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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.

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Comment by get your discs and godiscn on April 4, 2008 at 2:00pm
add dreambagging to the DISCTIONARY
Comment by Bruce Brakel on April 3, 2008 at 10:00pm
Terry you got a real LOL from me on that. I hope to step up in eleven years.
Comment by Terry "the Pirate" Calhoun on April 3, 2008 at 7:09pm
It's easy to "dreambag" in Advanced. But so many of you are afraid to "step up" and compete with the Senior Grand Masters. Sigh.
Comment by Chris Wojciechowski on April 3, 2008 at 6:59pm - This link is to the thread on the Columbus Flyers message board about March Madness. If you go through the pages you'll see that I argued along virtually these IDENTICAL lines, Bruce. Page 7 is about where the debate begins, following the tournament's conclusion. Here is an example of some discussion:

"This is a really tough subject. I feel if there were some kind of chart or scale that would move players up it's better than them being taunted into advancement."

My Response: There IS a chart or scale! It is called the ratings system, unfortunately WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE ignore it. You see 900 rated guys playing Advanced, 875 rated guys playing Intermediate, 940 rated guys playing Open Division... there is a scale, people just don't give a crap.

Great minds think alike, Bruce? lol
Comment by Rhett "in SoCal" Stroh on April 3, 2008 at 4:53pm
I love the concept, but "DreamBagger" isn't derogatory enough of a term to have much effect.

You'll also have to announce all the non-merchers at the awards ceremony so that everyone will have the opportunity to shout "Donator!" at the appropriate time. :)

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