Archive | May, 2020

Imagining A New Normal

18 May

May 22, 2020

Changes announced today from the Professional Disc Golf Association for Nebraska. Here is an update from Scott Hoffman, the Nebraska State representative for the PDGA. “PDGA sanctioned events are back on in Nebraska starting June 18th. If they will have more than 25 players in attendance – 1 round events must be flex start or tee times – 2 round events will have to have tee times for each round.”

There are further restrictions in some areas. For example Lincoln has a restriction of gatherings to be 10 or less until June 30.

 


May 18, 2020

With South Dakota and Minnesota now allowing PDGA sanctioned disc golf tournaments, how does Nebraska stand and what might the new normal could like?

Things change often, it’s a fluid landscape with the pandemic. In doing some research to back a claim made by a few that “no organized sporting events are allowed” the closest thing I could find is “Individual sports such as golf and tennis (including doubles tennis) are not prohibited under any Directed Health Measures, however, participants must still practice social distancing.” The quote is from a KOLN new story on May 11 titled Gov. Ricketts provides updates on youth sports guidelines. So what’s holding us back? Gatherings of 25 or more.

What might disc golf tournaments look like in the near future? With a tournament of 72 players the standard of a shot-gun start would be a problem. Too many people gathered at once for a player meeting and to pass out player cards. Another option is timed starts.

Consider the Glass Blown Open, the largest disc golf event in the world with over 1,600 competitors. My experience with pre-assigned tee times has been to start with an 8:00am-ish start. Almost nobody but our card around the check-in table, up to 3 people putting at a practice basket, and plenty of open space for mid and drive practice. At ten minutes prior the tee time the card of 4 gathers at headquarters. We meet with the tournament director and he reviews the out of bounds or other problem areas. There are five people total at tee one, easy to implement social distancing.

How might assigned tee times look for a tournament in Nebraska? Imagine pre-registering for a C tier and being assigned a tee time at least two days in advance. Show up at the course around 45 minutes prior to your assigned tee time, get in some putting, midrange and driver warmup shots. Arrive at headquarters five minutes before your assigned tee time, listen to a course out-of-bounds review by the TD and then go play the round.

Turn in your card, check the final scores posted. Pro payouts could be done using PayPal or Vemo, or mailing a check. And for amateur payouts retailers could honor a credit voucher similar to what Disc Gauntlet is doing with DZ Discs.

Here is a hypothetical tee time schedule for a disc golf tournament of 72 players doing two rounds on a course that is normally completed in three hours or fewer. The last card would be done by 7:00pm, which is about when the sun sets in early October.

 

card 1st round total players
1 8:00 AM 4
2 8:12 AM 8
3 8:24 AM 12
4 8:36 AM 16
5 8:48 AM 20
6 9:00 AM 24
7 9:12 AM 28
8 9:24 AM 32
9 9:36 AM 36
10 9:48 AM 40
11 10:00 AM 44
12 10:12 AM 48
13 10:24 AM 52
14 10:36 AM 56
15 10:48 AM 60
16 11:00 AM 64
17 11:12 AM 68
18 11:24 AM 72
2nd round
1 12:30 PM
2 12:42 PM
3 12:54 PM
4 1:06 PM
5 1:18 PM
6 1:30 PM
7 1:42 PM
8 1:54 PM
9 2:06 PM
10 2:18 PM
11 2:30 PM
12 2:42 PM
13 2:54 PM
14 3:06 PM
15 3:18 PM
16 3:30 PM
17 3:42 PM
18 3:54 PM

Sooner or later we will be back to enjoying disc golf competition. Until then tournament directors could plan and share their strategies for a smooth startup when the time comes.

 

Additional Resources

Keep Playing

10 May

Nebraskan’s are able to continue playing disc golf around the state despite restrictions. Although during this time of social distancing the regularly scheduled leagues and tournaments are postponed.

Disc golfers have adjusted and are playing within the guidelines. As usual, groups of five players or less is recommended. And while maintaining a distance of at least six feet we avoid touching each other with high fives and fist bumps, avoid handling discs that belong to others, and avoid putting-out when within fifteen feet of the basket.

Popular means for disc golfing during the pandemic:

  • glow golf – 8:30pm is a popular start time and the course is not as busy.
  • bracket tournaments using a match play format. Two players meet at a course and time convenient for both.
  • challenges – One idea of a challenge round is to throw only forehand drives. Or try a round throwing only a putter.
  • lessons – Contact your course pro for tips on throwing techniques and disc selection.
  • course grounds work – Remove fallen debris from the course, or put on gloves and pick up trash. May want to use hand sanitizer before entering your vehicle and be sure to not touch your face.

The Professional Disc Golf Association has statement on COVID19. There you can read about the current sanctioning status and mitigation techniques.

Exercise is beneficial to a person’s physical well being. It benefits mental health too which is also important to manage during these times. So get out there and keep playing!