Here’s our 10 tips to operate a successful ninja competition.
1. Provide all relevant information to competitors and/or their parents as far ahead of time as possible.
Include the rules, complete schedules, special instructions and details that answer possible questions. Make sure you have shared all the relevant information with the competitors and the competitors’ parents. Ninja competitions are not all the same and can have different rules. You will want to be very explicit and open to explain the differences and details to everyone involved. If you are not detailed in your instructions, you will be asked lots of unnecessary questions.
2. Make the sign-up process an easy one.
I'm guessing you want loads of competitors at your competition. Make it easy for them to sign up and pay from their phone or computer. Expect them to prepay as you are already committed to offering the competition at your gym. You want their commitment, too.
3. Answer questions as quickly as possible.
You will get questions as soon as you advertise and post your competition. Be sure to have a link ready to respond by email to people when they ask questions. If you simply talk to them over the phone, they may not hear you correctly and not fully understand the rules. The sooner you respond to questions, the better the competition will be.
4. Provide obstacles in a warm up area that allows for hanging, pull-ups, and balance.
A warm up area away from the course is ideal. Competitors will need to hang, stretch, run, and jump to get their blood flowing to all their muscles and joints. This will better prepare them for competing without injury. It’s important that participants are not warming up on the course or obstacles near the course. A good warmup area is important in offering a successful ninja competition.
5. Have plenty of friendly and knowledgeable staff at your ninja competition.
The more organized and prepared you are the better the competition. Instruct your staff to be personable, outgoing, and helpful in a light hearted and relaxed way. Train them to quickly check-in competitors while providing each participant with information about the warm up area, restrooms, and seating. Have additional staff and volunteers ready to maintain and reset obstacles, clean up minor messes and help with crowd control. Keep in mind that running a competition is a representation of your gym.
6. Start on time and do your best to keep to the posted schedule.
“Running late” is the number one complaint at most competitions. So, make sure you schedule your run times correctly for the amount of competitors registered. Provide for about 3 to 5 minutes per run. Provide two staff members as timers. That way each new competitor can start immediately after someone finishes a run. You want a competitor on the course at all times!
7. Remember the spectators!
Make the spectator area as comfortable as possible with good visibility for as much of the course as possible. Often times the spectators are parents, so give them a comfortable area to hang out. Provide a concession stand with refreshments and food. Offering prize drawings and/or giveaways are a good way to pass time as well.
8. Make a safe, creative course that is approachable yet challenging for all skill levels.
You want to create a course that works for the age levels that are competing. Safe, yet challenging should always be at the forefront of your mind when creating a course. Also, make sure the rules are simple, easy to understand and clearly stated verbally and in print.
9. Provide awards.
Start the awards ceremonies as soon as possible after the last competitor. However, double-check the results of the competition for accuracy before beginning.
10. Answer post-competition questions as quickly as possible.
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