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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.

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If you're referring to doing ratings more frequently, it's not going to happen for several reasons even if we could do them overnight. Even a new player's core rating does not change fast enough to warrant quicker updates and almost 2/3 of PDGA members have fewer than 2 new rounds to rate every month. It also disrupts TDs who use advance registration when ratings updates come near event dates.
Bagger! If you ask me 892 is still Int! Chuck just decided to cut the ADV division into two parts last year.

I remember when if you were over 875 you played int and once you got to 925 you moved to ADV. Then they moved it from 925 down to 915 to make the division bigger then like I said Chuck cut it in two. 892 is not a Rec player if you ask me.Rec event when I was like 13 and never played it again since that was for the true beginners.
I know I would feel like a bagger playing in Rec without anyone even saying something. I thought Rec is technically for beginners that are breaking into the tournament scene, maybe forge a birth certificate and play in juniors =)
to comment on what chuck said about only baggers being a problem in unsanctioned events. I think this is true if you agree that a pro can play in advanced. I do not agree with this so i do not agree with the assessment that bagging only happens in PDGA sanctioned events.
Then explain why you believe a "pro" at 960 is better than an "am" at 960. I would contend that it's just as likely that the am may actually be playing better than the pro at that rating as a newer player whose rating has not caught up with his current skill yet.
Yes, Russell should play INT but, that is my opinion and I wouldn't expect to change Russell's mind on this. Many factors arise when deciding what division to play in including expected competition, the course, weather, and costs. Nobody can tell you when to move up but, be ready to accept the taunts of "Bagger," a tradition I fully support. Again- 4u2NV you miss the point. The fact is that the PDGA is doing all it can to stem Bagging. Players like Russ make a mistake IMO by relating their rating with the RETC. Improving your game is winning and when you play against folks that you are clearly better than you are limiting your chances of improvement. I moved up because I needed to be with people that take the game more seriously. Now that I'm a Master age player I might begin winning more prizes, also. Opps, I'm rated below even these old guys, oh well, keep throwing.
I remember, I thought, It used to be...........
If those of you that think playing REC, would get current with what is going on you would realize that none of that is true anymore. I didn't used to play REC either until this year. The divisions have changed and the ratings now state that I am a REC player. There is now a Novice division now that is for those "So called Beginners".

And NO, John I don't win, win, win. As a matter of fact I have never won. The best finish to date was my Second place at Lexington. Yet I am called a bagger from people like you all the time. If I show up at every tournament and place in the bottom 5 or 10 I will never learn how to win. Until Lexington I had never even been on the Top card, going into a final round. And what good did that do when that 850 Rated "Bagger" came from 3 cards back and shot the round of his life to beat me and everyone else on the top 3 cards.
I hear it all the time where I live, "You'll never get any better if you don't play people better than you". I get plenty of practice with those better than me. I play all the time with those ADV, and Pro players. When I get beat down even practicing I'm surely not going to donate to them come tournament day. So I play where I belong.
I did not say an am was better or less of a person than a pro. Sometimes, the am with this rating might be a better player. In that respect you are correct. So basically what this whole discussion brought up is how flawed the whole rating system is. I don't believe ams going to world should be shooting 1000 rated rounds. That is not an am to me according to the PDGA ratings. Ratings change also considering the ADVanced course layout as compared to the Pro layout. I know of some events that stretch the holes for the pro legs. So the PRo that was rated 960 on the extended course, might have shot better from the pads the ADV players played from. Some have said well look at your rating and this is why you don't agree. Well I ask you this, if my rating was 936, would I feel less or more frustrated about this dilema. Probably more. Thanks again to all of the PDGA staff for all they do even if I don't agree with everything.
On a related note, I believe that there should be some kind of cap on the Am1 division. Every other am division has one. why not this one?
So you would like disc golf to become the only sport that requires Ams to turn Pro at a certain rating? We haven't found a sport that does that. Until we do, the discussion about forcing ams to turn pro will go nowhere. Seriously, that's been the hang up regarding capping Advanced and forcing someone to go pro. No precedent can be found in any other sport and it just doesn't seem appropriate.

There's no truth that an am and pro with the same rating have different skill levels regardless of what courses they played to get their rating. It is true that on average 960 GMs or Masters are slightly better in the woods than 960 young guys who are slightly better on open holes with more distance. But considering our am and pro designations bear little connection to the real definitions of Am and Pro, it shouldn't be surprising that our ams and pros of the same rating actually shoot similar scores.
It's the Open Am division, just like golf and every other sport with amateurs.
I kinda like the idea of a "beginner" division below "rec". I talk to "casual" players all the time about coming out to a mini or a tournament and they seem to think they wouldn't even be able to compete with the rec players, which sometimes is the case.
I also think part of the responsibility lies on all of us as players. I get frustrated when I finish low in INT at a tournament, but I wont drop down to REC even though with my current rating I could, because I know I would easily place in the top three 90% of the time.
and I wont bump up to advanced just to say I play in advanced either. I might play open in a mini just to be able to play with better players and maybe learn something to help my game though.
While I want to win, I want to be able know I am in my appropriate division and am losing because of other reasons besides I'm not in the right division or based solely on my ranking.
And I think this is wherein part of the problem and hence the solution lies.

good discussion IMO and some valid points on both sides of the coin.


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