Hurling clubs in the U.S. are notoriously underfunded. They beg their players for dues to cover field costs, insurance fees, advertising and equipment replenishment, so it’s no wonder that the clubs are constantly scrounging for cash.
For the most part, fundraising comes in the form of pub crawls, pub sponsors and direct solicitation. A while ago, I suggested creating an annual Poc Fada (essentially a hurling-inspired game of golf) as another revenue generator.
Well, here’s another idea: The Crossbar Challenge
This fundraiser (which I stole from the GAA, which, I believe, was stole from the soccer world) tests a hurler’s skill to the extreme. Essentially, contestants get a set number of hits from a set distance from the goal. The object is to bounce the ball off the crossbar with one of those hits.
Your team’s skill level is what determines the number of shots they can take and the distance. For most American players, I would recommend 10 shots from 10 yards (or even less) out.
Of course, this is a really tough test of one’s hurling skills. You’re asking people to hit a very thin target with a fairly small ball.
Since there’s a chance that no one will hit it, I would suggest a tie-breaker: Turn the players around and have the players make one hit. Whoever hits the longest ball (first bounce only) is the winner of 50 percent of the prize amount, the second longest gets 30 percent and third gets 20 percent.
Here’s a look at some Irish players taking the challenge. http://youtu.be/EjtOUns4sXY
WHEN: The best time to have this fundraiser is when your club is hosting a tournament, so you can get oodles of players from multiple teams.
Typically, you’ll want the Crossbar Challenge to take place after all the games are done for the day. You don’t want to tire out the players before their big game.
PRIZES: While I’m not sure of any real prizes for a Crossbar Challenge, here’s how I would do it:
Collect $10 (or whatever amount you deem appropriate) from all the players.
Seventy percent of the collection goes to the hosting club. Thirty percent of the entry fee goes into the prize pool.
Every time a player hits the crossbar, he earns one share of the prize. When all the contestants have played, divide the pool up into the number of shares created and dole out those shares.
The reason you should give out shares (versus a first, second and third prize) is because anyone who hits the crossbar should be honored, even if for just a couple of bucks. Why? Because hitting the crossbar at all is a major accomplishment!
STAFF: The fundraisers will need a few staff members. Essentially you need a treasurer, a record-keeper and two judges.
- Treasurer: This person is responsible for collecting all the money and distributing the prize money at the end of the competition.
- Record-Keeper: This person collects all the names of contestants and records hits as determined by the judges.
- Judges: Two judges are stationed at both sides of the goal. They watch to see if the ball hits the crossbar and signal to the record-keeper.
Clubs might also consider adding:
- Emcee: This person hooks up a PA system, introduces every player, jokes around with them a bit, tries to get the crowd into the event and encourages additional signups.
BIG BUCKS: To create an even bigger fundraising bang for your buck. Announce the Crossbar Challenge a few weeks before a tournament and urge interested players to find their own sponsors and raise the entry fee to $50 or $100.
The point here is that the contestants should ask their workplace, employees or family to sponsor them.
To further sweeten the prize-pot, try to get a few local stores to add to the winnings in the form of gift certificates and sports supplies. The hosting club should also offer a club jersey too.Read More