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Project TD: Optimizing Tournament Capacity

A boom in disc golf and the desire to compete in PDGA-sanctioned tournaments has led to a frenzy when it comes to registering for events and at the moment, the demand simply outweighs the supply.

However, there are options available for tournament directors when it comes to accommodating more players into events.

Here are a few ideas for maximizing the number of players at your event:

Tee Times

Depending on course length and available daylight, tee times can enable up to 144 players (or more) to compete on a single course in a single day. While 36 holes of tournament play is required for B-Tiers, meaning that a two-day event would be required for this number of players using tee times, C-Tiers can be hosted with just 18 holes of competition. That means tee times could allow 144 or more players to participate in a one-round, one-day event. Tee times can be assigned using Tournament Manager or Tournament Central ahead of the tournament.

Split Events

To allow for more players, tournament directors can also limit the divisions they are offering at the same time in their tournaments to target specific divisions at different times, thereby creating more space for each set of divisions. For example, Saturday could be limited to all professional and advanced divisions while Sunday could be designated for the rest of the amateur field. Each day will have its own registration page and TD report. Note that these ‘split events’ can be run under the same single sanctioning fee if held on the same weekend.

It is also important to note that split events should be pre-planned prior to sanctioning and before registration opens in order to make the TD's job much easier.


Coordinate With Other TDs

Work with your State Coordinator and other tournament directors in your area to coordinate a schedule for your region that will increase playing opportunities while avoiding scheduling conflicts. There are a number of ways to work within your region when it comes to tournaments. For example, one tournament can host certain divisions one weekend while another in the area hosts the remaining divisions at the same time or a different weekend.

Over 60% of PDGA-sanctioned tournaments in each of the past two years have been C-Tier events, which have no distance requirement between events. That means multiple C-Tier events can be run in the same town or in neighboring towns. Also, if both tournament directors agree to it, they can waive the distance requirements between their events. For example, the distance requirement for C-to-B is 40 miles, but if both TDs agree, the events could be held at a closer distance.

Flex Starts

Flex starts continue to rise in popularity due to the flexibility that they provide to both the TD and the players. Tournament directors can designate times for players to register and play their rounds. Be sure to designate a last card out time to make sure competitors have plenty of time to complete their round before dark. It helps to encourage players to get on the course as early as possible to avoid a logjam near the last tee off time. For example, players (minimum of three) can tee off between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

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