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  • #46
    I reject the notion that people who want to play competitive tournaments aren't having fun. I have a lot of fun playing competitively, I feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment when I play well, and I feel a desire to improve when I fall short of my goals. Overall, it's a great experience for me and a lot of fun. And that's just the competitive part. The entire experience of preparing, traveling, and practicing for a tournament along with the meeting people, seeing friends, and hanging out is also plenty of fun. And I doubt there is a single tournament player who doesn't also spend a lot more time playing casual rounds with friends for fun. So, sorry, but just because people are competitive, and have spirited discussions about competition structures in disc golf, it's hardly accurate to imply that they aren't having fun playing disc golf.

    Clearly, some people struggle to enjoy competitive play. Boo friggin hoo for them.

    As to the age old bagger discussion... I'm a 951 rated MPM player generally struggling in competitive fields to grab last cash. I missed last cash at 2011 BSF by three strokes. Care to guess how many extra strokes I picked up on my last two holes of the tournament? Yep, three strokes. In a smaller, less competitive field on a shorter more wooded course my chances are somewhat better, but I'm usually still hanging around at the bottom of the cash line. BUT, sometimes I'm getting a trophy too. I just have to play well, and if I play really well I might win.

    Why do people refuse to move up? Should they? WHEN should they? I don't know. I do know that typically those at the top of MM1 and MA1 could usually move up and be competitive. They will struggle and have to improve and become more consistent in order to, well, improve and become more consistent in the harder division. Some people have specific goals or timelines. I harrassed Rick Reichard online for two years to move up to MPM. He wanted to play Worlds in MM1 and he became the World Champion of the World. Last month he gave one of the best MPM players in the world a run for his money at the St. Patrick's Classic, and in a couple months he will kick my ass at BSF 2012. Looks like that was a good move for him.

    If we could get more people to move up, the pro divisions would be deeper and easier to cash in. You just have to move up and then get more people to move up after you. We used to get a lot of people moving up in Oregon, now the trend is more to hang around the top in a division for years or forever. Whatever floats your boat. Personally, it would not be satisfying for me and I would not be motivated to play better and I would not have nearly as much fun. Part of disc golf for me is testing myself and feeling pride in accomplishment, and part of it is fun, and part of it is both.

    Comment


    • #47
      Of course, I enjoy playing competitively too! I don't need to 'win' or to get prizes to feel good about my play though - big difference.

      In fact the biggest cash of my pro career in 2011 I was pretty disappointed in my play - where I finish rarely informs me of how I felt I played or how much fun I had

      I think the sandbagger thing goes both ways though - some need to win versus other players and 'get the prize' to feel good about how they played - some play 'down' so that they don't have to spend as much money. In either case, a two division solution (1 that pays, 1 that doesn't) would likely alleviate these problems - although it probably won't help disc manufacturers any...
      'Weekend 4 Women':
      Saturday, June 30th - Sudoku Showdown II - FREE PDGA XC Tier
      Sunday, July 1st - Seattle SuperClassic - FREE PDGA XC Tier

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Kenny B View Post
        I'm curious: Is the complaint about sandbaggers more that they "steal" the money (well...prizes actually), or is it more about players being "appropriately" placed in divisions so that there is a "fair" shot to be crowned X division BSF champ (or other prestigious title).
        I feel like re-posting my question (in an impolite rant this time) because no one really answered my first post...

        My position: let people play in the division they want to (in accordance with the rules) and quit whining! What we're talking about is being AMATEURS. That means we don't play for $$$. If you are playing in tournaments as an AMATEUR to try and make $$$ you're crazy. (Unless, of course, you can get someone to sponsor you as an amateur, and then you're a genius!) If you're additionally complaining about "sand baggers" taking your money, you now have your proof as to why you're crazy!!! Amateur divisions have not been created for you to make money!!!

