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I've heard that it is acceptabe for Am division players to accept cash payouts at sanctioned and non-sanctioned events up to a certain dollar amount and maintain ther Am status. If true, is this per tourney, or is the dollar amount cumulative?

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What's in a name?  Our Pros are not professionals (well, maybe a dozen of them are).  Our Ams aren't amateurs.  Our Advanced players aren't all that advanced, our Novice players aren't always new, and our Masters haven't mastered anything.

"Pro" and "Am" are convenient division names because they're short, and clearly describe which is our top level.  "Am" is more a minor league level than anything else.

Personally, I'm in favor of low-entry, no-payout Am divisions.  But I reject the notion that Pros are all there because of their sacrifice and virtue.  Not everyone has the athletic ability to reach that level, regardless of the amount of work; why shouldn't we lesser playeres have the right to gamble for each other's entry fees, too?

In Ball Golf, money paid by high schoolers, college players, and those on the Nationwide Tour does not funnel up to payout Tiger Woods.


In Baseball, Little League fees, high school, and college money does not funnel up to payout Albert Pujols.


The public would flip out if that ever happened. Yet we do it and it's called paying your dues.


The next tourney coming up here has $60 entrance fee for my 10 year old daughter to play FJ4's. Ouch.

Ouch is right.

Though there's another way to look at that funneling.  Which is that Am fees do not go to Pros.  Ams get 100% of their entry fee back in merchandise.  Pros sometimes get some of the money TDs make by handling that merchandise.

To use the same analogy, Little Leaguer baseballers and high school golfers don't get their entry fees back in merchandise, either.  Their entries pay for their participation in organized sport.  Disc golf amateurs seem unwilling to pay $20-$30 to play in a tournament with no payout whatsoever, just for the privilege of playing in organized competition.

Like the sports you mention Disc Golf also has over head costs...not schools or ball fields but courses and developing and maintaining them...this is one of the arenas we long time pros have usually paid our dues....personally I have helped develop/build 4 courses at Lemon Lake Park, Crown Point, Indiana and the course in Valparaiso, IN....btb we are working on the 5th of what will be 6 courses at Lemon Lake...come see us...

I will say that I don't know the details....but a $60 entry fee for a 10-year-old isn't exactly the best way to build up the grassroots.  Perhaps that tournament's circumstances preclude it, but lower-cost entries for juniors would be a fine idea.

I here that. I've been paying my dues with our local club and helping with tourneys. My daughter plays fj4's so I travel and caddy for her and help her get her friends involved. We've even been able to get the local grade school doing a disc program and I help out with that.



I like tournaments where, between rounds, there is a debate competition focussed on the meaning of amateurism and professionalism in disc golf.  :D

I'll bet front-row seats are easy to come by.

There are two priorities here:

1) what is fair

2) what will best grow the sport?

I think the second is a little more important to most TD's, but whatever. I think that if any money from am entry fees ends up increasing the pro's winnings, the ams should all get a chance to play there first round with at least one pro in there group. However, if I was a pro, I wouldn't want to play with anyone but the highest competitors. Every tournament is different and serves more than one purpose. As the sport grows things will change and hopefully improve with those changes.

Bruce...is playing disc golf for money even legal?

I guess we'll know when pro's start getting called before the sentate ethics committee for using steroids. Then the cat will be outta the bag.

Bart? In most states, yes, so long as you are not betting on anyone other than yourself, you can play a game of skill for money.  In Michigan, California, Florida, Arizona, Louisiana, and a few other states, it is a misdemeanor to run a game where something of value is paid to play and something of value is paid back, depending on how the player does.   That kind of a game is called a pool, and each state has its own laws for pools.  What we do is legal in Indiana and Illinois.  No one is prosecuting in Michigan, but I don't need to be the TD they decide to make an example. 

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