Proposed rule changes for 2024

Skamanda

Eagle Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2022

Not a lot of interesting things going on. A lot of clarifications on poor wording, but a few interesting additions...

D-tiers will now be the new C-tiers, and C-tiers will require all players to be registered PDGA members. D-tiers also may have some wiggle room for rules changes? Not the clearest wording there, but I can see ways it could be used for good, and ways it could be used for bad...

At any rate, since D-tiers are one-round, one-day events, that seems like a change that's going to drive people away from playing, rather than earn more sign ups for the PDGA. Anyone who wouldn't usually play more an one or two sanctioned events in a year, now has to pay an extra $50 to the PDGA, or not play at all. At least a few people I've spoken to are just going to forego playing anything sanctioned because of it, and at least one club I've spoken to reps from is going to have to reconsider what has historically been their C-tier, because of how many players they get that play no more than one sanctioned event, and won't double their entry fee just to play the tournament they've been playing in for years...

A-tiers will be required to field FA1 and/or FPO. This is likely in response to the TDs that dropped FPO, to keep from having to deal with Natalie Ryan or other trans players showing up. It makes sense, to me, but I can see it rubbing some people the wrong way, in some states...

The one that kinda bugs me the most is that Am-classified players who cash in Pro divisions, who turn down their winnings, will no longer be allowed to get merch credit. This one seems a bit senseless, to what I know from my personal experience. I'd love to discuss this one further. I do like that, in that case, the winnings are passed down to the next players in line (rather than just forfeit entirely), but I struggle to think of a problem this rule change is solving.

In my own experience, I've still got 2 am-only events left this season, before I switch to FPO full-time. DGLO (which prior to the creation of the United Series, I wouldn't have been allowed to register for in FPO - and even after that, I still won't ever be able to play, unless I decide to join the tour, due to it being invite only for FPO/MPO), and Michigan Amateur State Championships, which I earned a berth for at an earlier tournament. Because these are both events I have an interest in playing, and can not play in them as a Pro (because my rating is above the threshold for Pros playing Am), this is essentially telling me that if I win any of my events and turn down cash, because I need to keep that Am classification, I am forfeiting anything but a trophy. That just seems like a pointless change.

Does anyone know what might have inspired that rule change? It seems needlessly punitive, with no noteworthy cause...
 
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The one that kinda bugs me the most is that Am-classified players who cash in Pro divisions, who turn down their winnings, will no longer be allowed to get merch credit. This one seems a bit senseless, to what I know from my personal experience. I'd love to discuss this one further. I do like that, in that case, the winnings are passed down to the next players in line (rather than just forfeit entirely), but I struggle to think of a problem this rule change is solving.
My understanding of the above comes from an experience....there was this player who listed as an AM (pays less in PDGA membership dues) but played as Pro. He couldn't take cash and keep playing as an AM, so he would ask for merchandise instead and then turn around and sell it for cash. So he effectively ended up cashing out for whatever place he got. So he was able to circumvent the 'rules' and stay AM which allowed him to play in NADGT tournaments and even try to get to the Amateur Nationals; all the while still making money for whatever place he ended up in.
 
My understanding of the above comes from an experience....there was this player who listed as an AM (pays less in PDGA membership dues) but played as Pro. He couldn't take cash and keep playing as an AM, so he would ask for merchandise instead and then turn around and sell it for cash. So he effectively ended up cashing out for whatever place he got. So he was able to circumvent the 'rules' and stay AM which allowed him to play in NADGT tournaments and even try to get to the Amateur Nationals; all the while still making money for whatever place he ended up in.
Surely the number of cases where someone is potentially abusing the system don't outweigh the number of scenarios where it's beneficial to have Am-classified players able to play FPO/MPO...

There are a lot of tournaments near me where there isn't an FA1 field, but there is an FPO field. For players whose rating is 825+, they'd be forced to play trophy-only, if they competed in FPO and played well, even if they have no intention of playing that division regularly.

