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  1. #16
    Account Suspended jenni's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by WBA
    If you are ever coming to Melbourne for a tournament let us know, and I will be more than happy to show you around the place. I am pretty sure something can be organised (if you come down with a squad), where the kids can come over to the MCC to visit the club and play for the day. You may find it is nowhere near as hostile as the rumours sometimes suggest.
    I hope I might take you up on the offer sometime.

    Sorry again for using MCC - didn't mean to be nasty to the club, just to Firegoat!

  2. #17
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    I thought it was obvious. The way to increase chess participation is to somehow remove the committee members of the Melbourne Chess Club with chess as a whole.

  3. #18
    CC International Master WhiteElephant's Avatar
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    Girls Vs Boys

    Quote Originally Posted by jenni
    We do feel girls are more likely to stay involved in chess if they have friends, as they are a just more sociable and this side is important to them.
    I think this statement has 2 completely separate parts:

    1) We do feel girls are more likely to stay involved in chess if they have friends.

    Completely agree! I run various school-based chess clubs - some with boys only, some with girls only and some with a mixture of boys and girls.

    I have made the following observations about those clubs:

    - Girls prefer to attend a club which aready contains some other girls, particularly of their year level. It is VERY difficult to attract new girls to a club which is currently boys only. The best way to do this is to encourage a group of girls who are friends to attend together.

    - Boys are happy to participate in a club which contain boys of widely ranging year levels (ie year 1's will often happily play against year 6's and vice versa). Girls prefer to have other girls as close as possible to their year levels. This is because they like to build social networks and come along to spend time with their friends, rather than just to play chess.

    - Girls are much more likely to play in Girls Only Interschool comps. This works well to build up initial interest and the social side of playing in a tournament (as Jenni said earlier I think) until they gain more confidence to play mixed Interschool events.

    - In summary, girls and boys have different REASONS for playing chess. And therefore, the marketing strategy needs to vary when promoting clubs to girls as opposed to boys. Clearly, the emphasis needs to be on the social aspect of chess, social activities, etc - the bring a friend idea is an excellent one!

    2) as they [girls] are just more sociable...

    I do not believe this is correct and it is probably what Firegoat was objecting to. Jenni, do you have any statistics which support this? My view is that some boys are more ourgoing/ sociable than others and some girls are more outgoing/ sociable than others, but it is difficult to make a general sweeping statement comparing the two.

    W.E.

  4. #19
    Account Suspended Libby's Avatar
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    I have been running a school club at Curtin Primary for 4-5 years.

    I had always had far more boys than girls in the club although the ratio was pretty good when compared to other clubs (ie I had probably 1/3 girls).

    Last year we were ACT Open & Girls Primary Champions and Champions & Runners-Up at the ANU Primary Schools event. Girls occupying 50% of places in our prizewinning Open teams.

    In 2004 we won Aus Schools in the Girls Primary by a (sadly) comfortable margin. The same team has just won ACT Primary Girls with a score of 28/28 although we are being challenged by the second placegetters (19.5/28) for a playoff for the Aus Schools spot.

    Anyway, to cut a long (bragging) story short - my "advanced" club which meets on Fridays at School ("beginners" on Thursdays) is now almost entirely made up of girls. We have only 3 boys (of about 20 children overall) persisting with the group.

    I suspect it will be a long time (never) before there is equality in "beginner" participation between boys and girls - I think this is the single biggest stumbling block to girls achieving excellence in the game. However, whichever gender we are talking about, I think there is a critical "tipping" point at which the other begins to feel squeezed out. I have never pitched particularly at girls at the school club, I have never run girls-only activities or set up special pairings or made concessions to girls playing girls etc. I just ran a club at which girls began to excel, at which more girls began to attend and also develop a level of competence, and at which boys began exiting in droves.

    In fact, this year I have been trying to run special activities to try to attract more boys back into the club (special activities on alternate weeks including other strategy games, Knightmare chess & transfer) but losing to the girls and losing their own social peers seems to be the single, insurmountable obstacle to their return.

    For my Thursday beginners, I still have about 80% boys in a group of 20-30 children.

  5. #20
    Account Suspended jenni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteElephant
    2) as they [girls] are just more sociable...

