I know this discussion has been hit on before, but i need to vent a little bit more on this subject. Being a current PDGA member, a co-TD, and a certified official I feel as though I have the right. I am really confused about one thing. Why Professional disc golfers are allowed to play in advanced events if there rating is below a 970? I do not see the reasoning behind this decision. My rating varies as so do my scores. Currently it is 908. I personally choose to play in the advanced division as I believe it should make me a stronger player. The Pdga mission statement says something to the effect of growing the sport. I don't see it that way. Adding the novice division was a joke. The division that should have been added is the" I refuse to go pro" advanced division with a rating starting at 951. The intermediate division from 900-950. the rec division for anyone below a 900 AND anyone wishing to play that is not a CURRENT PDGA member. This keeps the baggers who should be playing pro from the loop hole of not renewing their membership and playing in whichever division they choose. The PDGA wants this sport to grow. How? More pro golfers are what this sport needs. More pro golfers are what is going to get the big dollar sponsors. Letting them stay in the am field is the pdga's way of growing the sport? Maybe i am not seeing it the way they do. I do appreciate what these volunteers do for us. on the other hand I do not agree. Or are they volunteers. I should have done a little research on this but, do the PDGA board members collect a paycheck? From the 08/09 finacial report it shows board and committees $28,791. This to me looks like expenses only and they do not collect a paycheck. Just reinbursements. Personnel, $328,036. This is for office staff, accountants, and consultants. Doesn't look like a very wealthy income to me. It seems as though they must really like their job. So thank you for all your hard work. It is appreciated. one rule that i do agree with is the am's playing pro. am's are allowed to accept merchandise in lieu of cash. I like this rule with the intent of the player wanting to go pro, but is waiting to play World's before he moves up. If he so chooses to stay and play advanced after worlds has passed, i do not agree with. Yet under the current guidelines this is perfectly legal. Honestly if I didn't need to be current to run events for the PDGA, i would not renew my membership. I don't see the point when the little guy doesn't have a voice. The ams are the ones that keep this sport alive and yet everything is catered to the pros. The ams buy most of the gear. The ams buy most of the plastic. The am tourneys are always at full capacity. Even with $1500 added cash I have seen pro events not come anywhere near filling. Sad but true. Is there a place where current pdga members can read or listen to actual pdga board meetings and what is actually discussed? I would be quite intrigued to know what is actually being discussed and voted on. I also would like to know how a member could bring something up for vote. I am guessing but you probably have to go through your state representative and not talk to your board members directly. Kind of like our governments smoke and mirrors game. Enoough with the rant. Please do not turn this into a smoker/ non-smoker battle. I would like to hear some feedback from every type of player. Pro,Advanced, intermediate and rec players. The baggers can also voice their opinion if they so choose. Again thanks to everyone involved with the PDGA for all of their work. All of your time that you put towards making the PDGA what it is. Thank you. I still do not agree with everything but, I still support you.
There are 1440 players under 830 rated bring those numbers up by adding another division and we might be getting somewhere.
Who supports who?
Same with Golf it's called the PGA(professional golf association) but there are roughly 350 Pro golfers and Millions and millions of card carrying amateurs supporting the cause!!! Do you think Tiger Woods buys Nike. No the Millions of AM's do!!!!
Attracting new players is what will help the PDGA grow - and the Novice and Recreational divisions are designed to do just that. Please remember, for every player in a PDGA event there are literally THOUSANDS of players that have NEVER played an organized tournament or league. If you want the PDGA to grow, these are the players to attract.
This very website has proven to be quite effective in promoting Disc Golf AND the PDGA to casual players. Being a Gold Level sponsor here does far more to grow the PDGA than trying to force Amateur players to play up or go pro.
Many Pros do little to grow the PDGA or the sport. They simply suck the all the money and all the FUN out of disc golf. A big thank you goes out to all the Pros that DO take the time to volunteer and give back to their disc golf communities.
I think it is a complete attrocity to take money from any lower divisions to add them to the higher division payout. The money from each division should stay there. Period. If you want to draw Pros, add the cash through sponsorship.
If there's one issue you ever want to champion if you are a glutton for abuse or want to see a few burning crosses in your lawn, it is the issue of payout distribution. A few in our State organization have called for more transparency in advance of events related to where money is going...and have generally been met with little/no response or "if you don't like it, don't register to play."
