Durham/Chapel Hill Backgammon Club


Tips for how to start your own club


If anyone wishes to start and run a backgammon club, my advice is:

  1. Read Bill Davis's excellent article "Tips on Forming and Operating a Local Backgammon Club".

  2. Contact Bill Davis to get added to his roster of U.S. Backgammon Clubs.

  3. I invite you to study the web site I created for my Durham/Chapel Hill, North Carolina club.  I feel it's a good format to copy.

  4. To create your own web site, I recommend GoDaddy.  Buy their cheapest Hosting Plan, "Economy - Host a single web site" for $ 3.99/month.  Be prepared to identify what domain name you want.  You'll need to buy some web site building software. 

  5. Email me if you want a copy of our recent newsletter.   It's free, and its format should give you some good ideas.

  6. I can also email you templates I use for:

    • Tournament registration (Word document).  I write people's names on this as they arrive and I collect entry fees from them.

    • Tournament score sheet (Word document)

    • Club standings (Excel spreadsheet).  I copy and paste to our newsletter and to my web site.

    • Newsletter (Word document).  I build our newsletter as a Word document and then copy and paste to an email which I bcc to all members.

    • Craigslist ad (Word document).  I renew this every 45 days when it expires.

    • Reminder note (email).  I send this out bcc every Saturday morning to remind people of the following Monday's meeting.

  7. Although I don't use it, many U.S. clubs use http://backgames.org/ to track club stats.

  8. Here's a website from which you can print brackets/tournament scoreboards:  http://www.printyourbrackets.com/  I don't use it, but another club director recommended it.

  9. The best way to begin a club is to find one or two dedicated souls who are willing to meet with you on a regular basis.  Our club started that way and played six months one-on-one and chouette style before we began tournament play. 

  10. It is imperative that you find a location that has lots of tables, has good parking, and is conveniently located.  Our current Jason's Deli location ... near an interstate exit .... has all of that.  Our first location had none of that. You might consider a sports bar as they sometimes stay open as late as 2 AM, but bear in mind that if your members don't spend and tip well enough, you could lose your venue.  Some clubs have imposed minimums for food, drink, and tips.  I may do that myself if weekly membership grows significantly.

Email me any questions you might have.  I'd also be willing to schedule a Skype call.

-Ken Larsen, Director of Durham/Chapel Hill, NC Backgammon Club


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