Aug 31 2006, 11:18 PM

Hello Illinois Disc Golfers,

I am pleased to be your newly elected PDGA Illinois State Coordinator. I want to thank everyone who voted for me. I am very excited with this opportunity and will do my best to meet the responsibilities of this position. There is a lot of information within this letter for the players and tournament directors of Illinois. I hope you take the time to read this and share it with other disc golfers from Illinois.

I want to start with the negative and get it out of the way while I have your attention. I am really disgusted with all the negativity and complaining that I have heard this year related to our state coordinator, events, and tournament directors in Illinois. I have heard many rumors that are not true and just plain ridiculous. This state needs to come together. Players should be excited with the increase of PDGA memberships, attendance at events, and the quality of events being run in Illinois. All of our tournament directors work very hard to provide you with fun events to play. All of them have their unique ways of running events whether it’s one, three, or seven events. None of them are right or wrong unless they are not meeting PDGA standards. If you think they are not meeting tour standards, contact the TD, the PDGA, or me. I play as many Illinois events each year that I can and monitor what goes on at each event. Volunteer to help at an event or run your own event. You will find out very quickly how much work and money it takes. Sometimes events don’t run perfectly. Accept it and move on. Until you’ve run an event perfectly, think before you speak and don’t bash tournament directors or events.

Please focus on promoting the game and rules to new players. Do your part to help Illinois disc golf grow. Help police our courses so baskets are not stolen, equipment and trees are not destroyed, and litter is kept off our courses. My second concern is course design. Illinois courses for the most part are inferior to the surrounding states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. I have played 73 of the 94 courses in this state and have seen many poorly designed courses. Many are not clearly marked, have safety hazards, do not flow well, and have unsafe tees. Please help in maintaining and upgrading courses in Illinois.

My last concern is drug use and alcohol use in public parks. I could care less who is using illegal substances and drinking. However, it does affect me and the entire disc golf community when you drink or use illegal substances on our disc golf courses. The perception of the game needs to be changed if it’s going to be viewed as a true “Professional” sport. I have recently tried to get a championship caliber course installed in the Lake County Forest Preserve. After doing some research they summarized that disc golf is a hang out for drinking and vandalism. I also work very closely with the Round Lake Area Park District. They get very frustrated with the amount of alcohol consumed on their property. Even if you are throwing away your containers, park districts see what you are throwing away. This makes efforts in getting new courses installed much harder and keeping them in the ground. It also makes efforts much harder when trying to get sponsorship money for the installation of courses and events. This is just a reminder that during PDGA events you will be disqualified under the rule 804.05 for drinking and using illegal substances during play.

I don’t think many people understand the responsibilities of the state coordinator position. These are listed below. I responded to each of these in my statement on the PDGA ballot. I promise to live up to these responsibilities. If you have any questions or concerns over these, please feel free to contact me.

Responsibilities for the state coordinator position:
- Represent the PDGA in a positive light to members, clubs, agencies, and communities in their state or province.
- Work with Tournament Directors and clubs within their state or province and in adjoining areas to schedule PDGA Tour and other disc golf events. Serve as state/provincial liaison to the PDGA Tour Manager in setting the Tour schedule and in addressing and resolving Tour event issues.
- Collect information either personally or by delegating to individuals or clubs for the PDGA Course Directory and the Course Evaluation System.
- Promote PDGA memberships and PDGA programs such as the Affiliate Clubs program, tournament sanctioning, Disc Golf Foundation, and EDGE to the members and potential members in their state or province.
- Provide feedback on the annual Tour Standards to the PDGA Tour Manager
- Coordinate state qualification for events such as the USDGC, USADGC, and other qualified-entry tournaments.
- Vote for and recommend candidates for select annual PDGA Awards
- Other duties as determined by the SCs, PDGA Board and staff

There is a lot to be excited about. There are 43 pro men, 6 pro women, 238 am men, and 14 am women for a total of 301 current members with ratings. There are more new IL PDGA members without ratings as well. Illinois has also seen a boom in attendance with some of the largest fields in the country. The 26th Illinois State Championships had 238 players and IOS #4 @ Rockford, IL had 224 players. Illinois has some of the largest Recreational, Intermediate, and Advanced fields. Attendance is going to continue to grow as clubs, leagues, and supporters of the PDGA continue to promote the game. Please preregister for events since it secures a spot for you and helps your tournament director run smooth events. There are currently 94 courses in Illinois and this number continues to grow each year. The quality of play in Illinois is becoming more competitive every year compared to the surrounding states. I have a feeling Illinois is going to be highly represented in Milwaukee at Am Worlds in 2007. This is a must play event for any amateur living in Illinois. Hopefully our professional player base heads up to Highbridge, WI to Pro Worlds in 2007 as well. These courses are spectacular – ones that few people may have had the opportunity to play.

