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When is it time to move up ? Options
Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2014 3:43:58 PM

Rank: Tree Hukker

Joined: 7/9/2012
Posts: 48
Location: West Chester, OH
I played one competition in 2012 at Rapid Run before I had a PDGA# but before that everything since I started in February was casual.  As I start my second year of Disc Golf Competition the question of moving up now comes into play. My rounds are much better than they were a year ago but they still seem to be all over the place, I can have an exceptional round followed by a freaking train wreck much like my play yesterday … -12 first round followed by a -7 round is quite a difference

I understand everybody ribbing me was all in good fun yesterday, I mean hell I do the same thing all the time to Ruthen, Armstrong, Williams and others. However I have actually been thinking about this a bunch lately as I reach that point where it may be time for me to move up a division.  While yesterday’s win was great it was only my second win in the rec division to date.

I ran into the same thing in Disc Dog competition and feel I moved up way too early and had 2 extremely tough years as my skill caught up to those around me in the “new” division I was competing in.

And for now, I’ll also say this … My mental game is not good enough to move up … yesterday things got into my head and by the time I started to recover it was all I could do to fight to keep the lead and for that reason I don’t think I’m ready for a new season in a new division.

Do you use PDGA ratings as a guide ? PDGA rules say I don’t have to move up to intermediate till I get a rating of 900 or more (I am currently at 878).

Anyway, I’d like to know what others thoughts are on this (Pros and Ams)

Posted: Thursday, January 02, 2014 4:25:15 PM
Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 4/16/2012
Posts: 754
Location: amelia
I don't think I can tell you whether to move up or not but I can tell you that I wish I had your midrange game it is near flawless most of the time when ive played with you and while I may throw farther it often gets me into more trouble than good lol if you can get your putting up to similar level and figure out a way to get another 50ft or so on your drive your gonna be a tough player in whatever division you choose to play in the future and the distance probly isn't as important as the putting nice shooting yesterday

another thought as many pdga tournaments as you play you might want to pick one on a course you know well and play intermediate just to get a feel for the skill level of the players above us

"midrange game" what I mean saying that is not just midrange discs but your approach game in general you don't give away a lot of shots normally
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 9:09:01 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 1/20/2012
Posts: 390
Location: Eastgate
Great question, Chris! I struggle constantly with the question, and often joke about being eligible for any division except Novice. There's a player or two in Columbus who get a lot of grief over staying in Rec with ratings in the 890's for a couple of years. But you can play your rating! It's an individual choice. Somebody suggested you really ought to play AT your rating in a bigger event (sanctioned A or B tiers), but might want to play 'up' a division (or two) in C tiers and unsanctioned events. Playing with sharper, more consistent players will improve our game.

Personally, I do not have the 'D' off the tee to compete with Advanced on a bigger course, so I was thinking of Intermediate this year (see below). I noted Pete did decently well playing Advanced on New Year's, even though he could've elected to play Rec (oh, congratulations to both of you, btw).

Bottom line: I'm looking forward to the advice of the more experienced players here.

Final comment: someone mentioned that, after the discussion thread on divisions recently, we might be looking at dropping the plethora of divisions for CCS. I looked at the history for input on this, and note that Intermediate has really only been played for the last two years (out of two decades), and that the only really 'permanent' divisions played at CCS events have been Open, Advanced & Rec (men & women), with the enduring age-protected division being Master's (though obviously, there are now a lot of active players over 50, too). Of the 34 (!) PDGA divisions available, CCS has ranged from 6 to 11 over time. My question is, since it's up to the TD's of local events, what divisions would they like us to emphasize?
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 11:22:16 AM

