Club limitations

The limit on clubs has the potential to lessen my Zwift usage and satisfaction. I ride with about 5 different groups on Zwift, and now I have to choose only 3 of them? Ridiculous…

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Gordon, I know you’ve got a gripe with a specific bigger club because of history, but why are you constantly on limiting team size? Rhino is now one of the big teams on ZwiftPower, and we’ve had the discussion before that all limiting team size will do is push out D (and lower C) riders and make it hard for them to find teams - teams aren’t going to kick out their best ranked riders to make numbers.

My only gripe as you know why I left was the club was trying to control how and who I could race with. That’s long past now and I have no issues with such club or their racers . Sure I find it disappointing that they still don’t engage with the race community and rarely get involved with other clubs events but that does appear to be starting to change which I think is a massive positive for racing in general and the riders being able to compete in the best events organisers have to offer.

As for the limit that’s purely down to producing a more competitive racing scene. it’s great having team mates in a race but when a team dominates the league/race I don’t think it’s the best solution for a fair and balanced racing environment. First for competitive reasons and second similar to point above big teams tend to only promote their own events.

You are right for the huge clubs that might mean some d/c riders could get squeezed out which in the short term is disappointing but there are plenty clubs out there looking for members. I know all to well how hard it is to recruit D riders. Maybe category enforcement might get a few more of them racing.

I fully agree the 100 limit is too restrictive but would not want to see an unlimited club for racing.

Could be right could be wrong it’s just a opinion but I think racing would be better with more teams.

Hi @Skibby_Skibbalicious, welcome to the forums!

Unless you are also going to be the owner or moderator of all 5 clubs, I’m not sure how this really impacts your experience. Club events can be configured to allow anyone to join via a link to the event sign up. If all 5 clubs make their events open to everyone, then you can join all their rides regardless of being in the club.

There is very little advantage to being a “member” of a club at this point. Once they get the notifications pushed out that will be one advantage, knowing when events are created or chat is used. Other than that, what are you missing?

To be fully transparent with everyone, I agree that 100 limit and belonging to 3 clubs is overly restrictive. I have been working through all the feedback and coming up with a plan to really solve this problem. Generally, it’s just shy of 1 month of clubs being out and there is a lot that I have learned.

Before I share where I currently am, I want to give a BIG disclaimer that this is my current perspective and most likely will change. I am working on a plan that addresses the shorter term needs in the next 6-12 months but also thinking about what clubs can look like in 2-5 years. I only mention this because I want to get your thoughts on what I am thinking to really help me shape what it should look like.

My Dilemma

Taking a look at how team racing has evolved on Zwift and also how IRL racing is done, competition won’t really be something all clubs will be interested nor will they be 100’s in size and most likely be a smaller squads of <15/20 riders. Also, building a cooperative / leveling / mission mode will be difficult as well to build 1000+ people clubs and also smaller clubs.

The needs between being goal based (whether that is cooperative play or competition) are vastly different from the way clubs are currently being used as more of an event creation and group organization / social tool.

What is the solution?

Truth is, I don’t have a solution. I am thinking think these will end up as two different types of groups:

  • Social Clubs focusing on enabling the community to imagine, create and ride with each other. Also enabling club owners and members to decide how big or how many they want to join.
  • Competitive or cooperative teams will be very small and restrictive but goal oriented and highly focused on a specific outcome.
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Thanks for the update I like the sound of competitive clubs if the Intention is to integrate with racing and zp would be ideal.

Although maybe need a third type social, racing and competitive.

Where competitive as you suggest is goal driven could be a lot of fun with smaller teams, leader boards on things like distance etc could even make for some competition for all clubs and within a club no matter what size of group they are.

Then racing >100 but not 1000s to be purely used for those that race with further integration with zp for team assignment and race jersey allocation etc.

Good update, thanks.

Do you see these 2 club types as entirely distinct or are they in a hierarchy with each other? As I see it on Zwift and IRL, the smaller highly competitive teams are often (though not always) a sub set of the wider social club.

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I wonder if there’s value in having a parent club and then child clubs - useful for things like ZRL given improvements in the chat features.

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I think this is one of the possibly fair reasons for some sort of club (or rather, team) limits. Something that precludes mega-teams from Hoovering up all the (best) riders, and helps to support a broader range of club competition.

Some clubs are just huge, and it’s a bit bonkers. For example, when I rode for DIRT in the ZRL last year, we had tens of teams IIRC (it might even have been more than 50. It was a lot anyway). Looking at APAC in the ZRL currently, AHDR have three teams in the C1 division, and another three in C2.

On one hand I think it’s unreasonable to impose external limits on how large a club can grow, but on the other the huge clubs can somewhat suck the oxygen out of the smaller clubs, potentially making it harder for them to attract riders and compete, while also making it easier for the mega-clubs to assemble competitive teams as they have such a huge pool of riders.

