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View Poll Results: Which of these best describes Hole 18 at the Utah Open?
A par 2 where 38% of throws are errors, and 1% of throws are hero throws. 6 25.00%
A par 3 where 24% of throws are errors, and 33% of throws are hero throws. 16 66.67%
A par 4 where 16% of throws are hero throws, and 23% are double heroes. 1 4.17%
A par 5 where 37% of throws are hero throws, and 21% are double heroes. 0 0%
A par 6 where 16% of throws are hero throws, and 62% are double heroes. 1 4.17%
Voters: 24. You may not vote on this poll

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  #3861  
Old 07-11-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
So, bottom line, par 2s are OK if the TD sets par to 2, right?
You've sort of turned into a wannabe gotcha machine lately, which I'll take as an admission that you're before/behind-the-comma arguments are just an attempt to ignore the definition of par in pursuit of your agenda.

In answer to your question, the TD gets to set par, and it is par. If he sets par at 2, 2 is par. Whether that's "okay" is a different discussion. Incidentally, I have played a par 2. I thought it was a stupid hole, not because of its par designation, but because it was a 125' button hook shaped hole. On the other hand, it was on an obvious beginner course, so the par designation was a little weird aside from being a 2.

But I'm not the one arguing that par was set "incorrectly" by multiple TD's and then draping myself in the flag of being the only one who knows the true definition of par - that I made up myself.

So keep moving the target if you like. Maybe that makes you feel better. But doesn't change what you've been doing or make your position any more persuasive.
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  #3862  
Old 07-11-2019, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doofenshmirtz View Post
But, I will say this, I would not set par differently for a single division of a tournament than for other divisions, nor would I set par for a specific tier of tournament differently than I would for a different tier tournament or differently than I would set it when designing the course (assuming that I was only able to put in one set of tees).

What is expected of an expert on a hole doesn't change based on who is playing the hole.
It's refreshing to know that at least SOMEONE understands the concept of 'par'.
Unfortunately he is not "in the same position(s)" that some of the other so-called "experts" in the PDGA (or have inside 'connections' with) are.

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  #3863  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:29 PM
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If the expert insiders had the power to persuade the PDGA to require TDs to apply the guidelines, you would occasionally see a few par 2s out there on tour. However, the PDGA's general comment over its history for not applying more pressure on TDs in various areas, where compliance with guidelines is sometimes substandard, is lack of human resources to follow through and also recognizing that most TDs and host clubs are volunteers. Another factor can sometimes be TDs using blue level pars on some courses played by other divisions in addition to MPO to reduce confusion from assigning pars different from what's on the permanent tee signs.

With regard to our current definition for par giving our TDs the discretionary power to set par however they see fit, several statistics that use par as a reference are suspect. Was that score really a -18? Was that score really an albatross? Should it be one or two throws to reach the green in regulation? That's not exactly a way to gain credibility for the sport. The five or six years of stats based on par values collected by UDisc and Metrix are suspect when they wouldn't have to be if par were set consistently, and in fact, adjusted even after the event.

So even if you argue (and most of us agree) that the DG definition for par allows TDs the power to set par on their holes, the technology has been there to help TDs establish par in a more consistent way to improve the quality of several statistics actively used by the fans and media within our sport.

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  #3864  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:51 PM
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I have by no means read every post in this thread, so if I rehash something that's already been covered, my apologies. I do not wish to relitigate arguments or talking points, but rather attempt to wrap my head around the totality of the topic.

One caveat: I am not, nor have I ever, been a PDGA member or played in a sanctioned tournament; so, if I misunderstand a PDGA rule/guideline or general tournament practices, infinite apologies for my sincere ignorance.

My general understanding of this thread is as follows:

This thread is mainly concerned about setting par for PDGA sanctioned tournaments, and not casual play. Whether or not the methodology used by TDs in PDGA-sanctioned play by extrapolates to casual play isn't within the scope of this thread.

PDGA rules state:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PDGA Rulebook
Par is the score that an expert disc golfer would be expected to make on a given hole with errorless play under ordinary weather conditions, as determined by the [tournament] Director.
This brings up several questions of definition (which may or may not have been previously nailed down in this thread or otherwise):

1. What constitutes an "expert disc golfer"?
2. What constitutes "errorless play"?
3. What are "ordinary weather conditions"?

Leaving aside the answers to the above questions for a moment, we can see that the PDGA does provide a set of guidelines for establishing par.

Determining Par for Each Tee Color Based on Hole Length and Foliage Density

The above document provides guidelines for establishing par (for each set of tees). It takes into account Hole Length and Foliage Density.

I'm sure there has been much discussion regarding the validity/usefulness of this document; however, it's important to note that the PDGA does provide these guidelines, in writing, within the rules (or, at the very least, a subset/supplement of the rules).

