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420SA Growoffs 2020 - How can we improve

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High guys

Last year's Indoor growoff, in my opinion, went relatively well. It was ultimately plagued by a number of issues that prevented it from being a success though.

With what we have learn't from last year's indoor growoff I'd like to get your guys input on how we can iron out the issues and get it to run more smoothly.

I would really like to keep the growoffs going annually but the amount of effort that was put in wasn't matched by participation and co-operation. It takes a lot to organise a comp of this kind, if the amount of effort that is put in isn't matched by participation then it just isn't worth the effort.

Here are my thoughts on what didn't go well last year:

  • People mainly struggled to stay in line with the rules and procedure. With big sponsors on board we had to lay out a procedure and rules, some disagreed with it but I felt it was necessary nor difficult to follow. To those that participated, were the rules too difficult to follow? How can they be improved?
  • There were 2 sponsors who did not honour their prizes. Green Leaf Organics went, and still is, AWOL. Then Sustainable Village SA did not honour their prize.
  • The distribution of seeds actually didn't go too badly, I feel we executed it pretty well. On the other hand many of those who received the seeds didn't actually participate. It may be best if we allow a diversity of genetics but this immediately taints the legitimacy of the competition to some extent.  I'm of the opinion that if we don't have the same cultivar, the growoff isn't worth it. I know that even with the same cultivar the variety of phenos can be diverse, especially with a cultivar that is not fully stabilized but it just keeps things fair. 

There are more points and I will add them in due course. The point is to get this discussion going in the mean time. Would love to hear input from you guys

:-peace

 

 

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Well straight up... The rules weren't hard to follow. You gave warnings and still persons did not comply and that did suck... The competition needs to maybe have noob catagory and a "best newcomer" award, but needs to be more suited for experienced growers looking to challenge themselves. 

There are quite a few breeders on the site that I am sure will love to exhibit their genetics as the staple genetic for a grow off so maybe offer this to some of the local breeders... Give us an amount of seeds you need per grow off, and I'm sure guys will come to the party. 

Potentially a small buy in for serious contestants to compete for the main prizes , and consolation prizes for other entries that don't buy in. 

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I feel the issue with people receiving seeds and not participating happened more with the newer members. So perhaps have a minimum post count required in order to participate and/or they have to have been a member for x amount of weeks / months.

Regarding sponsors and prizes, may be best that they send it to you and then it gets distributed from there - that way the prize is confirmed and secured.... Although this does create a slight issue with shipping as someone would need to cover shipping from you to the winner.

 

Rules were pretty straight forward I felt, easy to understand. People are easily able to ask questions and refer back to the rules if need be... Maybe try and do a single consolidated thread with all rules and start dates etc.

I recall something being split the last time and there were like 2 or 3 threads depending on what info you wanted - I think it was the prizes and rules were separate.

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Posted (edited)

Nominal Entry fee is a good idea, should 1. subsidise seed delivery, 2. Contribute to prize 3. Commit to completing grow

Edited by zairek
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Thanks for the input guys.

After reading your inputs here are my thoughts on the best way forward:

  • Instead of aiming too high with the competition I think we should start it small and build participation by means of qualification. 
  • The competition will be geared more for members of 420SA
  • The competition will be more exclusive with specific qualification criteria to be met if you want to participate. Qualification criteria to be discussed. 
  • The goal is for the growoff to be an exhibition of the country's finest growing talent pitted against each other. 
  • Having a pool of accomplished growers also benefits the breeders who sponsor their genetics. I.e. they get a much truer indication of the performance of their genetics. A win for all parties involved. 
  • With a narrowed down participation pool, it may not be viable to offer prizes in the beginning but we can see how that pans out. 

Qualification criteria:

I don't think post count alone is good enough to qualify. The member needs to be a proven grower with grows to show. 

  1. They need a minimum post count of 50
  2. They need to have a minimum of 5 completed grows under the belt. They can either direct us to grows on the forum or provide images of 5 of their grows. 
  3. Finally there will need to be some sort of approval committee setup to make the final approval. This committee can be elected by forum members

Perhaps an entry fee may need to be charged but we will discuss that a bit later. On the other hand, and I'm not sure on the legalities, but what if all growers paid in an amount at the beginning and the sum of these fees gets split amongst the 1st, 2nd and 3rd winners? Is that considered gambling? 😆 probably...

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Dope stuff 😁 looking forward to getting involved when I can. Need to pump out my current grow and one more to make the 5 grows, I rate I'll be ready then. 

1 hour ago, 420SA said:

Is that considered gambling? 😆 probably...

