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Grandeur at the Granada

As the doors opened last night to players entering the historic Emporia Granada Theatre in Emporia, KS they were presented with beautiful decor that welcomed them with early 1900s architecture. Its walls were decorated with ornate finishing and dazzeling chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. It held a packed seating area and a mezzanine that could fit the necessary seating capacity to handle every participant, staff member, and family member. Banners and tables filled the interior welcoming players to the 2013 PDGA Amateur and Junior World Championship players meeting. The theater alone left every person filled with excitement for what was to come.

Players found their seats and welcomed each other openly as a soundtrack fitting for the mood played in the background. On the stage sat the PDGA staff and guest speakers for the event’s welcoming ceremonies. This night was the night to welcome each and every participant, as well as cover any critical official rules or regulations of play.

The ceremony began with an introduction by PDGA ­­­­­Events Manager Michael Downes to welcome members from six countries and 45 states that have come together to compete and bond for a week of their lives. He introduced every country while members from the United States, Danish player Morten Kristensen and French competitor Gerard Morin presented their flag or flags of participating nations to the audience. Then the official business began.

Executive Director Brian Graham stood at the podium and spoke of the “spirit of the game” explaining his outlook on the competition and positive nature of disc golf and its competitors. Tour Manager Andrew “Big Dog” Sweeton charismatically explained official PDGA rules and regulations for this specific event. His speech included a segment about each and every player being a “succulent grape” and reminded them to avoid becoming a “raisin” by enjoying the water stations provided on every course. Then Head Marshall for the event Shawn Sinclair detailed all out of bounds and specific course rules.

The Mayor of Emporia, Rob Gilligan approached the microphone and thanked everyone for coming to their town. He expressed his city's support for this sport and this event. This support is easily noticed while walking the streets of Emporia at any time. After his speech PDGA Memberships Manager Sara Nicholson presented the Mayor with an honorary membership to the PDGA to thank him for his hospitality.

The man who made this happen, Tournament Director and owner of Dynamic Discs Jeremy Rusco thanked players for everything they do and thanked all sponsors that helped make this event possible. Then to top off the action Jay “Yeti” Reading filled the stage with his energy. He lifted the crowd by handing out an assortment of prizes given to lucky members of the crowd. This official meeting was never in a damp mood.

After closing statements players exited the building and found their way out on the town for the night to enjoy what downtown Emporia had to offer. The night was young and to them the next 5 days are going to be a grind. Tonight was the time to meet everyone because somewhere in that theater or out in the streets of the town were the next 2013 Amateur and Junior Champions. It was time to relax, let loose, and prepare for the week to come.

Play began today at 8:00 am sharp for competitors at each course offered by the 2013 PDGA Amateur and Junior World Championships. Be sure to check in to find out scores as they are posted throughout the week. Also be sure to check out the PDGA Tour Flickr feed to see photos of the days events.