        If you play as an amateur to have fun and find competition to push your skills (which is what I do), then you should not be disheartened by "sand baggers" in your division who make it "impossible" to be a champion. You should be grateful that they are there to push you, go practice, and then come back and whoop 'em!

        Comment


        • #49
          I used to look down on the eternal sandbaggers who always won because I thought they discouraged a lot of people from playing. I also never understood why they didn't want the challenge of competing against the best players if they were clearly better than the second tier players. At some point I started not to care. People have mentioned already that these types of players should give you incentive to get better and beat them. After all, you already know that they don't really want a challenge so if you get as good as them, they should fold like a pair of extra sheets in the closet. Then you can move up, play pro, be at the bottom of the division again, and everybody is happy!

          All jokes aside, I think people should be allowed to play wherever they have fun. However, tournaments are competitive by nature so if competition makes you uncomfortable maybe you shouldn't play tournaments. Or maybe you should play enough of them to overcome your fear, play well, and feel good about competition in general.

          My personal philosophy on the topic is best summed up by a non disc golfing friend who after hearing about the same topic, said something like "when you were in high school, would you have rather been the best player on the JV team or a starter on Varsity?"

          Well said.
          Read this ^

          Comment


          • #50
            damn this thread is good

            Hath this whole world been mired in madness?
            Remain ye men of faculty complete,
            Of full arithmetic and prudence fair,
            Attending to our noble bond and contract?
            Or does here stand the last remaining man
            To give a fig for rules and order yet,
            No noble savage, but a stave unbroken
            Who loves the law and bids it no misdeed.
            Iíll not be bent to lawlessness. Mark it nought, if we be men of honour.

            Comment


            • #51
              I am a 958 rated player who has the potential to cash at any pro tournament in the country. The problem comes with being able to put it all together in a tournament so I give myself a chance. I play pro in all non PDGA tourneys, but in PDGA sanctioned A tier and some B tier events I will play advanced because I know that is where I am truly consistently competitive. I placed sixth last year at the BSF in MA1, and got beat by 12 strokes. I have accepted cash as a pro player and wouldn't change a thing about that! I am currently in the lottery for MA1 again and this time (fingers crossed that I get in) I don't plan on loosing by any margin. I feel fine about this because I had a chance to watch the PRO'S play last year and there is no way in hell that I could put that level of play together for multiple rounds at my level of practice and participation in tourneys.

              I played a tourney in San Diego (2003) where I was a nobody as an AM and I came from the second card in the final round to win it all against an eternal am (still to this day). So beating a bagger is just about putting a few bits of your round together and giving it to them because they don't fear the competition because they feel they are at the top!

              Either play where you are competitive, or get off the pot. move down, or up, depending on how you feel in that division. don't sit on the top with the crown or get DFL every time just because that is where your pride resides.

              Was that a rant? if so, DONE...

              Comment


              • #52
                One of my favorite disc golfers of all time was an 'eternal' bagger who wasn't afraid to admit it. The late Dave 'Madman' McAdden was an excellent disc golfer who refused to move up from Am I-- I don't remember the whole story but he had been talked into playing pro early in his dg career, and was bitter about being persuaded to donate.

                Here's a few things to chew on>
                If you argue that a player should move up to the next division in order to improve, couldn't you then argue that an AM player should want more players (in said division) that are better than them in order for 'they' themselves to improve.

                Instead of flooding the pro field, what's wrong with flooding the Am I field and having stronger competition there?

                Do highly rated (let's say 985+) pro's really want us 940-50ish rated players in the field for the extra competition, or the extra cash?

                If I wanted lessons from a pro, I'd take a private one with a local pro like Chris Waugh-- more cost effective.


                As a 950ish rated player that may have plateaued, I would much rather pay less for a tournament, get a t-shirt/disc, and hope to be battling it out in the end with similarly skilled players. I have played a few tournaments in the pro division, and it only took a few holes to realize that I was basically paying for lessons. I was throwing <400 ft, and everyone else in my group could throw 500ft plus-- just a bit discouraging. I play tourneys for the fun, comraderie, and the thrill of competion. For me, the fun and thrill of competion are enhanced when things are competitive down the stretch, or I feel that I have a 'chance to win' vs 'a chance to improve as a player.'

