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Announcement 131116

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:48 pm
by LostMeow
Hello all,

Same old faces, new look Board!

You may have noticed we’ve had a little shuffle-around here at BDGA HQ. The same diligent souls are on the Board, but James Luton is now your Secretary and I am your National Director.

We’ve had our first meeting and will be starting to roll out a few changes over the next few weeks. The first and most noticeable one will be the new Tour system, put in place by our Director of Competitions, Phil Wood. This has taken many rounds of consultation and aims to allow for much better growth of the sport within the UK. The headlines are:

There is now no limit to the number of ‘Tour’ events – they can be lots of different formats, lengths and locations. Players will earn points, via the PDGA points system, towards qualifying for the end of season showcase, the British Championships – an invitation-only event for the best to decide the year’s champions.

Tour seasons will typically run from September to August but the first one will necessarily be shortened, starting in January 2017 and finishing in August 2017. This short first season will allow us to iron out any kinks in the new and ambitious plan.

For a full description of the new Tour, please see Phil’s document here: ... IoIIb8fFYI

A new Tour structure also prompts a re-evaluation of BDGA memberships, and we will be putting a proposal to a membership vote over the coming week. Our proposal is to make BDGA membership cheaper but also compulsory for BDGA events, to cover insurance but also encourage players to engage with their national organisation. Of course, we have to provide a choice, so the current membership price will be offered as an alternative.

The membership proposals are described here: ... GDgCQg/pub
Touring members should receive an email from Ballotbin shortly.

Finally, for now, we will be attempting to change the way national teams are selected (for example, for European Championships) by introducing a selection committee.

The selection process is described here: ... bz6mzg/pub

The BDGA website will continue to develop as a central point for British Disc Golf and we will be looking for lots of contributors to monthly Newsletters!

I hope you’re as excited as we are about the year ahead!

Hope to see you at a BDGA event soon,
Tom Lowes

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:18 pm
by rhatton1
Posted on Facebook as well:

Sorry to be the voice of negativity yet again and most of this stuff is excellent and has obviously involved a huge amount of work but Option A is not a good fit for the majority of entrants to MODS events or for the other events I am planning further afield for next year. As a TD of a number of introductory/inclusive events most with some sizable overheads requiring a certain level of attendance to break even this would definitely mean me not BDGA sanctioning them.

Being part of the BDGA tour was going to be a nice extra but it will be by no means the main draw to the events I run. I don't even force MODS membership to be part of the tour and the MODS memberships offer considerable value for money. Forcing BDGA membership is a bad idea until such stage we are turning people away from events that are oversubscribed.

Make your money from memberships for those that want to be part of the points race, the championships and other excellent ideas like Robb Hamilton 's club competition, make the rest of it from per head tournament taxes with the added benefit of being on the BDGA tour. Don't hamstring your TD's and force them to turn players away from events without paying for something most of them don't want.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:29 pm
by LostMeow
rhatton1 wrote:Sorry to be the voice of negativity yet again and most of this stuff is excellent and has obviously involved a huge amount of work but Option A is not a good fit for the majority of entrants to MODS events or for the other events I am planning further afield for next year. As a TD of a number of introductory/inclusive events most with some sizable overheads requiring a certain level of attendance to break even this would definitely mean me not BDGA sanctioning them.
Not sure I totally follow. Option A means reducing the TD's overhead to just £10 per day sanctioning fee, and for a player it is £10 to be insured at any BDGA event for a year (20 months in first instance). We're not trying to make money out of this - we want to cover our costs and get people involved with their national organisation.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:47 pm
by rhatton1
But the players will have that insurance at events anyway. If it was insurance for throwing a disc in any park at any time then it would be great value similar to the Finnish set up.

TD tax at my best attended three events has been £40, so a £30 "saving" on each - £90 total

30 of the 40 players were not BDGA members and have no intention of becoming members so for them to pay the same amount I need to find £210 extra so we're all at the same level?

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:55 pm
by rhatton1
LostMeow wrote:
rhatton1 wrote: people involved with their national organisation.
This IMO is the mistake.

