Divisions at the british open?

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mat cutler
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Divisions at the british open?

Post by mat cutler » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:12 pm

Initially prompted by a ouch £48 doesn't include camping or lunch tournament fee I looked into the divisions on the pdga site

http://www.pdga.com/files/documents/09P ... nsGrid.pdf

I have never won money before and with a current rating of 943 (coming back from injury will be more like 920!),

Also I compete not to win money but to test myself against other good players. If I were to enter the am division will all the other players in the division consider me sandbagging? Or can I enter the tournament "trophy only?" in the open division with a reduce tournament fee?

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Post by mat cutler » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:13 pm

in relation to my previous post I have some points to raise that will hopefully raise discussion!

I see the overall point of the eurotour to raise the profile of the sport outside of the US, however (maybe a bit of hippy opinion here), Are we running before we can walk? What benefit to the growth of the sport in the uk is our flagship tournament taking prize money from approximately 60% of the field's player entry to give to the top 10% elite? Even if the majority of the payout is coming from outside sponsorship - wouldn't it be better for this money to be invested in increasing the number of courses/player numbers in the uk?

This is by no means an attack on players who have cashed at tournaments, derek's 215 euros in den haag i'm sure only just covered travel to the tournament - and over the years he has probably invested way more back into the sport than he has ever won!

But as we move forward what do we want for our sport? I see a drive in direction for more corporate sponsorship and cash payout tournaments. I think sponsorship is very important, I would just much rather approach sponsors with a product which benefits all rather than an elite, which ironically I aspire to be a part of (in a playing sense anyhow)!

I would rather see the british open, as the flagship tournament, being a culmination of players who have come through a regional / local qualifying tournament. Potential sponsors can help provide funding for the installation of regional courses, coaching and equipment to benefit new players and the wider community.

The pride of playing for your local club/town/course at the British open would then be immense and the top players would want to get there to show who is the best not just for the cash! Yes we can invite the top players in the world to enter on a wildcard basis but let's not send them home with all the money!

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Post by mat cutler » Mon Apr 06, 2009 12:33 pm

this is my point - does this help disc golf in the uk?

taken from the pdga europe page...

PDGA Europe
At present PDGA Europe is a Steering Committee consisting of PDGA affiliated Country Representatives and the PDGA International Coordinator. The committee is empowered to take Europe-wide decisions involving PDGA Tour, events, membership and related disc golf standards, and is supported financially and otherwise by PDGA HQ. As resources and infrastructure are developed, PDGA Europe is seen as becoming more formalized and, with time, an incorporated and self-sustaining entity. It is a goal to achieve this in 2010.

Goals

* Strengthen and support the growth of disc golf in Europe through continued implementation of the PDGA affiliated country and international program
* Set tour standards for classification of PDGA affiliated European events into appropriate tiers within the different countries
* Set standards for classification of European players into universal Professional and Amateur divisions for competition in PDGA events in Europe and around the world
* Increase the professionalism and marketability of EuroTour events to local and regional communities, businesses, and the media
* Support the growth of National Associations through affiliation with PDGA Europe
* Strengthen the PDGA brand as the global leader in organized/competitive disc golf

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Post by dunc » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:11 pm

Hi Mat,

yep in theory that may be correct...however there are certain guidelines you have to adhere to in order to hold a Eurotour event...these are mainly payout related and open player biased. We are also unable to use (rightly so i might add) any money raised by am fees towards the pro payout, therefore you will find the am field is limited and registrations from open are favoured as any cash paid by the open players goes straight to the pot. This is why Open players have to pay for their t-shirt and players pack disc wheras ams get it included.

It would not be my preference to payout such a large amount to the top european players, i would much rather see the money generated reinvested as you say into the sport into the Uk. But we are in a catch 22 situation as in order to have the tournament sanctioned we must meet these guidelines, if we were not to meet these guidelines we would noit have a sanctioned tournament, no european players would come and the publicity that we are able to generate for the sport in the UK would be greatly dimininished.

