Jonathan S. and I drove to Tampa yesterday to visit their club. The Tampa crew are very energetic and eager to interact with other clubs in the area. They already have a strong relationship with the Sarasota club, and they were very hospitable to us. They are excited about the upcoming Orlando Go Tournament … for several of them, it will be there first Go tournament.
Like us, they have a stable core group of attendees (perhaps six or eight) that come very regularly, and a larger group of people who come with varying frequency. Regulars concentrate in the single-digit kyu strengths, though they have one or two dan-level players, and they seem to have a good showing in the 12k range (I gather).
I think they may be doing a better job of reaching out to new players, though. So it might be good to pick their brains a bit. Some things they do or are considering doing that we do not include:
- Leave cardstock/laminated 9×9 boards and baggies of stones in the shop at which they meet (on a shelf with other games) so that when they teach people, they can come back and play on their own.
- Have regular, arranged times where they meet up on KGS in addition to their face-to-face meetings.
- Planning to have another regular face-to-face meeting where they meet just to discuss problems and professional Games.
- Maintain a very active Facebook fanpage.
We all are hoping for more joint activity in the near future. They have a great place to play, and they’re really not that far (about 1hr 45min drive or so) … and also accessible for the Sarasota group. So we could even coordinate a three-way club meeting fairly easily. Obviously running down their every week is not an option, but I think regular (monthly, quarterly, etc.) trips seem feasible for various subsets of us, as we have time. They also indicated they’d like to come here … though we may have to adjust our “usual” Sunday time for them in such events.
So I’ll probably do that again some time in the near future. Next time, I’ll try to give more warning, though.
Note that Sarasota meets at 11:30a on Sundays, Tampa meets from 3p-6p on Sundays, and we now meet (also) at 7p on Sundays. This also suggests the possibility (some time) of every now and then literally hitting all three club meetings one Sunday.