A Healthy Debate

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seamus
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A Healthy Debate

Post by seamus » Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:30 pm

As a TD I made an error on the wrong side of caution by not breaching the subject previous to our event about accepting cash at a Pdga event.
When you play well enough in the Pro division to be offered a cash prize you are faced with three choices, 1. accept the cash(turning Pro), 2.accept merchandise in lieu of cash(staying Amateur), 3. refuse any prize all together, one of those three choices needs to be made.
I do not feel there was anything wrong with what Matt said but I would like to comment on three of the subjects he approached. I believe it is a healthy debate for the 2015 season because there is a fork in the road between the tournament models of BDGA & PDGA. Matt can certainly speak for himself and I am paraphrasing here.

1. At this point in UK disc golf tournament money should be for the sole purpose of course development.

I don't have an issue with this, a TD should have the freedom to do what they feel is in the best interest for the sport in their area, as long as it is within the boundaries of the BDGA and PDGA. We will host multiple events this year with that course development funding in mind but there is nothing wrong with a once a year tournament that has the player as a focus. I haven't done the math yet but I think we gave out more in our event this year than we took in, this benefits and develops the player base. Having cash as a prize and divisional only groupings also separates the Pro/Open disc golfer from the Amateur adding a little division prestige.

2. Professional disc golfers do not gamble with their entry fees, they earn prize money.

3. I can't remember exactly how Matt put it but he made reference to being an Amateur in a professional division.

I couldn't agree more with his position and He should have the freedom to play in any division under the Pdga division guidelines. I am a Pdga Intermediate, MA2, and think its a little strange to be bumped into Open. Why pad the top divisions when the focus should be on lowering the bottom to accept new players?
Currently there are only three seats at the table in a Bdga event, Open, Amateur and Intermediate (Powers Stats only has 2) and a system that controls who plays where with no exceptions. Existing players in MPG,FPO,MPM,MM1,FA1, and FA2 do not receive their respective peer review and over time may choose to leave tournament play. Also as the sport begins to grow exponentially there needs to be extra chairs set at the table or new players may not join us.
The bump rule also causes flat entry fees, if one player is willing to pay £25 to play in Open for £ and another £10 to play in recreation for a trophy as a TD I should be able to accommodate, increasing the value of the event at different levels of play. But the bump rule forces individuals to move up and its not fair to force them to pay more as well leaving entry fees small and flat which doesn't give the TD's very much to grow events.

Food for thought from an outside perspective.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by bruce » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:45 pm

My thoughts on these points
1. At this point in UK disc golf tournament money should be for the sole purpose of course development.
I think this is naive. As Seamus points out, different courses and clubs will have different priorities and different cost models, it should be up to them to decide what to do with any cash accrued. I intend to offer cash at the QP Open this year, and had intended to do so before Seamus decided to do the same at Dunbar. My reasoning was based on the finances for last year's QP Open, where I ended up giving away £300 in QP vouchers across the divisions & spot prizes, in addition to the £170 of trophies. I look at this money and I think "where is this best placed, with a local glass manufacturer and in Derek's shop, or back with the players who have travelled here to do with as they wish?" I've decided on the latter. You might try to argue that I should cut entry fees, but here we are victims of our own success. If only 40 players had entered I'd have broken even after trophies and spot prizes. A late-ish surge in entries left me with money that I had no desire to simply pocket.
2. Professional disc golfers do not gamble with their entry fees, they earn prize money.

3. I can't remember exactly how Matt put it but he made reference to being an Amateur in a professional division.

I couldn't agree more with his position and He should have the freedom to play in any division under the Pdga division guidelines. I am a Pdga Intermediate, MA2, and think its a little strange to be bumped into Open. Why pad the top divisions when the focus should be on lowering the bottom to accept new players?
Currently there are only three seats at the table in a Bdga event, Open, Amateur and Intermediate (Powers Stats only has 2) and a system that controls who plays where with no exceptions. Existing players in MPG,FPO,MPM,MM1,FA1, and FA2 do not receive their respective peer review and over time may choose to leave tournament play. Also as the sport begins to grow exponentially there needs to be extra chairs set at the table or new players may not join us.
The bump rule also causes flat entry fees, if one player is willing to pay £25 to play in Open for £ and another £10 to play in recreation for a trophy as a TD I should be able to accommodate, increasing the value of the event at different levels of play. But the bump rule forces individuals to move up and its not fair to force them to pay more as well leaving entry fees small and flat which doesn't give the TD's very much to grow events.
Ultimately we pay for a service. I think we pay very reasonable rates for a 2 day sporting event, and the level of service is generally pretty high. My aim as a TD is to raise the service level as high as I possibly can, whilst keeping the fees at acceptable levels. Market forces decide whether or not players are happy to pay cost X for service Y, and the events that have the balance right will grow.