(Maybe this is also something that might be left to series organisers; e.g. ZRL could create a rule saying that a single club can’t enter more than one or two teams into a division, or something. Potential issues with promotion or relegation notwithstanding.)

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This could potentially be done by some sort of diminishing returns. If a club has 50 riders, 1km might equal 20 club XP; if it has 500, 1km might contribute a mere 2 club XP.

I’m not sure any series organiser would take the step of restricting who can enter but as you say the sucking the oxygen out of smaller clubs is the issue.

more often that not we see that in zrl it’s the smaller clubs are the ones struggling to get a full team out. Big club naturally pick up a lot of racers without really trying due to the number of public/social events they have while others just spam social media channels to grow as quickly as possible.

The idea of child clubs is an interesting idea and could be a compromise between still giving riders their identify within a club but for competitive reasons they race with the child club and i would restrict races club to maybe 2 or 3.

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Thanks for the update!

Your thinking is what I ended up with, too (for what that’s worth). Teams for… well, team stuff, and Clubs for Club stuff. It’d be great if Teams could directly belong to Clubs — it would be both convenient for roster, chat etc., and make things like team selection for a league easier if you wanted to avoid having multiple Teams from the same Club in the same one.

It would also potentially reduce the need to increase the max Team roster size much beyond what’s reasonable for one Team event (like ZRL caps it at 12 riders). Inactive/prospective members could still be easily in touch via the Club side of things.

Hi @Eddy_Lee. Whilst I am taking a break from the racing side of Zwift, the clubs functionality and development is still really important for me and our Socks4Watts club.

I understand your conundrum regarding Teams versus Clubs, but I would ask you not to try and get too muddled up. Fundamentally the needs are really the same, even if some aspects of the functionality may be used more or less by one user group. The truth is, there’s too many combinations of clubs that act like teams and vice versa to be able to nail down two distinct subsets of users, and you would end up with teams that wish they had club functionality and clubs that wish they had teams functionality.

On to the current limitations - there are two restricting factors - club size, and the number of clubs, but they work in tandem. One limits the other. This is my opinion, but I believe the following limits would cover the majority of use cases.

Number of clubs you can enter - 5. Beyond this, it makes sense that a user has to prioritise the clubs they find most valuable.

Club members - either 500, or unlimited. I feel like 500 covers the majority of use cases, but I can imagine that the membership admin for, say, Zwift Insider or GPLama, would become quite cumbersome.

With the limit of only 5 total clubs, does it really matter if a specific club becomes really large? If each rider can only select from 5, it must be a valuable club, and this still stays away from the Strava clubs dilution example. The argument that large clubs hoover up riders I don’t really understand. The experience as a racer is very different in a huge club than as part of a more intimate one. All it would mean is that the large clubs find the system painful to use whereas the small ones don’t. It seems like a bit of a weird punishment.

If any clubs feel like the limit is causing them issues (we hit the cap quite quickly and are only a small club, so there’s already a real burden of member admin even before push notifications) they will just use something else instead. I struggle to see what the member cap achieves, that the total number of joined clubs does not achieve already.

Keep it simple. Looking forward to the new developments!

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That’s why they work best as exactly that: subsets. Every Team must belong to a Club (a 5-person Team is effectively its own Club) and a Club may have any number of Teams.

I don’t really see a need for any limitations other than team size for racing. Why should a distinction be made between a 490-member Club and a 505-member Club?

Agreed.

What benefit do you get from sub-teams? Private comms? I think it would be difficult for zwift to become the chosen comms platform when it will never get near discord or Facebook for comms functionality. We also have riders switching between teams all the time.

I agree with you, I was only thinking of limitations to clubs for that exact reason of team size for racing. Social clubs no limit. Doing so would naturally give a better spread of racers across events and make for more competitive racing.

I don’t know if it’s feasible to do much in terms of comms. Maybe some simple enhancements like having a separate in-gme channel per Team in addition/instead of per Club.

The main benefit would be distinguishing multiple Teams of the same Club in a race.

I agree with the issue of invite limits but it seem to be reasonable, inviting 3 to build a clubs community.

Hi Eddy

I think we belong in the the competitive or cooperative teams space, but I am not sure. We are a club in Denmark, which have been riding a league with approx. 4-800 people through 6 months on bkool, with 30-50 teams. We also have approx. 3.500 members that uses Zwift, so we would like to do something similar on Zwift.

Do you think it will be possible to create Teams in a club?

My current solution would be to create a Series of events in Zwiftpower and create a league from that. Would that be the right way to go, you think?

Regards, Kenneth

Hi, the link doesn’t cover what you plan, but maybe help with one or two aspect: