BDGA AGM 2014

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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:27 pm

Hey guys. So I have put together a short analysis piece on the last 4 years' worth of data from the tour and shared this with the current group (Bruce, Neil, Phil, Seamus & Robb) that are going to review the structure. Bruce has asked that I share this with the rest of the forum too so please find below links to the 2 documents I've compiled (I couldn't upload them as the forum doesn't seem to like Word or Excel files :( ).

Anyway, if you have any thoughts, feedback or questions please feel free.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8ru60bkcisqpy ... .docx?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6odxubtdtth7z ... .xlsx?dl=0
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by seamus » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:22 am

Nice charts Nick.
You have analyzed Bdga vs Bdga over a particular time frame. I'm wondering what the trend of growth might be if you compared Bdga vs. Pdga over the same time period.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Fri Nov 07, 2014 12:52 pm

Thanks Seamus. I'd love to have a crack at a UK Vs general PDGA comparison but I'm conscious of how long it would take and based on how much benefit it would provide, I'm going to have to decline, sorry :(

EDIT - to clarify though, if you can sell me on just how much of a benefit it would in fact be, I'm sure I could have my arm twisted
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by LostMeow » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:19 pm

At the moment I feel what's missing from this debate is a clear statement of what we're trying to achieve: what are the perceived problems with the current BDGA Tour and what are people's potential solutions, preferably backed with data.

Nick, what is your analysis designed to address? Or is it just 'for information'?

Seamus, I can't see how Nick would be able to get equivalent data to what he has on the BDGA in order to meaningfully compare PDGA vs BDGA. And I can't see why it would help us to know how much PDGA is growing worldwide? How would that knowledge help us to do anything, whether we have been doing better or worse than PDGA worldwide?

I would be interested in an analysis of how changing the scoring method for the BDGA tour would affect overall standings. e.g. if we took scores from all events, not just best 4; or/and if we changed the points allocation system.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by Jester » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:20 pm

LostMeow wrote:I would be interested in an analysis of how changing the scoring method for the BDGA tour would affect overall standings. e.g. if we took scores from all events, not just best 4; or/and if we changed the points allocation system.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:55 pm

Hi Tom

I agree with you on how much of a benefit it would provide hence my comment however being that I (oddly) enjoy doing this type of analysis I probably could have been convinced to do it anyway.

Regarding the stats themselves, I provided them pretty much just as an FYI to allow the guys working on the tour improvements to see how attendance has changed over the last 4 seasons.

Also, it's funny you should mention about seeing how certain scoring changes might have altered things as that's the second piece of analysis I started a couple of days ago :) Watch this space....
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by seamus » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:08 pm

I suggested Nick compare Bdga vs. Pdga growth over the same time frame within the borders of the UK, not worldwide that would just be silly.
I do however feel the the UK at some point will out pace worldwide growth for a short period of time. The current trend proves participation in disc golf doubles every 5 years, I would bet UK growth will more than double if not triple over the next 3-5 years.

Bdga vs Pdga analysis within UK boarders might show the Pdga tournament model will soon catch if not overtake the Bdga tournament model in number of events and player participation.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by rhatton1 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:25 pm

Bruce already did the donkey work a few years back on different scoring systems - viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1306&hilit=tour+points+system

Edit* Dunc page 5 of the above thread makes quite a prophetic post about variable tour point allocation in the future
Last edited by rhatton1 on Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:27 pm

Hi Seamus. Sorry, maybe I'm being a little dense but I don't get what comparison you'd like to see when you say "Bdga vs. Pdga growth over the same time frame within the borders of the UK, not worldwide". When you join the BDGA, you automatically become a PDGA member too.

Also just to be clear, the analysis I've done so far only provides tour attendance stats and should not be considered as an indication of how the BDGA as an organisation (or PDGA for that matter) may have grown as many of the participants of the events were non-members. If you wanted to see stats on how the membership base has grown over the same periods though, I believe Tom would might that data though.