I think the divisional thing is a red herring here. We use the PDGA as a ratings service, and in doing so we choose to report our divisions as roughly equivalent PDGA divisions. We could likely report everyone as MA1, (I can't be bothered to go and check the rating cut off on Pros playing Am) but that would leave a PDGA results sheet that bore little relation to the results we upload into powerstats. Likewise if we reported everyone in the individual divisions.

Alternatively we could wholly adopt the PDGA model, but then we'd end up with tiny pockets of 3-5 players, and no coherent way of crowning an overall champion. The whole point of our divisional structure is to strike a balance between inclusiveness and healthy competition across the divisions, and being able to crown overall champions at the end of the year. I'm more than happy to include other divisions as they develop enough depth to be worthy of standalone competition, and included a women's division at QP last year for just that reason. Under our structure however those subcategories lie in Am, anyone rated 920+, regardless of age/gender plays in the unified Open division.

Regarding flat fees, we are all paying for the same service. Allowing a Rec division with £10 entry and Open with £25 would create an imbalance. Either you continue to provide a flat service, and now as an Open player I'm subsidising the Recs, or you offer a tiered service to match the entry fees, which leaves the Rec player thinking that the TD only cares about Open players (I see this complaint all the time on US message boards!). This is why I spoke to Seamus when the Dunbar invite went out, and asked him to flatten the Am fees.

I decided to leave the Open fees to one side as by offering cash I was interested to see the reaction. The PDGA allows for 'trophy only' entry into Pro divisions, where you can pay the Am fee and be ineligible for cash. I would expect that to be the resolution to the principle complaint, which is for the bottom end Open players who don't want £5 extra for open entry effectively being donated to the top guys.

As I say, I intend to pay out cash at the QP Open but I will retain the flat entry fees, I'm just redirecting the normal trophy/voucher payout into hard currency.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by rhatton1 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:01 pm

bruce wrote: I decided to leave the Open fees to one side as by offering cash I was interested to see the reaction. The PDGA allows for 'trophy only' entry into Pro divisions, where you can pay the Am fee and be ineligible for cash. I would expect that to be the resolution to the principle complaint, which is for the bottom end Open players who don't want £5 extra for open entry effectively being donated to the top guys.
^ This - I don't fancy paying out an extra £5 just to put it in someone else's pocket as my realistic chances of cashing are limited. If I were a 950+ rated player I would probably look at this differently. However I have no complaint with paying out the equivalent cash to prize ratio - what the hell do Derek or Chris want with plastic credit? Most open players have a fairly fixed bag and don't lose much plastic anymore so the offer of discs as prizes is not really necessary. I think there is still a wish for some trophies and you can get these incredibly cheaply and quick now from the internet - http://www.trophystore.co.uk/hope-flame ... award-12cm Even to those that win all the time it's nice to have a memory of the weekend, the lowest golf club weekly league matches would normally provide a range of trophies, we can certainly do the same at British Tour events. Even with one dayers I have always looked at trying to achieve a trophy/medal for every three players playing, so a division of 9 gets 1st - 3rd, any more and it goes into spot prizes. At £3 - 5 each tropy/medal this is easy to achieve without crazy entrance fees.

If as Bruce says you fill a field more than expected then why not add the extra as cash if the TD wants to? I have argued elsewhere now on this forum as to why I think events can get better if the TD were to take some of that extra themself as a wage of sorts(something I haven't done with any of my tournaments yet I hasten to add) but if the TD can grow their tournament for the next year by offering an excess cash incentive and they choose to do so then surely this is a good thing?

On the flip of this though i'm not sure which I would prefer if i were playing in ams or ints, knowing that my excess cash (probably £1-2 of entry fees when it boils down to it) was going to the TD or to the open division payout? I think I would probably prefer to see the TD take it in fairness. Whilst playing in the Open division I would have no issue in excess cash going to prize payout - hell I should just get better. But again as Bruce says market forces will decide whether this is ok and if people feel their money is not going where they want then they will vote with their feet.

