We all know the old adage about being careful what you wish for blah blah. Well I recently had a chance to see this in action in kickball on two separate occasions on what I will now refer to as WAKAkickball365.com
. First, the first...
Some brand spanking new shiny faced WAKA Rep out of the Boston area has been all over the message board above talking to WAKA players. He started a thread for people who want "Have your voice heard" to WAKA where he was soliciting ways to improve the Kash guys league. He came up with a list that consisted of:
More visibility by WAKA reps, and more consistency. At least one regional tournament in Washington, DC. Make national tournaments larger, and more accessible, but consider allowing at-large teams in for a fee. Use KB365 Power Rankings for tournament seedings. Regional Social Director positions. More social programming during off-seasons. Have all divisions in the same region share a Mid-Season Party and an End-of-Season Party. More / better communication of changes to players. Better rewards for board members. Better support from national level for board members.
Some of them matter to most kickballers, some of them wouldn't. Frankly, using some poll to establish dominance in kickball is like asking 7 year olds who is the best at playing jacks - neither matter. A check of these things shows that very few are actually enforcable. More visibility? Does that mean we take pics of the WAKA rep to show he was there? Better support from board members, more communication of changes to players? More than what? Better than whom? Make tournaments larger? How does one do that exactly (they invited ALL WAKA teams)?
In addition the other ones like better rewards for board members and more social programming don't address the key problem: Those of us that volunteer have real jobs that we have to do. Why can't WAKA reps, like Mr. Bright Shiny Face run the divisions and plan off-season activities? Remember, they have to be WAKA approved too because if you do something with another group they will get mad (as I learned from NAKID).
Another guy who is so in love with WAKA that I hope they take him to breakfast every morning put most of the emphasis for reforms on players! He writes:
To the other readers -- do JSB a favor and be more specific -- you're likely to get the founders saying, "oh, more beer, less dues, more games, everyone says that -- blah, blah, blah." Think about specific ways the goals can be accomplished.
So, I added my two cents to the discussion:
I find it interesting Lost Sage that you note here that the impetus is on the players to come up with specific ways to respond to issues. Excuse me, but those of us who pay the money should not then also have to tell these people HOW to fix the problems that we encounter. That's their job. I have not read one single post that read "more beer, lower dues" or anything similarly trite. I guess this is your way of being funny. And on your marketing idea, that was addressed pointedly in another post and your lack of a response, which you usually have no problem coming up with, spoke volumes.
Equally interesting is that none of the suggestions on Kickball in the City are addressed by JSB. Like for instance, giving a little back to consumers in the way of sharing benefits, allowing free membership for WAKA champions in the next season, sporadic rules changes arbitrarily decided by presidents, and some others by other posters dealing with the quality of shirts and other issues. While "listening and being more visible" is great as a missions statement, it is hardly enforcable. Real change would be implementing something tangible for customers of WAKA.
To which the WAKA rep wrote back:
I'm not sure who you are, Kickballhomer, because I haven't read any of your prior posts. However, I put out a specific call to action for WAKA players to give their suggestions on bettering the user experience - not for people to direct me to a separate blog, or whatever Kickball in the City is. If you have a few ideas on KBitC that you'd like to see implemented, then great, bring them here. But to say that you "find it interesting" that I haven't addressed any points from a completely separate website which is unaffiliated with KB365 or WAKA... that's ludicrous. Either help shape the WAKA user experience for the better or don't, but don't call me out for not seeking out every single kickball blog.
Got it Mr. Bright Shiny Face. Only the 10 or so people who post regularly on a message board will get their ideas considered, no outside input need apply. Hmm, I wonder if Don Rumsfeld has relatives up in the Boston area... Hey, Mr. BSF if you click here you could win a million dollars. Oh right, you don't read outside interests, sorry about that. Gee that's certainly the attitude that will get more people to join WAKA and is a great example of how he will put those reforms to work himself. You know Mr. BSF, we DO pay your salary.
Then in another section someone outside of WAKA dared post on a topic on the message board that billed itself, and so I believed it was, NOT a Kash guys only thing only to get this response:
If you are a Nakid Parrot head, than go to Nakid's web site and talk to them....or aka better know as people who care! This point has been run into the ground......this is a WAKA web site, so that makes all of this site and all of the boards my domain. No one really cares what Nakid thinks about bunting on this site......
Granted, this post came from a guy who is all about being a four or five time WAKA champ and how this fills his life with glee, joy, and meaning. And who then states that his team will beat anyone anywhere in kickball (Hey, I know a bunch of fourth graders who would love to take you up on that since it seems to mean about as much to them as it does to you because, you know, they don't have real lives yet) and that he is proud to be with a national organization. Good for you man, you told her!
Someone later posted it's not a Kash guys website, but de facto that is what it has become. Outside interests need not enter. All hail the Kash guys, they can do no wrong so you cannot tell us we did. Maybe they should change their logo to those three monkeys... Speak no WAKA ill, See No WAKA ill, Say No WAKA ill*. With attitudes like the two above, the Neanderthal mentality leaves them not that far up the evolutionary ladder.
*Except on our approved message board and you better have specific ways to fix problems and you better not play for another league and you better have paid your registration. Then fill this form out in triplicate, submit it to Mr. BSF and we will consider thinking about it at our next meeting.