Old 05-02-2018, 02:09 AM
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armiller armiller is offline
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Default First tournament - Rules

I've found all kinds of good stuff already, but figured this might be worth a new thread.

In short, I'm registered for a tournament but have never played PDGA sanctioned, and I've only played a few minis or "serious" rounds.

My question regards the two sides of the rules. 1) Other than reading the rule book and following rules as I know them, is there any advice for a first timer to help me not break rules? 2) How should I approach calling things on others?

For one, the tourney is on two courses I've played very frequently. One has a lot of water danger, and another has a decent number of mandos. Can I expect mandos, OB, and other hole specific rules to be pointed out at the players' meeting?

As for number two, I recognize a little tendency in myself to be a rules Nazi. When I play casually with others, I don't give people a hard time; nevertheless, it bugs me when people blatantly foot fault, don't use the right lie, etc. While watching top level tournaments (e.g. recent GBO), I notice groups lean toward being overly generous when spotting where a disc went out of bounds, or whether it's in bounds at all. There was one particularly generous spot to an OB Simon shot, and Paige had at least one that looked 100% OB to me (on the paint, but not over it).

I've played enough "casual but not casual" rounds to have people ask, "Hey, my disc crossed here before it faded OB, right?" Sometimes yes. Other times I think, "Can you see where your disc ended up? There's no way in the land of shadows that you crossed!"

In the end, my plan is mainly just not to let myself get distracted by others' play unless they're blatantly crossing lines. I'll respond if people ask my input, but I probably won't be volunteering comments. As a side note, across the spectrum of Amateur divisions, is it pretty safe to say that rules are followed/called more strictly in Advanced more than Intermediate more than Rec more than Novice?

Advice appreciated!
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:06 AM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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Best advice is to do what will leave you with a clear conscience. If it's going to bug you if a player is foot faulting or trying to get a different lie on an OB throw than you think is correct, then by all means speak up. State your view matter-of-factly and without a confrontational tone. If the player wants to get upset about a call, it's on them. If you get out-voted by the group when it comes to a lie for an OB throw, roll with it.

As for how strictly the rules are followed/called by division, if the higher divisions see more calls and more strict adherence to the rules, it's solely a function of there tending to be more players in the higher divisions (thus a greater chance of there being more rules knowledgeable players present). In my experience, skill does not really go hand-in-hand with knowledge of or adherence to the rules. You might run into a Novice who knows the rules well or a Pro that is oblivious to some common rules.

I encourage you to have your rule book with you for reference purposes and make whatever calls that you feel comfortable/confident making. Don't be intimidated but also don't be intimidating.

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Old 05-02-2018, 09:08 AM
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ru4por ru4por is online now
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First, have fun. Stay within yourself and pay attention to your game and others around you. One of the hardest things to learn, for me when first playing tournaments, was awareness of myself in relation to all the golfers around me. Learning to keep my voice and movements down. Being aware of other greens and teepads. It is common to be sitting on a teepad waiting for the group ahead and chatting with your card. It is easy to forget the greens and tees within pretty close proximity.

Calling violations is a tough nut to crack. If I am playing AM3 for points, I generally use violations as a chance to teach and help. If playing Advanced with the old guys, I am more likely to call violations. If I see a foot fault and there is no competitive advantage, I might quietly let the player know he needs to pay attention to his feet.

OOB is a group decision. If you are outvoted, don't get butthurt, even if you are sure you are right. It is not worth a lengthy debate, IMO. Rules are there to be used, the response to getting called on one is on the other guy. Don't let their reaction become your concern.

Pay attention to the players meeting. Most rules debates I have seen or been involved in come from someone not paying attention to the TD at the beginning of the round. (Or a poorly organized tournament or TD).

Remember to have fun. The competition is between you and the course. Spending too much time on your opponents and their game can become a distraction.

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Old 05-02-2018, 09:32 AM
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Danny here helped me with some of the more technical aspects.

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Old 05-02-2018, 09:47 AM
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BogeyNoMore BogeyNoMore is offline
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Hard to improve on what the first two posts mentioned. I'm sure several others will chime in with good points as well as.

I'll just say to focus on what the 1st two said, and don't be worried with what could be a lot more info in subsequent posts to come. If you try to remember too much recently acquired info, you might not remember much of it very well... which pretty much makes it worthless.

Plus, focusing too much on that may make it hard to stay loose and focused on your game.

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Old 05-02-2018, 11:14 AM
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jmdaire27 jmdaire27 is offline
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Originally Posted by armiller View Post
My question regards the two sides of the rules. 1) Other than reading the rule book and following rules as I know them, is there any advice for a first timer to help me not break rules? 2) How should I approach calling things on others?
Generally, at the players meeting the TD will specify the necessary course specific rules (OBs, for example, as they may pertain to lines, paths, waters, 2 meter rule, etc). I encourage paying close attention at the players meeting. It helps that you know the courses, so if something isn't brought up that you are wondering about, ask about it. Good chance someone else is wondering the same thing.

IME, lower tier tourneys (C) are more lenient than the higher tiers. The biggest issues will be foot faults and OBs, like you referred to. Regardless, if you see something, say something (ie foot fault), in a friendly manner (not like Nikko, although Rick did appear to be 3 feet behind his lie...). If you are playing in a lower division, it is a great learning experience for everyone, and can go a long way. And don't count to 30-mississippi on someone.... It's more of a guideline, anyway.

Finally, I would suggest not going out with a vendetta against your card mates (not implying you are!), but pay attention. You are all playing together and are all wanting to play well, so play smart, competitive, and be friendly. "Great shot, man" goes a long way for someone not throwing well. I always have the most fun/play my best when I am having fun with the three other people I spend that ~2 hours with. But, if you are with a someone that has a stick in their wazzoo, be the bigger person.

Good luck!

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