Chuck Kennedy wrote:...I know after Pro Worlds in Flagstaff the general feeling was that a World Championship should not be held at that altitude or above...
I know that there is a growing sentiment among some touring pros that Worlds should be held in perfectly controlled conditions for which every throw is simply performing a given sequence of shots under ideal footing and calm weather conditions, no trees, no rocks, no wind, great footing everywhere, no altitude, etc.. Heck, why do we need to even play on a course if we want to go this direction? For Worlds, we could instead simply set up a series of large movable circular hanging hoops in an indoor climate-controlled stadium at pre-defined altitude and select a champion based on who can go through the motions of performing a sequence of shots through various hoop arrangements...after all, what's the difference between that and the direction some people want to take disc golf championships? This growing sentiment is unique to disc golf, do you ever hear golfers at the AT&T Pebble Beach whining about the wind and rain and wishing they could just swing their clubs indoors, instead?
What makes disc golf better than that, and also makes it a great analogy for life, is that on a real course in the real outdoors: shit happens. Just as in life, everything can change in an instant, and you have to learn to adjust and overcome. Such changes might be temporary, lasting a few minutes, or may occur over hours, days, or even for the rest of your life.
Disc golf is an outdoor sport, in which you have to face the elements, you get to spend a little time in the open air, perhaps even a little closer to nature (or in the case of Tahoe, a lot closer). In an inherently outdoor sport, should a Champion be crowned who can only play well under conditions most comfortable to themselves, only? Or is it better to ensure that a true Champion must face and overcome a variety of challenges which spans the entire spectrum of skill sets in their sport, prove that they can get out of trouble when they find it, and keep doing it for the entire length of a tournament?
Also, is it fair to exclude a particular skill set from ever being tested again at Worlds?
Chuck Kennedy wrote:...players who also experienced adjustment and health issues due to the altitude and Worlds includes players up to 80 years old...
Last time we went up to Tahoe my wife was 8 months pregnant, and we had similar concerns. But it turns out that Tahoe is not so high in altitude that it is a very serious concern (we're not talking about Mt Whitney), in fact there are many retirement communities and the elderly get along quite well in that area. You can see busloads of grey hair passing through Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Tahoe, Lassen, etc., all the time, travelling directly from western California and driving right up into the mountains from sea to sky.
Chuck Kennedy wrote:Most players don't have the time to come a week in advance of Worlds and adjust to the conditions and learn how to throw their discs in the thin air.
It only takes a day or two, after which your body is completely acclimated and if you didn't already know, then you've had a chance to see how your bag flies in thin air.