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I knew that “Headline” would get your attention.  First, let me introduce myself:  I’m Rebecca Duffy and I am Secretary of the PDGA Board and I have also been voted by the Board to be the official spokesperson.  I will be giving you periodic updates:  some you’ll like and some you may not like.  In other words, please don’t shoot the messenger!

Okay, down to business.  The “smoking ban” has been a long time discussion.  Instead of smoking ban, let’s call it the non-smoking policy.  In January, it was voted on and passed by the PDGA Board of Directors. The motion stated that smoking (of all types- chewing, electronic cigs etc.) be restricted at the 2011 Am and Pro World Championships in the same manner that alcohol is currently restricted.  As we know, this brought up a lot of discussion and debates.  The PDGA survey clearly shows that more members agreed with the smoking ban than not.

On Tuesday, we had our monthly teleconference and the current non smoking policy was on the agenda.  The question was, “Do we want to keep the non smoking policy?”  After some discussion, the majority wanted to keep the policy but with a little twist. (In Board terms, an amendment)  We have listened to both negative and positive feedback and came up with this motion. The motion stated that the PDGA continue the non smoking policy at the PDGA Majors in 2012, from the two minute warning until the time that the scorecard is turned in, except in special areas out of the public eye as designated by the tournament director. The motion passed.

PDGA Majors and special areas are both key phrases in this new policy. PDGA 2012 Majors are the only tournaments that this policy applies to. They are as follows: Pro/Am World Championships, U.S. Amateur National Championships, Amateur World Doubles, Stockholm Open, U.S. Masters Championship, U.S. Women’s Championship, PDGA Championship, and the USDGC. Also, special areas are areas designated for smoking by the Tournament Director.  As the policy states, these areas will be out of the public eye. So it’s a big “no no” to go behind a tree or bush and sneak a drag----there will be consequences.

With that said, this announcement was posted in May of this year by Dave “Nez” Nesbitt, the PDGA Commissioner and Board President:
* E-cigarettes and chewing tobacco are not allowed under the smoking policy
* Open and visual possession of any product banned under the smoking policy will be treated as a courtesy violation, and violators will be asked to put away the product until after the cards are turned in. Repeated offenses will be handled per 801.01F

The PDGA is initiating a number of programs to develop and grow youth and student participation in our sport. This policy will help strengthen our image in the eyes of the public, and allow us to further enhance the experience of competitive disc golf for all participants.

These still apply and repeated offenses subjects you to disqualification.  So please follow the rules and have fun playing.  While you are following the rules, you are enhancing the image of disc golf and playing a big part in growing the sport that we all love. Not to mention, setting a great example.

So until the next time---“May the sound of chains frequent your ears!”

Rebecca Duffy 
PDGA Board Secretary