people register for a contest you had organised. You had all the timing and music and stuff planned out so that you can fit all the prelims/semis/finals in within a certain time slot, all the judges are aware of how much judging they need to do, and the day looks set to go ahead on schedule.

However, on the day… another 50 people sign up.

50 extra 1min prelims = 50 minutes of freestyles +judging +setup

That’s easily over an hour extra that you hadn’t accounted for. The entire schedule for the day then needs to be re-arranged, the judges have even more work to do that they hadn’t planned for, and the poor music technician is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

All of a sudden all your planning and timekeeping and what not is completely thrown off. :-\

Imagine lying in bed the evening before the contest with it all planned out, but actually having NO IDEA just how many people are going to show up on the day and cause you to have to change everything around last minute. Talk about a hard night’s sleep…

Now don’t get me wrong, if it’s a small regional contest without that many entrants, such as UK nationals, then I can understand some leway.

However, for big contest like Nats/BAC and the like, there has to be as much order as possible to keep the whole thing running smoothly. With so many freestyles to get through and judge for so many divisions, it needs to tick like a Swiss timepiece.


Whilst someone (not the forum member) could take the attitude that it’s ‘unfair’ to not let people compete who show up on the day, one could counter by saying it’s ‘unfair’ to put more stress and pressure on the organisers by not signing up on time.

In order to have a well organised contest, one needs to be willing to put their foot down when necessary. If the organisers attitude was “sure, show up on the day, bring your music, sign up when you want… we’ll figure it out when we get there…”, then every contest would be chaos. :-X

It’s not a matter of “unfair” (in my opinion). You are one hundred percent right in saying that it’s chaos, that people shouldn’t do things like that. Of course it puts stress on organizers. I would never want to be an organizer or judge or music person. But if I was, it’s way more important that people be allowed to compete solely because people are way important than yoyos. It’s just the way it is.

Something that’s a bit more on the intangible side - but I think has a strong pull nonetheless:

I tend to see a lot of top-competitors being the worst offenders at this.

I don’t know if that has to do with “Hey, I’m flying in, and I’m not 100% sure if I’m going or not, so I’ll wait until the last minute to register”

Or if it has to do with “Hmm, let me wait and see who else is registered so I can decide if I’ve got a good enough chance at winning to see if it’s worth my time to register”

or something else entirely.

I LOVE the idea of increasing the fees as time goes on. Early bird pays less, and late-adopters pay as a natural consequence of their acedia/lack of commitment to make it up to the contest organizer.

good thoughts Steve.


Increasing the registration fee for late registration is an excellent idea, I also like the idea of adding perks for early registration (free t-shirt or something like that).

I never understand how yo-yo players always seem to be oblivious to the registration deadline. No matter how many announcements or reminders you send out there’s always a significant number of players that want to register the day of the contest. I can’t think of any other sport/competition where they would allow you to register after the deadline, you would just get turned away.

When people register on the day of the contest it’s just one more unnecessary thing the organizer has to worry about, they have to assign people from their team to do registration instead of more important tasks which makes it hard to keep everything running on schedule.

And one more thing… Upload your music on time or at least have it ready when your name is called!!

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I don’t compete, however concerts do this all the time. Price is X before the show, if you get your tickets at the door the price goes up. I don’t see why it should be any different for a contest.

for me its truly a weather ordeal. For contests like VA states, or Pennsylvanian state yo yo contest, weather truly becomes a problem. If you don’t know this most of those contests are in the winter, and in areas where snow becomes a problem. Therefore, I don’t want to register ahead of time and then realize i can’t go because the snow is on the roads and my parents are unable to drive because we would need to shovel our driveway to get there. Also with contests in the summer i also don’t want to register early then either because, if something happens or i get injured during a summer sport it is hence the same problem as last time, i wasted my money. So, if i had the option i would pay a little bit more at the deadline then not so i would have something like a “what if” going around my head.

Don’t charge to register but collect fees on the day of the event?
That way when people don’t know if they can go or not, they can sign up, without losing out on the entry fee.
Or possibly allow people to back out and get their fees back? I know I never am 100% sure I can make an event till a few days before. I suspect most people are this way. jobs, life, school, ect. \

I know that would be my hang up on registering. That fact that I just don’t know if I can go or not.

k, first off I know ZERO about running a contest. My question is this: Why is it important that people register so far in advance?

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My guess is knowing the amount of competitors helps plan an itinerary for the day.

I’ll use Ohio States as an example, since I’m running it Saturday.

Last year we had 51 players in the 1A division, and more than half of them registered the day of the contest. So on Friday night we had no reason for prelims, and on Saturday morning at 11 AM we suddenly found ourselves in the position where we needed to run prelims and NO ONE was prepared for them because the day before the contest we announced it wasn’t going to be a problem, we would just run everyone through finals.

So we ended the contest a full hour late and the judges were absolutely exhausted and I had to send people out to get change three times because I wasn’t planning on handling a lot of money and everyone paid with twenties, and yoyo players don’t listen or stick around they wander off like cats so we tried to change the schedule to make it work but couldn’t because half our 1A players were wandering around the mall. Add the usual music issues that come from said wandering cats not following instructions and what you have is a ball of chaos that ends up making the event look and feel sloppy, parents getting bored and mouthy with me about what a terrible job I’m doing, players trying to ask me questions about the schedule while I’m in the middle of running music for another player, and an absurd amount of needless stress and scrambling for what should be a pretty smooth, easy, mid-sized State contest.

All this because I let people register the morning of the event, which means that I can only prep for half of the competitors, at best, in advance.

For a larger contest it’s even harder because you likely aren’t getting that venue for free, people expect decent cash prizes, you have to pay your judges, and nearly all of your sponsors only paid you in yoyos that the winners are just going to sell right off the stage before you’re even done packing up at the end of the event. So you end up really counting on that registration money to make everything work and (fingers crossed) leave enough money for you to pay yourself minimum wage at the end of everything.

Having people register well in advance basically gives you the ability to schedule your time and money in a way that protects the organizer, guarantees a smooth, well-run show for the competitors and attendees, and minimizes the financial risk for everyone.

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Not sure how much of that I’d be able to take. Hat’s off to ya.

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I will say it’s not as common as it used to be. It’s downright rare these days, but even the kindest of people will get a little raw when they’re sitting in a chair and watching 50 kids stringfumble through bad dubstep.