Therefore my opinion is that we have to have the tournament on the PDGA Eurotour as the growth in the of the sport in the UK would be damaged without it. However unfortunately we are hamstrung and have to pay the cash out to the top players and not reinvest it.

As for you playing Am, there is nothing to stop you registering as one, however as already mentioned the am field is very limited and you will almost certainly deny somebody else from the UK the chance of playing Am...and if they want to play they would have to register open and pay more money, so you would force somebody of lesser ability to play open and in that case...yes, I would call you a sandbagger....
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Post by richard » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:58 pm

Matt has raised some points of interest that maybe could be opened out as to what the strategy for British Disc Golf is or should be.

Marketing the game to newbies is something that we at Croydon have been looking at in some small way in the last couple of months.

In the 2 years that we have had our course in at Lloyd Park we have managed to pick up about a dozen new players that weren't friends or colleques that we have converted. In fact we have had more players from the States come and play than we have from Croydon!

We picked up a few players who saw the BBC clip and Robbie Coltraines QP piece. But apart from that we still very little in the way of new players looking at joining us, or indeed, local people that have any idea what the hell we do or why "Vodafone have put in a telephonic array in Lloyd Park without consultation"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So my question is; Do we have, as an organisation, a strategy that we are working on to promote the sport nationally and coherantly across the board. If we do; what is it? And if we don't; why not?

Do we have any marketing people in the rank and file? If so, please stand up because after the last 2 weeks of trying to formulate some sort of plan for Croydon, I could certainly do with some help from proffesionals who know what they're doing. With an enormous contribution from Jester (and photographic skills of Angus) we are about to launch a leaflet campaign on the unsuspecting Croydon public. We have no idea how this idea will work or, indeed, what we should really expect from it, but we are trying. We have a great facility, which is about to get better with the introduction of a clubhouse, and nobody knows its there!

I, along with Matt, hope that the discusion will continue. For the good of our game. :D
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Post by mat cutler » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:28 pm

excellent! good work rich. Is the council holding any form of opening do for the pavillion/clubhouse. Maybe good to promote a have-a-go / family/beginner tournament with some coaching available on the day, disc to borrow etc. (I / Chris the CTS team would happily run such an event - funding from the council available?). Organise it yourselves with your BDGA coaching award (see chris email re friday before essex)

apart from 1 off events have you heard about the Sports Unlimited scheme? I am currently running 2 sucessful youth teams with weekly training in Bristol (ultimate frisbee at the moment although hope to do a disc golf club over the summer months) with funding from sports unlimited. contact your local sports development team at croydon council give me a ring if you want more info. shropshire/qp/harrogate and burnlaw should get involved with this too! I hope to be organising something dorset also.

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Post by mat cutler » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:32 pm

ok before this post goes off topic,
Duncan is it possible to enter as open "trophy only" at a reduced rate? as i don't want to take an am spot from someone else but i can't afford £48!

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Post by richard » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:36 pm

mat cutler wrote:ok before this post goes off topic,
Sorry Matt, you're right... maybe my rant should go elsewhere?!
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Post by mat cutler » Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:39 pm

no rich these are the things we should promote talking about on the forum! lees trash talking more flash talking!

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Post by dunc » Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:26 pm

mat cutler wrote:ok before this post goes off topic,
Duncan is it possible to enter as open "trophy only" at a reduced rate? as i don't want to take an am spot from someone else but i can't afford £48!
I'd like to work with you but unfortunately it is not possible to that

If you think £48 is expensive, at the Dutch open this year Open division entry was 60 Euros.... given the exchange rate at the mo that's 20% more! We really have tried our best to keep costs down for everyone but have been stiffed a bit through lack of sponsorship (recession led) and the exchange rate
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Post by bruce » Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:24 am

I don't really have the time to discuss this in detail, this has taken me all morning to write in between working.

You're looking at the wrong standards, go to the PDGA Europe site for the EuroTour guide, not the divisions guide you quoted. A Euro Pro is considered to be someone over 950 rated, and/or registered with the PDGA as a Pro. If you are neither, then you are entitled to play Am.