With regards to point no.1 you could easily argue that by Seamus offering cash he is putting money into the long term development of his business and course. A Pro payout adds to the kudos of an event and will in the long term probably encourage more top players up to future Dunbar events increasing the fields each year and putting money into the coffers for course development over the long term. It also gives local players something to aim at - "what, you mean I could actually make some money doing this?"Its a punt that probably costs in the short term but is likely to have long term benefits.

Basically i'm all for it as long as with the current arbitrary divisional breaks i'm not forced to pay £5 extra to fund it :D (and before anyone chirps up I expect to be back over 920 when I get a chance to actually throw some discs around outside of tournaments again :wink: )
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by mat cutler » Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:06 pm

My point was that winning cash is not an attraction to a tournament for myself. I also feel that the sport is not developed enough in the uk to sustainably give out prize money and would rather see money raised from tournaments be spent by the local club running the event on development of their club, course or discs for kids in local schools or whatever. Perhaps subsidising lunch costs or evening socials to spread the enjoyment to everyone who attends

In my case as a TD at ashton court tournaments over the last 2 years have paid for 3 new baskets in 2013 and tee signs and course info board in 2014 (on order along with signs for the new course at Mendip)

Does offering prize money to the top players attract new players, media attention etc? this is an area for debate which I'm not sure what my opinion is however I feel uneasy taking winnings out of an overall budget which is primarily funded by the all players directly (open) or indirectly (am). This is a personal position and other open players may feel very proud of winning and enjoying a free or even profitable weekend!

I have accepted the £35 I have won as not being pro in the eyes of the pdga doesn't bother me but will be donating it back to Reboot to help build some longer tees :wink:

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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by bruce » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:37 pm

To clarify one point here, I will not be using Am funds to payout Open players. The (touring player) entry fee for Open was £19. £8 goes to Del, £2 goes to BDGA tax, and that makes my prize fund £9 times the number of open players. The Am payout will be calculated in exactly the same way. Should I achieve my sponsorship aims the added cash will go to Open, but I expect the Ams to also benefit, either through player packs and/or cheap beer available for Fri/Sat night.

On that basis it is obvious to me that we do have a sustainable model for prize money, it's just the money you would have spent on trophies. I looked at the finances last year and the Open division was 'donating' to the Am prizes!

I also completely understand if a club wants to raise money for improvements or local projects instead, as long as the service the event is giving is seen as VFM by the players then everyone is a winner
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by Phil Wood » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:04 am

I personally have no issue with cash being awarded as prizes, be that instead of awards/plastic or in addition. The key thing - as others have stated - is fees should not artificially be raised to fund this, nor should it be drawn from the Am fees.

The BDGA tour (and Nationals) are the pinnacle of our sport and TDs are entitled to award prizes that they deem appropriate. If that is cash, that is their decision. If they think its going to increase attendance, great! My advice would always to be as transparent about it as possible. Tell players expected % payouts, how many players will get paid etc.

At the British open, I have to payout 80% of all open fees in prizes (B-tier requirement), but i also plan adding money from all the fund raising, sponsorship and merchandise sales - all in im hoping to add potentially £750-800(if not more) to the pot. I appreciate its hard to compare the BO to a tour event but my point is that if you want to increase to the prize fund - without hitting the players - there are other ways and means to generate funds, it just takes a little more effort, a lot of phone calls, some creative thinking, patience and persistence.

Matt, your point about tour events funding development of other courses is an interesting one, i agree that the sport is not yet developed enough otherwise we would sell out every competition and have new course popping up all over the place. Bar Bristol, how many other courses see tournaments as viable fundraisers for course developement/improvement? i would guess that most of the more established courses are relatively 'happy with thier lot' and new courses are more likely to look at lottery/grants and means of support. I have not yet heard of funds from x event being taken to Y venue, though this is something that could be more investigated.

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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by Phil Wood » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:08 am

Phil Wood wrote:? i would guess that most of the more established courses are relatively 'happy with thier lot'
I caveate this with the thought that resting on laurels is not necessarily a good thing! for example, i would love Burnlaw to get new baskets, concrete pads etc but is a BDGA event the rght way to fund this, would the venue have appitite etc.