Well, if I may input, I think it's way cooler to get sponsored gear and cool stuff over a cash prize. Although an entry fee does weed out (excuse the pun) those who are just taking the piss and aren't going to stick to rules a guidelines which I think is the entire point and joy of the competition. 

Doesn't have to be crazy. R50 is enough to deter most people. 

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5 minutes ago, Ill_Evan said:

Well, if I may input, I think it's way cooler to get sponsored gear and cool stuff over a cash prize. Although an entry fee does weed out (excuse the pun) those who are just taking the piss and aren't going to stick to rules a guidelines which I think is the entire point and joy of the competition. 

Don't worry I fully agree on that. Prizes involving gear etc. is definitely the end goal. Was just a thought in case we don't pick up any prize sponsors 

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1 minute ago, 420SA said:

Don't worry I fully agree on that. Prizes involving gear etc. is definitely the end goal. Was just a thought in case we don't pick up any prize sponsors 

Ah I see, I misunderstood initially 😁

Fantastic work @420SA, I have no doubt you'll turn this into a phenomenal event 😊 

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It has been great to watch my seeds being grown out. The biggest thing for me was the sheer amount of seeds that went out, and the tiny proportion that bothered to take part stood out. I personally was hoping for more, but it us what it is, and many were just after the seeds I guess.

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11 minutes ago, Totemic said:

It has been great to watch my seeds being grown out. The biggest thing for me was the sheer amount of seeds that went out, and the tiny proportion that bothered to take part stood out. I personally was hoping for more, but it us what it is, and many were just after the seeds I guess.

That is very unfortunate.. Next year there should be a buy in as was discussed.. Serious participants only. If you can not ensure  more or less a full season grow with at least one plant.  Sorry..

:-2cents

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Hmm, 5 grows is quite a substantial amount of time.

An average grow would take around 4 to 5 months from seed to harvest, perhaps even a little longer depending on the strains.

That is someone who has been growing for around 2 years back to back, provided they only have a single grow going on at a time.

If you have multiple grows going on at one, it does reduce the amount of time quite a bit though.

 

If you're thinking of having the grow off as a way to show case some of the best growers, this is a good way to ensure that is the case however majority of people who have been growing since it has been "legal" are most likely not going to have 5 grows just yet. Depending on when the grow off is meant to start and how many people end up legible for it - perhaps consider reducing the number of grows for the first grow off or two?

If there are only 5 people in the comp for instance, not as much fun if there were a few more competitors. Also as you said not as much appeal for companies to sponsor the grow off.

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35 minutes ago, PsyCLown said:

Hmm, 5 grows is quite a substantial amount of time.

An average grow would take around 4 to 5 months from seed to harvest, perhaps even a little longer depending on the strains.

That is someone who has been growing for around 2 years back to back, provided they only have a single grow going on at a time.

If you have multiple grows going on at one, it does reduce the amount of time quite a bit though.

 

If you're thinking of having the grow off as a way to show case some of the best growers, this is a good way to ensure that is the case however majority of people who have been growing since it has been "legal" are most likely not going to have 5 grows just yet. Depending on when the grow off is meant to start and how many people end up legible for it - perhaps consider reducing the number of grows for the first grow off or two?

If there are only 5 people in the comp for instance, not as much fun if there were a few more competitors. Also as you said not as much appeal for companies to sponsor the grow off.

How does a minimum of 3 grows sound? I'm specifically referring to indoor grows. Outdoor, maybe 2

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1 hour ago, Totemic said:

It has been great to watch my seeds being grown out. The biggest thing for me was the sheer amount of seeds that went out, and the tiny proportion that bothered to take part stood out. I personally was hoping for more, but it us what it is, and many were just after the seeds I guess.

As a breeder. Would you prefer to see the a select few battle it out with your genetics? Say 15 to 20 growers, participation guaranteed.

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1 hour ago, Stinger96 said:

That is very unfortunate.. Next year there should be a buy in as was discussed.. Serious participants only. If you can not ensure  more or less a full season grow with at least one plant.  Sorry..

:-2cents

Outdoors..

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How does a minimum of 3 grows sound? I'm specifically referring to indoor grows. Outdoor, maybe 2
I think it depends on what we're aimj g to achieve.

3 grows sounds good to me if you want a decent amount of participants still.

Sent from my Redmi Note 7 Pro using Tapatalk

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17 hours ago, PsyCLown said:

I think it depends on what we're aimj g to achieve.

3 grows sounds good to me if you want a decent amount of participants still.

Sent from my Redmi Note 7 Pro using Tapatalk
 

After thinking about it for a bit I don't think there's a need to permit entrants based on growing experience. I think your suggestion about minimum post count will be the main qualifying criteria.

