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Prizes at competitions

Discussion in 'Official WCA Competitions' started by Eelephant, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Eelephant

    Eelephant Member

    Jan 29, 2018
    Ok, I'm new to this whole thing, admittedly, but I was planning on going to the WPIWinter Cubing Day competition (just to check it out, not compete), and was looking at the prizes and was shocked. The absolute top prize in the 3x3 competition was a CubeDepot gift card worth barely more than 2x the entry fee. The top prizes for all other categories were again in gift cards, and were worth EVEN LESS than the entry fee. Is this normal? I come from the chess world, and maybe it's not comparable, but I guarantee I would not bother to attend a tournament where the top prize is a gift cert for uschess.com barely worth 2x my entry fee. And I certainly wouldn't enter a category where even if I took first place, I would lose money.

    The problem with gift cards as prizes? I am already a chess player/cuber, chances are I really don't need any more equipment at this time. Some extra cash, tho, to take the wife and kids out to a celebratory dinner? Now we are talking!

    Speaking of the cash, the entry fee is $12, and they are capping the event at 110 competitors, meaning they could take in up to $1,320. None of that is going back to the competitors as prize money?

    I guess I was just surprised. Is this normal?
  2. Mike Hughey

    Mike Hughey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 7, 2007
    Yes, that's normal. The way it works is very dependent on the person running the competition, though. Many people who run competitions (including myself, back when I ran them) simply try to break even on competitions, but others do make money, which again goes different places depending on the organizer. Some donate to charities. Some keep the money - it all depends.

    If you have to rent a venue, that can easily eat up hundreds or even thousands of dollars. At my last Indiana competition we took in over $2000 in entry fees, yet I unfortunately swallowed close to a $1000 loss, primarily due to the cost of a venue that could hold 200 competitors.

    For chess tournaments I remember going to many years ago, $12 would have been ultra-cheap. The entry fees I remember at chess tournaments were pretty high, which had the advantage of resulting in nice prize money. But that doesn't work out very well if you're at the bottom of the pack, does it? For cubing, our focus is more on participating and doing your best than on winning, so we want to encourage the slower cubers to attend. Hence, the low entry fees and the low prize money.
  3. xyzzy

    xyzzy Member

    Dec 24, 2015
    It's normal. Maybe it shouldn't be normal, but smaller competitions without big-name sponsors cannot afford large prizes. Keep in mind that the competition venue has to be rented (usually not free) and while I don't know what other costs are associated with organising a competition, it probably adds up quickly.

    Oftentimes, competitors are just there to get official times in the WCA database and to meet up with other cubers. The vast majority of competitors have almost zero chance of winning anything at all; one might get the impression from watching some popular YouTubers that winning awards and podiuming at every competition is a commonplace thing, but it's extremely not. Out of those 110 potential competitors at the comp you're looking at, three of them will podium at 3×3×3. (Maybe four if there's a tie, but still.) One hundred and seven will walk away with nothing.
    Dancing Jules likes this.

    WACWCA Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Will Callan
    This is normal, usually only championships( regional, nationional, continental, and worlds) have larger prizes and are usually in cash. What you pay in registration fee is usually going to the venue, supplies, timers/ displays(which get pretty expensive). Cube stores can’t give out much more because they are sponsoring so many competitions and don’t make enough money to be donating more. Registration fees don’t usually cover the cost because increasing it for every competitor adds up when you go to lots of comps a year, and there is 6+ events for a 1 day competiton with 3 podiumers in each event. Basically, cubing is too small right now to be giving out much money. Hopefully as cubing grows we will see larger prizes in the future.
  5. Eelephant

    Eelephant Member

    Jan 29, 2018
    Good point.. yes, chess tournament entry fees are often much higher than $12. And, chess tournaments are often broken up into class sections, so the less experienced/skilled have the same chances to win money as the more experienced/skilled, since they are competing against people near their skill level. Can't really do it this way for cubing I guess. I withdraw my questions! :)
  6. Eelephant

    Eelephant Member

    Jan 29, 2018
    Understood, thanks!
  7. Eelephant

    Eelephant Member

    Jan 29, 2018
    Gotcha, thanks for the insight! :)
  8. Eelephant

    Eelephant Member

    Jan 29, 2018
    Anyone from this board going to this event?
    AidanNoogie likes this.
  9. I'm going to WPI
  10. How many people actually keep the money? It's that looked down upon?
  11. Loser

    Loser Member

    Sep 4, 2017
    That's creepy
    Idk how many people keep the extra money for personal uses, but I am keeping the extra money from my comp to fund future competitions
    I for one would rather people not just spend the money on themselves, but give it to a charity, previously mentioned, or the venue for letting you use the space, or the delegate for helping out tremendously
    CornerCutter likes this.
  12. Completely agree. I do the same thing about keeping the money for future competitions. I like to give the delegate a little extra too.

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