                I am personally sick of hearing all of the negativity around the sandbagging issue. There's always going to be those that are on the cusp, and it should be their perogative as to what division they play in, within the rules. I've gotten a bit of flack for staying in Am I, but my rating and results show that I'm in the appropriate division IMO. I'm actually looking forward to turning 39 next year, and being able to play against the Pro Masters, where Sam should be> you SANDBAGGER!

                Dan, you could also pose the question a different way: would you rather start on the JV team and get some playing time and the thrill of competition, or be on the Varsity practice squad?
                Last edited by Toby Puttzinski; April 7th, 2012, 03:12 AM.
                Don't just walk past that candy wrapper on the fairway-- I know you saw it!

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Toby Puttzinski View Post
                  Dan, you could also pose the question a different way: would you rather start on the JV team and get some playing time and the thrill of competition, or be on the Varsity practice squad?
                  My personal feeling is I'd rather start the first quarter of a varsity game and get benched than not try. That said, I've only played a few pro tourneys vs many am tournaments, but would like to win at least one am tournament before I consistently put my money where my mouth is.

                  Toby, what I have ascertained about your golf game, in the few rounds I've played with you, is you're a better player than you believe yourself to be.

                  That said, you are probably somewhere in the bubble range so play wherever you have fun. It's not like your lapping the am field, but I'm sure you'd have a shot at cashing in pro.
                  Read this ^

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    I think that this is a really interesting discussion.

                    I personally think that the the division between pro and am is really kind of silly.

                    I am a 990 rated pro and while I am pretty competitive in small local tournys I get my butt kicked pretty bad when I play in the big tournaments in my division. (I like to tell myself that this is because I have a real job and most of the guys who are better then me really center their lives around disc). That said I think that their are a lot of players in Oregon who play ADV who could and should play pro.

                    When I moved up the average pro field was about 10-12 guys in oregon. It was very very hard to cash because you basically had to finish on the lead card. I went from being able to play mediocre and still cash in ADV to playing well and still missing cash by a stroke or two for my first year in PRO. But then with the skills I learned watching the other pros play I improved.

                    I think that you should choose a division based on how serious you are about your game. If you really want to play disc seriously and you've been playing long enough to have ownership over the basic throws in the game (turning right, turning left, throwing straight, approach shots and putting) then you should play pro, regardless of your rating!

                    The more players in the top division the more people who get to cash. The male and female winners in pro are really the only players who can say they won the tournament (even if some bagger in advanced scored better). I never won an oregon tournament in ADV but have won several in PRO (you don't learn how to win in PRO when you play in ADV). Disc golf is the only sport I've ever played where beginning players are upset when they don't win more prizes then their entry fee.

