Page 1 of 1

Lunch at Tournaments

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 8:29 am
by mentalchocolate
I was just curious what you all thought about how lunch should be conducted at tournaments.

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:01 pm
by dtaylor4
Most tournaments here allow an hour or so to eat and return for the playoffs. Some allow for teams to purchase a pizza for 10 bucks. Whenever my hs hosted a tournament, there was no problem with food b/c we have a street lined with Krekel's (a local burger joint), McDs, Hardee's, Subway, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, and gas stations.

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:53 pm
by bigtrain
The ACT tournament at Spotswood High School wasn't close to any places that sold food (or anything else for that matter); however, the host team did an excellent job providing food for the competing teams which kept everyone satisfied. In the case of my school, we are within a 10 minute drive (or walk) of literally 175 places to eat. During the tournament we run this fall, I doubt we will even bother to sell food during lunch because there are so many convenient places to eat. I'd say 45 minutes to an hour is a reasonable amount of time to allow for lunch.
there was no problem with food b/c we have a street lined with. . .gas stations
Does a gas station count as a reasonable place to eat?

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:23 pm
by mlaird
While most tournaments in Illinois abide by the 'one-hour for lunch: be back or you're hosed' rule, I find that when lunch is provided, that the tournament tends to run much more smoothly, because no teams get back late, and you know where everyone is. It also kills the time difference factor when the last morning round is read by a slow moderator, and the teams don't finish until all the others are out at lunch (these teams also usually have to wait in ridiculous lines at the McDonald's). The TD can announce the results before lunch, or even during lunch, if the losing teams don't mind lingering. Of course the lunch cost will need to be offset by a higher entry fee, but I don't suppose 2-3 pizzas per team would add all that much.

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:14 pm
by msuter
Thanks to Big Train for his positive comments about Spotswood's making lunch available at their ACT tournaments. As he said, Spotswood is about 8 miles east of Harrisonburg and there aren't any fast food places between the two, unless you count a 7-11.

Our decision to run a concession stand was two-fold: one is for the convenience of the teams and to finish the tournament in a timely manner; the other is to feed our staff. Our ACT parents and some team members work the stand, where we sell hot dogs, chees and pepperoni pizza, salad, drinks, candy and popcorn. We let teams coming know we'll have reasonably-priced food available; they have the option to buy there, pack their own, or head to town to buy lunch, but they understand if they aren't back when we're ready to start the single-elimination finals that they will forfeit their place. Even if one match runs overtime, it usually takes the teams involved only 20 minutes or so to eat and doesn't hold everyone up an hour or more, as mlaird pointed out.

Since we rely on faculty, parents, alum, and team members to staff the 14-18 rooms we usually run, we give each of them a "lunch ticket" worth $3 each, which will "buy" a slice of pizza, a salad, and a drink or other combinations of food (we also give them drinks throughout the morning). If they want more, they purchase it with their own money. Other than giving them our eternal thanks, this is the only way we can "pay" them for giving up a Saturday to help with ACT. The profit we make from the paying customers usually just about equals the cost for our staff but we don't have to add to our registration fee to cover the cost of food and feeding the staff doesn't come out of our tournament profits.

If our school were situated closer to fast food restaurants, I doubt if we'd go through all the work to run the concession stand, but it has proven beneficial to us and is appreciated by most teams. I think you just need to look at the location of the school and decide how "on time" you want your tournament to run. We start play for 5 round-robin matches around 9 and play a 16-team single-elimination final and are usually finished no later than 4 p.m., but our goal is to be finished by 3:30 since we always have teams that have an hour or two to travel.

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 9:18 pm
by insaneindian
when we hosted a tournament, we just bought tons of pizza, candy and soda and sold it during lunch. and then we ate all the leftover pizza and sold the candy to kids at school... :razz:
but other tournaments we go to, we usually find a fast food place to eat

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:28 pm
by fluffy4102
down here in Texas we basically get an hour or so for lunch. also the teams buy their own food from some place close by.

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:49 pm
by dtaylor4
bigtrain wrote:Does a gas station count as a reasonable place to eat?
I never said you had to eat AT the gas station. Some gas stations sell stuff like small sub sandwiches which aren't too bad.

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:41 pm
by AKKOLADE
Actually, there's a couple of fuel stations near my home that make pretty solid subs. I would take these over a Subway most of the time.

To actually address the original topic - I usually give the teams about half an hour to 45 minutes after the last ones finish their morning rounds to have lunch. We sell pizza and soda on site, but allow teams to leave to go eat elsewhere if they can come back within that time frame. If they don't make it back by then, they give their opponents the right to play empty chairs until they return.

