The Year in Review: A Look Back at Our 2009 Goals

It’s New Year’s Eve Eve, so let’s take a moment to look back at our club goals for 2009.

Membership and Outreach
1) Attract at least 66 people to play in our club games.
  • We had 53 players in 2009.
2) Recruit at least 24 players who have yet to play with our group.
  • Close. A total of 23 people played with us for the first time.
  • And let me just highlight a few of them:
    • Mike Morrison played in 16 games.
    • Peter Yeargin played in 13 and won Weasel of the Year.
    • Sam Bassett played in five, brought a friend to one, and has offered to host a game in May.
    • Adam Berey, Amanda Baumgartner and Marty Harris have combined to play in 10 games, and they’ve all paid their dues.
    • And while Don Glass only played in one club game, he played in two rounds at CODCon and all three rounds at Weasel Moot.
    • Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw a bone to two of our recruits from late 2008. Pete McNamara and Ted McClelland have played in a ton of games, have organized a couple, and will both be hosting games in January.
  • The club is not just growing–we’re adding some really good, active members.


3) Retain at least 40 of last year’s players.


  • We only retained 29 (of 72!).
4) Reactivate at least two Weasels who didn’t play in 2008.
  • We reactivated one, Eric Brown’s nephew Vicente Chong. And he was promptly hammered in Game No. 67 at Dan Burgess’ home in July. Welcome back, Vicente.
5) Encourage at least 50 percent of our 2009 players to play in two
or more games.
  • Here’s where our numbers start to pick up. Thirty-three of our 53 players played in at least two games. That’s 62.3 percent.
6) Encourage at least one-third of our new 2009 players to play in
two or more games.
  • Ten of 23 played in at least two games. That’s 43.5 percent.
7) Reach 30 paid-up members.
  • A total of 35 players have paid dues.

So, mixed results here. A total of 19 fewer players played Diplomacy with us in 2009. That represents a decrease in participation of 26.4 percent. But, 62.3 percent played in more than one game. Last year, only 40.3 percent played in more than one game. And although this wasn’t a goal, 21 of 53 players, or 39.6 percent, played in three or more games.

We said we wanted to focus on getting players back out for a second and third game, so these numbers make the overall decline in participation more palatable. In addition, six of the 20 people who played in only one game in 2009 attended at least one of our tournaments.

Still, 43 of last year’s players did not come back in 2009; only one of them played in a tournament.

So, we’re doing a good job of drawing people into our group, but we need to improve our retention efforts. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.

Club Games
1) Hold 24 club games.
  • Check. We played 28 games in 2009.
2) Hold five multi-board sessions.
  • Check. Counting the Royale and Undercard games at Dan’s in November, we held six multi-board sessions. These sessions are always a lot of fun, and we’re going to stress them again in 2010.
3) Hold at least two novice games.
  • Check. We held a game for beginners in March at Jeremiah Peterson’s home, a recruiting game at Chicagoland Games in August, and a game for new and rusty players at the Weasel Pyle at Eric Brown’s home in August.
  • In addition, on a couple of occasions at Guthrie’s, we attempted to seed boards based on skill level. 
  • When new players learn to swim in water that isn’t infested with sharks, they’re more likely to jump in again.  

Club Tournaments and Events
1) Field at least eight boards at CODCon.

  • We hit seven boards. One short of the goal, but an increase of one board over last year.
2) Field 12 boards at Weasel Moot.
  • Check. We had our largest Moot yet, with 14 boards. The 38 players tied the mark we set at the first Moot in 2007.
3) Begin putting together a bid for the 2011 North American Diplomacy
  • Check, sort of. We’re going to bid on the 2012 World Diplomacy Championship, which we’d host in conjunction with the 2012 North American Championship.
  • Anyone want to travel with me to the Hague in August 2010 to present our bid?
  • And if you want to help us find a suitable venue, there’s room for you on our committee.

Tournament Travel
1) Send at least seven Weasels to the World Diplomacy Championship at

  • I’ll see your seven and raise you four! We sent 11 players to the Worlds in Origins. That’s out of 53 total players, so we accounted for 20.8 percent of the field.
  • And we put two players on the top board. Go me and C-Mac!
2) Encourage at least four Weasels to travel to tournaments for the
first time.
  • Check. Matt Sundstrom, Mike Morrison, Paul Pignotti and Peter Yeargin all traveled for the first time in 2009. Peter went to two tournaments.
3) Get at least 10 Weasels to travel to tournaments.
  • Check. We exported a total of 13 players to the following tournaments: WAC in Seattle, Origins in Columbus and Tempest in D.C.

We really came into our own this year. Here’s hoping for even more travelers in 2010.

Technological Innovations
1) Revamp website to include up-to-date statistics and game records
and a mechanism to sign up for games.

  • We rolled out a great new website this year. We still have some work to do in either introducing a forum or incorporating the Yahoo group into the site, but the new site is a great start.

Club Governance
1) Incorporate the Windy City Weasels as a non-profit organization.

  • We submitted our application a few weeks ago and are waiting for a response. Pretty exciting, huh?

So, 2009 had its ups and downs for the Weasels in terms of participation, but we nailed all of our other goals. It was a great year, and one I’ll be sorry to see go, but 2010 is full of promise, and our 100th game looms.

Stay tuned: This weekend, I’ll post the 2010 State of the Weasels Address, which will list our goals for the New Year.

Join the discussion!

Find out more about an upcoming event or article, talk smack before a game, brag about your board top, or most likely, ask what on earth your fellow Weasels were thinking!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Christian MacDonald

    Well done Jim! My sense is that our Chicago club is at the forefront of the hobby right now, and the secret of our success lies with our membership. Not only do we have a great (and improving!) group of players, we have a great group of people that are a lot of fun to be around. More than anything else, I believe that is what will be a pillar for the WCW for years to come.

    Let’s go Chicago for WDC 2012!


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