Inclusiveness

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seamus
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by seamus » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:32 am

James, after 3.5 years in Scotland I've been nothing short of a suggestion machine (along with solid ideas from many other UK players and Td's) for the Bdga to evolve and embrace the global standard of success, which is all based on inclusiveness. After all of this it pains me to hear from yourself, Tom and Rich "Have any suggestions? we'll talk about it at this years AGM".
Show me some inclusive behavior and I'll be happy to show you a membership fee, disc is in your court.
By November the Bdga Tour will be etched in stone (with likely no reform) and you will be the only association in our sport still talking about 2017.


The beat goes on...............
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LostMeow
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by LostMeow » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:45 am

In this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1910 there was a vigorous discussion of possibilities for the BDGA which was perhaps short on clarity and viable possibilities but full of heated opinions. The only thing that is clear is that whatever we do, we're not going to please everybody.

I believe the plan is to outline a select number (maybe 3?) of possible plans for 2017 to be discussed and then voted upon. I think Phil, as Director of Competitions, will be taking the lead on this.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by rhatton1 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:06 am

LostMeow wrote:
rhatton1 wrote:Don't undervalue the size of the sport in the country. There's over 100000 people that play every year and growing. The bdga appears only focused on a tiny tiny portion of this number
If that is the case (and I've no idea where you got that number from), then the BDGA trying to be inclusive of 100000 people is, in my opinion, so far beyond our means as to become laughable. Even the PDGA (the worldwide governing body) doesn't have 100000 members yet.
A couple of years of research.

I'm not talking about membership. The pdga estimates millions of casual disc golfers yet only has about 30000 active U.S. Based members.

Brings us back to what is the bdga, is it just a small members organisation running a tour or is it the national governing body that controls the gateway to international competitions?

Disc golf in Britain is far more than the tour.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by abonjour » Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:09 am

For my own benefit (because im struggling to think of an example), please could someone give an example of where a sport's National team IS NOT selected by performance over a National championship or a specific standalone qualifying event(s)? Im talking individual sports too - team sports are a while different ball game.

I would suggest the BDGA tour events are the best option because thats were the majority of the best players in the country will come together. However, it doesnt necessarily have to be the whole Tour... maybe nominating one central or two North/South events as EDGC qualifiers is the only viable option. This seemed to be acceptable for the USDGC spot...

I dont see how ratings can ever be a factor due to the lag in their ability to change.

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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by bruce » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:25 am

LostMeow wrote:In this thread viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1910 there was a vigorous discussion of possibilities for the BDGA which was perhaps short on clarity and viable possibilities but full of heated opinions. The only thing that is clear is that whatever we do, we're not going to please everybody.

I believe the plan is to outline a select number (maybe 3?) of possible plans for 2017 to be discussed and then voted upon. I think Phil, as Director of Competitions, will be taking the lead on this.
I just reviewed that thread. It looks very much to me like I made a strong clear case for a revised inclusive BDGA tour model, predicted the rise and popularity of the various local series (check), predicted the growth of unsanctioned weekend events (check), and predicted that soon more people would be playing disc golf competitions outside of the BDGA than inside it. I'd be interested to see if the last one has come true yet, I'm betting yes, or very close to it, in which case - checkmate.

With due respect to the opinions of the membership, leaving a decision to a vote at the AGM will be to late IMO, if there is to be a different Tour model TDs and series organisers will need to be factoring that into their plans imminently.

The board should show leadership by selecting a plan. You'll doubtless upset some people, but you're upsetting some now, omelettes & eggs etc...
By all means publish the options and seek feedback asap.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by seamus » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:36 am

If the Bdga Tour is going to decide (or mostly decide) the EDGC '18 team then please consider one event each from Mull, Loch Tay, Moray and Bluebell Woods as equal next calendar year. Burnlaw is in the local group of events and could easily be added as well. What's the worst thing that could happen?
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by bruce » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:52 am

Additional thoughts on this forum and the AGM.

Historically ideas and debates have taken place on here, then the board has taken decisions. Where decisions required a membership vote that has taken place at the AGM in the form of a proposal prepared prior to the AGM.

The AGM is a very poor place for live debate and developing proposals, not least because it only take place once a year, but also due to the limited attendance and limited time available.

It's been said before, but I'll say it again, the board failing to use this forum to drive debate and idea generation is directly leading to the BDGA seeming more closed off. James ran on an explicit platform of inclusivity:
I would like to run a BDGA that is a much more inclusive operation in terms of decision making
Over the life of this forum (since 2005) I have on average posted 2 in every 3 days. Probably more as director as I've posted less the last year. Let that sink in. I've publically engaged with not just the membership, but anyone who wants to discuss British disc golf nearly 2500 times, and better than 4 days every week over an 11 year period. I'm not sure how the last year can be seen as anything other than a failure of the very first manifesto point...

