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Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #1 

I've been playing a year now and I've gotten a first couple tournies under my belt. Lot's of fun. But I know and meet a lot of casual players who I can't talk into coming out to a tourney and it's always the same problem:

New players all worry they'll turn up to a tournament and be the worst player in novice, and be embarrassed. It doesn't matter that it's just novice, they worry about having a bad day and looking silly. Nobody wants to be that guy at the bottom.

The solution is simple:
  1. Continue to post and store the tournament results on the the web site for as many tournaments as possible. And make it more prominent. There's very little data the last few years but I, and other new players I know, have been all over what few prior results are there in order to ascertain whether or not we're ready to play. More results from last year and this year = more confidence that they won't be embarrassed = more novices. I'm confident in this. If your tournament on your course has last years results, you'll get more beginners. I say this based on conversations I've had.
  2. Put rough guidelines to the divisions scores right on the tournament poster. So for example have the divisions list as (adjusting for the course) "Novice [70+], Intermediate [60-70], Advanced [<60], Pro" or some such. If anyone had done this last year, I would have played my first tournament a lot sooner just to meet other disc golfers.
  3. Make the prizes for finishing atop novice/intermediate very small, and distribute most everything for those players randomly. Say that up front; I think part of every beginner worries there'll be some sandbaggers in the low divisions because there are prizes. More CTP and longest putts, etc. And lower the entry fees if you can, even if it means less prizes.
  4. Suggestion just for Al: when you post a notice of a tournament at the top of the page, also post a link to last years results for that same tourney with it? Also, make the "tournament history" "past tournament results" and move it to the side bar? I only suggest this because I'd been to the web site quite a few times before I discovered the old tourney scores.
My experience has been that the majority of beginner players are actually solid intermediates before they are comfortable enough to sign up for their first tourney. I've seen evidence that there's a very large community of casual players out there who will never play a single tourney because, right now, the image of a tournament is that they're for serious players only.

What tournaments could/should be, for beginners, is a way to get their toes wet and meet other players to play with when they want to play more but the friends they started playing with aren't as into it as they are. I cite the success of the ace race as exhibit A: I was able to talk my casual friends into coming to that, in Canmore, but they wouldn't come to tournaments in Calgary. It was the fear of competition... in the ace race a score of 0 puts you in the majority so it's no big deal.

But why should you do this? Because you're planting seeds. A player who comes to your tournament and plays novice this year, will be back in Intermediate or Advanced next year, increasing the prize pool there. If you don't plant the seeds now, it'll be hard to add higher div players later.

After I put my toes in the water of my first tourney, I went back and got a lot more serious about getting better... I loved it. Others will too. Not all of them, but many will. And many more players will join the CDGC, too, and show the sport to their friends, and so on, and so on...


Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #2 

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Reply with quote  #3 
Good suggestions Scott.  Lots of updates done on the web page tonight.  All of last years results have links now.
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