Most people don't care or have any wish to be involved in decision making, in voting in the organisation of the sport, they just want to play and it's great that we are big enough now to be able to facilitate that without everyone playing also having to volunteer (but thank god so many do)

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:35 pm
by seamus
Up until now there was a renewed sense of interest to include the Bdga in a majority of our Tour. I am disappointed in the shortsightedness of a members only Tour that will not aid in the overall growth of our sport. Our local area simply does not have the number of players or the will to travel to be competitive in such a system. I know a few that might give it a go and I'm frustrated that we cannot support them with local events.
I posted that on Bragbook a few minutes ago.
I'm fairly happy when we host a local event with 15/20 participants. Its hard enough to convince recreational players to compete in tournaments (especially in an emerging area) adding to that £5/£10 to join the NGB (plus £10 per day+£1ppd for the TD) is a hard sell and our tournament participation would most definitely decrease. I simply can't afford to let that happen. The old system where people could sign up for an associate membership and have a look around before deciding whether a Bdga membership was a value to them personally was much more desirable, inclusive, and IMO would grow the sport faster.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:07 pm
by LostMeow
It's £5 then another £5 to be insured at any BDGA events for 20 months. If it isn't mandatory the system doesn't work as we can't guarantee covering our overheads - so we have to revert to the £1 per player per day plus top up from more expensive memberships (£17) from those who care to be involved.

The previous BDGA Tour offered BDGA members £5 off for each event as an incentive - with that being removed from the new Tour, people would rightly ask what the £17 membership gave them, especially as insurance was being paid by TDs via the tournament tax. So we have flipped that around, so the TDs don't pay the tournament tax towards insurance, the players pay for their insurance at BDGA events. That requires all players to buy in, otherwise it doesn't work.

If the BDGA can't fund it's insurance bill, then we lose the ability to be able to offer any tournament PL insurance. I know some venues have their own (e.g. QP, Foxlake), but if you don't spread the bill evenly, then the tournaments without PL insurance have to cover the BDGA's cost on their own, making those tournaments very expensive. By sharing the load out we enable the BDGA to offer the PL insurance to any TD who wants to use it* - how does that stifle growth?

*Obviously subject to the terms of the insurance.

Edit - NB - Associate Membership will still exist

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:12 am
by robbnot
Copied my rants from faceblob...

This year I attended 2 bdga tour events Whitcombe & QP, at each of those I got £5 discount for being a bdga member,
Now correct me if I'm wrong, if Nick or Neil (non-members) had played it would have cost them £5 more than me at each event....

Isn't that exactly what it'll cost in option A, except that if they played a third bdga tournament, it wouldn't cost them any extra because they have payed their tenner...

None of the smegs (sets) tour were bdga events and at £5 entry it didn't increase players...
We had a cream pie crust turn out this year,
Which as TD I'll take the blame for,
But for a fiver you got a days competitive golf, only 17 people turned up at one of 'em, and I think most of them are members,

Not every tournament is gonna be a bdga tournament, you'll have "the main tour" sort of thing you know, the big five ;-)
You'll have regional bdga tours,

But you'll still have club leagues, Ace,Trilogy, Birdie, night games
Any tours that don't want to be bdga sanctioned,

So for £10 I get..

1) A tour,
structured by the BDGA not the tour structure fairies
2) points as an Int-Am or rec*
3) points for my club*
4) a newsletter
5) insurance (proper. read your small print)
6) a development fund
7) a governing body
8) a right to vote on that governing body
9) the right to vote on that governing bodies decisions
10) the chance to be invited to the British Open, **

*new things, hopefully to be included, which I believe is twenty minutes on xcel or something

**not much of an incentive to some but I have a couple of guys who might think differently about joining if they could get an invite to a major, without having to go to all the big tours now.

Oh hang on,
That I believe is a group of people who put all this together in their own time,
They don't get paid,
They get grief,
They try to grow the sport you all love,
They get greif
They listen to you, take on your views, discuss and decide on them, put them to the vote,
They get grief

Without them, you're on your own

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:42 am
by rhatton1
Option C.

