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 Post subject: Any advice to make a club?
Post #1 Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:16 am 
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Hello everybody. I got a good news, I found players in my city (Salamanca, Spain), they are weaker than me.

The first is that I read:
Failure of free club culture
Start Your Own Go Club (AGA)

I am spanish and AEGO (if i translate it is "Spanish Association of Go") say about how make a association like a club that it be accepted to AEGO. I am not worried about it because it's just bureaucracy.

I have a experience in clubs, but I am worried with that my iniciative to make a rutine of go fail. The other players are like as interested in meet with me because I can teach to improve his intuition, how to respond in some situations, make comment... I think that it can be good, but I don't want be like a "president" of meeting because there are a diference of level in all player. If I am not afraid if I must be the leader in the face of bureaucracy, only I am afraid of be a "teacher"

How can we do a feedback and balance participation?


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Post #2 Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:33 am 
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Darsey wrote:
only I am afraid of be a "teacher"
Hi Darsey,

There's nothing to be afraid of about "teaching" Go -- when you come across something you are not sure of, just say, "I am not sure." :)

Otherwise, if you're nice and enthusiastic about Go, then people who like Go will stay. :)


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Post #3 Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 11:53 am 
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I'm not a Go Club leader or member, but at my old job I did have to organize educational activities in my area of expertise. How about the club members watching Go lectures together on YouTube or elsewhere, and then discussing the lectures and trying out the techniques or ideas. That way you wouldn't be the only source of info.


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Post #4 Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:20 am 
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I was thinking and doing notes to make more dynamic the meetings:

-Reviews (games, apps and books)
-Tsumegos
-Play
-Loan books (I think that only I got go books :scratch: )
And that's all folks. I couldn't think more ideas to do a club. I tried think in things that anyone can do.

This saturday I will meet with they, I think that I will return this topic with news and some new doubt.

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Post #5 Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:13 am 
Judan
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Hi Darsey,

Good luck. Don't try to do too much at once.

If you over-do something, it can backfire.

I've been active in a Go club for over 14 years.
Some other people here have more experience.

Like Go itself, it takes a lot of patience and hard work.
Don't rush. :)

If you think in terms of 10 years or more,
then you realize you don't have to rush. :)


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Post #6 Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:34 am 
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Darsey wrote:
I was thinking and doing notes to make more dynamic the meetings:

-Reviews (games, apps and books)
-Tsumegos
-Play
-Loan books (I think that only I got go books :scratch: )
And that's all folks. I couldn't think more ideas to do a club. I tried think in things that anyone can do.

This saturday I will meet with they, I think that I will return this topic with news and some new doubt.


My experience with clubs is that once they are established, they are all about play. The other things may or may not happen, but people go to a club to get games primarily. If you're running the club, make sure people get introduced so they start playing games with each other. Make sure you play games too, but it's also important that when someone new comes in, there is somebody willing to teach them to play or give them a game so they stick around.

As a new club, you'll probably need to recruit people and introduce them to the game as well. Be gentle. Don't answer questions before they ask them, and it's easiest to teach if you have two new beginners to play each other a lot. That way they are relatively evenly matched, and they'll figure things out on their own as they run through a lot of 9x9 games (or smaller!).


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Post #7 Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:24 am 
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skydyr wrote:
My experience with clubs is that once they are established, they are all about play. The other things may or may not happen, but people go to a club to get games primarily. ...


This more or less explains why I don't participate in any club any more.

In my opinion, a club is always a social club. Any club should always be about the people first.

Consider the Central London Go Club. There, you will encounter very diligent study of the game of Go as well as some guy insisting that you sign the register and sarcastic jibes should you be socializing too much and playing too little. It is all about the game and only about the game. This, at least, was my lasting impression after attending semi-regularly for a couple of months. I soon decided I had more fun playing KGS Automatch, with less pressure and the option of buying my beer at supermarket prices.

Defensively pursuing the game like that is not necessary at all. I strongly believe that a social club formed from the self-selecting group of Go players will, inevitably, play a lot of Go.

Retention of new players hinges on this. Someone who enjoys the company is likely to come back, even after glimpsing the abyss. (I am sure the scope and depth of Go seems abyssal to many newbies when they know enough to comprehend it but do not yet know enough to wrangle with it!)