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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:24 am

At Bedworth we will be looking to do just that - once the course goes in (looking like May but still some hurdles to jump) we will be looking to run tournaments which will help us fund future courses even if this is in conjunction with another grant scheme - The SITA grant we received required us to find 11% of the funding ourselves.

Something I would like to see still is a £1 or £2 a head levy on each tournament and one dayer that is paid directly to the BDGA development fund on top of the normal taxes, a central pool of resource which could help developing clubs match grant awards. This would have a long term reciprocal benefit for the BDGA. A new course goes in some small part aided by these funds and each subsequent tournament held there pays money back into the coffers for the next project (for any course that is a direct recipient of these funds and don't have any other green fees to worry about I would suggest a £5 a head subsidy on each tournament until the "loan" from the BDGA is paid off).

From a players perspective do you really mind paying £21 as opposed to £19? There is a long term benefit to the individual here as well - as more money becomes available more courses are installed and travelling and accommodation costs to play different courses will be reduced in the future. God I would have loved to have played up at Dunbar this weekend but i'm afraid financial and family restrictions leave my travelling radius to the midlands - the reason why I want more courses installed here and as always funding is the most difficult thing to find!
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by rhatton1 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:28 am

On another note - player packs part or fully funded by the player, as a long time player do you want them? I've got all the discs/teeshirts/minis I want already. By raising the entry fee it's more likely personally to put me off playing than to encourage me there (this would not have been the same 5 years ago where I would have loved a subsidised player pack)
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by seamus » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:37 am

Phil Wood wrote:The BDGA tour (and Nationals) are the pinnacle of our sport and TDs are entitled to award prizes that they deem appropriate. If that is cash, that is their decision. If they think its going to increase attendance, great! My advice would always to be as transparent about it as possible. Tell players expected % payouts, how many players will get paid etc.
Does it really matter where the funds come from to support your objectives in an event? Sponsors, fundraising, entry fees, the money tree the Mrs. hasn't seen yet or a combination of them all. As a TD of a Bdga Tour event I'm looking for those six most important words " Thank You, see you next year". Like Bruce mentioned already a tournament is a service, and across divisions each participant will feel the event is a value or not, and return or not.

I'd like to request the board to please consider the following for 2015 or 2016,
Part of our goal to increase the value of our event next year is to introduce a few divisions not offered on the Bdga Tour. I'd like to accomplish this without throwing a spanner in the works of the power stats system. To be specific I'd like to offer Fa1,MM1,MG1 and Ma3 and have different entry fees for Open, Amateur and Recreation. I don't see any problem with 3-5 participants in a division the sport should be a reflection of the players participating. If any of the new divisions I've suggested failed to have at least 3 entrants in our event the new division would simply be merged with the division it sprouted from.

mat cutler wrote:I have accepted the £35 I have won as not being pro in the eyes of the pdga doesn't bother me but will be donating it back to Reboot to help build some longer tees :wink:
Cheers Mat

rhatton1 wrote:Something I would like to see still is a £1 or £2 a head levy on each tournament and one dayer that is paid directly to the BDGA development fund
We started this in the New England Disc Golf Association (NEFA) many years ago (16 years ago?)and enough money is raised nowadays to fund one basket per State ( Mass,Vermont,New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island) per year to help establish new public courses. I think its called the Nefa Grant Program and its a $1per player tax at all Nefa events. When the local association can back an emerging course with a basket grant it can add extra validation to the proposal.
I witnessed first hand the sports explosion in New England and I'm excited about what is about to happen here over the next few years.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by bruce » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:47 am

I'm not sure why you think fees would go up?

Here are the numbers I'm working to:
Assume a field of 20 Open, 52 Am, Touring entry of £20 -> £10 pp to prize fund

Open prize fund = £200
I'd pay half the field, 1-10 looks like this with no added cash:
£50
£35
£25
£20
£15
£15
£10
£10
£10
£10
Note that by paying half the field, with a ratings spread of 990-920, you might only have to play 955 golf to get paid, which is very achievable for the whole field. Indeed tied 11th at QP (22 Open players) were Sam and Ivan, rated 923 & 932 respectively.

The Am prize fund is £520, if I spend that on Innova sponsored discs, give everyone a disc and use the rest for spot prizes and Am payout, Innova will give me $300 of sponsorship credit, i.e. free stuff. I can then do things like give a traveller basket as 1st prize in Adv Am, a deluxe bag for Int Am.