Sanctioning fee £10 per tournament, £20 for two day events. Paid by TD

Tournament tax £1 per head per day paid by td

Membership £10 per year.
Membership benefits - must be a member to compete at the BDGA flagship events (matchplay, championships etc. to be part of tour points race, to be part of club points race however that is worked out.) You get the all hallowed voting rights and say in the national body.£10 is such an insignificant amount that the secretary will be swamped in applications....

More money bought into the BDGA than either Option A or current system. Unless there are around 100 events sanctioned by the BDGA next year all with great attendance, which I'm somehow doubting as the two TD's that have run the most PDGA events this year have already stated they are unlikely to sanction any under this agreement.


Sanctioning fee.

For me as a TD BDGA sanctioning will have a positive effect, i'm budgeting for about 15% increase in attendance as a result - I should pay for that.
£10 even at my worst case turnout scenario of 20 players is only £.50 a head, I should be able to find that without detracting from the offering for players and the more people I bring in the better.

Tournament Tax - Per head fees are budgetable! Having it per head means I can not worry about it as an overhead,, bonus. More players attending = more money for BDGA coffers, bonus. Players do not feel the £1 per head amount Don't try to tell them they are covered under insurnace at events, they would be covered under insurance by anyway, put the onus on the TD not eh player, most players don;t care and just assume they are covered anyway.


If you truly believe the benefits of BDGA membership for all players are that great then what's the issue with giving people the option to pay for them instead of telling people to pay for them? If people want to be involved in the flagship events they will need to be members, that's fair, that's fine. For regional and one off events where the TD is doing all the work it's not right to put a restriction on who can play at the TD's event. £5/!0 extra on a two day event you are budgeting a couple of hundred pounds to play in is nothing, to put that on a one day event where my players are expecting to pay around £20 all in for the day including food and transport is a large amount. They play in ten of these it costs them about the same amount as one two dayer. Most players are not playing in 10 events.

Most people do not care about the organisation, nor voting, nor having any say in the running of it, and who are we to try to dictate that they should. There was a 50% turnout of online votes this year despite all members apparently finding this to be such an important thing.... Stop kidding yourselves that everyone does care about the process whether they should or not!

And can we please stop trying to shut down any counter debate with the "they are volunteers doing lots of hard work for free ergo you should agree with everything they say" or I'll get Jonathan Pie to do a special report even if that makes me the great orange monster in the scenario...

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:23 am
by andrewdouse
And now for something completely different.....

"All players in divisions MPO, FPO, MPM, MJ1 and MA1 will receive points; only BDGA members’ points will be recorded on the BDGA points race."
If people play in the divisions that their rating indicates then only 1 player on the above linked players list is both am and 935+ and therefore Ad.Am... presumeable some previously open players might play am - or indeed Sam may play open... further down the list, 63 of the 153 players are below 900 rated, so Rec, and another 46 are under 850 rated, so Novice.
So only 40ish players are int am or above by rating.

I like the change to the PDGA divisions, but we are currently predominantly rec and novice players. Maybe everyone will play up to get points, but as it stands the points race is beyond most players, or the bdga race will consist almost entirely of int.ams and below.....

I Would suggest having no open this year, or no, as there aren't enough good players?

Maybe just lump int and ad together and have no ma2?
open, am, rec, novice? Giving am's points - (Giving everyone else points as well, so rec and novice points but in a seperate race)

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:53 am
by LostMeow
Richard: the ball is rolling on the binary vote for the original proposals. It may be possible to have a subsequent vote for an amendment. I'm not kidding myself about whether people care about the constitutional benefits of BDGA membership. The vehemence of anti-BDGA comment that flows forth as soon as we dare suggest people make a contribution to their national organisation makes that abundantly clear. For me it was trying to 'square the circle': events need insurance - some events don't have their own insurance so we do it for them - that costs money - how do we cover the costs - either by memberships or/and tournament tax - why not pay for it through memberships and build up the membership base, giving us more clout as a national organisation. Players will pay for the insurance one way or another (via tournament tax in your proposal), so why not give them membership with it? It's the model that many other sports use, I am increasingly hearing (growing list: ultimate, football, squash...).

