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After extensive debate and consideration, the PDGA Board of Directors has voted to instruct the Competition Committee to create three new exceptions to the “first-come, first-served” registration required by Competition Manual section 1.02.C. While certain events already are empowered to make skill-based exceptions to this rule (e.g., qualifiers for USDGC and USADGC; points or ratings eligibility for Amateur, Masters, or Pro Worlds; series performance for various series finales), the Board has decided to open up three general exceptions to this provision that Tournament Directors may use to offer early registration.

These exceptions are designed to reward local clubs and volunteers for their grassroots work and service, to give Tournament Directors a useful tool to raise money for a tournament that benefits all players, and to allow Tournament Directors to prioritize growing different pieces of the sport as they find appropriate. They are as follows:

  • Affiliate Club membership — Tournament directors may offer early registration to the paid members of local disc golf clubs who are hosting, running, or otherwise facilitating the event’s success and who are registered as PDGA Affiliate Clubs.
  • Sponsorship — Tournament directors may offer early registration to players who agree to sponsor the event at a level determined by the Tournament Director.
  • Skill-based — Tournament directors may offer tiered registration by rating (i.e., 1000+ rated, 970-999-rated, etc.). This may be used in several ways, including as a means to give highly-rated players priority or to save spaces for lower divisions and lower-rated players.

The Board has tasked the Competition Committee with creating a revision to 1.02.C that provides Tournament Directors with specific rules and limits on using these three options for early registration. In order to ensure that the verbiage is carefully deliberated and vetted, the Board intends to vote on the final version of this change at the Spring Summit in late April.

In the interim, to provide Tournament Directors with these tools while the final revision is being developed, the Board has also instructed that the PDGA issue a waiver that allows Tournament Directors to use one or more of the above early registration methods. Please be advised that this is not a limitless exception. No more than 25% of the total player spots in the event may be filled by granting early registration to Affiliate Club members and no more than 10% of the total player spots in the event may be filled by granting early registration to sponsors. 

This waiver is available to sanctioned events taking place in 2020 which open registration prior to May 1, 2020, except for PDGA Elite Series and Major Events. (This waiver is available to A-Tiers run concurrently with Elite Series or Major Events.) The final rule as developed by the Competition Committee and approved by the Board may differ from the above criteria, but will allow Tournament Directors to use the aforementioned three methods of early registration within certain limiting parameters.