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Old 08-07-2018, 02:21 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Seems to me the biggest problem with the notion that there are "too many divisions" is rooted in the misconception that all divisions must be available at all events. Sure, when there are 20 different divisions to choose from at a single course, single day/weekend event, it seems like a lot. The solution, as others have alluded to, is limiting what's offered at a given event, not eliminating or consolidating divisions.

The future of the game, if it continues to grow as it has, is going to include fewer multi-division tournaments and more single division tournaments. Instead of one tournament offering MPO, FPO, MP40, MA1, MA2, MA3, FA1, FA2, FA3, MA40, etc, we're going to see more tournaments where the entire field is MPO or FPO or MA1 or FA2. That'll solve a lot of the perceived ills and probably a lot of the "sandbagging" BS that gets thrown around at people. Can't really play the "he would have finished in X place in MA1 if he'd played there" game if the tournament only has MA2 as an option.

The start of that is already showing in some areas with split field tournaments (tournaments in Krupicka's area, for example)...two day events that offer certain divisions on one day and other divisions on another. They allow for larger fields in each division than cramming them into one day/weekend does. Eventually, those events probably have to be split again, then split again, until eventually it is one or two divisions per event because there are enough players for each division to fill a course for the day.
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  #52  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:21 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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As to the article itself, I'm not sure it spells out the problem very well, or much of a problem:

"For myself and others, the PDGA guidelines fail to adequately define who can and should play in a given division and often leaves some divisions full of competitors and others nearly, if not completely, empty. Playing against a mere handful (or fewer) competitors over the course of a season removes the competitive aspect of tournament play. As an athlete, I’ve always been drawn to large, competitive, efficiently-run events in a variety of sports. Realigning and simplifying the amateur divisions would greatly improve the tournament experience for players and tournament directors and yield larger fields."

I think the PDGA guidelines define divisions, and where people can play, very well. The divisions have ratings caps or minimum ages that are pretty clear.

The problem of divisions being nearly or completely empty isn't solved by eliminating them (by making fewer divisions), thus making them permanently empty.

It's also dubious that the larger divisions would "improve the tournament experience for players", since the players we're talking about usually choose those small divisions, even when they have a choice, under the current guidelines, to move into a larger division.

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  #53  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:34 PM
biscoe biscoe is offline
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Originally Posted by JC17393 View Post
Seems to me the biggest problem with the notion that there are "too many divisions" is rooted in the misconception that all divisions must be available at all events. Sure, when there are 20 different divisions to choose from at a single course, single day/weekend event, it seems like a lot. The solution, as others have alluded to, is limiting what's offered at a given event, not eliminating or consolidating divisions.

The future of the game, if it continues to grow as it has, is going to include fewer multi-division tournaments and more single division tournaments. Instead of one tournament offering MPO, FPO, MP40, MA1, MA2, MA3, FA1, FA2, FA3, MA40, etc, we're going to see more tournaments where the entire field is MPO or FPO or MA1 or FA2. That'll solve a lot of the perceived ills and probably a lot of the "sandbagging" BS that gets thrown around at people. Can't really play the "he would have finished in X place in MA1 if he'd played there" game if the tournament only has MA2 as an option.

The start of that is already showing in some areas with split field tournaments (tournaments in Krupicka's area, for example)...two day events that offer certain divisions on one day and other divisions on another. They allow for larger fields in each division than cramming them into one day/weekend does. Eventually, those events probably have to be split again, then split again, until eventually it is one or two divisions per event because there are enough players for each division to fill a course for the day.
yep- our local season opening b tier has gone from one day to now 3 over the years as demand has increased.
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  #54  
Old 08-07-2018, 02:57 PM
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tdschrock1 tdschrock1 is offline
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TD's can remove divisions currently, but as it stands some players may see their division missing and mistakenly assume the event isn't for them. The idea presented is a re-imagining of the current Amateur side of the PDGA.

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Originally Posted by JC17393 View Post
Seems to me the biggest problem with the notion that there are "too many divisions" is rooted in the misconception that all divisions must be available at all events. Sure, when there are 20 different divisions to choose from at a single course, single day/weekend event, it seems like a lot. The solution, as others have alluded to, is limiting what's offered at a given event, not eliminating or consolidating divisions.
The issue arises frequently - even if just Novice, Rec, Intermediate, Advanced and age protected divisions are offered. Many players move between these divisions freely (playing over their head) into divisions that offer the most players and potential payout. Some players are unable or unwilling to move divisions.

I simply don't see the need for so many divisions for amateurs. Instead, make larger fields build the competition instead of personalizing for small groups to crown a winner of an arcane Am division.

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Originally Posted by DavidSauls View Post
As to the article itself, I'm not sure it spells out the problem very well, or much of a problem.

I think the PDGA guidelines define divisions, and where people can play, very well. The divisions have ratings caps or minimum ages that are pretty clear.

The problem of divisions being nearly or completely empty isn't solved by eliminating them (by making fewer divisions), thus making them permanently empty.

It's also dubious that the larger divisions would "improve the tournament experience for players", since the players we're talking about usually choose those small divisions, even when they have a choice, under the current guidelines, to move into a larger division.
Simpy put - simplifying the divisions breakdown would take the guessing (and gaming) out of Amateurs selecting a division. Make larger groups instead of subdividing players.