Everybody can have a chance but their participation and ability to follow the rules needs to somehow be confirmed. Perhaps a form of application, a separate web page where the member can apply. On the page everything is laid out, how the comp works, the rules and all. At the bottom the person checks a box that says "I have read the rules and information and am willing to comply to participate" or something to that effect, and then they can apply.

One thing we will have to do is be strict. Checking up on people's diaries all the time to make sure they update just isn't possible. Hence me giving up on that for the current outdoor growoff. If the participant fails to update their diary within the specified time frame they will be disqualified without warning. If they have a valid excuse the participant will also need to reach out to me or the mods if they aren't able to update. Perhaps we can setup a telegram group for all participants to make those kinda communications easier. 

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16 hours ago, Stinger96 said:

Medium categories...? Hydro, organic, organic hydro.. ext..?

We did have prizes for these categories in the indoor growoff. We didn't for the outdoor as very few people grow in hydro outdoors

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16 hours ago, Stinger96 said:

Lucky packet of seeds, so there is more variety and genes to show of..?

Having a variety makes it hard to judge one plant against another

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I agree, a variety of strains makes things difficult. We noticed an issue with the different pheno's in the indoor grow off already (possibly similar issues with the outdoor as well).

 

If no limit on how many grows a person has done, I still feel a combination of post counts and duration the person has been a member on the forum for will be a good way to sift out a few people who in my opinion are less likely to stay as an active forum member and therefore continue to update their grow diary and compete with the competition.

What I did find interesting was how many people struggled to germinate their seeds properly and could not compete or had to try get more seeds as they could not germinate seeds properly. So perhaps the person should at least have 1 grow done if this is something we want to try avoid.

Keep in mind if a newbie wants to grow along with the more experienced members who are part of the grow off, there is no reason the newbie cannot purchase the seeds from the breeder and grow them as well - they just won't be part of the comp but can still gain the experience and learn from those in the competition as it's still the same seeds and pheno types and they can even germinate on the same dates etc.

 

We can do a separate page to sign up, however if they stop being active on the forum it won't matter and I do not see how it differs all that much compared to someone reading the rules thread on the forum... Unless there were to be questions asked based on the rules so that they need to read the rules to be able to answer the questions and sign up for the competition. This still won't force someone to honour the rules and finish the grow but helps ensure people actually read the rules and there is confirmation that they have accepted the rules.

 

As for a Telegram chat, I am concerned that people may start talking about their grows in the chat instead of sharing the info on the forum for the other forum members. In terms of communication if there is an issue, whether it is on Telegram, the forum via your mobile browser or Tapatalk it's all much of a muchness really.

 

 

One thing I think could possibly be improved upon is the criteria of which the plants will be judged on. For example, if someone is only growing a single plant at the time (say in a 1.2m x 0.7m tent) they can allow that plant to get larger than someone who is growing a few plants in the same sized tent. Does this mean the person who has decided an entire tent on just one plant has a higher chance of having the "better" plant?

Also a plant which has been trained vs one which has not had any training, the one with no training would generally end up taller than the plant which has been trained.

Depending on the criteria of how a plant will be judged, the above could affect the outcome and skew how "fair" the outcome is.

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As far as plant variation. I supplied F4 genetics and regulars at that. 

That alone made it difficult to judge even for myself that knows the line very well.

The next growoff I sponsor, I will be providing feminized S1 seeds. That will level the playing field and give more consistancy to the pheno issue. 

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23 hours ago, Stinger96 said:

Lucky packet of seeds, so there is more variety and genes to show of..?

I think maybe include a lucky packet with the grow off seeds, factored into the entry fee off course. 

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Being active on other websites.

Have a minimum post count of 50 in order to participate, they also had a requirement, where the entrants needed to have completed 1 full grow journal on said websites. They also had different grow battles i.e. Sponsor hold their own grow offs i.e. Mephisto had their own / Female seeds had their own and so forth.

 

But this community is a whole lot smaller, so I would just have a minimum of 50 posts and like others have said a nominal buy-in fee - to show commitment / cover costs of courier etc.

You could hold 2 separate grows  autoflower grow off and photoperiod grow off.

 

Sidenote:

Either way I am buggered didnt get to buy fem seeds in time, so trying some bagseed out, so hope I get a female somewhere along the line I can flower out.

 

Good Luck to All

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Posted (edited)

Have been giving this some thought, how about the prizes go to "best diaries", which the judges can deliberate over scrutinize plants etc, but in saying 420sa is looking for the best diary, gives the incentive for growers to be op it.

BTW well done on the previous competitions guys, thought it was pretty cool regardless, and paving the way for SA CannaCulture 🙏

Edited by Dank
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