Please tell your fellow friends and disc golfers about the PDGA. New members can join on or after September 1st and receive a 16 month membership for the price of 12 months. This membership will cover the rest of 2006 and all of 2007. They can join here http://www.pdga.com/join/ or at any PDGA event. Membership dues are increasing in 2007. Here is the breakdown: Pro-$75.00, Am-$50.00, Age 17-19-$50.00, and Junior 16 & under-$25.00. Please use the PDGA Club affiliate program and save $5.00 when you renew through your local club. Local club presidents, please check out this link and have your club registered as an affiliate club of the PDGA. There are many benefits using this program. http://www.pdga.com/club_affiliate/club_affiliate.php

I am currently working on creating an Illinois Tour. With the increasing prices of gas, tournament entry fees, and other travel expenses I cannot justify creating a tour that charges extra fees. I am going to delegate certain events that will be part of the 2007 Illinois Tour. There will be events selected from every part of the state. I’m working on getting trophies for 1st place in all divisions. I am working on creating a web page for this. It will have all the information of the Illinois Tour and all PDGA Events listed. I hope to have it up and running by January 1st. Check www.discontinuum.org (http://www.discontinuum.org) for updates.

I would like to get the following courses added to the PDGA Course Evaluation System http://www.pdga.com/course/eval/index.php. If you are a local of one of these courses, please contact me. These are some of the best 18 hole courses in Illinois that I have played. If you feel there is a course that deserves to be on this list please notify me.

Everwood Park-Macomb, IL
The Oaks-Mokena, IL
Northwood Park-Morton, IL
McNaughton Park-Pekin, IL
Bradley Park-Peoria, IL
Longview Park-Rock Island, IL
Anna Page Park-Rockford, IL
Lincoln Park-Springfield, IL
Sinnissippi Park-Sterling, IL

As long as the USDGC (www.usdgc.com) continues to provide state coordinators with a qualifying spot it will be used. I will make sure someone from Illinois participates in the Championship I think this spot is very special since this is the Super Bowl of disc golf. There will be more information about the qualifying process early next spring. It will be very clear and early enough for people to start planning for the trip.

9-3---Let’s Do it Again—Olympia Fields—C-Tier—Brian Cummings

9-16--- IOS #6 @ Aurora Adv/Pro—Aurora—Am B, Pro C-Tier—Jon Brakel
9-17--- IOS #6 @ Aurora Int/Rec/Jr—Aurora—B-Tier—Jon Brakel

9-23---19th Channahon Classic Int/Rec/Jr—Channahon—C-Tier—Gary Lewis
9-24--- 19th Channahon Classic Adv/Pro—Channahon—B-Tier—Gary Lewis

9-29 to 10-01---USWDGC—Peoria—Major—Bill Wallis

9-30---3rd Annual Wildcat Springs Open—Hamilton—C-Tier—Bill Dowell

10-1---Fairfield Fall Doubles—Round Lake—C-Tier—Mike Clark

10-7---Capital City Challenge—Springfield—Am B, Pro C-Tier—Brad Dow

10-14---IOS #7 @ Round Lake Adv/Pro—Round Lake—Am B, Pro C-Tier—Jon Brakel
10-15---IOS #7 @ Round Lake Int/Rec/Jr—Round Lake—B-Tier—Jon Brakel


It is the responsibility of tournament directors in Illinois to contact me with dates of events. The earlier you get your dates in the better. More and more clubs and TD’s are starting to sanction events. This is just a reminder that higher tier events have priority over lower tier events and you may be asked to move your event to another date. Please review the tour standards at this link-> http://www.pdga.com/documents/td/2006tourinfo.php (Guide to 2006 Tour Standards Updated 3/21/06). Remember to check back when the PDGA updates the 2007 standards. I have also created a thread for tournament directors in Illinois to chat. Go to this forum-> http://discontinuum.org/forums/index.php and register a user name. Contact me with your user name, and I will upgrade your account so you can access the Illinois Tournament Directors Thread. I find it very important for tournament directors to discuss issues and dates.

I look forward to serving the Illinois disc golf community. This is an exciting time for Illinois disc golf. Join your local club and buy discs from vendors and clubs that give back to the game. Feel free to contact me any time.

Brett Comincioli
PDGA #19325
DISContinuum Disc Golf Club
www.discontinuum.org (http://www.discontinuum.org)
(847) 858-4368
[email protected]