Small Tournament Operations

The following video and document contains information originally provided by Raven Fox.

From the Baltimore SCG open, broadcast available here. Go to 1:03:40 for Raven’s presentation.

Preparing for the Event

  • Arrive 30 Min before the event begins to ensure the venue is ready for the event.
  • Prepare any materials needed for the event
  • Sealed Product
  • Lands – If you are running a draft have the land stations either in a central location or have one land station per draft table.
  • Pens and Paper
  • Door Prizes
  • Make sure the event has been sanctioned and is created in the computer that you will be using to run the event. (VIDEO)
  • Ensure that you have a clock for each event if possible. (VIDEO)
  • Make sure that the bathrooms and trash receptacles are easy to access and find.
  • DISCUSSION QUESTION – What are some different ways that you prepare for an event?


  • Have a plan for Registration – Different plans are ok!
  • Registration Slips – Slip for each player
  • Sign Up Sheet – Single sheet at sign up point
  • Direct Sign Up – Direct entry into WER or DCI-R
  • DISCUSSION QUESTION – What are different ways that you handle registration? Are some methods more effective for different size crowds?

During the Event

  • Welcome players to the event with a big smile and lots of energy.
  • Broadcast the location of trash cans and the bathroom to players.
  • Recognize new players in the event. Recognizing them and helping them feel valued will go a long way into the assurance that they will keep coming back.
  • Mistakes happen – be honest and up front when they do.
  • Move around frequently just like at large events as it helps to create presence and store patrons will respect your interest in their games.
  • At small events, (8-16 players) you can keep results slips and have players report results directly to you. It can be easier to keep paperwork out of the players hands.
  • Clean up as you go.
  • DISCUSSION QUESTION – What does your local store do during the event to make the experience more enjoyable for the players?


  • Award random promos and prizes in the middle of the event, instead of at the beginning or end, to energize players
  • Cooperate with local stars or judges to put bounties for beating selected players – Win a pack or a drink by defeating them in the event.
  • DISCUSSION QUESTION – How does your store handle prizes during small tournaments?

Store Events as Mentorship Opportunities

  • Practice good customer service: engage your players to find out where their interests lie and how you can help them.
  • The local candidates are already there.
  • Gauge interest.
  • DISCUSSION QUESTION – What do you do when you find local players who want to get involved in the program?

Have Fun!