College Disc Golfers Ready For Battle
April…Absurdity? April...Aberration? April…Asininity?
March might have the best alliteration-based nickname in collegiate sports but if you’re more of a disc golf fan than a basketball fan, April is the month to really get excited about. Wednesday, April 15, kicks off the 2015 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships (NCDGC), a PDGA Major. Hundreds of collegiate disc golfers from over 60 universities will gather at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex looking to take home a team and/or an individual championship all while representing their respective schools.
This is the ninth year of the NCDGC and having grown from 24 players from 6 schools the first year, this event is thriving. Tournament Director and College Disc Golf General Manager, Alan Kane #35901 said, "The grassroots growth that this event has created for disc golf is amazing. As we are recruiting more schools to create teams, these teams are proactively recruiting students at their schools to become part of their teams."
Kane went on to talk about the future of the collegiate faction of our sport, "We're are still in our infancy and initial growth stage. We've only had 137 different schools participate in a College Disc Golf event. There are 6,900 accredited colleges and universities in the U.S. Our next goal is to get 1,000 playing in our regular season. We're just hoping we can build the tracks fast enough, because the collegiate disc golf locomotive is coming, fast."
The NCDGC is one of the most complex disc golf tournaments being run in the sport today. Technically speaking, the staff at the Hippodrome Disc Golf Complex with help from the PDGA will be hosting six different disc golf events at the same time. Titles for Individuals and Teams will be on the line for three different divisions: National Championships, First Flight Championships, and Second Flight Championships.
- NCDGC – Team (men’s division and women’s division)
- NCDGC – Individual (men’s division and women’s division)
- NCDGC – First Flight – Team
- NCDGC – First Flight – Individual
- NCDGC – Second Flight – Team
- NCDGC – Second Flight – Individual
Teams and/or individuals competing in the National Championships division have qualified for their spot. There are several different means of qualification. Details are available on the official College Disc Golf website.
First Flight Championships
The First Flight Championship provides an opportunity for many schools to compete against teams of the same level for the title of First Flight Champion. In addition to teams that may not qualify for the National Championships, schools with more than one team are invited to bring all of them to compete.
The First Flight Championship will crown a champion as well as a trophy for the runner-up. The First Flight Champion's school will also receive a berth in the Championship Flight in the following year's National Championships.
Second Flight Championships
The Second Flight Championships is a division for schools with large disc golf clubs that bring multiple teams.
The Second Flight Championship will crown a champion and award a trophy for the runner-up. The Second Flight Champion's school will also receive a berth in the Championship Flight in the following year's National Championships.
NCDGC Rules and Formats
Team Doubles Play
Doubles is played with two sets of teammates, one ODD, one EVEN. The ODD set tees off on every odd-numbered hole, while the EVEN set tees off on every even-numbered holes. After the tee shots, the team chooses which of the two lies to play. From there, the set that did not tee throws their two shots. Again, the whole team decides which lie to play from and the set that teed off would throw. That alternating process continues until the hole is complete.
On the next hole, the corresponding set of teammates according to the hole number, ODD or EVEN, would tee off no matter which set putted out on the previous hole. This format allows for each player to tee off the same amount of times and for teams to play as whole. Each hole has two teams playing together as an eight-some.
Team Singles Play
The lowest 3 singles scores per round per team count towards cumulative team score. Each hole should have no more than two teammates competing to prevent conflicts when making rules calls.
- At the National Championships, teams are allowed to substitute players between rounds if they wish.
- Teams are limited to using a maximum of 6 players.
- Those 6 players may be substituted as many times as the team desires.
- There are no substitutions allowed during any round of play.
- Once a player is substituted out of individual play, by default, that player will not be eligible for any individual awards.
The 2015 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships, on top of being a highly complicated PDGA Major, is also an extremely fun and entertaining event to be a part of. Players can test their power in the Distance Competition and their accuracy in the Hott Shott putting competition. If they want to work on their game they can take notes from Paul McBeth #27523 and Nate Sexton #18824 at the free PDGA Pro Clinic at 7:00pm EDT on Wednesday after everyone has finished their first day of competition.
Speaking of Paul McBeth, there’s also the McBeast Challenge. Paul and Nate have been running these single round tournaments all over the country. The Challenge part is that you can only play with three discs; two that you get in the player pack, a McPro Roc3 and a Thunderbird or Krait, and you can use your own putter as the third disc. The last two in Texas and Oklahoma set attencdance records for this McBeast Challenge tour with over 60 particpants. We're guessing the NCDGC version may set a new attendance mark.
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