That being said... One other suggestion I'd like to make to you and the group is that next season, we should make it mandatory for all tour participants to be at least Associate members of the BDGA (or PDGA if an overseas player). This has no cost and takes barely any effort for the player but would give us more visibility of numbers as well as being able to contact players via the standard communications channels.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:36 pm

Hi Rich. Thanks for posting that link as I hadn't seen that but it would appear that both of the options I had already started to consider have been covered off however there is one final, slightly more complex, idea I have that I'd still like to pursue the results of which I will drop as soon as I've managed to kick Excel hard enough to spit out what I want ;)
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by rhatton1 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:52 pm

BaggerBlakehill wrote:
That being said... One other suggestion I'd like to make to you and the group is that next season, we should make it mandatory for all tour participants to be at least Associate members of the BDGA (or PDGA if an overseas player). This has no cost and takes barely any effort for the player but would give us more visibility of numbers as well as being able to contact players via the standard communications channels.
Totally agree with this statement. More membership in whatever form gives more credibility to the organisation and the sport. Could easily be incorporated into the google spreadhseet entry form, simple if BDGA NO. progress, if not enter these details please. Not sure on the overseas PDGA as I don't believe there is a similar associates system but why not just become associate BDGA does it matte that they are based out of the country when they are competing here?
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by rhatton1 » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:55 pm

Also not sure if this has already been done but can the members spreadsheet be loaded to google docs (or microsoft online) and then any entrants (from website member link or tournament entry form) be automatically added instead of the secretary having to fill in manually with automatic welcome email generated? This may have already been done since i was on it. If not I wouldn't have thought this was too hard to work out and link in? Sounds the sort of thing I might even be able to program so sure Bruce could knock it up in 5 minutes.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by Jester » Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:11 pm

LostMeow wrote:At the moment I feel what's missing from this debate is a clear statement of what we're trying to achieve: what are the perceived problems with the current BDGA Tour and what are people's potential solutions, preferably backed with data.
Exactly. Without knowing this there is no point opening the scoring system debate can of worms again or the tail will keep wagging the dog. The Big Question I feel that must be answered first: What is the purpose of competitions within UK discgolf? Know this and scoring system required to support it will design itself.

For example, is the competition purpose to provide:
- A national league with overall winner (what we have now with the Tour)?; or
- A series of individual flagship events showcasing the sport to new players/investors/media, supported by smaller regional events?; or
- A series of unconnected events TDs can run at their discretion with no overall winner?

Should competitions:
- Be run at different levels e.g. Club/Regional/National with different rewards at each?
- Be open to all player skill levels, irrespective of the level of competition?
- Introduce protected Divisions e.g Women, Junior, Master etc?

Regarding the last point, this is not the same as merely awarding prizes to the top Women, Junior or Master classified player in the Am or Open Divisions. It's not a coincidence that 'Division' means 'divided' - players in different Divisions are separate from each other, are not in competition against each other and cannot be compared against each other at season end should such a thing be desired.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by bruce » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:33 pm

Existing Tour/Stats problems, in no particular order:
Anticipated that # of non-tour events will exceed # of tour events in the near future
Increased demand for additional divisions
Relatively static attendance figures
Highly variable attendances lead to inconsistent scoring
No significant push for increased standards
Inclusiveness can hurt events (4+hour round at QP)
Bespoke scoring system places overhead on volunteers
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by seamus » Fri Nov 07, 2014 7:03 pm

BaggerBlakehill wrote:Hi Seamus. Sorry, maybe I'm being a little dense but I don't get what comparison you'd like to see when you say "Bdga vs. Pdga growth over the same time frame within the borders of the UK, not worldwide". When you join the BDGA, you automatically become a PDGA member too.
You do not need to be a Bdga member to compete in both the Semdgs or the Quaich Tour.
Both series have shown growth with the Pdga tournament models when the Bdga Tour is flat. That comparison would prove the Bdga Tour model needs to change in order to grow. Also there are more Pdga members in Scotland than Bdga members.

In the end I'm not concerned about The Quaich Tour, we'll be just fine. We've blown the dust off the hard work that people put into the sport before I arrived and capitalized on some good fortune. I'm also not concerned for the Pdga they have more to offer the Quaich tour than we'll ever need. I am not concerned about the Bdga as it pertains to England.
As a member I am concerned about the Bdga Tour and why two sub-series have launched and found success as well as concerned a 3rd Series might materialize. I am concerned that as these sub series grow they will negate the need to travel in order to find competition which will ultimately eat into the relevance of our local NGB. I am concerned that the Bdga will stay stagnant and allow the Pdga tournament model to flourish and grow the sport in its absence. I am concerned that the only time we'll see The Bdga Tour in Scotland is during the 'Northern Flights Tour' because that will not be enough.
bruce wrote:Inclusiveness can hurt events (4+hour round at QP)
If by hurt you mean grow to the point you need to divide than I say bring on the pain. I wish we had your problems, The QP Open is so successful it could either be held on two courses or divided into Ams Saturday-Open Sunday.IMO
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by bruce » Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:49 am