Andrew: Trying to find an amateur competition structure that works has been challenging. Please note that the amateur divisions have hard 'ceilings' but soft 'floors', so to speak - so anyone, no matter what their rating, can play in MA1. This gives a level playing field for qualification to the BCs, where the amateur champion can be crowned. Derek has made an interesting suggestion on Facebook that the amateur divisions can be all given points but then ranked by division first, so MA1 players will always rank higher than MA2 etc. That way, everyone gets points, but only those who step up to MA1 stand the best chance of qualifying for BCs. This sounds reasonable to me but is something the Board will need to discuss.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:25 am
by rhatton1
OK, then I urge anyone wanting to play in the events I run next year and wants them to be part of the British Tour to vote for the old option B until a better one is thought up and we can vote again. If you are based in Scotland and the North and plan to play in the events there it would also be a good idea to vote option B as your events as you know them probably won't be part of the British Tour. (at least I expect this to be the same for Seamus) By voting option B you will keep around £500 income within the BDGA instead of going to a private insurance company which will be a shame.

Full disclosure here I am in planning stages of around 10 more course opening one off events next year for new courses around the country (on top of the MODS events) I had hoped to incorporate these in the British Tour points race, the idea being to give low cost first time events bringing in good players from around the UK but having locals from brand new disc golf areas also compete. I am not charging them £5/10 more and I'm not personally taking the hit and risk as a TD.

That will give us 25 - 30 events of a good standard that won't be BDGA sanctioned giving players all over the country an option to play tournament golf without paying a BDGA membership. How many are you expecting as the board to be sanctioned? Do you have 10, 20, 30 expressions of interest to host an event? Before the vote is closed it would probably be a good idea for members to see who is intending to actually give them the competition this change refers to?

You/We have an incredible chance for growth and inclusivity here, don't scupper it by forcing a members club that doesn't have the perceived benefits for most people on people.

You can mandate BDGA membership at our flagship events, great do that, you'll probably increase membership even if you raised it to £25 a year by doing that, don't stop me though from offering competition to new players in the ints/recs/novice divisions (THE MAJORITY OF OUR PLAYERBASE!!!!) who have no title to fight for in those flagship events.

A per head fee tournament by tournament pays for what you use. A Mandated members fee subsidises those that use more.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:37 am
by seamus
robbnot wrote:Without them, you're on your own
It is not a matter of being with or without the Bdga, the impending issue is a great majority of players in my local area could careless about organized disc golf, joining the Bdga, Pdga, rating, points and liability insurance. We simply do not have the pool of players to be competitive in the "members only" club. The great Bdga membership deal has no bearing until there is an interest that will drive the sale forward. Like I stated on Crackbook, you'll be fine down South but the new proposal leaves little to be desired in an emerging area such as ours.
What you need is a system that will not only advance membership in areas of successful growth but on the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Arran and the Isle of Mull. If that is not possible due to liability issues then IMO the Bdga membership will have pockets of success but you'll have to wait until the sport is ready in emerging areas to see the country as a whole buy in.

I'm not saying don't do it, just explaining why there will be no explosive growth in this area in regards to the new membership proposal.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:53 am
by seamus
rhatton1 wrote:If you are based in Scotland and the North and plan to play in the events there it would also be a good idea to vote option B as your events as you know them probably won't be part of the British Tour.
Cheers Richard, I'll let the member know so he can vote ;)

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:21 pm
by rhatton1
Cross posting from facebook with edits sa this is the cause of my negativity!

I have a lack of faith in anything forced when the forcing is for no good reason. Why force it? I genuinely think you have enough benefits with the new system especially with Robbs lovely club idea for more than the current numbers of members to join up for £17 or even £25.

It doesn't produce more income than the old system, it doesn't produce more engaged voting members, it just provides more members. Increased membership may have long term benefits but the associate member offer already does most of that work.

I'm paying out of my own pocket monthly and hoping to gain back what I have put in running numerous tournaments and all the feedback I get is any extra price rise will lead to more people not playing. I've yet to have one person say they would like to pay more, please all tell me if you do!

