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It is hard to fix problems. It is much easier to prevent them.

I spent 6 years serving as the PDGA Competition Director (back when that position existed) and more than anything else I spent my time trying to fix the problems of clubs and tournaments. My advice flows from my experiences and from seeing the same problems repeating themselves.

It is easy to form a club. Declare yourself to be a club. Now you are a club. The areas which are most likely to cause problems are money, authority and work load.

Money : the largest area of potential problems. Disc golf is a poor sport. Few people make any money at it. The few who make money generally don't make much (unless they are a big manufacturer) so the logical conclusion is money will not be an issue. It doesn't seem to work that way. So settle financial rules first. Most clubs do not try to pay any member for any service-the pure volunteer club. If any profit is made on an event then the profit is spent to promote the sport.

The pure volunteer club is a fine model if everyone can live with it. But make it clear. No one gets paid for anything. Expenses can be covered but time is free. If any benefit is given to any club member it should not be in monetary form. Let it be a year end party where the food and beer are provided or a staff tee shirt for those work an event.

If the pure volunteer model is what the club wants then the President should never touch the money. Not even hold it for a moment. The treasurer handles the money or the designated-treasurer but not the Prez. I was Prez for a club for many years and never touched the money. Not a penny. Ever.

Find the richest, most trustworthy member of the club to be the Treasurer.

Authority and Work Load. In volunteer organizations those who do the most work get the most say in how things are done. Make that clear from the get go. So whoever runs a weekly league get to call the shots. If a member isn't helping with a particular project then they don't get a vote. If a Prez leaves that post the new Prez runs the show.

What happened before when someone else did the work creates no precedent unless the new staff wants to do it that way. The authority being tied to the work load provides an incentive for members to do the work. It also lays blame and praise on those who did the work. They carried out their own plan and will learn from the results.

The many members of this site have lived through a thousand different experiences and we can all learn from those if we are wise enough to seek advice and listen.

Good luck.

Views: 2

Replies to This Discussion

Amen
Thats another great bit of info from you Sir.
In most volunteer organizations, 3 % of the members do 97% of the work. 97% of the members tell the other 3 % what they are doing wrong!!!

Remember, you can only do what you can do. Don't get defensive when folks complain. Don't volunteer to get thanks from others or you will be miserable.

I really do appreciate it when club members offer great suggestions. However, without additional help, I can't add that to my list of responsibilities. I generally ask the person if they can volunteer to implement their new idea or if they would be interested in heading a committee to take on the new task. The general response: "I don't have the time, but I know a lot of people want this and think you should look into it."


Here is an example of an actual comment made while I was the President of the Minnesota Frisbee Association.

Member - "When is the MFA going to fill in the hole in front of the teepad on Hole 3 at Kaposia? It is a hazard that has been there for a year. It becomes a muddy mess when it rains. I play there three times a week and I am afraid that someone is going to break their leg or fall and get hurt."


How would you respond? Remember, you represent the club and you should to be respectful to all your paid members.


I will post my response later.
Thank you and I understand your concern... How would you suggest we go about handling this situation??? Would you be willing as a club member to maintain this hole as your own...or help out with the labor involved in filling in some of the tee pads?
We might be a bit different here in australia but we would ask him to fix it the next time he was out there and to let me know if there is anything he might need.
Good advice for starting a new club. Does not work as well when the club has a history spanning multiple decades. Some members split from the club to start their own club this week. You can try to keep things together and have a place for everyone that is interested in the club and this stuff still happens. I think some of the best advice was mentioned earlier and that is to be respectful and diplomatic when dealing with players and the like.

Good Luck.
nitegolfer said:
Good advice for starting a new club. Does not work as well when the club has a history spanning multiple decades. Some members split from the club to start their own club this week. You can try to keep things together and have a place for everyone that is interested in the club and this stuff still happens. I think some of the best advice was mentioned earlier and that is to be respectful and diplomatic when dealing with players and the like.


Looks like the club may stay together and not split after all. I sure hope so.
Good Luck.

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