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Thread: DOP Fees

  1. #1
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    DOP Fees

    I thought I might raise the issue of how much DOP"s should be paid. This varies a lot from state to state, but for a weekend tournament what do people believe a DOP is worth?

    The NSWCA pays $100 day for a 2 day weekender, which included not only running the event, but writing a report as well. What do people think?
    Lee Forace

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  2. #2
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    Hi Lee, you have actually asked two questions, the answers to which may be very different.
    1) What should a DOP be paid.
    2) What is a DOP worth.

    1) ultimately comes down to market forces: how much do you need to pay in order to get the quality of arbiter that you want.

    Maybe you can get a competent arbiter who is willing to run your tournament for free. If that is possible then go for it. On the other hand, being the only person at a weekender who doesn't get to play chess, most DOPs (quite fairly) require payment. Except at big high profile tournaments, DOPs in Australia cannot really expect fees which fairly reflect the work that they put in. This is just a fact of life for an amateur sport with little or no sponsorship.

    $100 a day is pretty modest fee, especially when a day's work can stretch into ten hours or more. I would be happy to see it higher (and I understand NSWCA either has or is intending to raise it's standard fee). Ultimately however, the fees can never reach professional levels for a run of the mill weekender.

    On the other hand, a good DOP is worth a great deal. They are worth a smooth running tournament, swiftly resolved conflicts, illuminating and interesting reports. They are worth the sort of professional fees that can only be paid when there are big sponsorship bucks floating around. And importantly they deserve the personal thanks of every player who plays in their events.

  3. #3
    CC Candidate Master jase's Avatar
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    Some good points pax.

    As an arbiter who has frequently run events for the NSWCA, I usually am paid $100 per day when I work these events, and I find this fee to be quite reasonable. It might not be quite my hourly rate at work, but that's okay, because it's a cultural event in a community that I enjoy.

    It's more than I tend to get for acting jobs in theatre I can assure you!

    Fees have been similar when I have run Australian Championships - sometimes the payment is closer to $40-50 a day, but a hotel room is provided for the arbiters to share.

    At Doeberl I have had to decline being an arbiter in recent years because I haven't been willing to pay for the privelige. The fees have been $200 for the 4 days for many years now; last time I was an arbiter there my accommodation was $210, petrol money another $30 or so. Before I consider what's for breakfast I am down about $40.

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    DOP Fees

    It's good to see a fellow arbiter posting here, and one of Australia's best at that!

    The $100 per day for NSWCA events is now an 'acceptable' payment in my opinion for what DOP's do.

    Jase you are also correct in saying that at a Championship/Open the wages usually drop to $50 per day. The only good thing about Mt Buller was infact the wages.

    I love Doeberl is a great event, but I always feel the wages are a bit low. I wouldn't even consider working for the NSWCA for what I get paid at Doeberl, but it's a home event so I do. (I can completely understand though, not wanting to do it though...)
    Lee Forace

    Forace´s Legacy - Swap off when you are down.

    It's better to set goals that one cannot acheive than to settle for mediocrity.

  5. #5
    CC Candidate Master jase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberaci
    I can completely understand though, not wanting to do it though..
    Thanks for the kudos, Lee. Just wanted to clarify that I would love to be involved with Doeberl tournaments; lots of my friends from the chess community are there and it's terrific to see the top players in the same tournament. Alas financially I don't come near breaking even, and the organisers have never shown much interest in my arbitering, to be honest. I have a different style which perhaps they don't think suitable, or possibly they're content with the arbiters they use already. The two years I've been involved I was approached months in advance and asked to be 3rd banana.

    Presently I've no plans for Easter so I may jump get a spontaneous impulse to jump on the highway and pop in for a day. Hope the event gets the numbers and top players it warrants.

  6. #6
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jase
    I have a different style which perhaps they don't think suitable, or possibly they're content with the arbiters they use already. The two years I've been involved I was approached months in advance and asked to be 3rd banana.
    Jason, Can you clarify this as I dont know what you mean. To be honest, I am only really familiar with Charles Zworestine as an IA for tournaments I have either been an organiser or player in.

    How are you different?

  7. #7
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    Jase as an arbiter.

    Gillian,
    Jason is a long time IA, and one of the great ideas men of arbitering in Australian chess. If you want ideas how to run an event, his background will give you lots of great ideas to get things done in a professional manner.

    He would have been perfect for advice leading up to Mt Buller. Lets put it this way... want to run a GM event...If you've got the cash, Jase is the man for idea. Of course Gary Bekker would be invaluable as well

    ''The third monkey" (LOL) interesting term. That job is usually taken my me, not that I'm offended...
    Lee Forace

    Forace´s Legacy - Swap off when you are down.

    It's better to set goals that one cannot acheive than to settle for mediocrity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jase
    Thanks for the kudos, Lee. Just wanted to clarify that I would love to be involved with Doeberl tournaments; lots of my friends from the chess community are there and it's terrific to see the top players in the same tournament. Alas financially I don't come near breaking even, and the organisers have never shown much interest in my arbitering, to be honest. I have a different style which perhaps they don't think suitable, or possibly they're content with the arbiters they use already. The two years I've been involved I was approached months in advance and asked to be 3rd banana.

