More Fun Events?

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james
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More Fun Events?

Post by james » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:01 am

This is a delayed reaction due to holidays but i wanted to firstly praise Pat and Edd Green for the great tournament down at Whitcombe. A really good environment and everybody had a good time plus a good turn out of new/reintroduced players. Which to me raises the question, why are there not more events just for fun, without ratings or intense competition but just for a laugh. Usually if i talk to a new player at their first tournament (this is when a new player decides they are ready to play a new tournament which is not often) they seem disillusioned at all the rules and technique discussion that really at their first event shouldn't be an important factor. I understand we need these tournaments in order to run a tour but if there is a serious desire for disc golf to grow then more non-rated fun events are the way to go. This gives a new player all the positives of disc golf, the people, chilled out nature and the actual playing that all seems to not shine through in a tournament atmosphere. Just a thought that maybe we should start getting some friends and part time players and produce a tour of just a few fun events to get more people into it. Thank you for your time :)
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Phil Wood
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by Phil Wood » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:48 am

James, this is a great idea but, it always is reliant on someone to step up and organise these things. Pat and Ed did a great job at whitcombe im sure, so if you want to see more things like this, set one up and convince others to follow suit! Was this only well attended due to the gap in the calendar and Whitcombe being a course folk dont get to play that often?

With money being a large factor for most, i fear you may struggle to get the patronage you would hope for as people would likely hold out for the "official" tour events.

just my tuppenceworth.

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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by bruce » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:24 am

I don't particularly see that there's a great lack of these. QP, Essex and Croydon are all running regular informal events and are always available to introduce new players to the game. Matt is doing similar things in Bristol and the south west generally. I think the Oxford crowd are still running their events.

Sure, places where there is no club it's a bit harder to get to play but we can't spontaneously create something from nothing, we need local players to sell the game locally, as always.

As far as rules go, I try to gently educate new players on the rules when they are playing in things like Croydon's summer league so if/when they get to a Tour event they are pretty well clued up. I frankly don't believe that anyone is 'disillusioned' about this, learning a new game always requires learning the rules, whether it's DG or a hand of poker. Whenever I've spoken to someone about rules (casually or on Tour) they have typically been grateful for the advice.

There are about 3 main rules you need to know to get through a typical round; marking and playing from your lie; holing out; and OB. Hardly strenuous...
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by gommog » Tue Aug 16, 2011 12:27 pm

Seconded, i've been running handicap events at QP all year now and i'm having trouble getting regular players to turn up let alone new ones, i try to keep it as casual as possible, provide the prizes and sometimes a BBQ for no cost to the players and still people don't turn up, yourself included James. As a new player i'd say the rules or competition didn't put me off, if people want to play disc golf they'll play disc golf whether it's a fun event or a tour event.
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by james » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:51 pm

I understand that there are new players that love the game, however conversations i have had with players both new and old suggest that perhaps there should be more room and more encouragement to fun tour events on a more national level.
I am of course happy to help with this if there is interest, sadly my involvement in the disc golf world will be a very limited one in the next few years :(
Hopefully this can be taken in a positive light, i recognise and applaud all the efforts made by players to encourage greater participation and hope that this can be built upon.
And in fact attendance for Beaminster this year was fairly poor from BDGA players for the fun event, seemed a shame that there was a gap in the tour that was filled but turnout was limited.
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by LostMeow » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:59 pm

Unfortunately the replacement Beaminster event was poorly broadcast - I (and others, I think) had no idea about it until much too late. It did look like a fantastic weekend and I am very sorry I missed it. It did also say on the Facebook invite page that experienced players had to bring a beginner with them - maybe it was difficult for people to come up with beginners at such short notice?

Either way, yes these events are fun, but exhorting others to run them won't work half as well as actually running one yourself...!
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by Mark.A.D » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:02 pm

James, you are moving to Nottingham. Neal Pickett will be around and his course could be fully installed, I will be looking around to see if a course can be made in hull so maybe you should do the same, more courses will give the chance for fun events and it won't seem so scary to newer players.

Perhaps talking to the university's ultimate team will help you find a good area, I know they want to find out if you can play ultimate anyway.
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by Scuttler » Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:23 am

LostMeow wrote:Either way, yes these events are fun, but exhorting others to run them won't work half as well as actually running one yourself...!
And James even agrees with you.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1003&p=11964#p11964

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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by bruce » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:05 am

As much as it's a bit of a BDGA pastime, can we not be picking on James for this please?

I completely agree with his point that more informal events are a good thing for growth, I just don't think that we need anything formal to do it. The OP seems to be saying 'newbies are intimidated by the formal Tour, so why don't we have a formal Tour for them', which just seems to be a contradiction...

Could more local players run more local events? Yes. Could James personally run some? Possibly, when he's at Nottingham. Does taking his suggestion and telling him to DIY achieve anything productive? No.
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LostMeow
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by LostMeow » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:03 pm

I beg pardon - it was not my intention to pick on anyone. However, I stand by my point that telling others they ought to be running this event or that event does not work. If some of those that were at the Whitcombe thing go away thinking that they might be able to do something similar then so much the better.

Like you, I have not noticed any problems with new players enjoying taking part in tour events. It can take a bit of cajoling to get them there, but once they turn up they don't seem intimidated by the few rules they have to observe.

Maybe more fun can be incorporated into the Int Am divisions at tour events, making them less serious or potentially intimidating?
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by james » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:11 pm

To clarify my point I had no intention of telling anyone to run anything I was simply suggesting what might be beneficial with no intention of imposing tournaments on course owners or directors.
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LostMeow
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by LostMeow » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:38 pm

No worries, your intentions were clearly good. What about the idea of making Int Am divisions less formal and more fun?
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by james » Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:22 pm

That's something i can be in complete support of!
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by Scuttler » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:07 am

LostMeow wrote:No worries, your intentions were clearly good. What about the idea of making Int Am divisions less formal and more fun?
But if you make them less formal, you can't include them for PDGA ratings along with the Adv Am scores, as it needs to be a level playing field for everyone.

Unless less formal can somehow include keeping to the same rules as everyone else.

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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by bruce » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:25 am

And there's the rub. BDGA Tour events are just that, the Tour. They're PDGA sanctioned and fundamentally a competition, and in order for a competition to be fair it needs to be a level playing field. The vast majority of Int Ams are well established Tour players who know the rules and are more than happy to abide by them.

Now we could add a completely non-competitive Recreational or Novice division that is not reported for any stats, where you can drink, not bother marking your lie or holing out, add your score up wrong etc, but frankly that would devalue the Tour experience for the rest of us, and you can play a casual round like that any time.
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by JesseD » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:39 am

can we have rated ripped rounds?
um,,,, ah,,,, um,,, a,,, um,, ah,,,

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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by JesseD » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:40 am

lets go crazy!!!

Ripped tour events!
um,,,, ah,,,, um,,, a,,, um,, ah,,,

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LostMeow
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by LostMeow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:41 am

Good points, but that's not exactly what I meant. How about more mini-competitions within the Int Am division? Long putts/drives, best round of the day, best improvement of the day, first birdie? Higher divisions don't need that stuff.
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by LostMeow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:44 am

bruce wrote:Now we could add a completely non-competitive Recreational or Novice division that is not reported for any stats, where you can drink, not bother marking your lie or holing out, add your score up wrong etc, but frankly that would devalue the Tour experience for the rest of us, and you can play a casual round like that any time.
Also, yes you can play a round like that any time, but can you play three of them over a weekend against other people from other courses, whilst learning by seeing better players and enjoying the social side of the sport? Not sure I would feel devalued by it, myself.
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Re: More Fun Events?

Post by bruce » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:58 pm

LostMeow wrote:
bruce wrote:Now we could add a completely non-competitive Recreational or Novice division that is not reported for any stats, where you can drink, not bother marking your lie or holing out, add your score up wrong etc, but frankly that would devalue the Tour experience for the rest of us, and you can play a casual round like that any time.
Also, yes you can play a round like that any time, but can you play three of them over a weekend against other people from other courses, whilst learning by seeing better players and enjoying the social side of the sport? Not sure I would feel devalued by it, myself.
I'll answer your question first, because the rest of my reply ballooned :shock: You can play against people you don't know and better players at handicaps, one days, summer leagues, worlds biggests and ace races. More of this kind of thing I heartily cheer on! You'll probably find more willing coaching and guidance at these two, because better players aren't focused on the event at hand. Maybe not 3 rounds, but certainly 2.

Now onto the rest...

The Tour cannot be all things to all people and neither should it try to be in my view; it is the primary competitive structure of disc golf in this country, and the shop window for the sport in so far as public and press are concerned.

Sure, we could go back to the days (when I started playing, and pretty much until I joined the board in 2005) of having tour events played to trees, with players openly drinking and smoking weed during play, when the whole thing was more about a weekend away with the boys than anything else. Changing to the way we are lost some players, but it surely gained more than it lost in quality of Tour events, a family/child friendly environment, and significant growth in the last 5 years with courses in the ground, the sport on the curriculum in hundreds of schools now, coaching courses and a higher standard of play (certainly in depth) at the Open level than ever before.

I prefer the grown up version of the BDGA that has ambition to be a recognised sport, with youth development, press coverage, and above all public awareness. When I started playing Ultimate in 1995, less than 1 in 10 people I mentioned it to had ever heard of it. When I started playing disc golf in 2001, less than 1 in 20 had heard of it, but 5 in 10 or better said something like 'oh, that Ultimate thing?'. Now, in 2011, more people than not know what Ultimate is, and I'm often surprised by how many know what disc golf is.

Now the Tour itself hasn't really grown, event size remains in the 30-60 range although I'm pretty sure the average attendance is up, and the number of unique players on Tour too. Fun local events is a no brainer to me, the one that makes my head hurt is 'How do we make the Tour bigger and better, whilst striving to improve the quality?' The only answer I have at the moment? More courses. Tour standard courses. There seems to be a belief that a course in a new area should be a pitch and putt (sometimes that's all we can convince the council or whatever to agree to), but Croydon is a shining example of where a proper course can flourish from day one, QP is a roaring success, and yet I'm really struggling to think of a single example of where a pitch and putt generated a local club, a bigger course, or barring the Shrewsbury/Ullapool lads, a Tour player.

So that's my message to the membership really - "Go forth and multiply (courses). And be ambitious, make 'em biguns!"
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