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Post #8 Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:25 am 
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Darsey wrote:
[..] I got a good news, I found players in my city (Salamanca, Spain),
How nice, congratulations!

Quote:
they are weaker than me.
Weaker, stronger, nevermind, we have Handicap.

Quote:
[..] I am spanish and AEGO (if i translate it is "Spanish Association of Go") say about how make a association like a club that it be accepted to AEGO. I am not worried about it because it's just bureaucracy.
Just be sure to get all the support your Go organization can give you … perhaps brochures, flyers, literature, boards/stones, if possible.

Quote:
I have a experience in clubs, but I am worried with that my iniciative to make a rutine of go fail.
Just don’t worry. Worrying drains your energy ;-)

Quote:
The other players are like as interested in meet with me because I can teach to improve his intuition, how to respond in some situations, make comment... I think that it can be good, but I don't want be like a "president" of meeting because there are a diference of level in all player.
I think I don’t understand the last sentence. Do you mean you don’t want to be the “president” just because you’re stronger? I wouldn’t worry about these things … apparently you’re the _organizer_ here, the one who is the motor for the first acceleration, that’s a wonderful thing.

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If I am not afraid if I must be the leader in the face of bureaucracy, only I am afraid of be a "teacher"
Same as above, just don't be afraid. As long as you’re the stronger player (plus the friendly person you apparently are), weaker players will learn from playing with you. Just take care that the other players also play each other, not only you.

In our “miniature” Go club where currently the maximum number of players is three, we just make a triple simultaneous game where we sit in a triangle and each of us plays both other players.

While I, too, am sort of a “leader” in our Go club just because it’s me who organizes it, who offers the playing material and some literature (thanks also to the support of DGoB, the German Go Association), and because it happens at my place because I’m lucky to have space enough for up to twelve people, and this way nobody has to pay lots of money for beverages/tea/coffee/etc., I don’t view myself as a “president” or something, I rather am happy to be the “servant” of the Go club, a janitor perhaps, or facility manager.

BTW this reminds me (thank you!) that I wanted to create some flyers to post at the local supermarkets’ bill-boards …

I wish you good luck and lots of fun with your co-players!

_________________
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” — Mark Twain ★ Come and play on OGS


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Post #9 Posted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:16 am 
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Charlie wrote:
skydyr wrote:
My experience with clubs is that once they are established, they are all about play. The other things may or may not happen, but people go to a club to get games primarily. ...


This more or less explains why I don't participate in any club any more.

In my opinion, a club is always a social club. Any club should always be about the people first.

Consider the Central London Go Club. There, you will encounter very diligent study of the game of Go as well as some guy insisting that you sign the register and sarcastic jibes should you be socializing too much and playing too little. It is all about the game and only about the game. This, at least, was my lasting impression after attending semi-regularly for a couple of months. I soon decided I had more fun playing KGS Automatch, with less pressure and the option of buying my beer at supermarket prices.

Defensively pursuing the game like that is not necessary at all. I strongly believe that a social club formed from the self-selecting group of Go players will, inevitably, play a lot of Go.

Retention of new players hinges on this. Someone who enjoys the company is likely to come back, even after glimpsing the abyss. (I am sure the scope and depth of Go seems abyssal to many newbies when they know enough to comprehend it but do not yet know enough to wrangle with it!)


I don't mean to suggest that a club should be all business and no fun, so to speak, and I'm sorry you've had bad experiences at clubs in the past like that one.

The way I see it, one joins a club that is organized around a particular activity first for the activity, and second for the socialization. That doesn't mean socializing isn't important, but any given club should cater to that more or less, whereas the activity in question is the reason for joining a particular club.

If I were to join, say, a tennis club, my first expectation would be that I will go to the club to get tennis matches. I would hope that I get to know people over the games, and would love if there were a resident pro or strong player who gave advice or lessons, but chronologically these come second. If the club weren't friendly and inviting, I'd leave too, but I'd likely end up looking for another club to play in instead.

