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At what point does one not play recreational in tournaments. I am from the mid Michigan area and all the so called "rec" players are all veterans with aces galore and year round league play under their belts. This will be my second season of playing disc and just wondered what other people thought. I played in 2 tournaments as rec and didnt shoot the 10 or 15 under to even compete with these guys. Are these guys doing it for the money and prizes? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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I understand that's their reason for playing up. But the reality is it doesn't matter based on the actual scoring and rating stats. Might as well play where your current skill level is at and learn how to hold a lead and win which is a skill that also needs to be learned just like throwing on all kinds of courses.
I agree that play like that would bolster competition, but the reality is that TD's give away less prizes and lesser trophy's to the Rec. Division (it usually costs less to play). I think you are right about the color scheme idea. If it were a ratings based color coded system it would probably make it more competitive and fair. But old habits die hard. So the whole thing is set up to make it seem like lessor beginner division. For most guys playing Rec. is kind of like riding a girls bike when you were a kid...You get laughed at.....
Preaching to the choir. We have to make the options attractive not just logical.
I played in my first tournament a week after I threw my first golf disc. So in my first round of my first tournament, I noticed that the other guys with me in the lowest division seemed pretty experienced so I asked one guy how long he had been playing tournaments. He told me 5 years. Not 5 years of playing, 5 years of playing tournaments!

I remembered thinking that guy was pretty good. Nah, I was wrong, it turns out he actually belonged down there and stayed down there for many more years and is no doubt not any better today. It was only my inexperienced eyes that couldn't differentiate between a player who could occasionally throw a good shot and a truly good player who threw with good form and consistently made good shots.

The lowest division attracts quite a range of talent and experience but the only ones to worry about are the players who are dedicated to practicing and improving. Many of those guys who look pretty good in Rec will look pretty good in Rec next year as well but they will only look pretty good compared to other Rec players.

So Eric Sanderson, don't be upset with those seemingly good players down in Rec. Instead thank them for maintaining their marginal skills so you would have someone to push your game up to the next level.

The more you play and practice with good players the more you will learn to play better yourself and learn to see the lower level players for what they are. Take darn near any kid with good form and the dedication to practice and within a year or two (or maybe only a couple months) he will be beyond the skills of the Rec division.

The nomenclature of the Amateur divisions doesn't make sense and has caused confusion for years. Labels and colors are not intuitive but numbers are. The top Amateur division should be called Am1. The next lowest division should be called Am 2, descending down to the lowest division. So if one day we need to add yet another division we can call it Am 5. With numerically labeled divisions the only question is whether 1 is the highest or lowest, everything is logical thereafter.
It's logical only if you wish to discourage our other gender that plays. Most women don't play even at the Am4 level. So if you want division names to strictly indicate a skill level, colors are genderless (except maybe pink) and they match the tee skill color that course designers are implementing. Orienteering is another global sport that works well with courses and skill levels based on color and I believe has a much higher percentage of women competitors than DG, not that there's necessarily a connection.
yea, Am1, Am2, etc. is the unofficial name i've seen attached to these divisions and would make much more sense than colors or names. Funny thing for me, im interested to see if i will be atop the leader board in Rec this weekend, and if i've improved as much as i think i have since my 1st tourney in November (9th of 12, bottom of barrel). Luckily, i'll have friends there that can attest to my inexperience and hopefully i won't get the sandbag label if i achieve my goal. I don't want anyone rainin on my parade if I do have a great day.
I think you have to be very careful when you start throwing around the "sandbagger" term. I know of some people who play in rec and definitely should have moved up a while ago, but at the same time just because someone plays a couple of good rounds doesn't mean that they are a sandbagger. I started playing this summer and got up the confidence to play the last tourney of the year. I had never played a tournament so I entered the rec division (I wasn't even completely clear on all the rules and etiquette). I shot a 906 and a 923 rated round and beat every one in intermediate! I caught some stuff from some people which I handled well but I thought it was pretty unfair. Just be careful when passing judgment.
In most cases, the winner of any amateur division - even if everyone entering it has a rating within the ratings range specified - will average a rating for two rounds that is higher than the top end of the rating break for the division. This is statistically normal and expected and yet some think it indicates a player is a bagger and misplaced in the division.
Opines Mr. Kennedy: "It's logical only if you wish to discourage our other gender that plays. Most women don't play even at the Am4 level."

So far our current division names evidently have failed to draw women out in any significant numbers. I'm guessing the division names have nothing to do with women's participation.

Numerically based division names work for women just like they do for men. Womens Am 1, Womens Am 2, etc. They can also work for age based divisions, if any tournament chooses to offer them: Am 1 Master, Am 2 Master, etc.
Jeff Vest,

Take those cries as compliments from the losers. You can't sandbag in a division which falls in your handicap range. The alternative is to come in last where no one will accuse you of sandbagging. They will also never accuse of being any good.

So let's see: 1) Play well and get heckled or 2) suck forever. Tough choice, eh?
At 818 I do not worry much about divisions. I just play Novice. At 62...I have been around the disc golf scene for about 2.5 years. In tournaments I have played in Recreational, Ad. Grandmasters and Ad.Senior Grandmaster divisions. This year (2010) I decided to play Novice. Wow...I think I have found a home (for now). Most of the players are of my caliber which makes me feel less intimidated. Most have the same boondoggles as well. Distance problems off the tee's, putting etc. Playing Novice..I even had the opportunity to play alongside some Open Pro women. They were awesome.
Finally...I feel there is a trickle down of discgolfers who want to attain more points or achieve a higher rateing, so they drop down into the lesser challenging bracket. Those lesser divisions do the same thing due to the trickle down, until it stops at Novice. I even see some higher rated discers playing in Novice which I thought they would have been better mixed in with Rec. players. I have complimented them on there game and let them know I thought they were good enough go up to the next level.
What can be done to keep the more talented and experienced players up in the divisions they should be playing in?
I had a similier question when i first started playing in tourneys .In Alaska we have Rec,intermediate,Adv and Open divisions .The rule of thumb here was to let someone stay in a division till they won a state championship or it was obvious they didnt belong in that division and were told they should move up.To get better in any sport it's important to play with better players,so staying in a division that doesnt challenge you is doing yourself a disservice I won the 2008 rec state championship in my second yr of playing and moved to intermediate (for 4 tourneys in 09 ) after talking to fellow player i moved to Adv mid season last yr to play against better players .I got my butt kicked at first than my game improved by watching and talking to better players. I feel I have as good as chance as the other Adv players this yr of taking states.I say play in the division that is challenging and you are competitive in.The other advice is to seek out the better players and start playing with them ,you can only get better for it. Good luck this yr

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