.... Registering is a simple one-off exercise. Any other approved player can still put your name down for you, and as an approved player yourself, you do not use up the other player's quota on guests.
It also makes them part of the community in which they participate regularly.
At the end of this month, registered players who have not played since the first half of 2011 (ie, since June 2011) will have their accounts disabled (rather than deleted), and be moved from Approved List B to the Disabled List.
On a separate note, Justin is back on top of Approved List A with 41 games from September 2011 to February 2012:
I have been monitoring the number of GIFFA Players (registered players who have played in the preceding 6 months) at the start of each month since January 2011.
After reaching and remaining at 199 at the starts of June and July 2014, and despite a major push last year to reverse the trend, the number has steadily declined to 152 at the start of September 2019.
There has been a concomitant decline in the number of games per month, from an average of 23.83 to 22.00:
The more established games, with a high number of regular players, have a higher degree of familiarity between the players, consistency in terms of standard of play and competitiveness of the game. It is inevitable that players are drawn to these games, which are currently the Saturday evening game at Grandstand, the Monday night game at Macpherson and the Wednesday night game at Khalsa. On the other hand:
From the "GIFFA values, principles & standards" thread:
We have had up to 12 on waitlist for popular games, enough for a second game. This may not include other players who did not bother to put their names down after seeing so many on waitlist. I have considered mini-tournaments (4 teams, 2 hours) or playing three teams over two hours to accommodate more players in the popular games, but the change in format has not been popular.
For each of the three popular games, there is an equivalent game at the same venue and at about the same time on another day of the week (originally, Sunday evening at Grandstand, Tuesday night at Macpherson, and Wednesday night at Khalsa). However, despite my best efforts, including asking around extensively, these three games have been difficult to get started or sustain.
It does not make sense to me, that despite having enough players for these 3 pairs of equivalent games, one of each pair fills up fast, sometimes with long waitlists even within the first 24 hours, while the other of each pair struggles to fill up, and is always, often or sometimes cancelled, even after I ask around, depriving those who commit to those games of a game.
As stated above, the entire system is based on a pooling effect, and on everyone being accommodating and flexible. In giving players an opportunity to play, I seek to accommodate as many players as possible. ....
And from the "Keeping score & the competitive edge" thread:
To keep each season competitive, I aim to maintain or increase the number of games each month. Unfortunately, there has been a gradual decline in the number of games, as players are reluctant to put their names down for slow-filling games, and rush to play in the more popular games, resulting in more slow-filling games being cancelled due to insufficient numbers. While the GIFFA system is structured to be a contest between selectors/captains as to how best to deploy the players available, it has unfortunately become a "competition" for places in the more popular games. The "competition" for places in popular games is meaningless, and in fact, counter-productive for the entire system, which is based on a "pooling" effect, and with the aim of giving everyone who wants a game the opportunity to play.
The biggest issue is the high level of players dropping out, together with a decline in the number of new players joining. Players who repeatedly lose out in the rush for limited places in the more popular games often lose interest rather than switching to less popular games. Players have also become more reluctant to introduce friends and acquaintances, perhaps believing that the players they introduce may end up competing with them for the limited places in the more popular games. Or they don't want to be responsible for their guests.
In this sense, the popularity of certain games is double-edged, counter-productive even. Other than the Wednesday night game at Khalsa which is still made up largely friends of David T, Sean and Keith, the players in the other popular games (Saturday evening at Grandstand and Monday night at Macpherson) largely met, and became familiar with each other, through those games.
With the number of guest players at the start of December 2016, January 2017 and February 2017 between 35 and 43, the ratio of GIFFA Players to guests in the current 6 month period is roughly 4:1.
The ratio is now closer to 5:1. Unfortunately, this has been achieved by the number of guests shrinking faster than the number of GIFFA players.
Regulars start off as guests. Past growth in numbers has largely been by way of word of mouth, attracting stray players looking for a particular type of game. New players have always been limited, in order to maintain the dynamics of our games, and the social dimension of our community.
It may well be that there is a general decline in the number of people playing football in Singapore. Natural playing fields are limited, and astroturf pitches may be too expensive for many young people. School fields are often fenced off and locked when not scheduled for physical education classes, so many younger people don't grow up playing football, the way an earlier generation did. Stranger Soccer may well be picking up most or all the stray players looking for a game, which was where a lot of the early growth in numbers came from. There are also a lot of alternative activities to football now more readily available in Singapore.
Nevertheless, if we do not get to 200 GIFFA Players by the end of September 2020, I may well stop organising our routine football games and focus on other types of activity instead.
Unless they play regularly elsewhere, or are very fit, it is not easy for new or newer players to come into our more popular and competitive games. It also does not help if the regulars in the more popular and competitive games are not accommodating of new or newer players. If we had a large enough pool of players, I would consider a two tier system, with the more competitive games having a higher grading than the less competitive games, and limiting who can play in the more competitive games. However, we do not have a large enough pool of players
For now, I am seriously minded to allow every GIFFA Player who introduces a new guest player to a slow-filling or rolling game to play that game for free. I have also generally relaxed the rules on guests.
Other types of games may well be one way to expand our pool of players, such as: