Best Tournament Practices

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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Disc Golf Live » Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:43 am

Chuck Kennedy wrote: 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.


Sounds like a speed-of-play nightmare in the making, if you ask me.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:20 am

Nope. Players would still need to make their measurements before it's their turn along with their 30 seconds to throw.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby veganray » Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:23 am

Yep. If every player took the allowed 30 seconds between each shot, it would, indeed, be a speed-of-play nightmare. This proposal will encourage players to do just that.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

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

If scoring apps are allowed during tournament play it would be difficult to monitor and disallow GPS apps from also being used. So dealing with it is coming whether we like it or not. There are players who currently take more than their allotted 30 seconds as it is. Once rangefinders and GPS apps are allowed, it may actually reduce time because more players will be monitoring 30 seconds than they did before. I didn't use to carry a watch. Now I have a stopwatch app on my iPod Touch and have monitored 30 seconds sometimes and 3 minutes for lost disc all the time when I'm carrying it.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Mark Ellis » Sat Nov 12, 2011 7:17 am

Disc Golf Live wrote:
Chuck Kennedy wrote: 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.


Sounds like a speed-of-play nightmare in the making, if you ask me.


But a nightmare that a TD can protect his/her tournament from. If distance flags were posted on the longest, toughest holes no one will bother with fancy devices and the delay they cause.

At the Amateur National Championships held at the Toboggan Course (long, tough, hilly) for the last decade, we put out distance flags. One tournament volunteer with a GPS gizmo and a bunch of flags can prep a course in a couple hours. This speeds up play because players take less time to visually estimate distances and when the flags give accurate distances it increases the likelihood of good upshots. The closer the upshots to the baskets the less time players will take putting out.

The overall efficiency of the tournament is the concern of the TD. An individual players' primary concern is their score. You can't fault a player for taking time to JUDGE a shot. For a tournament like a World Championship, the majority of players are from out of town and have little knowledge or experience with the courses. At a Worlds most competitors will play between 4 and 6 challenging courses (7 maybe including semis and finals). What percent of the competitors are playing any given course "Blind" (having never seen it before)? What percent have played any given course more than once?

If the top tournaments made a habit of using distance flags that practice will filter down to other events.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Disc Golf Live » Sat Nov 12, 2011 8:34 am

Mark, I agree that distance indicators (however implemented) are a great tourney asset. I'd add that those markers can in most cases (the Toboggan is an exception) be added permanently on holes where appropriate. Colored posts at fairway edges come to mind as an easy solution. The concept should be rolled into course design practice by designers who consider user-friendliness important. So rather than considering this only as a "tournament" practice, its a best design practice. The concern with alternate pin positions is managed by relating the markers to the shortest pin (or longest, doesn't really matter), and a player need only know the difference between pins to make the mathematical adjustment when necessary.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Sean40474 » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:29 pm

Mark, instead of doing that, why don't they just let us use a range finder or something. If you're marking stuff ahead of time, what is the difference (read as legalizing range finders)? Seems trivial at that point.

I guess this is a better question for Chuck.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:28 am

Allowing rangefinders becomes incidental to allowing smartphones. If you're going to allow smartphones with internet access for posting scores and apps to track scoring, it will be hard to monitor those who might also try to use GPS for measuring distances. If you allow any form of measuring distances during a round then it doesn't make much sense to continue to restrict rangefinders since rangefinders will actually work a little faster and more accurately in most cases than GPS except for maybe blind shots.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Sean40474 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:44 am

I should've been more clear in my post about that Chuck, my apologies. I meant legalize "any" distance measuring device. Just curious, but what was/is the PDGA's logic on not allowing any such device? I've read the rule, but now I want to understand why.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:31 am

When the rule was written, it was following the lead from the ball golf rule which still officially disallows rangefinders during events. I also think there was some consideration that rangefinders were expensive and not everyone could afford one. However, ball golf has relaxed their rule on rangefinders and have left it to the tournament committee for each event to allow them or not. In addition, caddie books have become so accurate for ball golf tour events that the distances can be estimated within a few yards from about every position. So rangefinders aren't even needed.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby ATL Scott » Sun Nov 13, 2011 7:00 pm

The worst part of a tournament is often the long rambling players meeting and the loooooong wait before payout. More than anywhere I've played the IDGC seems to be incredibly efficient at getting you out on the course and then out on the road ASAP.

It also gets on my nerves when scores aren't posted online quickly.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Mark Ellis » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:53 pm

ATL Scott wrote:The worst part of a tournament is often the long rambling players meeting and the loooooong wait before payout. More than anywhere I've played the IDGC seems to be incredibly efficient at getting you out on the course and then out on the road ASAP.

It also gets on my nerves when scores aren't posted online quickly.


TD's volunteer their time (and sometimes money) to run events. The really good ones give a part of their soul, too. As much as I don't care for poor public speakers typically, it is probably too much to expect every TD to be a gifted public speaker. Efficiency in speaking is a difficult skill to master (at least as hard as making putts in bad winds). The TD's who are not only efficient but also clear and entertaining as well are great.

Some TD's who are not as comfortable with public speaking will have one of the tournament staff assigned to be the Talking Head.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Sean40474 » Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:47 pm

ATL Scott wrote:
It also gets on my nerves when scores aren't posted online quickly.


I'm a fan of quickly posted scores as well.

It drives me crazy when tourney doesn't start on time initially and after the lunch break. If people aren't there, then they missed their tee times, sorry. I get flack about that here in AK because we're a smaller community and that I shouldn't be that cutthroat. The way I see it, we enable people by not following the rules and our own words.
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:01 am

Tournament Delays-Tee Times

I played a tournament this last weekend (Discraft Great Lakes Open in Ann Arbor, Michigan) which used a ball golf style format for the last round: Tee times where the lowest divisions when first and the lowest cards preceded the higher cards. Basically this meant that the weakest players started first and created a backlog which never went away.

We were playing the 24 hole Monster course at Hudson Mills, a long, tough, tight and nasty course with thick rough on most holes.

It turned out to be one of the longest, slowest rounds I have ever played in a tournament, lasting 5 1/2 hours. I was in the hunt on the lead card of Pro Masters and not only had trouble developing any rhythm, but waiting 10 to 20 minutes to tee off on most hole had an old guy like me stiffening up. Of course the longer and tighter the hole the longer the delay and the greater the danger for missing a line on the drive.

This format is basically what is used in ball golf tournaments. Everybody starts at hole #1 at staggered tee times and on subsequent rounds the lowest card go first. It seems to me at some point the respective skills of the divisions and the difficulty of the course has to dictate which formats are doable. The conditions matter too. We had blazing sun and temps in the low 90's. I was cranky by the 4th hour and light-headed after that.

I love golf but 5 and a half hours is too long a round to be enjoyable. Fortunately I had a great group and a back and forth battle. On the last hole I had a 25 foot putt to force a 3 way tie for 1st. Given how I felt it was more luck than anything it went in. How in the heck do you prepare for these kind of conditions?
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Re: Best Tournament Practices

Postby JR » Tue Aug 28, 2012 4:56 am

Forgive the jaded reply because i get cold fast and warm up slowly. Having been bored to death filming top cards this happens in all of the larger finals in Europe i've been to. The top is so much faster than the rest and it's boring even when you're not playing. So you need to stay limber? Answer: Booze. :-D Sarcasm.
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