seamus wrote:If by hurt you mean grow to the point you need to divide than I say bring on the pain. I wish we had your problems, The QP Open is so successful it could either be held on two courses or divided into Ams Saturday-Open Sunday.IMO
Exactly, and the current tour model won't support that. I'm not complaining, but it's a relevant issue with the existing tour
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by LostMeow » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:03 pm

Seamus, there's a weird disconnect between your comments and everyone else's that I can't quite put my finger on. It's a labelling thing, I think. There are several comments here that I just find odd, but if I had to pick one that sums up what I don't understand it's this one:
seamus wrote: I am concerned that the Bdga will stay stagnant and allow the Pdga tournament model to flourish and grow the sport in its absence.
What is the 'PDGA tournament model' in this context? A tournament with players playing disc golf? Or are you referring specifically to paying $50 to use the PDGA rating system? That's just access to a statistical calculation system. Brighton (SMEGS) actually decided not to bother with that - so is their 'tournament model' somehow sitting outside both PDGA and BDGA? It was a disc golf tournament held in Britain, attended by BDGA members who are also PDGA members. I was there and I'd consider it part of the big picture of disc golf in Britain. Are you saying it would have been significantly different if we had called it 'BDGA SMEGS Brighton'?

I would say more players playing disc golf in any context = great. If that helps local areas (e.g. Brighton) demonstrate the sport to their local councils, to help to drive course planting, so much the better.

As the BDGA at the moment we try (with our limited time resources, as volunteers) to enable events to run and coordinate the sport as a whole, as much as possible.

Is your problem that we don't write "The BDGA presents..." on all tournament occurring in Britain?
seamus wrote: You do not need to be a Bdga member to compete in both the Semdgs or the Quaich Tour.
Maybe not, but BDGA members play at these events and BDGA Associate Membership is free so those people could join if they could be bothered. I don't see a particular problem here?
seamus wrote: Also there are more Pdga members in Scotland than Bdga members.
I can't find the membership prices direct from the PDGA, but our membership fees seem quite competitive to me: £20 first year and £30 thereafter, including PDGA membership. Why wouldn't these players in Scotland purchase their membership through us?
seamus wrote: In the end I'm not concerned about The Quaich Tour, we'll be just fine. We've blown the dust off the hard work that people put into the sport before I arrived and capitalized on some good fortune. I'm also not concerned for the Pdga they have more to offer the Quaich tour than we'll ever need. I am not concerned about the Bdga as it pertains to England.
As a member I am concerned about the Bdga Tour and why two sub-series have launched and found success as well as concerned a 3rd Series might materialize. I am concerned that as these sub series grow they will negate the need to travel in order to find competition which will ultimately eat into the relevance of our local NGB (what's an NGB?). I am concerned that the Bdga will stay stagnant and allow the Pdga tournament model to flourish and grow the sport in its absence. I am concerned that the only time we'll see The Bdga Tour in Scotland is during the 'Northern Flights Tour' because that will not be enough.
Again, I don't get this emphasis on labelling. Disc golf occurring in Britain should fall under the umbrella of the BDGA - the British Disc Golf Association. The BDGA Tour (at the moment) is specifically 10 two-day events which add towards a title. There are other one-day competitions on offer for players who don't want to sacrifice whole weekends.

The 'Northern Flights' tour seems to have been a success since its introduction in encouraging people to make the long (and expensive) journey up North. If you have 2 events (maybe 3 in future?) that's 20% of the tour; Scotland has about 8% of the UK's population, so you could say that's already heavily weighed towards Scotland.

Is the BDGA stagnant? I've signed up nearly 300 new members over the last two years. Yes, we could be doing more to reach out to them, but I wouldn't call that stagnant.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by seamus » Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:32 pm

There is nothing wrong with the Bdga I think you guys rock.
"I am concerned that the Bdga will stay stagnant and allow the Pdga tournament model to flourish and grow the sport in its absence"
I accidentally left out the word 'Tour' which changes the meaning of that statement quite a bit. You've posed many many questions and I certainly don't have time to address them all. I am from outside the UK Tom and not connected to your BDGA past, I'm sure I missed out on a ton of fun, but I consider this an advantage when looking at the future of the sport here, sorry that offends you.