For me it then becomes a trade off between what I believe BDGA sanctioning and mandating membership will produce. I do believe it will increase attendance at all events, I don't believe that will be more than 10 - 15%

I am sure that I will lose players at events as a result, I am trying to work out that number, give me some time on that one as the mandated entry has taken me like a curveball last night. I suspect it will be about the same not playing - 10 - 15% , my issue with that is the not playing people are more likely to be new people, they are the ones I do not want to and will not lose.

If i don't run MODS as BDGA for 6 months and by then all of my usual entrants have signed up already, it makes sense for me to add it on later and find a way of subsidising new players so they don't get put off. It would however be madness for me to start this off at the start of a new year with no idea who will be involved. I can't plan for it, I can't budget for it. All the risk is on me in making the change, none on the BDGA. The first event I wanted to run has an upfront payment of £400 in green fees. feel free to do the maths and work out why I would be unwilling to lose any players at all.

You've all seemed to see this as a Tour event perspective where the entrance fees are around £30 and an weekend could cost you £200.

I've aimed MODS at being as close to those standards of competition we would expect to see at tours (next investment will be trailer and tee mats) We've managed to do this for less than half the cost of entry, with few of the associated costs of a tour. In that context £5/10 is a substantial addition to a first time entry fee where it gets lost as a consideration in the overall costs of a more expensive two day tour.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:07 pm
by LostMeow
Another debate update for the conscientious objectors:

There's two distinct new amendments emerging. I say amendments because voting for Option A vs Option B is already underway, so any change will have to be passed as an amendment after that is decided (Sunday evening):

1. That the £10 BDGA membership be compulsory for events, OR £1 per player per day is charged to the player. These £1 payments would not accumulate towards membership. i.e. if you're playing more than 10 days of competitions over the year (20 months in first season) BDGA membership makes easy financial sense.

2. That the £10 BDGA membership is compulsory only for B and A-tier events. Other events allow all players but are charged sanctioning (& player tax) to cover insurance.

My preference, IF it gets regional tours on board, is number 1 there.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:16 pm
by rhatton1
Big thank you from me and wholeheartedly support option 1 or 2 as an amendment.

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:41 pm
by SueU
Please could I check my understanding as a potential TD:

Amendment 1
Anyone can play in any event (excluding those requiring qualification of course) and:-
Either the player is a BDGA member and gets BDGA points
Or the player is not a BDGA member, the player pays £1 per day and does not get any BDGA points

And the TD could presumably decide whether to add the £1 per day onto the entry fee for the non BDGA member or cover this themselves ...

So from a TD perspective, you would pay the BDGA a £10 sanctioning fee for any event and then £1 per player per day for each non BDGA member

I assume the £10 sanctiong fee would apply with both amendments

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:13 pm
by LostMeow
Hi Sue, yes I think that's where we've got to. The original proposal has to be voted on first, then hopefully we can get through a vote on the amendments. Then members may have had enough emails from me pestering them to vote; or may be super enthused by the whole active democracy thing - who knows!

No comments on the national teams selection committee plan from anywhere?

Re: Announcement 131116

Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:12 pm
by Jester
As you asked, Tom, thoughts on National Team Selection.

Overall I think this looks great. For openness and transparency it's excellent that there will be an independent committee to make the Team selection. Individuals that do and do not make the squad can be sure they've each be treated fairly and considered equally against the criteria.

Some questions/thoughts:
- Is it worth worth making clear to those who want to be considered for selection that if selected they are committed to going to the event and representing the team? Don't want anyone to be unclear the level of commitment required.
- In case of injury or other extenuating circumstance, it would seem to make sense that a reserve list is drawn up at the same time the Team is selected?
- When you say selection committee members will have 'no conflict of interest related to potential competitors or having financial interests', is that covering things like being involved in running the event itself, or being involved in a business that sponsors players?
- You say 'The team Captain’s role will be to act as a lead figure at the tournament, to look after player welfare and tactics as appropriate.
The team will be managed by the International Coordinator.' That makes clear the Captain's role and responsibilities which is great, but what tasks do you expect to fall under the heading of 'management' as regards the International Coordinator please?