I honestly couldn't care less about the survey results. If you put nothing on here then obviously no one will come to it, it's a self fulfilling prophecy. I'm pretty much at the point of not bothering myself any more!
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by james » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:49 am

rhatton1 wrote:20% ?

Do 20000+ disc golfers use the forum?

Don't undervalue the size of the sport in the country. There's over 100000 people that play every year and growing.
I believe Rich was referring to members rather than casual players who I'm sure are also not likely to check the forums.

With regards to 100000 I agree with Tom. Quarry Park sees around 5000 people in a summer (I think) and mendips is similar I believe. These are the most used courses by the public in the country. So where the other 900000 people are coming from I do not know.
But even if they do exist, to expect the BDGA to be inclusive of 100000 people with s voluntary unpaid board of 5 members is a bit much to ask.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by james » Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:58 am

bruce wrote:
I would like to run a BDGA that is a much more inclusive operation in terms of decision making
Over the life of this forum (since 2005) I have on average posted 2 in every 3 days. Probably more as director as I've posted less the last year. Let that sink in. I've publically engaged with not just the membership, but anyone who wants to discuss British disc golf nearly 2500 times, and better than 4 days every week over an 11 year period. I'm not sure how the last year can be seen as anything other than a failure of the very first manifesto point...
I'm not 100% sure how posting on the forum 4 days out of 7shows inclusivity in decision making. We aim to offer the membership a number of options for the major changes that we would like to make, these are membership rates and tour structure. The aim is to gauge opinion on these options and allow a vote on which ones are preferable with a decision being made based on the outcomes.

If that doesn't qualify as inclusivity in decision making then I'm really not sure what does. We can't just put into action every suggestion that is thrown at us these options have to be carefully thought out so that each one comes with its own pros and inevitably its own cons.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by james » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:04 pm

seamus wrote:James, after 3.5 years in Scotland I've been nothing short of a suggestion machine.

With all due respect Seamus a lot of times I struggle to really grasp what it is you are trying to suggest to us.

I understand that not everything is perfect and we cannot be on top of everything but I have been in the position for a year, a relatively small space of time. A majority of your posts I see on here have a small portion of suggestion and a large portion of criticism along the lines of the beat going on.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by bruce » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:10 pm

Collective decision making is a process that starts with seeking opinions and engaging with ideas, that is what I consistently strived to do.

Independently coming up with some options and then holding a vote is not an inclusive way of working, it's a way of offloading responsibility for the decision, pretty much like Brexit.

I prefer my leaders to lead
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by seamus » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:32 pm

Ok, I can take that, Thanks James.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by bruce » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:41 pm

Sorry if I'm coming across as harsh, but when you have a whole bunch of experienced people who are active in the disc golf scene asking 'what is happening?" then that tells me that the communication and engagement is failing
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by rhatton1 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:27 pm

james wrote:
rhatton1 wrote:20% ?

Do 20000+ disc golfers use the forum?

Don't undervalue the size of the sport in the country. There's over 100000 people that play every year and growing.
With regards to 100000 I agree with Tom. Quarry Park sees around 5000 people in a summer (I think) and mendips is similar I believe. These are the most used courses by the public in the country. So where the other 900000 people are coming from I do not know.
But even if they do exist, to expect the BDGA to be inclusive of 100000 people with s voluntary unpaid board of 5 members is a bit much to ask.
Most experiences with Disc Golf are not on permanently installed courses. There are tens of thousands of these experiences every year and growing in a range of different ways, I've got stacks of details on them but they took a helluva lot of finding over the last couple of years and I'm running a business so will be keeping to myself for the time being! The trick will be to take these from an experience of Disc Golf into regular play.

The Main pay to play courses in the country are all listed on the directory and will account for around 40 - 45000 individual rounds of disc golf this year (low estimate based on last years figures,(there are a number of others that also bring in from hundreds to thousands of rounds annually that aren't listed on the directory) I suspect the growth this year has been higher than previous in the older sites and there are a number of new sites adding to this and this figure is not including members rounds which would heavily bump up the number of rounds (not overall players though obviously) the individual rounds could potentially be by returners rather than unique which also might admittedly skew the overall totals, however I'm afraid that's not quantifiable from the figures I have.

