#101  
Old 12-02-2016, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
I like this thinking. I honestly don't know how it would work without on the ground advocacy, but I agree with the growth model.

More and more parents are pulling their kids from team sports because the environment is so hostile and unfriendly. After five years of competitive soccer, I pulled both my sons. Too many psycho parents and trainers.
I hear you about the hostile, unfriendly environment and psycho parents/coaches. I had to live through a lot of that. Thankfully my dad is chill and always told my brother and I that we didn't have to stick with soccer (along with many of the other sports we played) if we didn't want to and weren't having fun. I stuck around until I was 18 (not that long ago just for context), but had had enough at that point. Could've played in college but just stuck with track/xc instead.

Anyway, yeah with the increasing severity of contact sports injuries and their long term affects, I don't see how disc golf couldn't be appealing to parents who still want their kids to enjoy doing athletic and competitive things and not deal with overt and almost unavoidable hostility and bodily harm.

Disc golf, in general, brings a relaxed but competitive environment. This seems to be one of this sport's main advantages. I think it's really something whoever ultimately ends up running the PDGA should emphasize going forward--as they hopefully direct attention in ways like I mentioned in the previous post.
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  #102  
Old 12-02-2016, 03:18 PM
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Getting more disc golf in schools. Marketing the game to parents with kids ages 5 to ~15, as a quality competitive sport and alternative to contact sports. Getting baskets to middle/high schools that have some land around them; or even 1 or 2 baskets in at schools with less land.

Additionally, getting mini courses of 3 or 6 baskets, say, in at smaller parks close to (densely populated) residential areas that kids could easily walk to to play.

Real long term growth can come from an investment in tangible disc golf infrastructure, like I briefly described above, and by directing attention towards younger people. Just some quick thoughts.
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
I like this thinking. I honestly don't know how it would work without on the ground advocacy, but I agree with the growth model.

More and more parents are pulling their kids from team sports because the environment is so hostile and unfriendly. After five years of competitive soccer, I pulled both my sons. Too many psycho parents and trainers.
Strangely enough, programs like that plus a push to have disc golf included in park master planning was what made Hoeniger tell me off on the phone. His reply was something along the lines of that it wasn't his job to promote disc golf. His job was to run the PDGA tour.

Of course that was a long time ago, so it depends on where the needle would have moved inside the PDGA to see if it's the sport or the tour that matters the most now.
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  #103  
Old 12-02-2016, 03:21 PM
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Strangely enough, programs like that plus a push to have disc golf included in park master planning was what made Hoeniger tell me off on the phone. His reply was something along the lines of that it wasn't his job to promote disc golf. His job was to run the PDGA tour.

Of course that was a long time ago, so it depends on where the needle would have moved inside the PDGA to see if it's the sport or the tour that matters the most now.
This is where a split into two organizations would be most beneficial. Call them whatever you want, but one that focuses on advocacy/growth in the youth and am sector, then another specifically for pros, would be ideal imo. But we've been spinning that wheel for awhile around here now and I am not sure what would realistically need to happen to achieve it.
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  #104  
Old 12-02-2016, 03:31 PM
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This is where a split into two organizations would be most beneficial. Call them whatever you want, but one that focuses on advocacy/growth in the youth and am sector, then another specifically for pros, would be ideal imo. But we've been spinning that wheel for awhile around here now and I am not sure what would realistically need to happen to achieve it.
Enough money coming in from outside to make a Pro tour sustainable without needing to use the money that would be used for advocacy/growth to prop up the tour. That's really the bottom line: not enough money to do both so you have to pick one. Historically we have chosen the tour.
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  #105  
Old 12-02-2016, 03:49 PM
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Until you find a way to fund the Pro side, the two are tied to a high extent - unless you're willing to kill the pro side. The handful of truly sponsored Pros is too small to drive the sport at this time.

It does seem like a good idea to add a staff position, Amature Tour Specialist. I've been reading the complaints of am players for years. Of course, that all goes away as soon as they hit a rating that convinces them they can compete at the pro level.

The underlying problem is that pretty much every am is convinced that "someday" they too will be a pro.