Seems to me that this is better for everyone regardless of division, and it doesn't cost anyone anything extra. Of course there are shipping/custom charges, PDGA fees, rookie entry etc to take into account, but I'm pretty sure I can make it work.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by bruce » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:00 am

seamus wrote:I'd like to request the board to please consider the following for 2015 or 2016,
Part of our goal to increase the value of our event next year is to introduce a few divisions not offered on the Bdga Tour. I'd like to accomplish this without throwing a spanner in the works of the power stats system. To be specific I'd like to offer Fa1,MM1,MG1 and Ma3 and have different entry fees for Open, Amateur and Recreation. I don't see any problem with 3-5 participants in a division the sport should be a reflection of the players participating. If any of the new divisions I've suggested failed to have at least 3 entrants in our event the new division would simply be merged with the division it sprouted from.
I have no problem with you adding additional gender/age Amateur divisions for players below the 920 cut off. It should be made clear that if there is a final for these divisions that it doesn't count towards their overall Am finishing position. What exactly are you proposing for MA3/Rec? As the PDGA suggested rating for this is <900, it does not fit sensibly with our divisions. How about calling it Rookie or MA4/Novice, and having it for <820 or unrated players?

If you must have Open fees higher than the standard Am fees, I'll have to insist that you offer a 'trophy only' price that matches the Am fee so that players who have recently been 'forced up' have a no cash option.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by seamus » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:44 pm

Now I know, MA4 it is.
Cheers Bruce
bruce wrote:Open prize fund = £200
I'd pay half the field, 1-10 looks like this with no added cash:
£50
£35
£25
£20
£15
£15
£10
£10
£10
£10
Just an fyi I went with 45% payout to avoid a small prize at the bottom of the payout structure, since I had no history to work with I just assumed a player may not want to accept cash less than the entry fee.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by bruce » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:54 pm

Funnily enough, this is what the PDGA call 100% payout. You are supposed to remove all local series and green fees to establish your net entry fee, then calc payout %age from that, so for my event a £10 payout for last place is your entry fee.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by Paul Holden » Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:22 am

bruce wrote:
If you must have Open fees higher than the standard Am fees, I'll have to insist that you offer a 'trophy only' price that matches the Am fee so that players who have recently been 'forced up' have a no cash option.
This is the most important thing for where we currently are I believe. I will definitely be disinclined to play tournaments where I have to pay more for little to no chance of winning because my rating hit a certain arbitrary number. This on top of the fact tat I do not want to be a professional sports person regardless of my ability.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by Phil Wood » Wed May 14, 2014 1:10 pm

One of my drivers as DoC is to continually improve the standard of our tour. We have seen a healthy rise in the number of competitors at events and had more venues starting to want to host events, all of which is great! I’m keen not to let us rest on our laurels. Whilst we have numbers in terms of venues and competitors there (or growing), the chance falls to look at quality. By quality I mean not only the course but the overall tournament experience and the series of events as a whole.

Current set up: Best 4 results from a series of 10 or 11 followed by Match play Nationals. C tier events (as minimum)

Pro’s: established series, regular (monthly – generally) events, good national spread. Players know what to expect. Simple/no risk for TDs to run.

Con’s: Attendance at some of the more remote courses suffers. Some courses hosting 2 events. “same old, same old”, players only attending their "home" event.

There is nothing wrong with this in my mind, TDs are doing what they can to make events more appealing – Northern Flights a great example, offering tourney discs, finding cheap options for player accommodation, planning a Saturday night social, creating a buzz around events. My question is, can we as a sport/TD’s do more? Do players want more?


The idea I have been mulling (pun not intended) over for some time, and would be keen to hear opinions on, is about trying to raise the profile of our tournaments. the idea owuld be that events would have to be a minimum of B-Tier, have cash pay outs for open and courses would be required to have minimum standards – to be debated/discussed. B-tier minimum standard =$500 added to the purse, $10 am player pack and 100% net fees payout - so does not include green fees, BDGA tax etc.

This is my mind means reducing the number of tour events to 4 or 5 and ensuring a fair geographical split across the country (say South, Midlands, North, Scotland and Ireland or some such) . The series would not be “best of” but based on straight results, thus encouraging attendance at all. You could equate this to be like the US "Majors" series.

Pro’s: Higher profile/more professional events – easier to market, greater prestige in winning, improved tournament experience for players.