I guess I just don't see the harm in letting players take home plastic instead of money. If they resell it, so be it. It costs them time and money to do so, and they aren't likely to ever make back the full value of what they won. They're still taking a loss, just not a 100% one...
 
Everyone has to keep score rule will definitely get some heat from the crowd who never seems to have a charged phone during a round..
It does allow for paper scorecards. The TD is required to provide a scorecard, whether physical or digital. If a player has no phone, no signal, or no battery, I believe it's on the TD to provide a paper one, at that point.
 
My understanding of the above comes from an experience....there was this player who listed as an AM (pays less in PDGA membership dues) but played as Pro. He couldn't take cash and keep playing as an AM, so he would ask for merchandise instead and then turn around and sell it for cash. So he effectively ended up cashing out for whatever place he got. So he was able to circumvent the 'rules' and stay AM which allowed him to play in NADGT tournaments and even try to get to the Amateur Nationals; all the while still making money for whatever place he ended up in.
This is how I played Advanced from 2006-2008 when we weren't allowed to accept merchandise in lieu of cash at any level. I would pay like $40 to play a tournament. Earn a merchandise voucher worth between $60-120, and turn around and offer it for sale for about 80% of its value to someone else at the event. Did that every single tournament I played. There were always people willing to pay $100 for a $120 voucher to the event store. So.... changing this rule does nothing to really change things for that player, except now he's going to have to go beat up on the Advanced players to do the same thing.
 
It does allow for paper scorecards. The TD is required to provide a scorecard, whether physical or digital. If a player has no phone, no signal, or no battery, I believe it's on the TD to provide a paper one, at that point.
This was my first thought. I can definitely keep a paper scorecard all round. Very happy they're not forcing me to break out my phone to play disc golf rounds (yet).

And I say that as someone who UDiscs almost every casual round. I just tend to wait to do that until right after I finish my round. I don't like having my phone out while I golf.
 
This was my first thought. I can definitely keep a paper scorecard all round. Very happy they're not forcing me to break out my phone to play disc golf rounds (yet).

And I say that as someone who UDiscs almost every casual round. I just tend to wait to do that until right after I finish my round. I don't like having my phone out while I golf.
I think they'll always have to allow for paper scorecards. There are just too many courses with awful, or no cell signal, and they can't insist players potentially risk their phones in inclement weather (if they don't have good waterproofing), just so the TD doesn't have to deal with paper...
 
Everyone has to keep score rule will definitely get some heat from the crowd who never seems to have a charged phone during a round..
. . . and yet somehow has enough charge to send/receive PMs all round, shoot videos, read/post on social media, stream Spotify to their earbuds. . .

You can grab a car phone charger or USB cable for a trivial amount of money in the checkout aisle at literally every pharmacy, grocery, gas station, quik mart, etc. in the US. I have no sympathy or patience left for those who are so ill-prepared for modern life that their battery is somehow "dead" on hole one of literally every single tournament they play.
 
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It does allow for paper scorecards. The TD is required to provide a scorecard, whether physical or digital. If a player has no phone, no signal, or no battery, I believe it's on the TD to provide a paper one, at that point.
yep- have not had to give out a paper scorecard for about a year and a half now (just had to have them on hand in case people want one)- so much for that. Now all the people who don't want to use their phone will be using paper- big step backwards. 2 people keeping score was sufficient.
 
The one that kinda bugs me the most is that Am-classified players who cash in Pro divisions, who turn down their winnings, will no longer be allowed to get merch credit. This one seems a bit senseless, to what I know from my personal experience. I'd love to discuss this one further. I do like that, in that case, the winnings are passed down to the next players in line (rather than just forfeit entirely), but I struggle to think of a problem this rule change is solving.
It is not a change- you can still collect merch at events below A tier which is what the rule was before- it just clarifies that they can take a trophy instead of nothing at all.
 
I am glad they are proposing a change to the slow play rule, which allows groups to come off the clock once they are back in position. I always thought the rules were the biggest issue in the Nikko eruption / suspension and this change confirms it. He never should have been on the clock at that point.

