Should we get points just for showing up?

Posted on August 15, 2012 by

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An idea was floated in my league recently about having a points system to record/reward attendance. At first I was enthusiastic about the idea. I imagined myself accumulating all the points possible and then hanging outside the other team’s training sessions and volunteering to fill in for members who didn’t show up – in return for their points of course. Soon, I would have all the points. I’d take them everywhere with me. And name them. And teach them to do tricks. When I walked down the street, people would watch with awe and envy and say, “look, there goes Eve – she has all the points”

But really, do we want to fill our leagues with people who are motivated by accumulating points, like children in a primary school class? Attendance is important, yes, but attendance policies should only secure a bare minimum in attendance – enough that players are safe. Beyond that, motivation should come from two places.

  1. Players need to show up because they love derby. The sport deserves that much. People join for all sorts of reasons – the fishnets; because they had messed up childhoods and see smashing into other people as therapy; because they heard the sport is full of lesbians and they want to pick up. Some of those people then fall in love with the sport. Others realise sooner or later that all the hard work, whiplash, politics, etc isn’t worth wearing fishnets. Let them leave. We don’t need a points system to try and entice them to stay. Let’s fill our leagues with people who have a genuine love for the sport.
  2. Players need to show up because they want to be part of the team effort. If you’re successful at step one – filling your league with people who love derby – then step two is easier. It’s about taking that love for the sport and building it into a loyalty for a team. You want players to come to training because they’re dying to try a new multiplayer wall busting technique or just because they love the rush of working together to achieve the team’s goals. Along the way, you’ll find people in the team who are there to make themselves look good. You know the ones – it’s the girl that comes off the track and starts gloating about how she singlehandedly held back the jammer with the awesome power of her booty. It’s the jammer who takes all the credit and doesn’t seem to notice that her blockers made those damn holes in the first place. In time, these players will leave too. Let them. Even if she is a kick arse player, the team will perform higher if everyone is working towards the same goals.

As leagues mature, places on the roster become harder to get and, consequently, increase in value. This will encourage attendance. Don’t waste time developing enticing point systems to keep people at training; focus instead on creating a league that team-oriented, derby lovers will choose to stay with.

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Posted in: LimboLand