The event is less than a week away, now. That means it's time for all of the last minute information. I'll be separating this email into sections separated by headers so that you can quickly find information. If you think a section might apply to you, then please read it carefully. If you don't think a section applies to you, then at least get the general gist of it to make sure.
As Jake points out every year, this is a community event. We don't take home any money from this, and we continue to experiment with new ideas every year. Sometimes those ideas might not seem to be optimal, but we've done a pretty good job so far. We rely on the patience, helpfulness, and good will of all of you to run this event.
So, here we go.
There are a lot of you this year. I mean, roughly half of the attendees are staff in some fashion. That means that we have as much staff this year that we had attendees in 2012. Because there are so many of you, we really need all of you to be mindful of your assignments. Jake Norwood, Emma Graf, and Tom Sasser are all Staff Managers across the four days. Their jobs are to make sure your needs are met; water, breaks, relief, etc. Their jobs are not to hunt you down when it's time for your shift. We've done a really good job of giving each of you reasonable hours based on your staff level, but it's still a house of cards held together by super glue.
Here is the staff schedule for the event. Each assignment on the first tab is 1 hour of work. These assignments will also be reflected on the personal schedules each of you receive in your welcome packet at registration. Please look over the staff scheduled again to see if there are any problems with your assignments. I only received a handful of responses to the last staff email so, even if you responded to the last one, please reply to this email if you're staff and let me know that you've seen this spreadsheet. If I do not see an email from you by the end of Sunday, I will pester you.
There is Staff Training from 12 to 1 and from 2 to 3 on Thursday, and from 8 to 9 Saturday morning. All of our judges, head judges, and table staff need to attend at least one of these sessions, but preferably two.
Checking in at the registration table is required before you can participate in the event. You only need to register once, not every day. The registration table will be set up inside or just outside of the main room every day, and will be staffed during the Registration period marked on the schedule for each day.
If you arrive outside of a registration period, please find Emma Graf, Jake Norwood, or Ben Michels. Use your best judgement to get the attention of the person who seems least busy. They may tell you to find someone else to get you checked in. In short, please try to show up during registration hours. Note: If you are only attending the Intro to German Longsword class, you do not have to be there in the morning to register. That class starts at 2:00, and you can check in with the instructor.
A new item this year is the Welcome Packet you will receive upon registration. This packet includes a letter, your own copy of the event schedule, a 'personalized' schedule that lists your pool time and staffing shift start times if applicable, and information for restaurants, delivery, grocery stores, liquor stores, and bars.
Turf Valley is legitimately excited to have us back after last year. It's a unique event for them to host, and everyone who saw you guys fighting through the weekend last year is planning to attend the finals. Part of this excitement is the fact that you have always been good to our venues. Any obvious trash gets cleaned up at the end of the day and all of the trash gets cleaned up at the end of Sunday, nothing gets damaged, and the staff are treated with respect.
Some things of note for this year:
- Thursday, we will be in the Cameo room instead of the Grand Ballroom. This room is smaller than the Grand Ballroom, but people will still be trickling in on Thursday. Thursday is our day to get some stuff out of the way, and is kind of the unofficial start of the event. If you are not involved in any of the events at any given time Thursday afternoon, we ask that you be mindful of the space we have available in the Cameo room.
- By adding Thursday, our schedule this year is not so ridiculous. The indoor and outdoor pool are open until 8 PM every day. There is a fitness center that is open 24 hours. Although Lunch is only scheduled for an hour each day, if you're not involved in an event directly preceding or following lunch, you can take more time than that.
- As with last year, we have the main room late into the night. This means Cameo on Thursday, and the Grand Ballroom on Friday and Saturday. You are free to use any space wherever the schedule says Open Floor, or later/earlier than the schedule goes. I'm sure people will be in there Saturday night.
- The above note inherently means that the room is never locked up. We have never had any problems with theft before, but use discretion when leaving items unattended in the halls. We do not recommend leaving gear in the halls overnight. Your hotel room is a 3 minute walk from the halls.
- Although we've added a full room to our space this year, our record attendance means that space for bags within event rooms will be limited. We ask everyone to store their gear in their rooms, and to only bring the gear they need at the time down into the hall. Also, attendees should mark their gear for easy identification. We've never had a problem with theft, but we have had people mistake their gear for someone else's and vice versa.
This is the first year we will be having an event dinner following the finals on Saturday night. There is half an hour scheduled between the end of the finals and dinner, and hopefully the finals take a shorter amount of time than we've scheduled. The dinner service will only last from 8:30 - 9:30, but we have the room until 11 PM for all of the awards, speechifying, and demo fights.
We won't bar you from entering the room, but we are asking that people dress in 'Date Night' clothing for the awards dinner. If you go on dates in jorts and a three wolves t-shirt, so be it. Personally, it means a button up and nice jeans. For other people, it might mean a suit or a dress.
If you are planning to bring someone to dinner who has not registered for the event, we need you to complete a payment using the following paypal button to both cover dinner and let us know what number we're telling the hotel for attendance. We will be putting one ticket into the packet of each registered attendee, and additional tickets into the packets of anyone who pays for additional tickets. The cut off date for these payments is the end of the 14th. Anyone legitimately without a ticket will not be allowed in. If you find our packet lacking in tickets, find Ben Michels as soon as he's not busy Thursday or Friday night.