    Presently I've no plans for Easter so I may jump get a spontaneous impulse to jump on the highway and pop in for a day. Hope the event gets the numbers and top players it warrants.
    These observations are pretty right although I'd like to clarify some things from my end.
    It is certainly true that interstate arbiters won't make anything from arbiting the Doeberl Cup, and indeed will probably find themselves out of pocket. This is indirectly caused by the desire to only have at least 2 Canberra arbiters each year. Having said that I am going to suggest that more funds be put towards arbiting expenses next year.
    It is also true that the organisers haven't shown much interest in your arbiting (although we have asked on occasion) but this is mainly financial. We are aware of the expenses issue and given we can't provide what you feel is a sensible financial package, we just don't ask. And of course we are also happy with the team we usually have.
    However there are no "bananas" on the arbiting team. Each arbiter is paid the same amount. Usually one of the arbiters gets their name on the brochure and normally that is the longest continuously serving arbiter on the team. For a while it was me until I missed a year, then it was Charles, and now it is back to me.
    We also like to rotate the tournaments amongst the team, so that one year Charles will do the Premier and I might do the Minor. This years team consists of myself, Cathy Rogers and Mark Hummel. As it is Marks first year he will probably get the Minor, although I feel this section has the potential to be the toughest of them all. And while I would be happy for Cathy to do the Premier, with Ian playing it is sensible she probably do the Major instead.
    This is not a pecking order thing, just a tournament management issue.

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    I'm not sure if a non-arbiter can post on here.

    But for this years Adelaide Uni Open we are basically ensuring Charles Z does not end up out of pocket coming to our tournament. This will mean we cover his airfares and most meals. Fortunately, Alan Goldsmith will put him up free of charge.

    Otherwise, SACA pay its arbiters/DOPs $1 per player per day. This is basically a charity service by our longstanding DOP/arbiters Bill Anderson-Smith and Roland Eime. For some SACA weekenders this can be as little as $30-$40 for the whole weekend!

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  10. #10
    CC Candidate Master jase's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liberaci
    Jason is a long time IA
    Geez Lee you make me sound so old.
    [By the way the GM event I occasionally muse about has come back into my peripheral vision].

    Quote Originally Posted by ggrayggray
    Jason, Can you clarify this as I dont know what you mean. To be honest, I am only really familiar with Charles Zworestine as an IA for tournaments I have either been an organiser or player in. How are you different?
    Everyone has a unique personality, which affects the way they carry out tasks. I have backgrounds in acting, event management, and education, which all influence the way I organise and run chess tournaments.

    I am very conscious of the look of the room. I'll spend an hour moving tables if the layout is not to my liking. I try to always have crosstables and standings on display after about round 2. I carry with me not only the standard 'turn your phones off' notices, but also mini-posters of chess anecdotes, news, short stories [eg woody Allen's short about correspondence chess, "The Gossage-Vardebedian Papers"], interesting problems, and anything else that I think might interest the players.

    I am very personable. Maybe too much for an arbiter! The actor in me means that I often give a rundown of the status of the tournament at the start of each round, including anything interesting that's happened in the previous round. I also move around and talk to players before and after rounds so that they don't think of me as the chess police.

    I try to facilitate more socialisation. I regularly offer to shout the bar to anyone interested in having a drink at the end of a tournament. A the conclusion of a State Championships a few years ago I had 6 jugs of beer, 3 jugs of OJ, and 3 jugs of Coke, brought to the playing area to encourage everyone to stick around for the presentation. Besides, I was thirsty.

    The first tournament I ever organised required the players to stay in villas at a tourist caravan park for the weekend. For your $60 entry fee you got 2 nights accommodation, and I still managed to give out $1,000 in cash prizes. As round 1 started there was a 6-pack of icy-cold Coronas at my arbiter's table. About 15 players played touch footy on the beach, including Jonny Bolens!

    At Australian Championships time the Boxing Day and new Years cricket tests are always on, so I put up notices during the day of the current score. And I make sure there's always a home state v the rest cricket match on the rest day [did you know Solomon is a fantastic wicket-keeper?].

    I hope this gives you at least a small idea of the type of arbiter I try to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun
    It is certainly true that interstate arbiters won't make anything from arbiting the Doeberl Cup, and indeed will probably find themselves out of pocket. This is indirectly caused by the desire to only have at least 2 Canberra arbiters each year.
    Thanks for your comments Shaun. I think arbiters are prepared to accept Doeberl's $50 a day because of the prestige of the event. It's the strongest event on the calendar and you want to be there to see our best players compete, catch up with friends, and make new ones. I don't aim to make money out of the tournament when I work as an arbiter, but I do want to minimise how much the weekend will cost. It's reasonable to have locals run the event as they don't need to fork out for accommodation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun
    However there are no "bananas" on the arbiting team. Each arbiter is paid the same amount.
    As Lee understood, the banana reference goes to status, not finances. See above comments about the prestige of the event. It's why you have an IA run the top section, or the Australian Championships for that matter. Financially perhaps it's a simple matter of supply and demand. If excellent arbiters such as yourself and Cathy [and, I'm sure, Mark, though I do not know him] are willing to do the 4 days for $200, maybe there's no need to increase arbiter fees. Sometimes it's just knowing that your efforts are appreciated. Drinks at the end of the day, or a dinner for the organisers and arbiters, would be as good to me as an extra $50 in my pocket. Subtle touches like that make it a more worthwhile experience.

