I wrote this as a response to a sandbagging thread but it could be its own blog post with a little work. Jonah Goldberg does this all the time, turning blog responses into LATimes columns!
I run tournaments and play a lot of tournaments in a broad area across the midwest. I see basically zero sandbagging. What I see a lot of is Rec players playing Advanced, or Am 4s playing Intermediate, and then complaining about "sandbagging." We need a derogatory term for that. I propose "dreambagging".
With the help of "ratings elves," Jon, Brett and I keep ratings on PDGA non-members at our tournaments. We see very few non-members trying to play in a division below where their rating would put them if they had joined a year ago. It just is not happening much in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. And it rarely happens at all with PDGA members. You might get in a little trouble for that if you did it twice.
If someone sucks they need to man up and admit it. If you suck and you want to play up a division or two for the experience, that is your choice, and i'm totally pro-choice with that. I dreambagged at the March Mush and no one woke me up! I encourage players to play both days at IOSeries tournaments and dreambag trophy-only. But please shut your yap about other players sandbagging when you are dreambagging about how incredibly awesome you are. The players beating you by ten throws actually belong in that division.
Take the C-bus March Madness for instance only because it was the example that the other blog poster could relate to. 24 players in Advanced. 18 of them are dreambaggers. 28 players in Intermediate. 20 of them are dreambaggers. 24 players in rec. 20 of them are dreambaggers. Each of these divisions was won by a PDGA member with a rating appropriate for that division. Dreambaggers 58, Sandbaggers 0.
With the new PDGA ratings breaks, very few players belong in Advanced anymore. It has become strictly a dreambagger division. I'm currently an Intermediate under the new system. I'm going to play Intermediate. I'm going to play it loudly and see if I can wake up some of the dreambaggers.
I was looking at some stats. It looks like there is a lot less dreambagging in Illinois and Michigan than in Ohio or Indiana. Is it run off from the farms getting in the water? No, I think in Illinois there has been some leadership encouraging players to feel fine about playing within their division. In Michigan, the Open division is really tough, so there is a domino effect all the way down the divisional structure.
At the Illinois Open Series I'll be working on the day that the advanced division plays. I'll probably have an advanced rating all summer. So I'll have to dreambag in Open.
See you in Byron Saturday.