USPML Update: General News Summary

Hello. It’s Charlyn. Sorry you haven’t heard from me here in a while. We’re still active, it’s just me who’s been quiet, so I’ll give you a short update about what we’ve been doing.
Teaching. We’ve been holding Learn-to-Play workshops once a month since May. We advertise on Meetup, Craigslist, via word-of-mouth, and on our website. So far, every workshop has been attended by about 15 students. Sometimes students from previous sessions return and re-take the workshop, in order to review. We’ve been using the teaching method I discussed in previous columns: a four hour class in which students get to play as they learn.

Open Play: Open Play is our regular event, for Riichi Mahjong players of all levels to meet up and play. We’ve been holding these monthly since January, and they attract about 12-15 players each time. It’s always a lot of fun, often exciting, and the games can be casual or quite serious depending on the players’ mood. Occasionally students from the Learn-to-Play workshops come back to play again at Open Play, but not as many, and not as often, as we’d like.

Teaching Method Improvements: Because our retention rate is not as high as we want, and because we’ve observed some limitations in our current teaching method over the past several months, we are planning to change the way we teach mahjong. We are working on a new curriculum that is more accessible, likely organized into more frequent but shorter classes, instead of the monthly four-hour “intensive” that we presently use. This effort is just starting; we are continuing to use the current method until we develop an improved one.

Official Rules: USPML Official Rules are in the last stages of review. This process has been slower than expected but we are (really) almost done. Expect a release soon. Once the rules are released, we will move forward to organizing competitive events.

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