My point again in regards to the evoloution of the Bdga Tour is that the Pdga tournament structure of Tiers allows a flexibility to TD's the Bdga Tour does not and IMO the sport will grow faster with one day events. Two day events are fine but not AS the system of developing the sport. I think it would be considered a mistake to not change the Bdga Tour to capitalize on this trend of successful one-dayers. Like I've stated before I'd support including every disc golf event in the UK as a Bdga event and I also support the Tour contracting to 4-5 majors, its not evolving I find troubling and would warn against it.
I get why the Bdga Tour is structured as it is now, there were very few players in the past and getting together for the weekend made sense. But as the number of tournament players expands along with an increase in single day events the need to travel great distances to play in events will decrease. Like I said I'm concerned about the growth of The Bdga in Scotland and in '15 if we only see The Bdga Tour during 'Northern Flights' (which is only 20%+/- of the tournaments held in Scotland) the Bdga Tour will not be that attractive to new players.
In 2015 we're looking at 8-10+ Pdga events and 1 maybe 2 Bdga events in Scotland. I must return to my statement that the Tour guidelines are too rigid, The '15 Euro Tour cannot be a Bdga Tour, so The Battle of Bluebell Woods in March is out leaving The Scottish Open on Mull and MAYBE a new venue all associated with the Northern Flights Tour. That's not enough of a representation to grow the Bdga here.
bruce wrote:
seamus wrote:If by hurt you mean grow to the point you need to divide than I say bring on the pain. I wish we had your problems, The QP Open is so successful it could either be held on two courses or divided into Ams Saturday-Open Sunday.IMO
Exactly, and the current tour model won't support that. I'm not complaining, but it's a relevant issue with the existing tour
There is also this regarding the need for the Bdga Tour to evolve^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
LostMeow wrote:Are you saying it would have been significantly different if we had called it 'BDGA SMEGS Brighton'?
Yes I am, then it would have been a one day event on the Bdga Tour and I feel in the long run the Bdga will benefit from being more inclusive of these type events.
LostMeow wrote:Why wouldn't these players in Scotland purchase their membership through us?
Maybe they are not bothered because the Bdga isn't so attractive to them. I don't know why but I will ask them if they are going to renew and send them to the Bdga website, as I do.
LostMeow wrote:Is the BDGA stagnant? I've signed up nearly 300 new members over the last two years. Yes, we could be doing more to reach out to them, but I wouldn't call that stagnant.
As it pertains to the Bdga Tour according to Nicks chart in 2014 75 new players joined the Tour of less than 200 players with a loss of 60 players.....7.5% growth, stagnent-ish? The biggest concern should be that only 39% of those players participated in 4 or more events.
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by BaggerBlakehill » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:18 am

Ok so while I think we're getting off topic a little by straying into the subject of the growth of the BDGA, I do see where Seamus is coming from with a number of his views about how the current BDGA Tour model may not be compelling new members to participate however… As Tom (or it might have been Bruce, I'm not sure) has mentioned, we first of all need to be absolutely clear on what the purpose of the Tour is.

From what I know of the smaller 1-day events and series', these are aimed at developing the DG scene by introducing new-ish players to competitions as well as giving people who can't attend the 2-day events something to compete in. As I said though, I understand and agree with Seamus's point that including 1-dayers as part of the BDGA tour would likely increase participant numbers but if I understand the purpose of the Tour today, it's to crown the best UK disc golfer and I personally feel to do that you do need events to be of a 2-day scenario where as well as being able to play good golf, it's also then a test of a players mental ability to build, hold and protect a lead over the course of 4 rounds with an overnight gap to really get you thinking.
As it pertains to the Bdga Tour according to Nicks chart in 2014 75 new players joined the Tour of less than 200 players with a loss of 60 players.....7.5% growth, stagnent-ish? The biggest concern should be that only 39% of those players participated in 4 or more events.
I'd also like to add that my understanding of the current purpose of the Tour therefore means that the stats I compiled should not be used as an indicator of growth of the BDGA as a whole as I don't see that it's necessarily aimed directly at new members.
Maybe they are not bothered because the Bdga isn't so attractive to them. I don't know why but I will ask them if they are going to renew and send them to the Bdga website, as I do.
I also see Seamus's point here as correct me if I'm wrong but the main benefit to being a BDGA member on top of the PDGA is a lower entry fee for the Tour events, right? If people aren't intending to play in the BDGA Tour tough, then what's their incentive as opposed to simply joining the PDGA? Not a criticism in any way as for me personally, joining the BDGA saved me a packet considering I attended 8 events this year saving £40 :)
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Re: BDGA AGM 2014