    If I don't get down to Canberra, have a wonderful tournament boys. The field looks a cracker. I believe Alex Wohl might even make a rare appearance.

  11. #11
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jase
    As Lee understood, the banana reference goes to status, not finances.
    I took it to be a reference to the three monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Perhaps a reference that the 3rd arbiter was there to be seen and not heard. But then maybe I just have an overactive imagination.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

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    DOP Fees

    DOP Fees

    I was chief arbiter of the annual Doeberl Cup Easter 4 day weekend tournament in Canberra on twenty different occasions (after tying for first place in the 1970’s).

    The maximum fee I was paid in any one of the twenty years was $200 (plus free coffee) including seventeen years when I was the sole arbiter of about 140 players.

    The hours were long and a lot of work for one sole arbiter.
    There were only a few minor problems over the 20 years period resolved by quiet diplomacy.

    Jason Lyons was a 12 year old competitor in his first Doeberl Cup.
    Ian Rogers, Darryl Johansen, Alex Wohl, Guy West and Stephen Solomon were teenagers (all competing in the 2005 Doeberl Cup!) when I directed major events in the 1970’s.

    Arbiters should have a good knowledge of the rules, always have a copy of the latest FIDE Laws of Chess in every event and most importantly use common sense to resolve disputes which have become more frequent in the last few years.

    Peter Parr (OAM)
    FIDE International Arbiter since 1978
    6 times captain of the Australian Olympic Men’s Teams

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    I took it to be a reference to the three monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Perhaps a reference that the 3rd arbiter was there to be seen and not heard. But then maybe I just have an overactive imagination.
    No, I knew what Jase was alluding too. Although it is a theatre expression (haven't you heard the expression 'second banana' to describe a sidekick) it also is used much more widely. But Jase cut off my explanation short in his reply. While Jase thinks there is status attached to each tournament (eg The Premier should have an IA wherever possible) I don't. If Lee Forace was available this year he may well have been directing the Premier while I was doing the Minor. I just see it as 1 big event, not 3 medium size ones.
    Of course my point of view may be coloured by the fact that I am not an IA, and yet have been Chief Arbiter at an Australian Championship and at least 2 Australian Opens, as well as plenty of Doeberl Cups.

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    DOP's at Doeberl

    Hi Everyone,
    Firstly I to congratuate Mark Hummel for filling the spot at Doeberl. I believe that Mark should probably do the minor, not as he is the 'junior' DOP but because his strength puts him naturally around the field, which serves (in my opinion) the minor well.

    As for Jase: Sorry I made you feel old, happy 29th when it comes around...
    Lee Forace

    Forace´s Legacy - Swap off when you are down.

    It's better to set goals that one cannot acheive than to settle for mediocrity.

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Denis_Jessop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter_parr
    DOP Fees

    I was chief arbiter of the annual Doeberl Cup Easter 4 day weekend tournament in Canberra on twenty different occasions (after tying for first place in the 1970’s).

    The maximum fee I was paid in any one of the twenty years was $200 (plus free coffee) including seventeen years when I was the sole arbiter of about 140 players.

    The hours were long and a lot of work for one sole arbiter.
    There were only a few minor problems over the 20 years period resolved by quiet diplomacy.

    Jason Lyons was a 12 year old competitor in his first Doeberl Cup.
    Ian Rogers, Darryl Johansen, Alex Wohl, Guy West and Stephen Solomon were teenagers (all competing in the 2005 Doeberl Cup!) when I directed major events in the 1970’s.

    Arbiters should have a good knowledge of the rules, always have a copy of the latest FIDE Laws of Chess in every event and most importantly use common sense to resolve disputes which have become more frequent in the last few years.

    Peter Parr (OAM)
    FIDE International Arbiter since 1978
    6 times captain of the Australian Olympic Men’s Teams
    Nice to have a "blast from the past" from Peter. I well remember the days in the 1970s when Peter was sole arbiter and I and a few others sucha sHelmut Ackermann and the late George Stern were the main organisers. Those were the days when the Doeberl Cup was becoming well established as a leading tournament and we (the ACTCA) were indebted to Peter for the able way in which he undertook the task of arbiting and virtually doing all the running of the event (bar emptying the ashtrays). We even managed to get Eric Doeberl to come along for the 21st DC on one of the occasions when I was ACTCA President. I may be wrong but I think that the standard fee for Peter then (the 1970s) was $200 for the event. That would now translate to something like $2000 or more I imagine so Shaun's mention of higher arbiters' fees is not out of place.

    DJ

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