Con’s: Increased pressure to attend all events could reduce players that only play at one or two tournaments, increased pressure on the TDs to run quality events. players not moving from regional to national events.

Now I know these are not all the pro’s and cons but a few headlines, but I do feel that with the right support this model (maybe in a few years time) could be a real success. It does rely to some degree on regional golf filling the gap of the existing competitive events, but with the number of 9 holes course and temporary courses spouting there are clearly options afoot. The SEMDGS showed last year that a one day event series works and starts again in a few weeks, I know the midlands guys have planned similar for this year – whether is kicks off or not…., the Scottish Quaich tour is generating interest.

It would be interesting to hear others thought, particularly TDs old and future about thoughts of a “concentrated” tour.

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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by rhatton1 » Wed May 14, 2014 1:50 pm

Midlands one day tour hasn't happened for this year but i expect it to next year - too many other constraints on time to make it work this year (I'm finally getting to my first club night of the year this year :D )

I personally love the idea of the growth of one day events for local regions and have banged on about it here there and everywhere as to how it can benefit the sport on the forum and to anyone that will listen.

I like the idea of the suggestion above but think we need to get a quantity of players beyond an arbitary cut off rating before payouts can be mandatory for tour events, even the proposed 4 or 5 event system above.

We currently have no 1000 rated player (the general international standard of pro player) we have a little grouping of around 7 around the 970 - 990 mark (including Jester and Luton in this grouping despite their current ratings :D ) There are a few up and comers looking to break into this with regular play notably the Scots boys, Si luard coming back should probably start to find his way up there as well.

This is still a tiny selection of people that even then aren't really yet good enough to compete regularly for cash payouts (beyond the return maybe of the entrance fee) at an open level (no offence guys :D ) If you get a tipping point of 25 or more players over the 970 mark ( shooting 1000 rated + rounds on their good days) then this becomes a lot more viable as an option. It's hard in effect to sell a prestige event without a prestige player. The top ranked UK based player at the Open was 8th and that wasn't against the cream of European competition with only 5 1000+ rated players at the event.

I'm normally a fan of a "if you build it they will come" mentality but in this instance until the ability levels improve across the board I think the current model works better for the player profiles we have at the moment and to introduce the above too soon would risk alienating players from a currently welcoming national tour set up.

I'll caveat this by saying it is helpful for UK based players to see how some of the Europeans play the game (Henriks parking of hole 17 with a putter for instance will hopefully persuade people that faster discs doesn't mean better player) so if payouts were to encourage more foreign arrivals to tournaments this could be a good thing for improving the ability of the UK player base as a whole having the reciprocal effect of then making an Open division more competitive.
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by bruce » Thu May 15, 2014 8:33 am

I'm not sure what ratings have to do with payout? You could have payout within a bunch of players rated 800, the only relevant factor is whether everyone within the division are capable of getting paid, as per my post further up.

I don't think Phil is talking about raising Pro fees as per the EuroTour model, merely getting sponsorship to fund payout. I agree with him that raising a few hundred quid sponsorship shouldn't be difficult for 4-5 events a year
[Standard post disclaimer] My posts are never intended to undermine the work of the Board or individuals putting in effort to grow the sport, they are my honest thoughts on the best ways to grow the game

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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by seamus » Thu May 15, 2014 9:03 am

Phil Wood wrote:The idea I have been mulling (pun not intended) over for some time, and would be keen to hear opinions on, is about trying to raise the profile of our tournaments. the idea owuld be that events would have to be a minimum of B-Tier, have cash pay outs for open and courses would be required to have minimum standards – to be debated/discussed. B-tier minimum standard =$500 added to the purse, $10 am player pack and 100% net fees payout
Yes Go Big!!

Would you consider having two levels of the Bdga Tour?
What if our one day C-Tier events The Hermitage Open, Rubber Biscuit and Rosshall Derby reached out to the Bdga for single day sanctioning as minor events?
Food for thought;
One of the items I'm proposing to the Quaich Tour TD's for 2015 (which we will vote on) is single day tournaments players receive points and two day events receive double points. This adds a little merit to the better events on Tour and will hopefully boost attendance over time. Its an idea modified from a system that has worked well in Nefa (New England Flying Disc Association) for many years and been a valued contributor for growing tournament participation. One day events are the foundation of our Tour of Scotland and just by existing as an entry level event are growing the sport rather dramatically, with time the one day events should feed the 2 two day events on the calendar. One day events are also much easier to manage and may grow the TD base as well.
Do one day events deserve sanctioning?


