|Here's the outside of the venue on Saturday night. Was the only picture I took all weekend.|
OK, now that I've rested a bit, and I have a little bit of time between ALLTHEMEETINGS to make this post, I'm gonna.
River Valley Riot was a rousing success and I was very excited to see how it shook out, and it surpassed my wildest expectations. There were trials, tribulations, et cetera for the event, and even more so because there was a changing of the guard at the host level. All the things got ironed out and we were able to hit the ground running!
Staffing was a concept that was difficult this year. I think the combination of "fewer people officiating," official burnout, and the sheer amount of Tournaments this year gave us this undercurrent of "oh gosh how are we going to do this." Buuuuut we got enough officials to get the event off the ground. We decided that considering the level of the event, and the officials we had, we were going to move to a stretch-position/mentoring mentality with the event.
And you know what? When we know we're going into it with that mentality, we were able to sidestep the normal problems that presents itself with. That and the sheer STEPPIN-IT-UP that all of our officials did (taking feedback, stretching into somewhat-unknown territory, helping each other out), our crews knocked it out of the park. I was super super super happy that even with the weirdnesses that D3 sometimes presents itself with, we were able to do the dang thing, and--dare I say it--do it well.
First and foremost though, a huge thank you to The Kraken and Aphrobitey for being my dais friends over the weekend. You helped me stay sane and helped me focus on my lane during the planning stages, and over the weekend, and I appreciate you both more than I can put into words. Also thanks to Pocket Rocket, who was able to keep things together as the host when we needed to delegate such things to OVRG/hosting.
To my crew heads Kylo Ref and Adam Smasher--you both kicked it into the hoop with skill. I hope you felt I had your back with both your decisions/ownership of the crews, and with any issues in the event, and I think we ironed them out amenably together.
To all my newer officials (or those moving into less-done roles): Thank you for being willing to jump into those places. We sometimes worry about sticking to what we know, and it's a scary place to move into new territory, especially at a tournament level. You all exceeded my wildest expectations.
Especially those who it was their first WFTDA-style tournament. If I wasn't aware of peoples' abilities and experience, I wouldn't've guessed it was a first-time.
To all of my more veteran officials: You did the thing that I hoped you'd do; move into leadership and mentoring roles and helped the newer folks fine-tune over the weekend. Most times learning-by-doing is the best way to learn in this sport, and this event showed that we still have a community amongst all the officials. Thank you for being willing to step back a bit and help those learning the things. Personally, I feel like it's our job to grow the newer folks and grow this community, and you all did just that.
Who would've thought that a tiny tournament on the eastern edge of Ohio would give me a greater love for the sport?