It's actually the top 33% of each Pro division who cash, not 10%, and cash is only taken from their entry fees and sponsorship, not from any other players. Jester, Derek, Charlie and myself all cashed last year. As in all sport, to the victors go the spoils...

The British Open is a EuroTour event. It's called the British Open because that's what most of the others are called; French Open, Dutch Open etc...

It is the 'flagship event' only in the sense that it is the biggest and gets the most media attention. It's also supported by the wider PDGA Europe community, and helps raise the profile of DG in the whole of Europe. Without this structure and profile, it wouldn't generate the cash.

To address Rich's point, the BDGA strategy is focussed on introducing kids to DG and getting courses in the ground. Both of these rely on keen volunteers such as Rich and others too numerous to mention, ably assisted by the efforts of CtS, Disczoo, Del's Discs etc.

Various publicity opportunities have resulted in spikes in interest about the sport, but for the most part we have to tell people that their nearest course is x hours away, and their interest tends to wane at that point.

Still, we get someone interested in putting in some kind of a course every couple of weeks, and the conversion rate of these opportunities is increasing, as is overall public exposure to the sport.
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Post by DamnMassive » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:19 pm

Whilst I have a lot of sympathy for Matts situation, I can understand the need for a 'flagship' event in the UK and can see how that would fit within a wider strategy for the development of the sport. AFAIC the presence of a Brit Open does not detract from BDGA efforts elsewhere.

In terms of the high entry fee. I personally don't agree with recycling so much money within the field - as an 'open' player it just feel like giving money to 'top' players so they can beat me - which tends to dull the fun a little. So i choose not to play......and if enough people act in the same way then the UK won't be able to support the British Open

HOWEVER ....We're lucky with the fantastic resources we have in Del, his course and his dedicated clan of helpers that they can run two QP tour events AND the British Open, so i dont feel i'm loosing out by choosing not to play in the British Open. Last year jack and I came, camped, played a few holes and watched, it was good (but not the same as playing!)

I know that Hayling and Whitcombe suffered adversely in financial terms in the past because of running the British Open - to the extent that we would never run it again.

just an opinion.....damn

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Post by bruce » Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:30 pm

Dan

I confess I share a similar ideology regarding playing for entry fees, I feel that it financially punishes the players who don't have the skills to cash, but are too good to play Am. The result is either that players don't play (such as yourself) or that they 'sandbag' in the Ams.
There is a fairly wide acceptance within the PDGA that this is the case, and the introduction of 'trophy only' and 'pro's playing am' options on the US tour have tried to address this, the former to get very good Ams to move up, and the other to allow fading pros to move down.

I don't believe that laying for entry fees can ever be fair, and that all prize money should come from sponsorship. Unfortunately that would mean a massive reduction in prizes (60+%) and so the PDGA feel it would be suicidal to attempt it, which I can appreciate!

If we grow big enough on the BDGA tour to attract sponsorship, then this is the approach we should take IMO. The additional effect is that with a flat entry fee structure, we can retain skills based divisions and mandate players move up to Open, which you can't justify with the PDGA structure.
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Post by Del » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:19 pm

The PDGA model with Pro payout of recycled entry fees does not fit comfortably with the game in the UK, especially at this stage of development, and that is why we have effectively opted out with the British Tour events, where Open does not equal Pro.

With the British Open, I guess we do have the option of not being on the European Tour. Life would be easier, but there would be a downside.

