They say necessity is the mother of all invention. Well, they’re pretty smart.
It started with an email I received in February 2010, shortly after I launched this website under its current moniker. A reader in Minnesota asked if I knew of any pond hockey tournaments in their area. A quick search found several events, but to my surprise, I couldn’t find a comprehensive tournament directory. So we created one.
18 months later, we’ve had more than 20,000 pond hockey fans visit our tournament listing, which now boasts over 100 events throughout the US and Canada. This past spring, as the ponds and lakes began to thaw, we tossed around some ideas as to how we might make the tournament listing better. The result is the 2012 Pond Hockey Tournament Listing, which went live a few weeks ago.
Here are some of the highlights:
Last year we had a single page with the 100+ tournaments listed out in chronological order. We haven’t done away with that page, but we have created 14 regional pages to help you find events in your area. Don’t feel like churning through 100 tournaments, most of which take place hundreds of miles away? Click over to the region near you and only see those events within driving distance.
Last year’s list was also 100% text. This year we’ve spent some time building a comprehensive and dynamic Google map that uses our site logo to indicate each tournament taking place this year. On each tournament listing page, you’ll be presented with a map that shows the events in that region. You can drag and zoom within the map to your heart’s content. If you click on a stick icon, most of the time you’ll see the tournament name, which you can then look up in the listing for additional information.
We’ve also offered a series of listing enhancements for the tournament directors who would like to differentiate their event from the rest in our listing. You’ll recognize these events as their map icon is different from the others, and their tournament listings have been bolded and contain links to Facebook and Twitter pages. You’ll also hear us mention them in posts, as well as through our social networking channels.
Lastly, we’re making a concerted effort to notify you when we update the listing. Each change won’t warrant a blog post, so the best way to stay up to date is to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We’ll tweet or post whenever we add an event or update a tournament date.
We put many, many hours into the creation of our tournament listing, and the frequent updates will continue well into the winter. But we are passionate about the outdoor game, and dedicated to helping our readers find events in their area that will spread this passion into the next generation.
Have an idea that will make our pond hockey listing better? Let us know in the comments!