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Originally Posted by biscoe View Post
yep- our local season opening b tier has gone from one day to now 3 over the years as demand has increased.
That's awesome! Is there a reason that, eventually, the split could just be one weekend of open, one weekend of Competitive Ams and one weekend of Casual Ams?
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:03 PM
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lyleoross lyleoross is offline
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Originally Posted by tdschrock1 View Post
Hey all, I'm the author of this article. It's been very interesting to see comments about this topic posted (and looking very different) across Facebook, Reddit, the article itself and this site.

To address a few things:

I have TDed events (around 10) and helped many new players get into tournament play. I frequently have to explain to players the differences between divisions and help them decide where to compete. My idea is one that could use some fine tuning, but I think it is a much better course of action than either attempting to redefine the current divisional structure, or further dividing amateur divisions: its a convoluted mess for many players in many regions.

There would be some folks who sit just above a cutoff that would be forced to face players above there rating. This is indeed true, but it is unlikely that a division would be filled up completely with other players solely from the top of that ratings breakdown - in all likelihood, there would be a distribution of player, many of whom might not play up to their rating on a given day.

The general hope of the article is that simplicity could yield better fields and competition in Amateur play.

Again, thanks to everyone who read the article, whether you agree or not!
Um, the only problem I have with the divisions is remembering the division code. That's cause I'm an old fart, i.e. lazy. It really isn't that hard to envision, easy to hard, age limits, male vs female. Yes, it takes a little bit of time, gee, at least twenty minutes or so, to figure it out. Okay, I exaggerated, ten minutes or so. If a player can't figure this out, a) they're gonna have real problems with the rules per say, and b) God help us if they're driving a car.

I understand the notion that the first time you play a tournament that knowing where to play is going to be tough. Let me make it easy. Play recreational, get a rating, go look at the ratings table to see where you should play. Whew, I need a nap after all that work.

I will stick with the notion that this is guys wanting more glory for playing than they should. "I'm playing my first tournament, I know I'm really, really good, after all, I shoot ten down from the shorts at my local course, if I spot myself fifteen strokes, should I play advanced or pro?"

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Old 08-07-2018, 03:04 PM
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DavidSauls DavidSauls is offline
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Originally Posted by tdschrock1 View Post
Simpy put - simplifying the divisions breakdown would take the guessing (and gaming) out of Amateurs selecting a division. Make larger groups instead of subdividing players.
As I said in an earlier post, I've been around long enough to have played when there were, for all practical purposes, only 2 amateur divisions, with large groups. Even older players remember when there was only 1.....or none.

I liked the large groups.

But it wasn't necessarily better, as evidenced by the fact that players aren't being divided into small groups, they're being offered and dividing themselves.
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  #57  
Old 08-07-2018, 03:19 PM
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krupicka krupicka is offline
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Originally Posted by tdschrock1 View Post

I simply don't see the need for so many divisions for amateurs. Instead, make larger fields build the competition instead of personalizing for small groups to crown a winner of an arcane Am division.
How big of a field are you aiming for? We already get 50 in our MA3 division alone.
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  #58  
Old 08-07-2018, 03:32 PM
ToddL ToddL is offline
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3. Why is there a policy and am can't play open and get script!?! Doing this forces players who want to play open in to advanced. You could have a player want 1 last chance at Am WORLDS or a kid who can't jeopardize his amateur status for college sports on disc golf
I thought it was pretty disingenuous of the author to just throw this into his article without properly describing the caveats. Phrasing it the way he did is absolutely misleading and sets up a strawman as one of the bases for his proposal.

The PDGA banned Ams taking merch while playing as Pros for Majors, NTs, and A-Tiers only. I don't agree with their decision here, but it's a far cry from how the author phrased it: "Essentially removing any payout to amateurs earning prizes in Open"
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Old 08-07-2018, 03:34 PM
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sidewinder22 sidewinder22 is offline
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TD's can remove divisions currently, but as it stands some players may see their division missing and mistakenly assume the event isn't for them. The idea presented is a re-imagining of the current Amateur side of the PDGA.
Maybe the event isn't for them. Some courses aren't meant for 600 rated players.

Maybe some day we will have the ADGA and the LPDGA.

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  #60  
Old 08-07-2018, 03:34 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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The bigger problem in terms of number of divisions is in Master age and older. And there are some who want Intermediate divisions within each of them.
There is just a weird thing when you are 39 playing INT. The you hit masters age at 40, which would get you out of the INT division where you end up being bad cop if you expect people to know the rules a lot of the time. To do that, you have to "move up" to an "ADV" division. People kinda balk at being forced to "move up", especially if you are a 40 year-old AM disc golfer who resisted moving from INT to ADV for 15-20 years. They want to slide up to masters without needing to move up to advanced.

Once they relax and play advanced masters, the issue goes away for a lot of people. Advanced masters ≠ advanced. If you could compete in intermediate, you can compete in advanced masters. If you couldn't compete in intermediate and expected the age protection to suddenly cash you in, eh...maybe you should practice or something.

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