In this episode Anthony discusses sandbagging in PDGA tournaments, and proposes some changes that can be made to alleviate/eliminate it.

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17 comments on “Disc Golf Discussion Episode 4: Sandbagging in Tournaments

  1. I think the rating cap updates you suggested are a great idea and should be implemented in the pdga. we have a local AM? PRO? Lol That is sponsored by a local Disc golf store who played pro for a couple years and then decided to come back down to advanced this year and won 4 our of the 5 tournaments he played advanced in. Now though his rating at its highest was the update before the last was at 968 which could technically still be considered an amateur, it was still frustrating none the less to have a “sponsored” player come back down to a lower division and kick everyone’s butt. It also was a great competitive push to try and beat him so it had its pros as well. Love the podcast and topic!

    • admin Jan 15, 2018

      Thanks Nick! That guy sounds like one of those borderline cases where they’d be a mid-bottom tier pro, but consistently at the top of AM1. Tough situation for sure, hopefully some day ill be able to be that guy. Just gotta start making putts!

  2. Thor k Jan 15, 2018

    Just wish it was an easier thing to control

  3. I have been playing for 2 years. Novice should also have a requirement no more than three years of PDGA tournament activities along with rating. Last year there was a player who had around 20 years of tournament history, but rating slipped because of age. I think of age and slip a player should only be able to drop one rating but should also be penalized (points gained) for playing down. Another is if player pre registered for a tournament the TD or helper could look up players if they have a rating to see tournament activity only players that they can not look up are no PDGA members.

    • admin Jan 15, 2018

      Time playing doesn’t always match skill level. I personally have been playing 10.5 years, but i’ve met several people who have been playing only a fraction of that time and are just as good, if not better, than me. If someones skill level is decreasing because of age or physical ability I don’t think they should be penalized for having more experience.

  4. Andrew Hammond Jan 15, 2018

    I agree with that 100%. I’ve been thinking the same thing for a
    while. Lower the max ratings for all divisions and a large percentage of PDGA sanctioned tournament bagging would be eliminated. And it needs to be done this year too. Not next year.

  5. William Jan 15, 2018

    It is hard to even see a Novice category in New England for tournaments that I have seen. Should tournaments (PDGA sanctioned) be driven by the players rating only? You are grouped with like ratings. Separate the Men and women.

    • admin Jan 15, 2018

      I like the idea, but it would be much too complicated to constantly group people by similar ratings. Im assuming by similar ratings you mean within 20-30 points of each other? I think that would cause a lot of confusion due to the high number of divisions. Plus you’d have to draw boundaries somewhere, an 850 golfer is within 20 points of an 869 golfer and an 831, but you couldn’t have all 3 of them in the same group if it were 20 point margins. I like the idea, but I think it’d be more hassle than it’s worth logistically.

  6. The only problem I see is that I’ve never even seen a novice division available in my area. So that would still be discouraging for beginners stuck in rec with a player like me. 830-840 rated currently. If the novice division was used I would agree with everything you said word for word.

    • admin Jan 15, 2018

      Yeah, unfortunately the Novice division is sometimes not used due to a lack of players. Not really much that can be done about that other than bringing new players into the tournament scene.

  7. I think it should be based on what you can shoot on on the 5 highest rated rounds for the year.. Not updates.

  8. I agree however I think the tournament lvl should be taken into consideration.

  9. In my experience the major problem baggers have is confidence. Not only are they not ok with losing, they’re also not confident enough to deal with it when it happens. They will never get better because they’re not confident enough to. Ran into a former bottom level “pro” who routinely plays Am1 and even made the statement he will never play pro again even though he’s rated 970. Only thing he lacked was confidence and a steady demeanor, I eventually lost to him by a few strokes which i attribute to the years of experience he had over me, but when you’ve been playing for decades and can only beat someone with 3 years experience by a few strokes, maybe you’re where you need to be for reasons other than skill.

  10. Formersandbagger? Jan 17, 2018

    I had this is issue last summer. I only started playing November of 2016 and I played in my second tournament in an A-tier event last July in the intermediate category. I won and I was referred to as the sandbagger for a few months. My rating currently is around 890 and even with your changes i would still fall under the intermediate category. In my third tournament, I was basically told by the TD that I had to play in advanced. I finished middle of the pack. I feel it is hard to base it on just ratings as they are mostly relative to other scores. They could implement some sort of limit to how many wins in one division (in a time period) you can have before being moved up to the next one. Just food for thought

  11. Bill Leonard Jan 24, 2018

    I couldn’t agree more about the intermediate and recreational caps not being in line with the description of who it’s for. I am new to disc golf, and I have only played in 1 sanctioned tournament so far. I decided to play intermediate not knowing where to begin. The person that won in Intermediate not only beat the entire advanced bracket, but he also would have placed 17th in the A-tier open bracket. This certainly made it so that I didn’t want to participate in tournaments again until I could get above 900. Since then, my best round was 890 at the local leagues, and I average about an 850. I am still no where near the caliber of the individuals that sign up for the intermediate tournaments, so I don’t want to waste the money playing against people that quite frankly should be forced to compete at the advanced level at a minimum. Thank you for your insight about dropping rating caps to match the intended field of play.