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Old 11-22-2013, 09:10 PM
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ChrisWoj ChrisWoj is offline
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Default The PDGA & Statistics

I think the PDGA really overall doesn't understand how to handle the display of statistics.

For a sport trying to legitimize its professional ranks, the PDGA website's lack of truly comprehensive statistics that are organized in some logical manner is a total weak point. We get a ranking and a rating. But why aren't events that include distance competitions told to please submit results, so that numbers can be accumulated? We have major events with groups following virtually every card. With so much help emerging, the number of people out there just watching ropes, spotting greens, and so on and so forth - How hard would it be for a spotter to be given a list of players on each card coming through and a pencil so they can simply tick off putts taken/made at the green?

I get that it sounds like a lot of work but I'm not talking about a little C Tier event. I'm talking about the NATIONAL TOUR. This is the sort of thing that would fuel discussion among the fans. Imagine we move into 2014 and Paul McBeth is shooting just a hair shy of his 2013 pace, and everyone is wondering why he's coming up just short in those majors, being someone... lets say Schusterick? Instead of conjecture and the eye test we can point to the fact that in 2014 his number of putts taken per round has risen slightly, coupled with Schusterick experiencing a huge uptick, and distance results tell us that Schusterick has added a 35 foot boost in terms of consistent distance.

Suddenly we've got very real discussion around the way the players are playing the game. Lets say we had numbers over the last ten years and we could say "Well Kenny's actual putting percentage is down, but he's also dropped his number of total putts per round, which has kept him at an elite level as he's gotten older." From that information even guys who never got to see him in his prime could say "Oh, well the Champ is remaining elite because he's become more precise off of the tee and on his approaches to the green."

All just hypotheticals. I have no idea what sort of a player Kenny was in 2000 versus what he is now. But if we'd had the help we have now at NTs and we'd been compiling those numbers? I would know this! Right now we've got that kind of help. These ARE National Tour events. This IS a sport that wants further legitimization. So can we get this somewhere on the agenda? The PDGA wants more fans? Numbers matter in sports, even non-stat-geeks know who holds the big league homerun record. They know who has thrown for the most touchdowns. We've all heard about the longest hitters on the PGA Tour. Wilt scored 100 - we all know that.

In disc golf all we have in terms of numbers are the biggest ones - Kenny won 9 straight. Kenny has 12. What if all we knew about the early years of basketball was... the Celtics dynasty won 11. The debate about Celtics-Magic in the 80s would be measured only by who won more rings, and not talent and peak domination.

Sorry I ranted. I'm sitting at a Starbucks and... coffee. Basketball on my mind now, time to go watch the Pistons (probably) lose.
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2013, 10:22 PM
Jawa Jawa is offline
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Maybe one day
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:59 PM
Steve West Steve West is online now
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Will you take on the job?
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Old 11-23-2013, 01:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve West View Post
Will you take on the job?
If I was offered a competitive salary to coordinate the work - I would. haha. Obviously it isn't a one man job - you can't be on every green. But it is something that could be coordinated. We're talking about National Tour stops and Majors for what is supposed to be a growing sport, moving out of its nascent stages. To not have this is a fixable issue. It doesn't have to be one of the highest priority items to get done, when it is something that can be fixed without a drastic financial cost.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:26 AM
Karl Karl is offline
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Chris,
You bring up a valid point (better statistics may lead to disc golf being perceived as being more 'professional') but without the money / volunteer base to do such it isn't happening. And we can't expect the players to do such (take meaningful statistics) if they're of the mindset (sometimes off in la-la-land) where we can't even get them to pick up their own litter / can't add their own scores correctly !
Karl
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:34 AM
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I doubt there'd be enough interest to justify the effort.

I certainly wouldn't characterize this as something that needs to be "fixed", or having any noticeable affect on the PDGA's effort to "legitimize" the sport.

But in the hypothetical world where it does happen, I'm doubtful many statistics would be meaningful, because of the tremendous variations between courses, and individual holes on courses. Average drive distance could only be measured on open holes, longer than the maximum drives. All the reachable holes, reachable landing zones, tight wooded holes, etc. would skew it. And it would require accurate, detailed measurements, and adjustment factors for wind. Percentage of drives hitting fairway would be subjective, since fairways aren't clearly defined. Putting percentage would presumably mean putts inside 10-meters, but unless you have a huge database you'd be mixing drop-in putts with 30-footers, while adjusting for holes that aren't "putted" because the player hits a 35-footer. You'd also be averaging level, open, windless putts with extreme elevation, bending around trees, gale-force-wind putts. Hard to come up with something meaningful from all that.

The logistics are also greater than you might imagine. You'd need 18 volunteer statisticians, one for each hole or group. It's like providing an official scorekeeper, or even a rules official, for each group. Even at NTs, I doubt that many volunteers, for the entire tournament, would be easy to come by. And if they are, certainly a staff of rules officials would be much more valuable to the status of disc golf.
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:38 AM
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BogeyNoMore BogeyNoMore is offline
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^ While stats would be neat to see, Mr. Sauls makes some quite valid points.
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:44 AM
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Yeah.....I think it is statistically a very small problem. Live video coverage has a much broader appeal than stats and yet viewership of live events is what....1000? That is around one person for every 20 cities in the US.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:01 AM
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Halcón Halcón is offline
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I mentioned this several months ago, and I wholeheartedly agree with Chris. Let's git 'er done.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:12 AM
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Git'er done. How 'bout draw up some specifics, like

---What stats to keep, with standards and definitions.
---If they involve accurate measurements, how to procure them.
---How many volunteers required, and in which events. What sanctions if an event can't muster the volunteers.
---What system for submitting and compiling the stats.
---Costs.
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