That said, the bigger the club, the harder it is to keep organized and the more these sorts of lists and all become necessary. From my experience in chess, I remember going to a local club that probably had a couple hundred people come out once a week. There was a club ladder, and when you came in you were paired up in a game. Afterwards, some people would move to other rooms to socialize, some would go to another game, and some would leave, but if the main hall were given over to socialization, it wouldn't be possible to play a serious game there on account of the distraction. These things are a lot easier to balance when you are smaller and can form a consensus easily.

There's also been some discussion here about go training clubs vs social clubs, and I think the clearest consensus is that different people have different goals when they go to a club. Ideally, you'll have enough choice locally to find one you like.

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Post #10 Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:57 am 
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I know the difference about social club and training club. Your example about tennis club is so good, you want get matches. I think that any go club is for it. I want do it to play more physical games and because my city is a important universitary and tourist place. There are a lot of possibility that some players of my country or international, come to visit the city or study in his university, with a community of players is easier that some foreign player think in play without internet in my city.

Within 24 hours (and half and hour) will be first meeting. I finish think that only I will do flyer to websites, servers and email to learn, contact and play, and I will carry some books to lend.


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Post #11 Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:16 am 
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We used to do not much chat during play and then go for a few drinks afterwards so people could socialise. Once you have a balance it'll be fine.

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Post #12 Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:20 pm 
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Darsey wrote:
I know the difference about social club and training club. Your example about tennis club is so good, you want get matches. I think that any go club is for it. I want do it to play more physical games and because my city is a important universitary and tourist place. There are a lot of possibility that some players of my country or international, come to visit the city or study in his university, with a community of players is easier that some foreign player think in play without internet in my city.

Within 24 hours (and half and hour) will be first meeting. I finish think that only I will do flyer to websites, servers and email to learn, contact and play, and I will carry some books to lend.
Since most people in your city are not familiar with Go, creating a friendly social atmosphere in which to acquaint oneself with it will be helpful. As other posters on this thread have mentioned, most of the club members will go just to play games. Making it easy for them to play a game with someone will allow the club to grow. Also, novices learning Go for the first time will want to play games as well and find answers to the many questions they will have, especially when it comes to how to win games!

There are those club members who will, after playing a few games of Go, think that it is difficult or impossible to improve at it. To those with such a thought, I like to say that learning Go is a bit like learning music. One can learn X song and then learn variations of the same song. Of course there will be difficulties when playing it for the first time, but after constant practice and refinement of skill one can play the song and variations with a high degree of precision.

Other Go players use the above mentioned metaphor. Below is a quote by Janice Kim 3p, from the Samarkand.net homepage.

Quote:
You know how the lyrics to some songs seem so profound? But when you see them in black and white, you realize that they are just words, and not very big ones at that, probably chosen because they rhymed. Go is like the opposite of that. It looks like just a game, with black and white pieces, making pretty patterns. But everything you ever wanted to know is in it.
A few posters on this thread mentioned a quiet and respectful atmosphere - similar to that of a bibliotheque - when playing games. I believe this is helpful because it will, of course, make it easier for players to concentrate on their games and, an important benefit, prevent the use of offensive language, which can make potential members go somewhere else and even make them think that Go is a game for social misfits. Even in an informal club, a code of conduct is necessary, I believe.


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Post #13 Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 3:57 pm 
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skydyr wrote:

My experience with clubs is that once they are established, they are all about play. The other things may or may not happen, but people go to a club to get games primarily. If you're running the club, make sure people get introduced so they start playing games with each other. Make sure you play games too, but it's also important that when someone new comes in, there is somebody willing to teach them to play or give them a game so they stick around.

As a new club, you'll probably need to recruit people and introduce them to the game as well. Be gentle. Don't answer questions before they ask them, and it's easiest to teach if you have two new beginners to play each other a lot. That way they are relatively evenly matched, and they'll figure things out on their own as they run through a lot of 9x9 games (or smaller!).


I think skydyr has concisely summarized the important points very well. My extra little suggestion is to try to find at least one or two other people to agree to be foundation stones of the club. Say with a couple of other people you agree that one of you will always turn up to the club night. The club night may be weekly or monthly, but whenever it is, you always make sure that one of the three foundation stone people is definitely there. So if another commitment comes up during the week they have to phone one of the other foundation stone people to make sure that they take on the responsibility to attend instead. The point is that a few weeks when no 'regulars' happen to turn up causes the half committed people and new drop-in people to decide to give up. That kills the club in the long term.