Post by LostMeow » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:52 am

seamus wrote:There is nothing wrong with the Bdga I think you guys rock.
"I am concerned that the Bdga will stay stagnant and allow the Pdga tournament model to flourish and grow the sport in its absence"
I accidentally left out the word 'Tour' which changes the meaning of that statement quite a bit. You've posed many many questions and I certainly don't have time to address them all. I am from outside the UK Tom and not connected to your BDGA past, I'm sure I missed out on a ton of fun, but I consider this an advantage when looking at the future of the sport here, sorry that offends you.
Don't worry, I wasn't offended in the slightest. I just didn't understand the points you were trying to make. It helps to know that sometimes when you say "BDGA", you actually mean "BDGA Tour", although sometimes you still use "BDGA" to refer to the board, and sometimes to the whole body of BDGA members - it all gets very confusing!
seamus wrote: My point again in regards to the evoloution of the Bdga Tour is that the Pdga tournament structure of Tiers allows a flexibility to TD's the Bdga Tour does not
See, I can't agree with that. The PDGA tiers do not allow flexibility, in fact they do the complete opposite - they bind the TD into a strict set of rules and criteria concerning fund-raising, pay-outs, player packs, regulations etc. Not flexible at all, very constricting in fact. Using the lowest PDGA tier possible (C tier) allows us the most flexibility to do what we want - in terms of prizes, divisions, players packs etc. - while still getting the benefit of PDGA stats.
seamus wrote: I think it would be considered a mistake to not change the Bdga Tour to capitalize on this trend of successful one-dayers. Like I've stated before I'd support including every disc golf event in the UK as a Bdga event and I also support the Tour contracting to 4-5 majors, its not evolving I find troubling and would warn against it.
See, this cuts to the chase of what I see as your contradiction. You want to include all events as BDGA (Tour?) events but at the same time cut the BDGA Tour down to 4-5 major events. So which is it?
seamus wrote: I get why the Bdga Tour is structured as it is now, there were very few players in the past and getting together for the weekend made sense. But as the number of tournament players expands along with an increase in single day events the need to travel great distances to play in events will decrease.
The nature of a Tour surely involves travelling. At the moment I believe players want (not need) the chance to travel to play courses they don't get to play week-in-week-out. Having BDGA Tour events spread over the UK gives us that chance, with more local one-day events as well. So we're currently getting the best of both worlds.
seamus wrote: In 2015 we're looking at 8-10+ Pdga events and 1 maybe 2 Bdga events in Scotland.
1 maybe 2 BDGA Tour events in Scotland. The other 8-10+ events are disc golf events occurring in Britain and can therefore be considered part of the overall BDGA picture - we know about them and presumably schedule them around other events occurring, and also offer insurance for the events.
seamus wrote: I must return to my statement that the Tour guidelines are too rigid, The '15 Euro Tour cannot be a Bdga Tour, so The Battle of Bluebell Woods in March is out leaving The Scottish Open on Mull and MAYBE a new venue all associated with the Northern Flights Tour. That's not enough of a representation to grow the Bdga (Tour?) here.
seamus wrote:
LostMeow wrote:Are you saying it would have been significantly different if we had called it 'BDGA SMEGS Brighton'?
Yes I am, then it would have been a one day event on the Bdga Tour and I feel in the long run the Bdga will benefit from being more inclusive of these type events.
No, I didn't say 'BDGA Tour: Brighton', I said 'BDGA SMEGS Brighton'... This labelling difference I mentioned before. Seems quite crucial?
seamus wrote: As it pertains to the Bdga Tour according to Nicks chart in 2014 75 new players joined the Tour of less than 200 players with a loss of 60 players.....7.5% growth, stagnent-ish? The biggest concern should be that only 39% of those players participated in 4 or more events.
People have busy lives and travelling is expensive. 39% attending 4 or more seems reasonably decent in that light....?
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