    I do not believe this is correct and it is probably what Firegoat was objecting to. Jenni, do you have any statistics which support this? My view is that some boys are more ourgoing/ sociable than others and some girls are more outgoing/ sociable than others, but it is difficult to make a general sweeping statement comparing the two.

    W.E.
    I am talking in a chess context and for young juniors. Also I guess it depends how you define "sociable" - I am looking at it from a feminine aspect and I doubbt that my definition would match yours. I haven't kept statistics - too busy being sociable to focus on all those numbers. However after years of running junior clubs and attending junior tournaments, I still stand by my remarks, although I am prepared to temper them and say girl socialise in a different way. Thus friendships and other girls attending are more important.

    I suppose it depends on what you call socialise. Boys tend to sit together, scream a lot, bash the clock and play lots of lightning and transfer. I have no dount that they view that as being extremely outgoing and sociable. However do they really care who is part of the group? - possibly if a boy sucks at chess, his companions would prefer to have a more competent person in the 4 some for transfer, but apart from that I don't think they really care.

    However girls do care - they sit together they exchange surnames (how many years does a boy need to know someone, before they find out even this basic detail!). They then move onto the more important stuff - over a weekend tournament, most girls will come back knowing a vast amount of personal detail about their new companions. It matters to them and they want to see those people again.

    (Of course this can lead to problems with girls - anyone who has dealt with girls in year 5 to year 7 would know just how spiteful and catty it can get.)

    You are thus more likely to keep girls playing if there are a group of them - as soon as a girl is finding herself turning up to comps without that social network, they will tend to drift off. Of course there are always exceptions on both sides - Libby's daughter for example is much closer to the boys in her "socialising'.

    Men do socialise more as they get older - I can think of some very socialable young groups at the moment - the Smerdon/ Bourmistrov group in Melbourne and a group centred around Michael Lip in Sydney.

    I was amused at the Zonal in New Zealand to see a very bubbly Gino Thornton trying desperately to socialise with some of the other guys - he gave up in disgust and joined the girls group .....

  6. #21
    Account Suspended Libby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteElephant
    2) as they [girls] are just more sociable...

    I do not believe this is correct and it is probably what Firegoat was objecting to. Jenni, do you have any statistics which support this? My view is that some boys are more ourgoing/ sociable than others and some girls are more outgoing/ sociable than others, but it is difficult to make a general sweeping statement comparing the two.

    W.E.
    Jenni's quite right in suggesting my daughter is not the best example of the feminine social animal In fact, having raised two older girls who disdain the whole girlie "scene" I used to think everybody else was just a wuss.

    However, I had a third daughter and found maybe nature has the head start on nurture and I had less to do with the first two than I thought

    As a general observation, and as someone currently taking bookings for our Girls' Development Day next week, parents of girls ring me in great trepidation - will their daughter know anyone, will they be about the same age, has their friend xxxx booked already?

    Boys are booked in for our Open days with that comment rarely made.

    Many girls (not all) are into special friendships and in that pre-teen (9-13 type) group there is a lot of pressure to belong and to fit in with a group.

    Am I saying boys don't have the same experience? Not at all. But boys who don't fit in well at school are likely to find a group they fit in very well with at chess. In my observation. Initially, all they will need to know about that person is that they are able to play. (And do they want a blitz/transfer/take me game?)

  7. #22
    Account Suspended Libby's Avatar
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    36 girls at our "Girls-Only" coaching day from 6-13 years of age.

    http://www.atmcomputers.com.au/actjc...rls_devday.htm

    11 coaches allowed girls to work in groups of 2-4 girls per coach & we charge $25/day.

    We also had the opportunity to talk about our July School Holiday venture - Canberra Chess Chicks - (for which we received the Women's Sports Grant). We have explained to the girls that selection in the program will follow participation in other activities (ie we will be looking to put a check beside your name every time we see you and most checks = most likely to be invited).

    Many girls talked to me about how much they want to be chosen. It may not be much in reality, but selection - at any level - is a great way to reward effort and increase the value people place on an opportunity.
    Last edited by Libby; 22-04-2005 at 05:08 PM.

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