Promoting Tournaments via Regional Conferences

An effective way to get institutions involved in the recreation and leisure activities program is to generate interest among students. Since many students attend the regional conferences, this is an ideal venue to promote the program. Below is an outline for a conference session that has been presented in the past. It may give you an idea of something to present at your regional conference!

Session title: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Running an ACUI Recreation Tournament But Did Not Know to Ask

Starting out

  • Start with only two or three campus events.
  • Start small and grow gradually. Make sure you have success with each step along the way.
  • Cosponsor with other departments (intramurals, chess club, recreational sports, athletics, etc.).
  • Find and use key resource people on campus (a professor who plays chess or an administrator who bowls).


  • Advertise, market, promote, advertise, market and promote. You can't do enough of it!
  • Use every possible campus advertising source that you can.
  • Advertise that winners are eligible to compete at the regional level. This will build credibility for your tournament.
  • Advertise and display prizes and trophies in a highly visible area.


  • Trip to regional tournament and a chance to qualify for national competition.
  • Trophies, medals, plaques, etc.
  • Free playing time, lineage, etc.
  • Prizes and merchandise donating by local merchants.


  • Participants register online at the ACUI website.
  • Copies of the rules should be available at registration.
  • Pre-register participants when possible with a specific day and time as a deadline for registration.
  • ACUI regional information including eligibility for regional participation with the rules.

The tournament

  • Select time for the tournament when not competing with a lot of other activities.
  • Day versus night? Weekday versus weekend? Spread out over time versus one-day tournament? What works best for your campus?
  • Single elimination versus double elimination vs. round robin? Depends on time, space, and number of participants.
  • Conduct a meeting before the tournament to explain the tournament format, go over the rules and expectations and to answer questions.

After the tournament

  • Publicize the winners in your recreation area, student newspaper, local television, etc.
  • Send thank you notes to any department or individual who helped put together the tournament. This makes people feel appreciated and willing to help again!
  • Send your campus tournament winners to the ACUI regional tournaments held each year in February.
  • Communicate with your ACUI regional recreation coordinator for specific details regarding your regional tournament.

You might also consider asking your region's conference committee to include a night of exhibition matches in the events you're thinking of conducting at your regional tournament. That should generate interest and give you an idea of what people in your region want. 

Updated Dec. 11, 2009