Well, that's exactly what a LOT of disc golfers out there do! They don't register to play...instead choosing to keep it more local/regional. How the PDGA gets wrapped up in all of that is that most of the events on our State singles and doubles series are PDGA-sanctioned...which means that a lot of people are skipping those events for any combination of three reasons:
1. $10 PDGA fee on top of event registration fees that seem to be sneaking ever-higher.
2. Travel distances. If you look at a map of where our region's 135 participants are located, well-over half of those members have a grand total of one event within a one-hour drive on the State's calendar that is a part of the State's singles/doubles series. Combine that with increasing entry fees and mando 8:30-9:00am sign-in/check-in times, and you have poor turn-out from our region at State events. Which gives the impression of a stagnant/uninterested DG community in our area...which could not be further from the truth.
3. Lack of disclosure or satisfaction with ROI (return on investment). You spend 2-4 hours in the car, $30 on gas, $7-$8 on lunch, lose 2-3 hours of sleep, AND pay $25-$30+ as an INT to participate at an event...and you often go home with nothing (no players pack...only the top 1/3 or 1/4 of players getting a bit of cash or vouchers for plastic, etc.)? For the folks regularly cashing in, I wonder exactly how many of them would show up at tournaments and other events if that was what they could expect for an ROI...yet they expect most INT to willingly hand their cash over just to rub elbows with people who can shoot 5-6 shots/round lower than they can?
The only way to achieve change is to make your opinions heard and essentially FORCE change when necessary (through elections or financial means). By late this Summer, participation in our Int/Am/Rec focused regional group should officially exceed that of the participation rates within our State organization that focuses much more attention on Open/Advanced...after only approximately 16 months. People out there are HUNGRY for more organized disc golf and a sense of community! They just don't like being taxed excessively so that maybe a couple dozen of the top players in the area can treat DG as a part-time job. ;-)
Also, FWIW, the "Professional" in the PDGA's name really holds it back with a lot of Am/Rec players, IMHO. Heck, we struggle to even get Am/Rec to show up at LEAGUES sometimes because they think "Oh, leagues! I'm not good enough to play in a league" (when in actuality, the whole point of running leagues is to attract Am/Rec to play and hopefully get a few of them interested enough to want to show up at a local/regional tourney or two).
Anyway, enough of a rant. I think if more INT players really realized just how much of their tourney fees were going directly into the pockets of Open/Advanced players, they would be up in arms! Which is precisely why this particular issue never gets its due...at least within organizations who primarily worry about pleasing its Open/Advanced members more than the 90+ percent of everyone else out there.
(a) The name, "Professional" Disc Golf Association is an historical anomaly, IMHO. At a point in time right up until I started playing disc golf in 1998-99, there was a cultural expectation that each and every disc golfer would eventually "step up" to Pro. That expectation has been evolving for the past 10 years as we realize that it just isn't going to happen and, I think, harms a lot of very good players who turn Pro but then face the realities of day jobs and families.
Members have been surveyed a number of times about a name change for the organization, such as "Players" Disc Golf Association, but have, so far, indicated they like the current name. I suspect that it makes some of us feel "cool" to be able to say that we are a member of the "professional" association.
(b) No, the PDGA board members do not receive any pay. They are volunteers. Reimbursement for travel and lodging for official meetings and the like is available, although those board members with good day jobs often do not request or take reimbursement.
There should be a PDGA board election coming up soon, BTW, if you are a member, pay attention, think about running, and make an informed vote.
IMO, stop bitching and do something about it. don't be a pdga member if you don't support what they are doing for the sport. if your sick of getting your a$$ whipped move down. i personally play intermediate when my rating says i could play rec because i want to play against higher rated people to push my self to get better. if i show up to a pdga b-tier and play a division above my rating i know i am probably donating, but i don't bitch about baggers. even if their is 15-20 players playing adv. that could be playing open, there is still 15-20 more players that are playing where they should be and still would whoop me. plus i know i can play at a level higher than my actual rating but in most tourneys i don't because of weather, pressure, or just they grueling tourney layout, it stupid to think some of the so called baggers don't have these same issues. but don't get pissed when they put together a few good rounds in a row and blow you out of the water. its not like you shot awesome and they shot like crap and still beat you. is it?