As far as the noisy drinking social club or quiet library style club is concerned I think both are fine. Both work and are fun, just obviously not practical in the same club.

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Post #14 Posted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:11 pm 
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PeterHB wrote:
I think skydyr has concisely summarized the important points very well. My extra little suggestion is to try to find at least one or two other people to agree to be foundation stones of the club. Say with a couple of other people you agree that one of you will always turn up to the club night. The club night may be weekly or monthly, but whenever it is, you always make sure that one of the three foundation stone people is definitely there. So if another commitment comes up during the week they have to phone one of the other foundation stone people to make sure that they take on the responsibility to attend instead. The point is that a few weeks when no 'regulars' happen to turn up causes the half committed people and new drop-in people to decide to give up. That kills the club in the long term.
This pretty much summarizes the situation with one of my friends, who leads a Go club. They meet several kilometers from where I live, so I cannot make it every time they meet. However, many of the members have commitments outside of the club and these often interfere with Go Club. So having core members show up every time without fail, although desirable, is easier said than done. Also, here in the US, for the most part Go is not a very widely respected activity, except maybe among East Asian communities in which the game has wider exposure and is considered part of the cultural heritage.

Quote:
As far as the noisy drinking social club or quiet library style club is concerned I think both are fine. Both work and are fun, just obviously not practical in the same club.
I agree here. Which atmosphere prevails should be based on the consensus of regular club members. There should be a club for everyone. I believe that a noisy club is good for those who seek opportunities to socialize and through those they come to know weiqi. These would probably be the ones in which free snacks are served and groups of people stand around a goban loudly discussing the merits of X play, or play a game as they chat about their daily lives. Those who are a bit more timid and prefer a formal atmosphere within which they can acquaint themselves with the game will prefer the quieter clubs. Parents seeking to improve their children's educational opportunities through weiqi may prefer this kind of club atmosphere.

Those of us promoting Go in Western countries should look back at how other Oriental arts like karate came to gain cultural penetration in Western culture. Let's be sure we are not doing anything to ourselves that slows down our evangelism efforts :)

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Post #15 Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:00 am 
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News... I held for 5 hours with go :salute:

First I must say that I thought that we will be three person (one guy that I know the past week and one new). Only we are two, it isnt bad to play. How we are so different, I am like 11-12kyu in IGS (I consider my ranking from IGS, it is the most reliable) and another is like a weak "BC" yet. He has a friend that it is like 17k or 16k, I met the past week with two that they live together (it is so good because all that I tell and lend a one, this will finish teach to the another :D ).

We finish take a "teaching game", he wanted and I didn't say no. We play wiht 5 stone of handicap to see and comment the game in the corner when white approachs. It was interesting, we change some moves... the tipical of a teching game.

When we finish, we were talking, we speak about our life to relax the go. After we back to "study" some tsumegos because he wants improve his "intuition". I think that he doesn't leave his encouragement, he can make a read in the game in one month (like as easy sequence or to make alone the majority of easy tsumegos of gamegoguru without error) because he only plays with intuition today.

Later, one guy was interested in the game. We did corresponding and we explained, the time will tell if he wants know more about this fascinating game.

And well... I am finish to write. Only just missing to say that I lend this books: "Improve your intuition vol. 2", "The go: the game most fascinating of the world" (this book is only to acquaint with terminology, because it haven't secrets to him) and "Qijing Shisanpian".

Thanks you very much to all to contribute :bow: I think that this topic isn't finish yet and it is possible that I make one like a diary to someone can imitate.


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Post #16 Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:40 pm 
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I know the difference about social club and training club.
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Post #17 Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2016 1:30 am 
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When building a new club:

1. Don't expect to run it on your own. Most people don't have the energy for that and those who have, often scare away others who feel it's "your" club, not theirs. Whether you start on your own or not, accept and actively seek help with steering the club.

2. People will come and stay for many different reasons. Recognize these reasons and respect them. Some come for casual play, some for rapid progress, some out of curiosity and some because a game is a comfortable bridge between their natural shyness and their desire for social contact.

3. Try to become part of a bigger structure, like an association. Such bodies take initiatives which you can hook upon.

Good luck!


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