So our team went to a NAGA (North American Grappling Association) tournament this past weekend, and I’m not totally sure of the official results, but I think we did pretty well. I had a chance to coach our teammates throughout the afternoon, competed against a very nice girl from Montreal, got a shiny belt and my picture taken on the podium- all in all a long, but good day.
I do have one complaint though: NAGA has been growing in popularity, but their registration process is still behind on the times. Mainly because you can register the day of the tournament, which I understand these events can be a little hit or miss in terms of attendance, but I think you would have more people staying for the tournaments, less of a delay getting matches started and overall a smoother operation if you put pre-registration in place. NAGA does have pre-registration in place, technically, but it costs more than to just pay at the door, therefore while some people do it, it makes more sense to just pay at the door. But then you run into problems like the women’s division of the tournament.
Historically, there have been so few adult women to compete against that they typically would stick all of them at the beginning of the day, allot them one mat space and they would be done fairly quickly. I thought this would be the case for this tournament… Fast forward to 5 hours later and I was still waiting to compete, and this was even after they opened a second mat for women’s matches. And there were very few, if any lulls between matches. There were just a ton of women, particularly white belts, competing.
It is absolutely fantastic that more women are competing, I want to make that absolutely clear- but I feel tournament organizations need to accommodate for these situations, which they would be more prepared for if they pushed a little harder, and made it a little more appealing for competitors to pre-register.
Anyway, those are just my thoughts- have a great day everyone!