So, the PDGA both tasks TDs with establishing par for PDGA-sanctioned tournaments as well as providing a template for doing exactly that. No TD should ever be confused by the clear and concise template set forth from the PDGA.
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  #3865  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:52 PM
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Now that it's established the PDGA both tasks TDs with determining par AND provides a template for just that purpose, we start getting into some of the more existential par questions.

First, this brings us back to our definitions of "expert disc golfer," "errorless play," and "ordinary weather conditions."

Secondly, this calls into question the validity/usefulness/practicality of the currently provided template for establishing par as set forth within the PDGA rules.

Thirdly, we need to ask if other methodologies for determining par exist that would better serve TDs in their task, from a standpoint of validity/usefulness/practicality.

Fourthly, philosophical discussion regarding the aesthetic value (for lack of a better way of thinking of it) of par for any given hole. i.e., whether or not Par 2's (or Par 6's, et al.) are legitimate for tournament play.
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  #3866  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:53 PM
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Questions of definition:

Expert disc golfer: as I understand it, this is typically taken to be a 1000-rated player, correct?

Errorless play: this is where things get odd and tricky, in my opinion. First, what is an "error"? Does it consider an "error" a throw that hits an obstacle? A missed putt? How about a poor shot placement-wise, that doesn't give a reasonably
open look for the next shot? Is that an error? This is, again in my opinion, where the PDGA rule for establishing par could benefit greatly from a reworking.

Ordinary weather conditions: It would probably be useful to have a good definition for this as well. My main question concerns whether (no pun intended) or not "ordinary weather conditions" refer to ordinary conditions ON THAT COURSE SPECIFICALLY, or is there one generic, across-the-board "ordinary condition," such as sunny, 70-degrees, with no wind, and a certain choice degree of humidity? In other words, is this a course-specific "ordinary weather conditions" or is there a general weather condition considered "ordinary" across all courses? I'm assuming it's course-specific, but I'm not certain of how this is interpreted and implemented in practice.
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  #3867  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:53 PM
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Now that we've at least addressed issues of definition, without perhaps reaching an agreement, we should look at whether or not the PDGA's provided template for establishing par is valid/useful/practical. Validity hinges on philosophical and statistical arguments, mostly. More on par validity later. Usefulness refers to how useful the guidelines are for TDs. Practicality refers to how effective and suitable the TDs find the guidelines.

The usefulness of the guidelines seems to be explicit. Tasked with assigning par, TDs surely find a PDGA-provided document clearly and concisely outlining procedures for determining par very useful.

Practicality of the guidelines hinges on whether or not TDs find them to be effective and suitable for implementation. I'm not a TD, so I can't speak to this point, but I'd assume most TDs do find the guidelines effective and generally suitable.

Last edited by Jukeshoe; 07-11-2019 at 12:57 PM.
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  #3868  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:54 PM
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The discussion of the merits of one methodology of determining par over the others is largely statistical, but also takes into account validity/usefulness/practicality. If one method gets us statistically closer to "par," but is a pain for TDs to use or
implement, then there needs to be a superlatively good reason behind arguing that method's case in any future changes to a PDGA-provided par determination template.

Many methodologies exist, some of which Steve West outlines here.

I understand the arguments for and against certain methodologies to be another major sticking point in this thread.
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  #3869  
Old 07-11-2019, 12:55 PM
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Finally, we can approach (perhaps) the crux of the issue: philosophical debate regarding the validity of the guidelines for setting par. A large portion of this debate, as I see it, hinges upon what I think of as the "aesthetic value" of par.

People taking the position that Par 2's or Par 6's are abominations of nature, or that par doesn't jive with our ball golf cousin's "feel", or needs to conform to certain expectations from potential sponsors/spectators/people-not-of-disc-golf-k-nowledge,
are all arguing aesthetics.

Aesthetics are probably separate from, but parallel to, validity.

A valid methodology of establishing par should check the following boxes:

- Statistically sound. Do the statistics from tournament play back up the assigned par? If statistics from play do NOT support the assigned par, then the methodology is probably not valid. Important debate points would include: how far off should the statistical data be before a methodology is considered invalid, etc.

- Useful and practical. Do TDs find the methodology useful and practical? TDs should find the provided methodology simple, quick, and easy, and be confident in putting it to use and explaining it to players.

A sliding scale for grading validity of various methodologies would take into account degrees of difference between the methods in the realms of statistical data v. assigned par, useful v. not useful, and practical v. not practical.

Determining the various aesthetic values of the different methodologies for assigning par will vary greatly based on individuals’ ideas of what “feels” right or “translates well to the public” or any number of other non-statistically based considerations; however, the aesthetic value of any given method should be directly proportional to how well it meshes with its statistical validity, usefulness, and practicality.
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  #3870  
Old 07-11-2019, 01:10 PM
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A large question I'm left with after cogitating on this a bit is:

When statistical data does not back up assigned par, is it an issue with the methodology of determining par or an issue with substandard/poor hole design?
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