Best Tournament Practices

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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby MR. WICK » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:14 am

My largest pet peve of some events is the turnaround time between rounds, it really should be no longer than one hour from when the last card comes in.

I like it when the td hands out a printed course guide with distances, out of bounds, and special rules, layout changes etc....
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:27 am

Chuck Kennedy wrote:In Minnesota, we've used doubles team ratings caps to define fair divisions. Especially in "Open," teams couldn't have a total rating for two partners higher than 1975 with no player rated higher than 1025 allowed (none over 1025 in MN anyway). Then the next divisions were 1875 (Blue/Advanced) with no player over 975, then 1775 (White/Int) with no player over 925, then 1675 (Red/Rec) with no one over 875. Of course teams in every division could include women and players over aged 39 based on their ratings.


So you banned players over 1025 rated, knowing none existed in the State? Why not ban all players over 7 feet tall with PhD's in microbiology and ratings over 1025?

I have played in Ratings Cap Doubles and liked them. They are not scam free though. Any player without a PDGA rating is sort of a wild card. Anyone with a rating far below their current skills (someone who hasn't played in a tourney for a few years or an up-and-comer) becomes a very desirable partner. When the caps were announced I looked up my potential partners for the various divisions on the PDGA site so I could sandbag with the best of them, which is half the battle in this kind of event.

The Minnesota model did something different than the ones I played in, namely, banning players with rating which were too high from divisions, even if the team cumulative rating was low enough. Another way to accomplish the same goal would be to use formats other than straight Best Shot. Players and tournaments seem pretty resistant to formats other than Best Shot.

The Ice Bowl in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has an old guys division where the cumulative ages of the partners must reach 100 years. I have been advocating they do the same thing for the Masters division and make it 80+ but that has not happened yet.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:48 am

MR. WICK wrote:My largest pet peve of some events is the turnaround time between rounds, it really should be no longer than one hour from when the last card comes in.

I like it when the td hands out a printed course guide with distances, out of bounds, and special rules, layout changes etc....


How about the groups which come in an hour after everyone else? Playing behind slow groups drives me crazy. At least in a tourney it makes some small degree of sense. In a casual round it is completely unacceptable.

One Worlds we had 3 hour breaks between morning and afternoon rounds. That took some getting used to. With an hour break it is a race to get food and get back to the tourney so you stay in revved up mode. With a 3 hour break you need to rev down then rev back up. By the end of the week of Worlds I got used to it and it was no big deal.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby money 21 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:00 am

when we did a double tourney we set the rule that you had to play in a division based on the teams highest rated play and broke them up like this. above 975/black, 975-935/blue, 935-875/white, and 875-below red. it worked ok we had a couple super groups show up and they played head to head.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby MR. WICK » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:13 am

Mark Ellis wrote:
MR. WICK wrote:My largest pet peve of some events is the turnaround time between rounds, it really should be no longer than one hour from when the last card comes in.

I like it when the td hands out a printed course guide with distances, out of bounds, and special rules, layout changes etc....


How about the groups which come in an hour after everyone else? Playing behind slow groups drives me crazy. At least in a tourney it makes some small degree of sense. In a casual round it is completely unacceptable.

One Worlds we had 3 hour breaks between morning and afternoon rounds. That took some getting used to. With an hour break it is a race to get food and get back to the tourney so you stay in revved up mode. With a 3 hour break you need to rev down then rev back up. By the end of the week of Worlds I got used to it and it was no big deal.



Here in NEFA land it's pretty much standard practice for no more than one hr after the last card is in, when I run events I shoot for no more than 45 minutes (especially if it's an event in the time of yr where daylight is an issue). Any longer and there is a ton of bitching about it, the majority of the players where I'm at (me included) like a quick turn around, the quicker the better. When it starts pushing 1 hour or more I get antsy. And this is for FULL events of 90ish players. You should be able to eat and prepare in less than an hour, what the hell do people really need to do, even if you need to eat, have a safety meeting, drink a beer, and warm up that's still more than enough time. Most tourneys have a lunch vendor that takes orders prior to the first round if you need to buy something, and it's waiting for you when you finish your round. But I'm in New England where everything needs to be done an hour ago.

Do people really leave the course to go get food between rounds??? This rarely ever happens here.

I can see how turn around would be a little different for worlds or large scale events with more players attending. The TD probably needs that extra time to set up, check all the cards and group everyone for the next round......but 3 hrs is pretty nutz, even for an event that size.
Last edited by MR. WICK on Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 11:25 am

When you have 3 hour breaks between rounds at Worlds it's typically because the courses are hosting three rounds in a day. So rounds are scheduled 3 hours apart for everyone playing in the morning and afternoon on a different course.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby curt » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:07 pm

Most tourneys have a lunch vendor that takes orders prior to the first round if you need to buy something, and it's waiting for you when you finish your round.


I don't think this is common practice in most places, and is the reason most tournaments need an hour after the last card is turned in.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby MR. WICK » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:18 pm

curt wrote:
Most tourneys have a lunch vendor that takes orders prior to the first round if you need to buy something, and it's waiting for you when you finish your round.


I don't think this is common practice in most places, and is the reason most tournaments need an hour after the last card is turned in.