                    If I was in charge Ams would get sweet players packs (I would probably let people pick the discs so that they don't just get stuck with discs that they don't like) but not payout (but I would hand out trophies for everyone who cashed). When players were ready to play for big prizes they could move up to the Pro division. That way their would be no financial reward for sand bagging.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by DexterHawk View Post
                      If I was in charge Ams would get sweet players packs (I would probably let people pick the discs so that they don't just get stuck with discs that they don't like) but not payout (but I would hand out trophies for everyone who cashed). When players were ready to play for big prizes they could move up to the Pro division. That way their would be no financial reward for sand bagging.
                      I loved your entire post and was in complete agreement until I got to this paragraph. I think this viewpoint assumes that people who are sandbagging do so strictly for monetary gain. I don't think that's the case. It seems more likely that a tender ego may be the culprit.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by DexterHawk View Post
                        If I was in charge Ams would get sweet players packs (I would probably let people pick the discs so that they don't just get stuck with discs that they don't like) but not payout (but I would hand out trophies for everyone who cashed). When players were ready to play for big prizes they could move up to the Pro division. That way their would be no financial reward for sand bagging.
                        That is definitely a way to encourage people to move up, but I think that the same thing can be accomplished by limiting the size of the player pools. You know, actually offer all of the AM divisions at your event and make people play in the division for which their rating qualifies them to play. Instead of reserving 72 spots all for AM1 and have no other AM division that isn't protected by age or gender, actually offer the divisions as they are set out in the competition manual.
                        If your rating isn't 935+ then you do not get to play in MA1.
                        If your rating isn't 900-934 then you do not get to play in MA2.
                        If your rating isn't 850-899 then you do not get to play in MA3.
                        If every division was offered then the division sizes would have to be smaller. That in turn would lower the amount of swag that any one AM player will walk away with, even the vaunted MA1 winner. In fact I think that you will find that MA1 will not even be the largest AM field if you do not allow players in with ratings below 935.

                        Hath this whole world been mired in madness?
                        Remain ye men of faculty complete,
                        Of full arithmetic and prudence fair,
                        Attending to our noble bond and contract?
                        Or does here stand the last remaining man
                        To give a fig for rules and order yet,
                        No noble savage, but a stave unbroken
                        Who loves the law and bids it no misdeed.
                        Iíll not be bent to lawlessness. Mark it nought, if we be men of honour.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by DexterHawk View Post
                          If I was in charge Ams would get sweet players packs . . . but not payout.
                          Problem solved!

                          Start with the definition of an amatuer:

                          "A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession."

                          Paying Ams in scrip is just basically paying them with psuedo-cash, which would make them psuedo-pros. Amatuer means 'lover' and amatuers should play strictly for the love of the game, not financial/scrip reward. Player's packs for all ams supports that.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            BOOOO!

                            Originally posted by Jim J View Post
                            Problem solved!

                            Start with the definition of an amatuer:

                            "A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession."

                            Paying Ams in scrip is just basically paying them with psuedo-cash, which would make them psuedo-pros. Amatuer means 'lover' and amatuers should play strictly for the love of the game, not financial/scrip reward. Player's packs for all ams supports that.
                            And then next you will tell me that it is ok to take the entry money from the AM side of the tourney and give it all to the pros...

                            There is already too much of this going on, taking all park fees and misc costs out of only the AM pool cash, etc. Cause there'e nothing better than winning a 14 player field and getting $15 more than your entry in script...wow those players packs must have been sweet! Oh yeah...right.

                            So go ahead and let's see how many AMs sign up for a tourney structured in this way. Whatever will you do when your cash cow (The AM players) does not turn out for your tourney and then you'll have to take the tournament fees out of the pro side money.

                            Hath this whole world been mired in madness?
                            Remain ye men of faculty complete,
                            Of full arithmetic and prudence fair,
                            Attending to our noble bond and contract?
                            Or does here stand the last remaining man
                            To give a fig for rules and order yet,
                            No noble savage, but a stave unbroken
                            Who loves the law and bids it no misdeed.
                            Iíll not be bent to lawlessness. Mark it nought, if we be men of honour.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Top 3 Trophies for AM divisions, VERY modest player's packs, good food, water on the course, beer/soda at the player's party/dinner and modest, pre-determined prizes for top finshers. No scrip.

                              NO money from AM field to Pro. Spend the entry on player amenities (could include course improvement as well) and show the AMs a great time. NO SCRIP.

                              To repeat...
                              Start with the definition of an amatuer:

                              "A person who engages in an art, science, study, or athletic activity as a pastime rather than as a profession."

                              End sandbagging in 2012.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Originally posted by Sausage Fingers View Post
                                And then next you will tell me that it is ok to take the entry money from the AM side of the tourney and give it all to the pros...
                                We have a nominee for best non sequitur of the week.

                                Comment

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