Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Growth and carrots

So I've got this idea....

I've got this idea that really excites me about getting PHUL more teams, but it's more than that. It goes like this:

  1. Make a list of all the schools in WPIAL.
  2. Put a bounty (to be paid by PHUL) on all teams that don't yet exist (a team is defined as 10 players registered for PHUL Spring 2009 by the end of online registration)
  3. Allow the community to add to the bounty of any team by making a donation. (alumni, schools nearby that want a rival, etc).
  4. Reward the person who finds and helps start the new team with the bounty (a cash prize on the order of $100/team).
The rules:
  1. A team can not claim the bounty on itself.
  2. Bounties only exist for teams that have not existed in the PHUL spring season since 2004.
  3. You must be able to explain why you are the one who "closed" the team (convinced them to be 100% in the league in 2009).
  4. Prize money (bounty) may be split, but only with the mutual agreement of the winners, otherwise the league will determine who the sole winner is.
So how would this work?

Example 1: Fox Chapel, which has never had a middle school team before, forms a middle school team with the help of current Fox Chapel player Jesse Sidhu, Jesse could then claim the bounty ($200 for example), for starting the middle school team.

Example 2: Shaler High School has never had a team in PHUL before. Jack Ross from North Hills High School calls a friend at Shaler and convinces him to start a team. Jack is rewarded with $50 cash (for example) from the league.

Example 3: Darren Shultz, who graduated from North Allegheny would like to see his alma mater form a girls team for 2009. At the NAUF alumni game (November 29th, 2008 for those keeping score at home), Darren asks all the Alumni for $20 towards this cause. PHUL's bounty was $100, it is now $300. Suddenly NA's guys team is working hard to help create a girls team and collect the $300.


The list is already made: http://www.wpial.com/memberschools.asp and we've turned this in to a google document which you can view here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pWsoYzdfRKfJbah_fbnR_Qg

There are 138 schools, with a guys and girls team (assume none of these are single gender schools, but hey... rough numbers) both averaging 14 players a team that's: 3,864 players in PHUL. I like that, a lot. It may not happen overnight, but seeing all the potential for teams in PHUL is exciting.

What else is exciting besides dangling the carrot of cold hard cash in front of potential volunteers?

  1. More teams = more good.
  2. The League can communicate its priorities to all of the community due to the size of any given bounty.
  3. This giant spreadsheet gives us something that can be worked on by any "walk in volunteer" who only has 15 minutes by allowing them to research the information needed to fill in a few cells in the sheet.
  4. This database of teams can be used to create lists of Athletic Directors, survey information about how many schools play Ultimate in their gym class, offer gym demos, etc.
  5. Allows anyone to increase the chance that a specific team will be formed (donating money to a team's bounty).
We hope to officially enact this policy/reward system for PHUL 2009. If you have any feedback before it gets started please share. The biggest concern would be any animosity being created by the cash prizes. We hope we can find a way to avoid this, both by the character of our community members and by coming up with a stronger system of what it means to "be the person who helped start the team".

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