One of the issues I foresee is B-Tiers and bump rules don't jive, I'm looking forward to the day that the right people feel its time for that to go.
rhatton1 wrote:This is still a tiny selection of people that even then aren't really yet good enough to compete regularly for cash payouts (beyond the return maybe of the entrance fee) at an open level
Sorry Rich but I disagree, money (sadly enough) is a main focus for most of us in our lives, the ability to win it is a very satisfying experience and quite motivational. Before moving to Scotland I had never been involved in a league or tournament that did not have a cash payout.
I would go even further and say The Nationals should have a payout for the top 16. (which could be funded with single day Bdga events......cheeky!) Nationals are not Pdga and would have no affect on anyone's Amateur status.
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rhatton1
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Re: A Healthy Debate

Post by rhatton1 » Thu May 15, 2014 11:42 am

bruce wrote:I'm not sure what ratings have to do with payout? You could have payout within a bunch of players rated 800, the only relevant factor is whether everyone within the division are capable of getting paid, as per my post further up.

I don't think Phil is talking about raising Pro fees as per the EuroTour model, merely getting sponsorship to fund payout. I agree with him that raising a few hundred quid sponsorship shouldn't be difficult for 4-5 events a year
Which is my point? at the moment there are about 7 people that would expect to get the top places of that payout which is why I bought ratings into it (forget Neil at Mull) If you manage to achieve sponsorship for an event you are making it a very exclusive event if only these 7 have any realistic chance of benefiting from it. If there were 25 - 30 people in with a shout then great. At the moment there aren't unless foreign players come over for the cash, which may have a beneficial effect on those British players witnessing them play over a weekend but its benefit is rather unquantifiable. With the player spread of ability at the moment it would seem a much better use of any extra funds generated being put into further development of the sport (I'm not talking about player packs or anything like that but sinking the money back into the game) rather than the same individuals pockets tournament after tournament. Like it or not this would cause resentment in the rest of the field that are supporting these events through their attendance and without this attendance there would not be an event. I would love to see BDGA tour events comprising mostly of people of a standard good enough to cash but we are such a long way from that.

Do you honestly think that the chance of winning £50 say would push people to put in the hours of practice required to take them up to the next level to break into that top group? I can't see this being the motivator for players to improve at the level of money we would be able to generate through sponsorship at this current time. The sponsorship levels could increase though with increased knowledge of Disc Golf through expansion of the game.

What does a sponsor (an outside of the sport sponsor) gain at the moment through sponsoring tournaments? We have no spectators, we have fields of at most 80ish with little to no media attention, it's not exactly a great pitch to make as at the moment, outside of us crazies, there is little to no interest in the sport. Growth of the game is far more important than a few quid being won here or there by the same players. I am only saying this at this stage though as in future once the growth has occurred it will be a completely different situation.

Seamus - what are the ability levels of the players playing in the leagues where cash was won? How many people were in attendance at them and how much would be won? Were these handicapped events? Did one "pro" not just come along each week and take other peoples money? I was saying the exact thing with Del last night - he cashed quite well in the grandmasters division at the British Open. It's a bit of a joke. He may as well have turned up on Saturday morning put his hand out taken the cash and gone home if the cash was the motivation. Without an injury there was noone in his division that was going to come close. i'm sure he enjoys having his weekend paid for, but the crucial point is he would have turned up to play without it - Del correct me if I'm wrong.

In golf everyone that turns up to a major is a scratch golfer, they all have a chance on their day. It's not the same situation on the British Tour. Once it is then go for it.

EDIT* Just to be clear I am all in favour or Open entrance fees being paid back instead of prizes as per Bruces breakdown above - it's the idea of forcing a certain cash payout on the tournament that I wonder at the benefit of for the sport in the country rather than for a few people.

EDIT* Also in reference to the sponsorship what I meant to say is that by a sponsor putting their money into a one off cash payout, they have little to no exposure so it's not worth their money. By them putting it into a new basket for a course which is named as theirs from there on out they get exposure day in day out through people using it and it then has value as a worthwhile sponsorship. For a local small business (come and drink in Rich's bar by the entrance to the park for instance) this could be a good return on investment
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