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Hello all. Last spring some friends and I founded a disc golf club at our university(New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM) and held a one day tournament on a temp course to introduce the sport to the school and the town. The response was incredible as we had a very large and talented field show up from as far away as Amarillo, TX. We could have not have been more pleased with the results. Next year we want to go bigger and better. I am looking into possibly getting it sanctioned but I am not sure if it is worth it. I believe that part of the success of our tourney is the fact that ams got paid cash and I know that that would not be possible if it were sanctioned. I would like to know the process of getting sanctioned and any other thoughts you may have. Thanks!!

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ams like cash ........ it's a way easier to do and everybody can play without adding extra fees ...... pros will show just not as many and they're the easiest to cater to anyways
I agree. For a $15 (pro) or $10 (am) entry fee we were able to provide each player with a free lunch and tournament t-shirt while maintaining 100% payout. We were able to do this with excellent support from the University and community at large. A majority of the golfers in NM and especially the area are not PDGA members so that would require additional fees. But for comparisons sake, what is and how difficult is the sanctioning process?
pay your $50 to the PDGA pay your insurance $50 to cover your butt to the PDGA (free for A tier) then i think its like @$2 per player to the PDGA. Generally you wont see a pro sandbag to win some plastic they are there to win cash, want to win cash play non sanctioned for no points and you'll find a sandbagger or two in every group. Or better yet practice and play against the best who are all PDGA members.
First you have to pass your open book test to become an official. Then you have to pay your $50 to sanction it as a C-tier. And then they will charge you $2 for every PDGA member who plays and $12 for every non-member who plays.

If you are drawing players without sanctioning, what do you think you'll gain by sanctioning? Sanctioning is an expensive hassle, but it gets you visibility and the opportunity to buy insurance on the cheap. If you don't need either, it is a lot of money spent for nothing.

I have sanctioned 70 or 80 tournaments [counting split weekends twice] and have run far fewer unsanctioned tournaments. I sanction mainly to get the insurance.
Again I agree. In a perfect world with perfect circumstances we would all be PDGA Members. I as a member, I would prefer having the tournament sanctioned, but the goal of our tournament is to raise awareness of the sport in the town and among the university with the long term goal of getting a permanent course installed. The additional fees may discourage some from playing, or on the other hand getting it sanctioned will add validity to our efforts and may attract more players.
Last year our tournament was held on the University's ball golf course and as a University sponsored club, our event was covered under their insurance policy.
Not paying cash to am divisions would also support the meaning of Am versus Pro if you continue to go unsanctioned even though it's easier to pay ams cash. At least using merch prizes for ams can help underwrite the admin cost of running the event.
Obtaining merch for prizes would make for an additional up-front cost. The nice thing about paying all cash is it minimizes upfront cost, I only payout the amount of cash that I receive upon registration. If I get merch to payout 50 am players but only 25 show up, I am left in the red the amount of that remaining merch.
You don't necessarily buy the prizes but use a regular disc vendor to allow the ams to get what they want online. It's a process used by many events. If you can't find a vendor around there who would do it, there are several outifts nationally with online ability to handle it. It's a good way to get a working relationship for sponsorship down the road even with big sporting goods places like Dick's or Academy if those are the only places selling them around there.

The thing is, if you eventually consider sanctioning, you'll have to address the ams/merch issue anyway. This way you could get that worked out while still unsanctioned before stepping up to sanctioning.
Watch out for baggers when paying cash to ams. Bye the way it is nice for one day events to pay cash to ams. Sometimes the merch gets old.
Great point Chuck. You would have to either travel 50 miles South to REI in Santa Fe or 50 miles North to Sipapu Ski Resort to buy a disc from where our tourney is held. Who are some of the national stores who do it? You can send me a PM if you don't want to publicly endorse anyone. I think that is an option that I would like to explore.

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