This spreadsheet is your pool and bracket assignments. Each event header has the event start time, and each pool has a pool start time. Your personalized schedules in your welcome packet will include this information. Please take a look at this spreadsheet and verify that there aren't any problems. A lot of you might have some overlap in Singlestick, Counted Blows, and/or Steel Longsword and Paired Technique and/or Cutting, or Women's and/or Synthetic Longsword and Ringen. We know. Cutting quals and Paired Technique don't require a significant amount of time, nor do the order of participants matter all that much. Ringen takes more time, but there aren't many of you in each pool. We will make accommodations for people who are participating in overlapping events.
We expect people to know their event and pool start times. If you are not where you need to be, and we haven't made any announcements about times changing, we will only wait for you for a minute or two after gathering people or calling your name. We also expect people to know the rules for each event. We will not be spending 20 minutes on an overview of the rules before each event.
We would also like to remind everyone that we will be strict about staff and participant interaction. If you are seen bothering a judge or table staff during an event, you will be warned and possibly removed. If you are seen doing it multiple times, you will definitely be removed. There are reasonable times to talk to them, like if they approach you or nothing is going on, but any actual disturbances will be a problem. If you are in a match, the person you speak to is the Head Judge (the Ref). If you are not in a match, the person you speak to is the Ring Boss or, in the case of more important issues, the Longpoint Manager. You can refer to the Staff Schedule sheet linked above, which will be posted at the event. Just use common sense when deciding who to talk to.
Open Steel Longsword, Open Synthetic Longsword, and Women's Longsword
These events are the standard Pools to Elimination Brackets set up. There shouldn't be any surprises here. We would like people to be around at the start of each event block to make sure you get any announcements, and you must be around for your pool start time.
Open Steel Messer and Singlestick
These two events are double elimination brackets. We can not promise that the fights will go in any given order beyond the current fights and the on deck fights due to conflicts. If we have to move a match before another one, you should be around to make sure you hear your call.
There are two quals sessions for this event. I have broken people apart into two groups on the Pools and Brackets spreadsheet above. One is Thursday evening, and the other is Friday morning. If you absolutely have to change from one to the other, let me know, but due to mat soaking requirements, we need these groups to be about even. We will attempt to go in alphabetical order during each session, but again, things may be changed around due to conflicts. As long as you are available some time during the active cutting quals, beginning, middle, or end, you should be good.
In previous years, we have always pulled in competitors to help spike mats and sweep the cutting area between each person. We are going to ask for this again this year. It is a good time to learn to spike mats if you would like a cutting stand of your own.
We will be attempting to finish all of Round 1 on Thursday. If you cannot make it Thursday, you will need to be ready to go first thing Friday morning. Like cutting, we will try to go in order of team numbers, but may have to switch things around as conflicts come up.
Ringen has four weight classes, and two weight classes going at any given time. The pool start times are included on the spreadsheet. Please note that the pools are not in order. Under 160 and Under 200 go first.
Historical Counted Blows
This event will be less formal, and more of a chaotic round robin that is self-judged by the fighters. If you're involved in this, you should have received an email invitation. Respond to it so that we know you're in.
The original invitee list had over 40 fighters on it. There are at least that many fighters at Longpoint who deserve to be in this invitational for one reason or another. That’s pretty impressive, both from the standpoint of “wow, look at who’s coming to Longpoint” but also, “wow, look at how we’ve grown as a community.” For logistics reasons we’ve had to cut this down a bit. We should have cut it down a lot more, but we couldn’t bring ourselves to. If a friend/student/training partner of yours isn’t on this list and you think he/she should be, you’re right, and we’re sorry.
Livestream and Filming Pools
Due to the sheer number of fights we have at Longpoint, we do not film anything except the finals on Saturday night. If you would like your matches filmed, we suggest asking your training partner or a friend in attendance to film your pools with your own camera or cell phone. Please exercise good camera etiquette, and do not distract or get in the way of any staff.
We will be Livestreaming the finals this year. You can find information about it here: https://www.facebook.com/events/475191022616897/?ref=br_tf
We will attempt to record the finals with a couple GoPros and use the recordings after the event to produce some things, but we still need to work it out.
We have a great group of instructors for both our classes and workshops this year. All of them have something unique to offer, and you should try to go into each class without any preconceived notions. When asked how to pick which classes to go to, we generally recommend that you split attendance between you and your training partners so that you can bring home as much as possible to your group. If you're attending alone, then you'll just have to pick what you think will benefit you the most.
I want to specifically call out Michael Chidester's lecture Friday night at 6:30, because it's kind of outside of the normal schedule and rooms. If you're interested in the connections between manuals, this is the spot for you. It will be in the Amphitheater.
For 2014, we have continued to grow. This year, we are hosting at least 140 people from 5 different countries, 23 different states, and over 40 different groups, clubs, or schools. We have a writer from The New York Times attending for an article he's writing, and will be interviewing a few select people. We've made changes to the rules, structure, and feel of the event in the hopes of benefiting all of your experiences. This will hopefully be the last major email you receive from us before the event, barring any last minute changes or bits of information we need to notify people about. We are excited to see all of you in one week!
If you have any questions or concerns at all, please contact us. We will answer them or work them out. Thank you all for choosing or continuing to support our event.
The Longpoint 2014 Crew