#51  
Old 06-12-2019, 06:32 PM
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lyleoross lyleoross is offline
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I find it hard to relate to the notion that the value added by the TD and volunteers is $0. I'm not saying that folks aren't doing that, just that I don't relate to it. If you've ever run an event once, then you know how much work is involved. I've heard some language about mandatory volunteer service to the country out of politicians. Don't know if I agree, but I definitely can see a benefit. I would agree with the sentiment that this isn't disc golf, I feel it is a cultural problem if anything.

Taking things for granted. Interesting enough, I don't really see a millennial divide here. I've coached soccer in a lot of different situations, and it isn't a generational thing. As an aside, every generation that has ever existed has looked at those that followed and went, OMG, we're all gonna die. There are many things about the millennials that I admire.

Back on target, I see a subset of kids that take things for granted. There are certain things they have in common. The biggest one is money. As in, their parents have too much money and not enough common sense. One other commonality is the "honey, you're better than those other kids," phenomena. I don't know whether it is an attempt to build self-confidence, but telling your kid that they're better than the other folks they interact with is a disaster. It builds narcissism, and as pointed out here, a notion that other folk's efforts have no value. It also gives those kids a huge disregard for their own property, other folks things and public property. That phenomenon isn't necessarily a rich person thing, but I see a lot more of it there than I do elsewhere.

An example. When I coach in poor neighborhoods, when a kid acts out, I usually don't get a chance to say dooky. A parent is calling his or her kid over and sayin' "you disrespect the coach again and I'm gonna wallop you." In rich neighborhoods, I more typically hear, "did that person upset you baby?" This may sound like a joke, I assure you, it isn't. And no, it's not universal, but the correlation is pretty high.

Funny enough, this topic came up at my kid's dentist office yesterday. My kid came into the office, and he had some food in his hand and there was a no food sign. I looked at him and said, "can you read?" and pointed to the sign. He grinned sheepishly and went back outside. The staff looked at me and said, "you can't believe how often the parent tells us it's none of our business when we say, 'no food inside.'" And yes, my kid's dentist is in a neighborhood where the houses start at $1,000,000 and go up.

So, I understand the phenomenon, what I don't understand is why it would exist at a high level in our sport? We aren't rich folks playin' a rich man's game. As I said, there is no absolute, and some of the stuff I've seen makes me nuts, like pushing a cameraman etc. But I still wouldn't call it generational, maybe a problem of youth?
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  #52  
Old 06-12-2019, 06:50 PM
Steve West Steve West is offline
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
I find it hard to relate to the notion that the value added by the TD and volunteers is $0. ...
I don't think anyone is saying the value added by the TD and their staff is zero. I think everyone is protesting that PDGA doesn't allow a cash payment from the players to a TD's team for providing that very valuable and essential service.

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  #53  
Old 06-12-2019, 06:59 PM
johnrhouck johnrhouck is offline
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Originally Posted by Three Putt View Post
My understanding always was that John Houck was a huge influence on the what became the usual payout structure of PDGA events, but that's "somebody told me that somebody said that they heard from somebody" quality information. He was a big disc golf promoter at the time and became the PDGA Commissioner by the mid 90's, so I would think he would have an interesting take on it anyway.
I don't know that I really had much influence in this area. Philosophically, I have a pretty long and clear record on a tricky and sometimes divisive issue.

First, there were no amateurs when I started playing disc golf. My first disc golf tournament, which was an overall event, was the 1978 Western New York Open in Buffalo. There were no pros and ams: we were all just Frisbee players.

Whenever a division gets so big that some players are almost always on top and others are almost always on bottom, we have tended to break that division up. Just look at the new 45-, 55-, and 65-year-old divisions. (I'm not advocating; just mentioning). So when the first "breakup" happened, which I really don't remember, it obviously made sense to call the top players pros and everyone else ams. "Amateur" eventually broke into Advanced and Intermediate, and then came Novice/Rec, etc.

I have always been a "love of the game" guy. I always competed in PDGA events as a Pro, but not because of the cash. My combined earnings winning two World Freestyle Championships was pretty close to $200 -- obviously we were not working our butts off to win world titles because of the payday. Love of the game. Love of competition. Regarding the future of disc golf, you can probably find at least one old article of mine where I said "The last thing our culture needs is another professional sport where players are more motivated by money than love."