I know a bunch of people who will also likely not play tourneys if they have to keep score every round. Good riddance IMO. They were never real tourney players by always declining this part of the game..

The whole non-member thing irks me. Although i can say it is hard to find a serious ball golf event which does not require you to have an established GHIN handicap (costs less than PDGA membership). Only tourneys actually run by the USGA, require you to be a USGA member..I think a per event charge is sufficient and should also allow the player to obtain a rating on these paid rounds.
 


The one that kinda bugs me the most is that Am-classified players who cash in Pro divisions, who turn down their winnings, will no longer be allowed to get merch credit. This one seems a bit senseless, to what I know from my personal experience. I'd love to discuss this one further. I do like that, in that case, the winnings are passed down to the next players in line (rather than just forfeit entirely), but I struggle to think of a problem this rule change is solving.
I believe you read this change wrong. The rule has been for a while no taking merch instead of cash at A-tiers and up. A couple years ago the text that allowed Ams to take Merch instead of cash at B and below got dropped accidentally due to a different edit. It has been put back to make it clear that Ams can still take Merch instead of cash at B and below if the TD wants.
 

D-tiers will now be the new C-tiers, and C-tiers will require all players to be registered PDGA members. D-tiers also may have some wiggle room for rules changes? Not the clearest wording there, but I can see ways it could be used for good, and ways it could be used for bad...

Well if Nate wins tomorrow it will be a few years before I play another PDGA event. I will not reup my memberships if he is still in charge. By forcing people to have active members is not the answer in my humble opinion, especially at the C-tier level.
 
Well if Nate wins tomorrow it will be a few years before I play another PDGA event. I will not reup my memberships if he is still in charge. By forcing people to have active members is not the answer in my humble opinion, especially at the C-tier level.
It is supremely confusing to me. Supposedly this is to ensure that PDGA members get in to PDGA Sanctioned tournaments in areas where tournaments are popular. Tournament Directors already have the option to give preferential treatment to PDGA members during the reg process. The only thing they need to do is inform TDs of the existing options.
 
Well if Nate wins tomorrow it will be a few years before I play another PDGA event. I will not reup my memberships if he is still in charge. By forcing people to have active members is not the answer in my humble opinion, especially at the C-tier level.

Oh jeeez. I'm so used to the hatemongers on social media calling Natalie Ryan "Nate Ryan" it took a few seconds before I realized you meant Heinhold. WOW.

Time for a second cup of coffee.
 
I believe the issue with having to be a current member for B tiers and above (prior to the upcoming rules changes), was due to a bunch of people last year saying they weren't going to renew for whatever reason....such as the uproar over Natalie playing FPO. And I heard other reasons that people were not going to renew. So the PDGA probably saw the possibility of a decline in membership and decided....well if you aren't going to be member, you can't play in the tournaments. Some of the decision was probably also due to members complaining they couldn't get into tournaments because they got filled up too quickly and there were lots of non-members who got in.

So a combination of issues, but I firmly believe the big motivator was ... okay, you won't pay to be a member, then we are going to limit what tournaments you can play it. Basically going 'pay to play'
 
Well if Nate wins tomorrow it will be a few years before I play another PDGA event. I will not reup my memberships if he is still in charge. By forcing people to have active members is not the answer in my humble opinion, especially at the C-tier level.
Agreed. Where is the incentive to become a member? Sad day for those who’d like to play there local c/b tier but can’t unless they pony up the membership dues. I bet this will change if those tournaments stop filling up. This seems to be the recent trend since the Covid boom.

Some people just don’t have time to play 5 or more tournaments a year to make the membership worth while
 
I think they'll always have to allow for paper scorecards. There are just too many courses with awful, or no cell signal, and they can't insist players potentially risk their phones in inclement weather (if they don't have good waterproofing), just so the TD doesn't have to deal with paper...
Last tournament I played there were two of us with iPhones that overheated so we had to rely on one person to take score. I do see the plus’s for doing everything on the pdga app, but there should always be a paper card as a back up.
 
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