Alright I guess I will throw my two-cents in here.
As for Pros playing Am. I agree with what he said above. If you have stepped up, played pro and won Cash Then you are Pro! End of story! If for some reason you get hurt or injured then you should be able to make an appeal to play am divisions again as long as you are not blowing out the field.
I agree that the PDGA does promote bagging. Here is the two ways. Unrated players allowed to play in the lowest division possible. Mind you there are people that are that bad like my friend who shoots between 430 and 630 on any given day. Then there are people who play the lowest division until they get a rating and are kicked into INT or ADV where they should be. The other is when people tank a few rounds drop from 900+ to 899 and stop playing INT where they have been playing for years just so they can get more plastic/prizes/tropheys. The line in skill level between 905 and 895 is nothing.
Rec and Nov are needed to continue to promote the game. As Russ commented these are the people that buy all the merch.
I believe there should be a line between pro and adv. and that once you cross rating 970+ or (CASH) whichever comes first you should not be allowed to return baring injury or old age.
If you end up dropping a division and are still within 5 points of the cut-off line then IE drop to 895. You should still play the division you have been playing because your game is still at that level and you had a few WTF moments during some tournament rounds (IT HAPPENS DEAL WITH IT!!!) Don't come looking for prizes in the lower division just because you know you are that much better then everyone else and have been playing with better competition for years.
Play your rating! and if you are not playing your rating and playing up then STFU and stop complaining about baggers! It is your choice to move up and someone elses choice not to. Make your decision and leave everyone else to theirs.
If you are playing your rating and someone has dropped into your division by a few points and is now playing in your division then by all means give them hell about it (Assuming the drop was not caused by injury).
To support the PDGA does not mean we agree with every decision made by every PDGA Board of Directors. To support the PDGA means we want the sport to grow and expand and we want tournament opportunities to exist where a single set of rules governs the game.
I have always supported the PDGA because I love the game and want it to continue to expand and flourish. I don't agree with every rule or policy the PDGA has enacted. If another organization were formed which promoted the game, I would support that as well.
The questions surrounding divisions and payouts have been around as long as the game has existed. The current rules which restrict divisions based on handicap ratings were enacted for the purpose of making fair competitions (anti-sandbagging rules). I predict those rules will continue to be tweaked as our experience shows the places where they don't work well enough.
The "Professional" in PDGA doesn't stand for the Pro players. The "Professional" stands for the professionalism expected of the players in conduct and ethics in every division. There is one set of rules for every player in every division. The PDGA is predominately made up of Amateur players and the policies of the organization support the overall membership and the grass roots development of the game. If the PDGA wanted to enrich the Pros at the expense of the Amateurs we would see different rules and payout tables and the PDGA budget would be spent to lure sponsorship for the Pros.
If a particular TD chooses to emphasize the Pros, that is their choice but not required under our rules. If a particular TD chooses to emphasize the Amateurs, that is their choice but not required under our rules. I have no problem with generous payouts to every division. But I would continue to compete if there were no payouts or trophies. The thrill of competition is the real reward. It is gratifying to develop and refine the skills required to excel at the game. The practice and training which allows skill development has the huge added bonus of better health and physical and mental conditioning.
The upset that some feel against some of the Pros at times is completely justified. If Pros were more charming and less demanding they would be treated better. Of course, not all Amateurs are perfect either. They just tend to quieter.
"The thrill of competition is the real reward. It is gratifying to develop and refine the skills required to excel at the game. The practice and training which allows skill development has the huge added bonus of better health and physical and mental conditioning."
I found that I needed something to compete in and when I started disc golfing, it was immediately apparent it was perfect to get some competition in my life again. I've cashed twice ($13 in plastic & $32 in plastic) but would have still have good thoughts about those tourneys even if I hadn't. I like going out there with guys with 870 ratings who are trying really hard to win and getting upset when they don't (to a point... then it gets a little old). I also love practicing to make those putts a little better, or to hit that tunnel more than once in a row.
So, bag all you want, I'm there for the competition and when I start beating guys at the bottom of the division up from me, I'm moving up.
i played am worlds last year. good experience,but have not renewed this year. i haven't thought out all the reasons,more of a feeling. i too have been discouraged by playing as a current pdga member in my rated division only to be blown away by others who aren't even members.