Yes, I ran many of the biggest amateur events in the '80's and '90's, including the stops on the Circular Skies Tour (motto: “Have Fun or Go Home”) and the PDGA National Doubles Championships, which the PDGA later re-named "World Doubles." I wanted our events to be the biggest and best, and since big am payouts was one of those factors at that time, we had big am payouts. But I saw that, for all the benefits, there were huge downsides.

When the PDGA (after my tenure as Commissioner) decided to reduce amateur payouts the first time (anyone remember that?), I was in full support, and I was disappointed when they caved shortly thereafter. When the "true amateur" initiative came out a few years ago, I was a cautious supporter.

My biggest legacy in this area is probably the Texas Team Championships. With a “love of the game” philosophy and no payouts for pros or ams, it became the biggest event in the state after Dee came on board – and the biggest team event in the country -- eventually topping 450 players. It was many players' most favorite event -- and it was my favorite event -- since everyone was there simply because they loved to play and compete and spend time with friends from around the state.

Big payouts and big player packages have helped draw new players to the sport, and they have helped many TD's get some compensation for all their hard work and risk. Those are two very good things. But I don't think we need another sport where players of any level care more about stuff than the love of the game.

Today, we are where we are, and we have put ourselves in a position where reducing players' "stuff" in order to promote a more pure sporting philosophy will be tough. So what do we do?

Quote:
Bill Burns used to post here, he would actually know. I think he was on the PDGA BoD when it happened. Guys like Lavone Wolfe, Tom Monroe, Steve Wisecup, and Rick Rothstein would probably be the people we would have to try to get an answer from, they would have been making those decisions.
I am also interested to hear what any of those guys have to say, since I really don't recall when or how the amateur division started. It doesn't seem like it was a big deal at the time.

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  #54  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:06 PM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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Originally Posted by biscoe View Post
I disagree to an extent. Obviously the "everyone gets a trophy" participation model has grown of late in American society. However disc golf stands far outside the bounds of any other game I know of in the expectation of dollar for dollar return on investment amongst players.
I know what you mean and I concur, which is why I added the caveat about broader generative patterns in social life. I would say video games have this 'baroque' transaction nature about them as well, and that certainly seems to be the direction of the river's flow...

In the modern amateur's defense, you cannot disagree that they've also been conditioned specifically by promoters, who in turn are conditioned by manufacturers who may or may not be conditioned by the market...it may be a stretch, but the dynamic's really little different from Pavlov methods or your local meth/heroin dealer. These are also the operative principles behind video games and social media...

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  #55  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:13 PM
curmudgeonDwindle curmudgeonDwindle is offline
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
I find it hard to relate to the notion that the value added by the TD and volunteers is $0. I'm not saying that folks aren't doing that, just that I don't relate to it. If you've ever run an event once, then you know how much work is involved. I've heard some language about mandatory volunteer service to the country out of politicians. Don't know if I agree, but I definitely can see a benefit. I would agree with the sentiment that this isn't disc golf, I feel it is a cultural problem if anything.

Taking things for granted. Interesting enough, I don't really see a millennial divide here. I've coached soccer in a lot of different situations, and it isn't a generational thing. As an aside, every generation that has ever existed has looked at those that followed and went, OMG, we're all gonna die. There are many things about the millennials that I admire.

Back on target, I see a subset of kids that take things for granted. There are certain things they have in common. The biggest one is money. As in, their parents have too much money and not enough common sense. One other commonality is the "honey, you're better than those other kids," phenomena. I don't know whether it is an attempt to build self-confidence, but telling your kid that they're better than the other folks they interact with is a disaster. It builds narcissism, and as pointed out here, a notion that other folk's efforts have no value. It also gives those kids a huge disregard for their own property, other folks things and public property. That phenomenon isn't necessarily a rich person thing, but I see a lot more of it there than I do elsewhere.

An example. When I coach in poor neighborhoods, when a kid acts out, I usually don't get a chance to say dooky. A parent is calling his or her kid over and sayin' "you disrespect the coach again and I'm gonna wallop you." In rich neighborhoods, I more typically hear, "did that person upset you baby?" This may sound like a joke, I assure you, it isn't. And no, it's not universal, but the correlation is pretty high.