1. The prize money aspect forces the TD to get sponsors, which is a hassle, but it does mean that we have to engage with the wider community, and that gets the sport noticed. How many BDGA Tour events get sponsors or feel obliged to get publicity in order to attract sponsors? We rarely make our presence known, but last years British Open we had 6 radio broadcasts and had a great live + recorded segment on Midlands Today.
2. If we are not on the ET, we are not likely to get top touring players over here, nor indeed many foreign players full stop. Those players make the Open newsworthy. They also raise the bar, and could inspire our up and coming players.
3. Prize money makes the Open more newsworthy. It will also help motivate youngsters to get good at the sport. Being a professional sportsman is many kids dream. One of the most frequently asked questions that I get is whether there is prize money.
4. Like it or not, (and personally I don't) higher fees do seem to "work" in making a bigger occasion that people want to be part of. The European Tour took off massively with the adoption of PDGA payout requirements. You see this in other areas of entertainment too. You can spend £48 to see premier league football played by guys who earn millions for doing something they love and would do for free. Likewise rock bands. Doesn't make it right, but does generate momentum.

There you have it, there are pros and cons to the "pro" aspect, but I think we do need to be in the European Tour.
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Post by JesseD » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:10 pm

bruce wrote: It's actually the top 33% of each Pro division who cash, not 10%, and cash is only taken from their entry fees and sponsorship, not from any other players.
not toataly true. at the unless my entree fee of 45e went to the bog,,, (i'm sure it went to pay the pro's at the dutch open.)

the players pack was a lousy disc,,, lousy in the fact that no one would throw it and everyone got it ams and pros alike. (not even stamped :x)

the rest of the event was well run and good,,, just don't think i got my moneys worth as an Am.

something to expect in the future i reckon
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Post by bruce » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:26 pm

JesseD wrote:
bruce wrote: It's actually the top 33% of each Pro division who cash, not 10%, and cash is only taken from their entry fees and sponsorship, not from any other players.
not toataly true. at the unless my entree fee of 45e went to the bog,,, (i'm sure it went to pay the pro's at the dutch open.)

the players pack was a lousy disc,,, lousy in the fact that no one would throw it and everyone got it ams and pros alike. (not even stamped :x)

the rest of the event was well run and good,,, just don't think i got my moneys worth as an Am.

something to expect in the future i reckon
I'm not going to comment on a particular event's finances, but the pro purse is calculated from a percentage of entry fees plus a percentage of sponsorship money, it's all very clear in the reporting spreadsheet. They may well have had expenses you aren't aware of.

If you have a problem with their financials I suggest you raise it officially (drop me a mail), otherwise you're right, it'll happen again in the future.
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Post by JesseD » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:32 pm

i guess the real future is,

according to Jesse only.

am cover cost, and pros get there money back.

i think i'm right in saying that,

Tourny don't HAVE to give ams anything?

so go pro and have a chance.

:roll:
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Post by dunc » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:40 pm

actually Jesse you are wrong

Just as the top 33% of Pros get paid out cash - The same proportion of AM entry fees should be paid out in plastic prizes to the top 33% of the am field.... or it should be apid back in terms of player pack benefits like t-shirt and disc. I agree it didn't appear that this was the case at the dutch open though...it could have been bad management on their part or has Bruce said it could have been hidden costs! How much was the hire of the hockey club? this could have taken a fair whack out of both the Pro and Am entry fees....it might then have been sponsorship that boosted the the pro payout.... we just don't know and without seeing the tournament finances are wildly speculating here!
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Post by bruce » Thu Apr 09, 2009 3:56 pm

EuroTour B-Tier standards

- € 100 sanctioning fee, €5 per player fee. All EuroTour event fees are sent to the PDGA EuroTour Manager.
- 60 pro player & 72 total players minimum capacity
- Courses groomed for event including fairways cleaned, course event and tour signage, banners, etc on display
- € 2000 minimum pro purse including € 250 minimum sponsor cash added
- 80%+ of net entry fees & sponsor cash paid out, minimum 33% of players in each division paid out
- Trophies to at least Top 3 in MPO division and to winners of all other divisions
- Complete event results posted on-line at end of each day

As I previously stated, if you feel like the Dutch Open did not adhere to the appropriate standards, raise it with me officially and I'll take it up with the PDGA Europe group and find out one way or the another. We have disciplinary guidelines and processes for this stuff, but it does rather rely on a complaint being made, rather than random unsubstantiated moans on a mostly unrelated forum...
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