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:52 pm
by Irreligion in Bangladesh
Our tournament allows teams to go 3 blocks down the road to our fast food corner (McD's, Subway, Culvers, and 2 gas stations, to continue the trend of counting gasoline as equal to Diet Coke). I think we give about an hour, maybe less, as the lines aren't terrible, usually.

The moderators/coaches are fed breakfast (donuts/fruit/coffee), and moderators get a box of catering-style sub sandwiches. Drinks all day long for the moderators.

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:50 am
by steven-lamp
LAMP's in the ghetto, so the only thing available for sale around is crack and bootleg CDs. We always sold pizzas and had various other concessions at tournaments, and it worked really nicely and kept things running on time.

Playoffs would be announced right after lunch briefly in a room above the lunchroom, and during lunch the buzzers of the teams that didn't make the playoffs were broken down and waiting in the above room.

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:17 am
by No Sollositing On Premise
At UVA, where we typically hold three tournaments a year, there's a wide variety of mostly-quick restaurants on and barely-off grounds, and we also usually make it possible for teams to order pizzas through the team during registration. I still don't understand why anyone would simply order a pizza when they could hit Little John's, Qdoba, Subway, Chick Fil-A, or Jabberwocky very easily, but I'm not one to judge eating habits.

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 7:04 pm
by mentalchocolate
At our tournament we have been thinking charge everyone $5 up front and they get unlimited pizza and a free 20 ounce soda. Candy and other things are for sale...what do you all think about that deal?

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:33 am
by NoahMinkCHS
As a player (or coach), I'd love it. I think the unlimited thing might give you problems though -- have you SEEN the way some people eat?

There's gonna be one team of fat kids who wants to "get their money's worth" by eating a whole pie each. I'd either account for them, or impose some kind of limit -- maybe one piece at a time, get enough for everyone to have like 2.5 (more or less, you know your customers better than I do), and it flows until you run out.

Sweet deal though. Good luck.

Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:42 pm
by mentalchocolate
We have a deal set up with Dominoes that they charge us $2.50 per person and they supply us with unlimited pizza so we cant lose money by charging $5.

Stress Reduction

Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:25 am
by pblessman
For me, this question ties into how tournaments are run in general. If the tournament is actually running on time with rooms in sync, then getting the 12-1 slot off for lunch works fine. BUT... if things run not quite as planned, the last room gets out at 12:45 P.M., and the first afternoon round gets rescheduled for 1:30 P.M. so "we can catch up on time," then lunch turns into a source of stress. The last thing I want my team to do is wolf down 1674 calories of crazy fast food in 12.4 minutes and then rushing back to the tournament to make the afternoon rounds... Providing lunch on site saves time, can be used as an additional fundraiser for hosting teams, and might actually save visiting teams a few dollars- it's a win-win-win!

Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 11:40 am
by dtaylor4
Providing lunch is great, I remember when my dad knew some people who sold food to businesses (little bags of chips, pop) and he set up a stand at the tournament and all the teams could do whatever they wanted for lunch (we ordered Jimmy John's subs since they deliver).

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:50 am
by steven-lamp
DaGeneral wrote:...pop...
Bottle-a-pop!

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:32 pm
by yangsta
laszlow wrote:At UVA, where we typically hold three tournaments a year, there's a wide variety of mostly-quick restaurants on and barely-off grounds, and we also usually make it possible for teams to order pizzas through the team during registration. I still don't understand why anyone would simply order a pizza when they could hit Little John's, Qdoba, Subway, Chick Fil-A, or Jabberwocky very easily, but I'm not one to judge eating habits.
Good reason to order pizza/other stuff: this weekend, when Model UN, our tournament, and the Virginia Film Festival are all trying to eat.

We'll probably order chain pizza, College Inn (American-type place), and some form of Chinese food.

Lunch at Tournaments

Posted: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:36 pm
by Encyclopedia Brown
My old team (Freeman) usually does a picnic spread that has been very efficient on time (keeps the teams together and away from the quickly-expanding lines). The entire team buys a thing or two (or makes something), and we store it in the coach's coolers in the back of the van. We'd take it out after the morning rounds (and have to clean that all up quickly if we played afternoon games). I mean, we've literally tailgated outside of Cabell Hall at U.Va (just with no grill).

However, the one time Freeman hosted a tournament in my three-year era (2005 VHSL Central Region meet), we hired the pizza place next door (Mio's) to provide a lot of pizza for the eight teams that were there.