Funny enough, this topic came up at my kid's dentist office yesterday. My kid came into the office, and he had some food in his hand and there was a no food sign. I looked at him and said, "can you read?" and pointed to the sign. He grinned sheepishly and went back outside. The staff looked at me and said, "you can't believe how often the parent tells us it's none of our business when we say, 'no food inside.'" And yes, my kid's dentist is in a neighborhood where the houses start at $1,000,000 and go up.

So, I understand the phenomenon, what I don't understand is why it would exist at a high level in our sport? We aren't rich folks playin' a rich man's game. As I said, there is no absolute, and some of the stuff I've seen makes me nuts, like pushing a cameraman etc. But I still wouldn't call it generational, maybe a problem of youth?
Scapegoating is a common way of excising a social problem and still exists today. It IS a generational problem, but it's shared by more than a single one...maybe 'inter-generational problem' would be better, but it's not necessarily a 'gap'...
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  #56  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:18 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
I don't think anyone is saying the value added by the TD and their staff is zero. I think everyone is protesting that PDGA doesn't allow a cash payment from the players to a TD's team for providing that very valuable and essential service.
Bit of a chicken/egg thing though. Do people not value the efforts of the TD and staff because the PDGA doesn't allow for them to be compensated or does the PDGA not allow for them to be compensated because the prevailing view is that the efforts of the TD/staff has no value?

The PDGA in the past has specifically allowed the TD/staff to take a "cut". That language more or less disappeared a number of years ago, in large part because few TDs ever took advantage of the allowance. And why did they not take advantage? I'd guess fear of upsetting the player base that expects their events to be put on for them gratis. Heck, we have biannual threads pop up here deriding the practice of TDs valuing am merch at retail value so they can use the margin to cover costs or sponsor the pro purse. If that's not evidence that there is a constituency of players out there that are primarily concerned about what they get for "their" money, I don't know what to say.
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  #57  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:26 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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Originally Posted by johnrhouck View Post
I have always been a "love of the game" guy.
World's Biggest gets forgotten, but that was a pretty pure promotional event. There wasn't a "tournament," you just got a disc, a mini and a shirt and played. When there was an award, it went to the person who brought the most new players out with them. We already mentioned that back then you rarely got a shirt at an event; World's Biggest shirts were the most common disc golf gear we had in my area. I used to put flyers up by the pool and get unsuspecting barefoot kids in swimming trunks to come back and frolf, it was a good time. Nobody mentions it anymore, but it was a cool event back in the day that was effective in its day. You should keep that on your resume.

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  #58  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:36 PM
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ChrisWoj ChrisWoj is offline
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Originally Posted by TimSyl View Post
Understood. But even deducting the green fees, we players still didn't receive anything in return other than competition on a good course.
Then what did the rest of the entry fee go to? WHY were you paying 60-125? We're you just accepting of being scammed?
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  #59  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:38 PM
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Three Putt Three Putt is offline
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I think the comment that Houck made that when a division gets big you break it up is interesting. We have seen it, I think Novice and Recreational have been added since I was playing. The ratings breaks were an attempt to give more guidance on who should be where when then Advanced fields got so ridiculously huge. So we have seen the PDGA do this.

It's always been told to me that establishing an Am division was some sort of plot to create a feeder division. That's actually the first time I've heard somebody say "that's what you do when the division gets too big." It's so obvious I never considered it.

So what if there was no big plan. The divisions got big so they split them. The payout schedule carried over because that's what they knew. Period. That would be...logical.

What do I do with all this tin foil now?

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  #60  
Old 06-12-2019, 07:52 PM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Originally Posted by ChrisWoj View Post
Then what did the rest of the entry fee go to? WHY were you paying 60-125? We're you just accepting of being scammed?
Why is it automatically a scam if the entry isn't returned in tangible (as in merchandise) value? What if 80% of the entry went toward compensating tournament staff? If there's a starter on tee 1 and course officials every three holes and a manned snack cart at the turn, are those guys supposed to be out there all day out of the goodness of their heart?

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