If you've ever tried to recruit new members for your Go club, you know that it can be pretty tough. Recruiting can become easier when you understand a little bit about the people you're targeting.
Typically, college Go clubs will see three kinds of people.
- The first kind of person already knows how to play Go. He probably hasn't played Go in person before, and mostly plays online. He's probably quite internet-savvy: where else would he have learned about an obscure game like Go? Maybe from an anime called Hikaru no Go. He'll be pretty excited to hear that there's a local Go club. You'll probably find him in a science/engineering/math/CS department. This person is the easiest kind to pick up; if you make some splashes, he'll come running to you. Just some basic flyers will suffice.
- The second kind of person might have heard about Go, but never taken the time to learn it. He'll walk into your club one day, especially if you hold events advertised as beginner-friendly. Similar to our first archetype, he's internet-savvy and probably is in a technical degree.
Where things get tricky is whether our intrepid beginner comes back for a second meeting. Most of the time, he will come by, play a game, and walk out, never to be seen again. In my experience, the best way to get this person to come back for a second, third, and even fourth time, is to pair him up with another enthusiastic beginning player. If you have any experience cultivating beginners, drop us a note in the comments!
- The third kind of person is the international student from China or Korea who played Go when he was a kid, but quit playing to focus on his studies. He's probably ridiculously good - at least 1 dan in strength, and usually 5 dan. Deep inside, he really likes the game and wishes he could play more, but thinks that his studies are more important. There is one exception, though - he'll come out for a tournament with prizes. He'll also come out to play for your school in an intercollegiate tournament like the Collegiate Go League. It turns out that interschool Go tournaments are quite popular back in Asia, and that our international student would relish the chance to represent their school. You can learn how to run a small tournament here, or you can put out flyers looking for players to compete in the CGL to reel this player in. If you're lucky, he'll be up for your regular club meetings, but don't hold your breath!