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About the TGA

2024:  Train Gamers Association Major Tournament Structure  

The TGA is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization overseen by a Board of Directors.  The Board has established an independent Tournament Management Committee, consisting of two Senior Directors and a Regional Director, which has full authority and responsibility for managing all aspects of TGA tournaments.  We run three major tournaments each year (Origins, Gen Con, and Railcon), and sanction various Regional tournaments and other events. 


These Senior Directors work closely together to manage convention and sponsor relations, convention volunteer activities, and all aspects of the TGA’s major tournament preparation and on-site operations.

Trella Bromley  is the Senior Director of Tournament Operations.  This position has primary responsibility for the operational side of working with Origins and Gen Con, creating playing schedules, and coordinating on-site operations.

Jeff Jackson is the Senior Director of Tournament Systems.  This position has primary responsibility for the rules and systems by which tournaments and games are organized and played, and for developing and implementing the structures and processes under which TGA convention volunteers operate.


Each tournament has a Head Conductor, appointed annually and overseen by the Senior Directors.  Head Conductors have autonomy as to logistics and management of their conventions, within guidelines established by the Tournament Systems and Rules Committees. 

REGIONAL TOURNAMENTS (all other conventions beyond Origins, Gen Con, and Railcon):

Phil Cottrell, our Regional Tournament Director, is in charge of sanctioning conventions that wish to run an official Puffing Billy Tournament or other TGA-affiliated events.  He has information about becoming a conductor, getting started, and sanctioning a PBT, modified PBT, or other TGA affiliated train game tournament.  If you represent a local convention that might be interested in running a TGA-sanctioned event, please talk to Phil, or ask one of our Volunteers how to get in touch with him.


Phil Cottrell is also our TGA Results Coordinator.  Phil has complied our major tournament results over the past 10 years, and is developing a new approach for tracking results and PB points over the years.  Check out the initial report that is posted on the wall.  Ideas welcome!


Trella Bromley and Jeff Jackson manage TGA Sponsor Relations.  Please contact one of us if you are interested in sponsoring a tournament at our major conventions, or supporting the TGA in other ways.


In addition to the tournament side of things, the TGA corporation has an administrative side to keep things running smoothly and to ensure we comply with our articles of incorporation. This is headed up by the President of the TGA, Melissa Mendick. She is in charge of overseeing and managing all day-to-day operations of the TGA; essentially everything that is not part of managing the tournaments.

She is supported by Officers that are elected annually.  Voting Members are TGA members who have been recognized by the Board for their sustained contributions to the TGA, and who provide input on various issues as requested by the organization.


President:  Melissa Mendick

Vice-President:  Justin Moul

Secretary:  Ken Bachman

Treasurer:  Brian Tipper  



Ken Bachman, Dave Beery, David Belew, Phil Cottrell, Jeff Jackson, Melissa Mendick, Michael Mendick, Justin Moul, Brian Tipper

VOTING MEMBERS:             

Deborah Anderson, Kenneth Bachman, Amy Beery, David Beery, David Belew, Paul Bonday, Alan Borowski, Janet Bromley, Trella Bromley*, Beth Bromson, Jack Burnham, John Butler, Anthony Carver*, Sue Charnley, Chip Charnley, Robin Cottrell, Phillip Cottrell, Jonathan DeSimone, Rick Dutton, Debbie Gutermuth, Ken Gutermuth*, Jef Halberstadt, Megan Harper, Tricia Hermon, Edward Hewlett*, Charles Hooks, Brian Humphreys, Jeff Jackson, Michael Jacobs, Kevin Jaekley, Roger Jarrett, Amanda Lacy, Lynne Lewellen, Mark Liberman, Catherine Lizama, Jen McConnell, Devin McCullen, Anthony Medici, Michael Mendick, Melissa Mendick, Chris Meyer*, David Mitton, Lori Moo, Justin Moul, Heather Munn, Todd Nixon, Bart Pisarik*, Jason Plumley, John Puddifoot*, Robert Rich, Bob Roby, Charles Rucker, Richard Sheaves-Bein, Grace Simrall, William Spear, Allen Stiles*, Paul Stoffels, Dave Thornburg, Jessica Tipper, Brian Tipper, Eric Verheiden, Patricia Wolf, Andrea Wynn


*Past Board Member

If you have questions about the organization, please ask any of the Voting or Board Members.

An Abridged History of the TGA

In 1989, a small but fanatical group of train gamers in Denver, CO, created a competition to determine the best train gamer in their group, which became the first Puffing Billy® Tournament. They presented their rules to the Denver Gamers Association who agreed to host a PBT at a local gaming convention. That same year, Dean Washburn took the PBT to Origins in L.A. where it drew the attention of Darwin Bromley from Mayfair Games, Inc., an avid train gamer and designer. Darwin immediately saw the potential for the PBT and agreed to support the formation of a club which became the nonprofit organization known as the Train Gamers Association (TGA).  The TGA acquired  all rights to the PBT from the original committee, and began offering the tournaments around the country.

The TGA was initally supported heavily by Mayfair, but we have always had a policy of running all train games which our members want to play, regardless of manufacturer.  We are proud to have sponsor agreements with Rio Grande Games, Darwin's Toys, Days of Wonder, Catan Studio, Z-Man Games, Plan B Games, R&R Games, LudiCreations,  APE Games, and Nexus Game Fair.

The Train Gamers Association (TGA) facilitates and promotes the play of train games.

We sanction and run Puffing Billy™  Tournaments at conventions throughout the year.

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