That's strange, it's such a good thing to do. Brings business to a local restaraunt, makes them aware of disc golf, is convenient for the players, easy to set up (all they have to do is send someone to take orders in the AM, make the food and deliver it in a few hours, all the TD has to do is let them know there will be X number of hungry people that will order food from them). We usually use a pizza or sandwich place near the course. Plus after you use a place a couple times you can usually hit them up for sponsorship $$ as well, or gift certificates for prizes etc. I haven't been to a tourney in a few years that didn't have a lunch vendor.

So good tournament practice......have a lunch vendor
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:35 pm

Rare to have a lunch vendor with pre-orders in Minnesota. A few annual events have onsite food availability. But most events it's fend for yourself. But then, food places are pretty close to most of our tournament courses.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby ferretdance03 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:28 pm

We always provide lunch, and we've always cooked it ourselves. Typically hotdogs and burgers on the grill, with a few side dishes. It's fairly inexpensive and easier for me to organize this than to try to organize with a restaurant. The combination of our course being a little off the beaten path and taking around 3hrs for a tourney round we try to keep everyone onsite and moving for a quick lunch turn around.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Steve » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:26 am

One of my pet peeves is the unfair treatment of the womens division by TDs. I have been trying to convince my wife that tournaments are fun and that there is a place for women players at tournaments but every tournament I have convinced her to play in has been horrible for her. The girls usually play at a slower rate than the guys do and the TDs seem to make their cards the largest ones to try and keep them all on one card. This has translated to them coming in an hour after everyone else on the first round. In order to make up for the mistake the TD usually tells them they only get 30 minutes or less for lunch so that they can keep the show on the road. It is unfair to cut their lunch shorter without letting them know prior to showing up. We didn't pack a lunch and now have no time to go and get lunch elsewhere. Both of these tournaments that we played also had raffle drawings where you got to pick out a prize if your name was drawn. The TD decided to start the raffle drawings before the last card had finished and the girls that won had to pick out their prizes from what was leftover. If you are going to host a womens division I suggest letting them know ahead of time if they will not recieve the same break as everyone else and also wait for everyone to be finished before starting other activities.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby osborne » Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:45 am

I have seen this a few times and it does help. Putting simple flags on the basket. Its nice to know what the wind is doing down there.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:48 am

Steve wrote:One of my pet peeves is the unfair treatment of the womens division by TDs. I have been trying to convince my wife that tournaments are fun and that there is a place for women players at tournaments but every tournament I have convinced her to play in has been horrible for her. The girls usually play at a slower rate than the guys do and the TDs seem to make their cards the largest ones to try and keep them all on one card. This has translated to them coming in an hour after everyone else on the first round. In order to make up for the mistake the TD usually tells them they only get 30 minutes or less for lunch so that they can keep the show on the road. It is unfair to cut their lunch shorter without letting them know prior to showing up. We didn't pack a lunch and now have no time to go and get lunch elsewhere. Both of these tournaments that we played also had raffle drawings where you got to pick out a prize if your name was drawn. The TD decided to start the raffle drawings before the last card had finished and the girls that won had to pick out their prizes from what was leftover. If you are going to host a womens division I suggest letting them know ahead of time if they will not recieve the same break as everyone else and also wait for everyone to be finished before starting other activities.


Women are a conundrum. Not just generally in life but in disc golf tournaments too.

It must be a cultural thing but women do not seem to be comfortable enough with competition to be attracted in large numbers to tournaments. Many Tournament Directors have tried many different inducements to make or keep women happy but nothing has ever worked, at least not enough to swell the ranks beyond the minimal numbers we see.

I have noticed that women are consistently slow when they play in groups with other women but not necessarily slow when they play with men. Obviously anyone can play slowly, no matter their skill level and some of the most talented players are inexplicably slow (ssslllloooooowwwww... godawful, unbearably slow). But a group of women, even if normal sized for the event (3 some or 4 some) is damn near guaranteed to be the slowest group on the course.

A TD's first responsibility is to make the process happen within time limits (finishing in the dark is not acceptable), not to make the slowest groups happy with their lunch break. I wish there was a good way to gently encourage slow players (of either gender) to speed things along.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Mark Ellis » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:07 am

osborne wrote:I have seen this a few times and it does help. Putting simple flags on the basket. Its nice to know what the wind is doing down there.


Something I rarely see but genuinely appreciate, especially on long courses, are yardage markers in the fairways. Being half blind, my depth perception is poor. If I am at an out-of-town course, more so on hilly courses, I am too often guessing how far away I am from the basket. Sometimes I guess wrong by 100 feet. Nothing like throwing a shot exactly like you planned only to find you have landed in a different area code from the basket.

Flags designating 400, 300 and 200 feet from the basket are wonderful. If there was only a single flag, say at 250 feet, it would be immensely helpful. Instead we often have no tee signs and no yardage given for the hole or worse, wildly inaccurate hole distances (oh, sorry Dude, that distance was for the old hole location).

For the World Championships, the primary reason I need to play the courses in advance is to get a better feel for distances. It doesn't make sense to me why good eyesight should be a critical skill in disc golf. In ball golf, not only are there almost always accurate tee signs but also yardage markers along the fairways.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:31 am

While it can be a good idea to have markers for distances to the pin if possible, the problem on many courses is they have multiple pin placements which makes fairway markers too confusing. If not for 2012 but hopefully by 2013, players will be allowed to use smartphones with GPS and rangefinders to determine distance to pins during rounds.
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