In addition to avoiding conflict, putting together some mechanism for planning national meets a year+ in advance would have advantages. For instance, if we figured out that some region didn't have any national meets planned for a season or a year, a planned schedule could encourage otherwise reticent clubs to fill the void.
Put another way, we could avoid both too many (conflict) and too few (*crickets*) national meets in a calendar and geographic area.
What form would that planning take? A meeting, e-mail thread, or something every year?
I strongly support all efforts to coordinate meets. Including your proposal for an annual poll, Boris.
I would only add that coordination needs to be done on an ongoing, rolling basis, not just at points in time. Having an annual poll of clubs (and, implicitly, an annual prod of clubs) would be a great, but the polling (and prodding) really should be ongoing.
For example, the OUSA planning calendar
is a good start, but it is updated way too infrequently. It needs to somehow be updated in near-real-time.
At the same time, I think it is helpful to have a coherent plan or goal - e.g. 3-5 national meets in the northeast per year.
Clare at one point tried to get clubs to commit 18-24 months in advance to bidding to host various championships. I think the result was crickets.
Smaller clubs need to team up to host, to share knowledge and manpower, but distance can be a limiting factor in other parts of the country. It's been a while, for example, since LAOC has hosted. COC hasn't hosted a national meet since the IS a few years ago, I think; but they have the school league and so they are doing great thngs there.
EMPO started holding semi regular national meets, after a decade of nothing, after we teamed up with CNYO in 2004. It helps that there were two avid couples in the club who attend A meets to keep things moving along, but if that changes (which it will, within months) I'm not sure what will happen to EMPO's efforts. Even when we organize everything within the club, we rely on volunteers from neighboring clubs so we have enough manpower. They have come through for us multiple times. We're lucky we're located in the northeast where there are a multitude of clubs.
The most experience-demanding jobs are: meet director, course setter, registrar. If you have experienced people there, and enough volunteers to draw from for other less demanding jobs, national meets can happen.
Other parts of the country where clubs are few and far between are at a definite disadvantage, though meets can still happen. (e.g. the classic champs in Laramie)
What's the change happening at EMPO, out of curiosity?
Janet and Glen moving out of town
Talk to one of us tomorrow. :-)
One person I spoke to this weekend opined that the standard for an A-Meet has become too high a hurdle for certain clubs. Perhaps revisiting the idea of a B-Meet category with some dollars going to OUSA is worthwhile.
Or just step up. Yes your club may make mistakes. But nothing else energizes club members as much as an impending A-meet. It is an opportunity for training, motivating, financing, and growing the membership ranks unlike anything else. As we say here in Chicago: "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood..."
Our club does pretty well making big plans for A-meets, but many small clubs I talk to simply don't want to take it on.
The Pig sets a high bar...
growing the membership ranks unlike anything else
Do you have evidence that A meet hosting does that?
Alright, I got bored and appealed to our records department.
The records department thought that people tended to let membership expire rather than renewing consistently, and in our good graces, you often get the remainder of year + next year when you join up. This might explain the oscillations especially on the left side. (Stats gurus please chime in at any point.)
So three A meets see a following year bump. + points to the invigoration position
Except the consecutive A meet years show a drop following. - points to the invigoration position
2010 sees a huge pop over 2009. No A meet. - points to the "like no other" This might be related to an influx of AR enthusiasts before that sport, at least here, saw declines. Not sure; I was only a casual customer then.