I'm not really taking into account any of the free to play courses and clubs playing to travellers into this figure which will add maybe 1 or 2000 people to the overall figure, although this is probably on the low side as well as it is becoming impossible to go to Bedworth for example now and not see people totally unrelated to the course or club using the course which is great, same could be said of Manchester.

There are a lot of people playing Disc Golf in one way or another in this country, there's not many people that go on tour.

Referring back to Bruces earlier points, I will be tallying up the numbers at the end of the year but I suspect there will have been more rounds played on the MODS, Quaich and SETS by the end of the year than in BDGA 2 day events (i'm expecting around 400 in total through the MODS events alone), if you add in PDGA leagues at Bristol, Bedworth and Quarry Park there definitely will have been. All of these are under a PDGA competition structure, yet only the tour has any relevance for the Euros qualification, this doesn't seem quite right. If we were a professional sport and the BDGA tour had all the top players playing at each event then maybe it should be used as the only qualification criteria, but we're not and there are top players in remote areas who are and will continue to miss out.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by abonjour » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:18 pm

Suggesting the Tour is irrelevant because 1000s of people play in casual rounds, weekly leagues or one dayers is a bit like suggesting the Premiership is irrelevant because big Sam isnt including the star striker from your local pub team in his national team considerations... IMO if you're looking to select the best players that needs to be done with at least some form of head to head element, Tour or otherwise.

To come back to the topic of the thread title - To be honest I don't really get the relevance of the Tour vs. Regional events in this whole inclusiveness debate. We have very good attendance at Tour for the vast majority of events and regional one dayers/weekly leagues also seem to be thriving and growing (please correct me if I'm wrong in this assumption). Therefore to return to Seamus' original question about if there were any plans for the BDGA to 'reach out' to players competing who aren't in the BDGA, what exactly would you like to see?

Comparing to other sports I participate and compete in (running and cycling predominantly) 'inclusiveness' from being a member is pretty much limited to the following:

Discounted race entry fee (usually ~10%)
Newsletters (which also cover important board type decisions and announcements... including what events are qualifiers for XXX other event)
Public liability insurance at events (or whatever the correct term for that is)
Promotional discounts with affiliated businesses (i.e. my British Cycling membership gives 10% off at Halfords)
Early bird entry to races

And that's it....

I don't see the BDGA as being a million miles away from this although I do agree with the communication issues as have been raised.

As for the inclusiveness of new members again I compare to other sports - Generally the responsibility of actually including newcomers lies entirely with local clubs. The governing body's involvement appears (and this is just from what I see as a punter) to be limited to promotion and advertisement with the odd supported events specifically aimed at newbies (the 'GoTri' race series from Triathlon England/Scotland/Wales probably being the best example).

I've read a lot of the posts this year on this topic with interest and to be honest, and I get the feeling a little like the BDGA board, I'm a bit confused about what exactly is being asked or what is perceived to be so bad with the current situation?

ps I'm certainly not suggesting everything should be left unchanged and that there shouldn't be attempts to improve in all aspects!

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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by rhatton1 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:40 pm

abonjour wrote:Suggesting the Tour is irrelevant because 1000s of people play in casual rounds, weekly leagues or one dayers is a bit like suggesting the Premiership is irrelevant because big Sam isnt including the star striker from your local pub team in his national team considerations...
Not suggesting that the tour is irrelevant in anyway, the numbers of people playing in the country and ratings vs. Tour placement were two different points?
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by seamus » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:06 pm

I appreciate your question Andrew, I would like to see Mull, Loch Tay, Moray, Bluebell Woods and Burnlaw plus all on the rest of the 18 hole disc golf courses in the UK with a willing TD host one event per course, all holding the same value with the Bdga in 2017.
If this happened the Bdga would simultaneously be reaching out and establishing a more objective system for EDGC team selection.
Last edited by seamus on Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by abonjour » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:09 pm

Not specifically in response to your post Rich but it's a theme I've seen mentioned more than a few times in the context of this debate.

I thought you were going down that route with some of your points which prompted my reply, applogies if i mis-understood.

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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by bruce » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:23 pm

The point is Bonjour that the regional series currently are completely unconnected to the BDGA. I'd assume that all the races you enter are sanctioned by the NGB?

I think it's a sensible aim to expect 95+% of DG competitions to be sanction/affiliated by the BDGA
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Re: Inclusiveness

Post by abonjour » Thu Sep 08, 2016 3:34 pm

ah, i did not understand that point. In fact, I actually believed such tournaments were already connected to the BDGA... That may or may not be an interesting point to consider in itself.

Either way, thank you both for clarifying. my earlier post is much less relevant in this context.

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