If it's on TV, have an official walk with the group
Hi Bruce UK,
Interesting discussion. I noticed that in a couple of your posts you mention concern over how the public will perceive disc golf when play is reviewed/scrutinized in the way many sports are on TV (slow mo, replay, etc.).
"It's that in an increasingly digitally recorded world infractions are captured and observed after the fact. We can shrug and wait for the winning putt at some future major to be seen as illegal live on the internet and messageboards flooded with people complaining before the prize ceremony has even happened or we can try to explore options for preventing it from happening."--Bruce UK
To avoid the perception that disc golf is not as 'serious' as other sports, have TD-sanctioned marshalls/officials walk with the last four groups on the final day. I think only the final group is followed at this point in time by the TV crew, but in our future we might have the luxury of watching on TV the last 2-4 groups play, and maybe a guy from the second group runs away with the title. So have a marshall/referee go with each group in contention on the last day.
Then you have a stamp of legitimacy that is similar to all other sports on TV. A ref made the call, good or bad. Blame the zebra, not the player.
But the reality is TV is not in the near future. A couple thousand disc golfers watching the USDGC on the web is cool, and an improvement, but not ESPN2 (yet).
For non-televised events, I share the sentiment that most people avoid making calls to reduce the amount of drama in the round. There are so many divas out there, and many with bad tempers, that to call them on something relatively minor is more disruptive than it is worth. I play disc golf for fun, not to make $. This is what I do to take a break from the rest of my life. The last thing I want is to add stress to my pursuit of sporting happiness. And I'd say most people playing in tournaments are interested in doing well, improving their game, and seeing how they measure up against others, but not at the expense of creating stress or conflict.
And if there is a concern over how the sport is perceived by non-disc golfers watching us on TV (praise be the day that actually happens to some real extent!), then have refs/marshalls, just like other sports. Then we remove the issue of players having to make calls, and they can just play.