You can see by reading the threads associated with certain events, that a focus on am "quality" does pay off. Those events that do this well get high kudos here and are sought after.
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  #106  
Old 12-02-2016, 03:50 PM
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Enough money coming in from outside to make a Pro tour sustainable without needing to use the money that would be used for advocacy/growth to prop up the tour. That's really the bottom line: not enough money to do both so you have to pick one. Historically we have chosen the tour.
Basically if Hoeniger had been more diplomatic with me on the phone, the response would have been something along the lines of "The PDGA would love to dedicate funds for advocacy in the Parks and Recreation profession and growth in the youth market. Unfortunately we are not currently in the position to have the funding to take on these initiatives." That's probably a lot closer to reality than "Not my job." The PDGA has a lot more staff and a lot more members today than it did then, so it might be in a position to move in that direction. Or, it might not.
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by lyleoross View Post
Until you find a way to fund the Pro side, the two are tied to a high extent - unless you're willing to kill the pro side. The handful of truly sponsored Pros is too small to drive the sport at this time.

It does seem like a good idea to add a staff position, Amature Tour Specialist. I've been reading the complaints of am players for years. Of course, that all goes away as soon as they hit a rating that convinces them they can compete at the pro level.

The underlying problem is that pretty much every am is convinced that "someday" they too will be a pro.

You can see by reading the threads associated with certain events, that a focus on am "quality" does pay off. Those events that do this well get high kudos here and are sought after.
Why are we trying to prop up a pro side though?

I started playing disc golf cause a friend of mine took me to a course. I didn't know who pros were until years later. I help run a club and many of my members don't know or care who the pros are, and that is part of why many aren't members of the PDGA.

Does the pro side actually grow the game? Or would that money be better served advocating for and helping to build lots of courses to make the game super accessible to kids.

I grew up playing a lot of basketball. Not because I wanted to be like Michael Jordan, but because I owned a basketball and there was a court very close I could go shoot at. If we could get a 3 hole disc golf course there, I would have played it, and known of the sport much earlier.

The PDGA needs to identify what their core goal is. Is it to grow the sport? Or is it to grow the Professional side of the sport? If it is to grow Professional side and hope that leads to growth then the new ED needs to be a major player in the schmoozing big companies side to start bringing in major sponsorship dollars. Create the spectacle that people want to see ala Red Bull Crashed Ice.

If the PDGA instead wants to focus on the growth of the game itself, first they should probably rebrand to take the P out, and second the ED needs to be someone who can work with city and park boards all across the world. Someone who can be a resource to all the folks in the trenches getting courses put in. If the pro tour can support itself than let it, but don't put a large share of resources into it (other than maybe worlds).
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  #108  
Old 12-02-2016, 04:49 PM
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Why are we trying to prop up a pro side though?

I started playing disc golf cause a friend of mine took me to a course. I didn't know who pros were until years later. I help run a club and many of my members don't know or care who the pros are, and that is part of why many aren't members of the PDGA.
Your points are very valid but they run into two problems. The first I wrote in my post. All of the ams that are in the PDGA are there because they think someday they are going to be pros. That isn't speculation, that is based on what they say and do. The PDGA has polled the membership several times and inevitably the number one request is to grow the pro game. That isn't pros asking for that, it's the ams. Psycho, yep.

The second problem is with the guys you play with in your club. Actually, they taint a problem. They don't join the PDGA simply because they aren't really interested. That is, even if it was the ADGA, they probably wouldn't join. That one I have no evidence for, it's based on what the players in my local club say. There is a select group of people that enjoy local league and that is good enough. I suspect is is why the PDGA added a league option to their tournament play.

One item that used to be discussed on the old DISCussion board was how could the PDGA better support local clubs, or build a local club super-structure that better integrated said clubs and built a relationship. Or more simply, how does the PDGA build a better relationship with those non-involved players? EDGE was one attempt, if I recall correctly.
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  #109  
Old 12-02-2016, 04:52 PM
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Basically if Hoeniger had been more diplomatic with me on the phone, the response would have been something along the lines of "The PDGA would love to dedicate funds for advocacy in the Parks and Recreation profession and growth in the youth market. Unfortunately, we are not currently in the position to have the funding to take on these initiatives." That's probably a lot closer to reality than "Not my job." The PDGA has a lot more staff and a lot more members today than it did then, so it might be in a position to move in that direction. Or, it might not.
Poor BH, you're takin' him to the whippin' shed. He did do some very good things, but as you've said, was outspoken about his role and the role of the PDGA. I still liked him, though.
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  #110  
Old 12-02-2016, 04:56 PM
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I really don't understand the PDGA's actions to grow the sport for kids, other than stating it as a goal. Yes, there's EDGE, but look how the major sports are promoted by service organizations (Kiwanis, YMCA/YWCA, Rotary, etc.) who sponsor organized leagues where the kids can play, learn the sport, and develop their skills.

How many PDGA tournaments in your area have you seen with a strong junior field?
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