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I am not going pro, but if someone takes cash at a sanctioned tournament, does that mean they are pro? Are they then able to take plastic playing am1 if their rating is low enough or is it, once you take cash, no more plastic? What about at unsanctioned events? do the rules still apply? Just wondering for my future :)

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1) Yes
2) Yes
3) No
4) No

I think
once you take cash at a pdga event, you're a pro. no more plastic, no am worlds, no more sandbagging. :) unsanctioned events you can do whatever you want. an am can play pro and take cash, and this will not effect any pdga status. a "pro" could even play "am", but any humiliation and/or taunting by your friends and enemies should be expected.

what some people do that want to play am worlds but pro pdga events is to just accept scrip instead of cash to maintain their Am status.
You can play Advanced Men if your rating is below 970 even if you have accepted cash. You may not play a PDGA Major as an Am once you have accepted cash.
perhaps i should engage in a reading of my handbook because i did not know this. thanks for the correction.
Here is the full breakdown on the divisions you are eligible to play as a Pro playing Am:

• “Pros Playing Am” : Pros rated <970 may now compete in Amateur divisions offered at PDGA
Tour A B and C tier events, for which they qualify based on player rating, age, and gender:
Pro Men and Women
<970 can play Advanced
<935 can play Intermediate
<900 can play Recreational
<935 can also play Advanced Master if they are of Masters age
<850 can play Novice
<900 can also play Advanced Grandmaster if they are of Grandmasters age
Pro Women only
<850 can play Advanced Women
<800 can play Intermediate Women
<750 can play Recreational Women

This is from the PDGA 2009 Tour Standards Document: http://www.pdga.com/files/documents/09TourStandardsV1-2.pdf
I have seen it with my own eyes Baggers who cashed playing in advanced on the Fab.Fla. tour.
Yes, our field is deep and talented.Yes I'm called that also,much to my suprise.
She is the rulebook here!
Sadly, this is the largest failure of the PDGA and most regional dgas (disg golf associations). For some reason, a few years back the PDGA standards changed with respect to who can play in what division, regardless of how good they are.

There was discussion about how to best to "arrange" divisions for fair play, however the practical reality for the chosen changes has been a complete disaster in Southern California. It seems that due to the fact that two of the top 10 players in the world are SoCal residents, all AMs get to sandbag because they can't beat these two guys. This is completely unethical - to change the standards of an entire sport because there are a handful of guys around the world who DOMINATE at this game. We now have Rec players bagging Novice, Intermediate players bagging Rec, Advanced players bagging Intermediate and Pros bagging Advanced.

Nobody likes a sandbagger. Pro players hate to see quality players playing amateur events. True amateur players hate seeing pro sandbaggers playing amateur events because they force AM1s down to AM2, forcing AM2 down to AM3 and so on. The real question is, as human beings, if you've won in any division under Pro, are you the type of individual who would be content to stay at that level and win again? Or are you the type of individual who believes the only ethical decision you have is to "move up" and get better by playing against better players?

I know I'm in the latter group. Personally, this would be a qualifying question I would like to see posed to ANY individual who runs for ANY office in ANY dga, including the PDGA. If an individual supports such sandbagging, then, in my opinion, they are not ethically fit to serve this game in any capacity.

If you love this game, then you know in your heart, once you win, you move up! After all, some of us are trying to grow a sport with integrity, this is supposed to be a "Gentlemen's Game."
maybe some of us place too much emphasis on winning? I always look at the scores throughout the divisions and compare to mine. sure, I want to be competitive, but I know I never will be. that's just me being realistic.
so.. I'd like to play in tournaments to have fun, which means I want my "competition" to be around my level in whatever division I enter. to me that is fun and encourages friendly competition.
does the current rating system need to be looked at? probably so IMO. will it ever be perfect? nope. will there always be sandbaggers? yup. can I work with my local TD to help make events fun and as fair as possible. yes, yes I can.
There are no baggers (just whiners) if TDs make sure players follow the ratings guidelines. Ratings have been proven more accurate than players' perceptions time and time again. There is no difference between a 965 Am and 965 Pro in terms of their playing skill other than one pays a higher PDGA membership and the other can enter Am Worlds and Nats.
Nicely said Chuck. If you are playing AM1 and are being DOMINATED by a player rated below 970 you shouldn't be playing AM1.

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