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Up until this point I have been playing Am1 for a couple years but our local club is hosting a C-Tier IceBowl and I was considering playing Open there. I know that if I cash I can take merch instead of money and keep playing Am1 for the bigger tournies this summer. My question is about rule 2.4 B in the Competition Manual, it says:
"B. Players are awarded Amateur points for their performance but these points are not eligible for year-end awards or Worlds invitations."
Does this mean that if I play Open this one time, then all of my subsequent Am points won't count towards a Worlds invite, etc. ?
And, basically, does playing Open just once make someone a "pro"?
You can accept cash and still play AM as long as your player rating is below 970. Playing OPEN does not make you a Pro(although some people think that this does) obtaining a player rating of 970 or higher would classify you as a pro according to the PDGA.
If you are playing MA1 and your rating is above 970 (yes there are a lot of players in this catagory, they are called sandbaggers!HAHA yeah you know who you are!) you are eligible to play in AM nationals and AM worlds if you qualify through pionts. You become ineligeble when you accapt cash in OPEN. Many AM players will play OPEN and decline cash in order to keep their AM status so that they can play AM worlds(this does not make you a sandbagger, as long as you only hold out for one year, IMO).
So the rule says that Pro and Am points are totalled separate from each other.
Look at my player stats for 2009. Because my membership status with the PDGA was/is Pro, they only show my Pro points earned in 2009 even though I also entered Advanced and Adv Master that year.
If I was an Am in 2009, my Am events point total would have been displayed instead. Of course, I would have had to decline all those "big bucks" I won ($177) to retain my Amateur status.
I think this rule sucks because I play Open here in AK as I'm good enough to play there and would be sandbagging otherwise. So, it seems the ONLY way for me to get points is to play outside events. This is not easy since I live in AK and I"m not connected to the lower 48. If I drive 10 hours in AK, I'm still in AK; If I drive 10 hours in the lower 48, I can be in 5 different states depending on the direction I drive.
In order for me to get an invite to worlds the following year I have to get so many points (1000?)or be in the top .05% in my division in my state (for am events). Getting 1k points in AK is impossible with the tourneys we have here even if I were to win them all...we don't have the population. I'm not going to sandbag, but I'm getting punished for moving up. I'm all about road trips and would drive hundreds of miles to go to a sanctioned tourneys. I do this already between Homer and Fairbanks...can't drive the Alcan to go to a tourney in WA and be back in time for work on Monday.
I guess I have to leave AK if I'm going to go anywhere in DG w/o spending ridiculous amounts of money on plane tickets.
What Chuck is saying is, if you don't get invited to Worlds but want to go, and you register as soon as the uninvited are allowed to register, you'll get in.
Given that Am Worlds is in Rochester, NY, and that New York is not exactly a hotbed for disc golf, I don't think that there is any worry that it will fill, especially in the Advanced Men's division. It did not come close to filling in mid-Ohio last summer.
To answer the original poster's questions:
1. "Does this mean that if I play Open this one time, then all of my subsequent Am points won't count towards a Worlds invite, etc. ?"
No. If you play pro you'll get pro points for that tournament that do not count towards your amateur point total.
2. "And, basically, does playing Open just once make someone a 'pro'?"
No. Cashing and taking the cash makes you a pro. Also, paying the pro PDGA membership dues makes you a pro.
This all reminds me that I need to check to see if that one TD is still showing I took the cash. I took the prizes...
Hah! If you take the prizes in a lightly attended pro division, it makes the payouts look horrible! http://www.pdga.com/tournament_results/15827/Open