Rank: Veteran

Joined: 7/13/2012
Posts: 233
Location: Batavia
I know everybody wants experienced players opinions but FWIW here's mine. I would start with rating, go off the pdga guidelines. Consistency is what makes the top level players better. Most of us are capable of going out and shooting a round where all the stars align and we end up with a pro score, however its the inability to do that all the time. If you have played in a decent amount of sanctioned events your rating should generally reflect what division you should play in. Besides that I would look at putting. That is another thing that really changes when you move divisions. As you climb the ranks your opponents will be making more putts thus leaving you less windows to gain strokes. For me, my 926 rating says I should play intermediate but my rating is based off of only 2 events. However they were both later in 2013 and reflect my current skill level. I am opting to play advanced this year because it seems to have a bigger draw at most tournaments than intermediate. Sure I might cash less or not at all but for me I feel like playing with better players will make my game better. I know I have learned a lot from watching the open players in the first round split groups of the CCS events.
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 11:39:01 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 9/18/2005
Posts: 373
Location: Where it puts the lotion on its skin
In my opinion, as soon as you ask the question, even if just to yourself, it's time to move up.
Rather than looking at just your rating, take a look at this page for some ideas on where you should classify yourself - http://www.pdga.com/pdga-player-classifications-divisions I'm not sure what your game is like, but I'd use your distance as a barometer more than putting. If you can throw 300-350, I think you have no business in rec. Anybody can putt though." target="_blank">http://www.pdga.com/pdga-player-classifications-divisions
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 12:11:48 PM

Rank: Tree Hukker

Joined: 4/24/2012
Posts: 33
Here is my opinion on the topic. I have had luxury of being call a bagger for most of my disc life. CCS and non-sanction and PDGA Sanction tournaments are two different levels of play if you ask me. 1st off - my opinion is play your rating when it come to PDGA events the system is there for a reason. On CCS and Non-Sanction events I would suggest to play one division above your PDGA rating this will help your game the most and keeps you improving in the game. Players need to learn how to Win, play with a lead, come from behind, loose a lead, and staight out get beat. My only opinion on CSS and Non-Sanction tourament is if your not going for the season championship and you have the option to move mid-season and you have won 1 to 2 times, in a lower a division. I believe it will be best for your games to jump to the next division.

To Chris and to anyone else struggleing with the decision, do what feels right, dont worry about the critics.

I personaly played all 3 division, I was called a bagger every year almost every tournament. I played the division were i thought i belonged and now i have experience it all. How to Win, play with a lead, come from behind, loose a lead, and staight out get beat. I just experience my first tournament in open and i felt i was ready, Cashed tied for 6th.
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 7:41:39 PM
Rank: Veteran

Joined: 2/15/2012
Posts: 124
Hey guys I seem to have experience in this department, So I will comment and offer suggestions.

Hi my name is Bob and I am a "BAGGER" welcome to baggers anonymous so everyone say "hi Bob"

Now that is over with let the meeting begin.

This is how people make me feel sometimes "like I have a disease" and the word "CHEAT" comes to mind. Not that people mean it as I am cheating but, thats something that has crossed my mind a few times. I have been through all these emotions through peer pressure. However I started digging and doing some research. I personally don't have a lot of money, so I need to be competitive and do well to recoup some monies. Anyway I looked at all my tournaments and compared to previous years and other common tourneys that higher divisions were shooting. I compared my scores with them on a consistency basis and per tourney basis including CCS events. I revealed that it was about 50% that I would cash in advance and like 20% cashing in masters for cash. However in some tourneys I would have won in those divisions and even place highly in open. But here is the problem if I had played in those divisions would I have felt good about it when I dont cash in 50-80 percent of time. Also if you are sponsored you might not be for long playing badly or not cashing. Your sponsors will drop you like a bad habit. So I suggest using that method in whatever formula you use to make a decision. Keep another thing in mind that moving up too fast could prove to hurt you mentally if your constantly at bottom of the pack. The positive side is that you will practice more or learn from better players. Thats personally what I use weekly events for to play against better players.

There are always people calling others baggers the way I see it is if your eligible to play in a division by PDGA standards then you play where ever you wish. I personally could play advanced masters forever if I chose too, there is no rating cap on the division. I want to experience those levels of competition. Now I have moved on.

In the end do what you want, money was a factor with me so it was heavy bearing upon my decision. You both are improving Jeff and Chris. nice to see others with the passion and the willingness to get better. I like seeing that in people.

I guess the meeting is over now see you "BAGGERS" on a course soon.
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 7:52:27 PM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 10/25/2007
Posts: 345
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Chris, Personally I like Ryan's idea of moving up in the non sanctioned events to play, compete and learn with better players. At the same time, do not base this decision, solely on Winton woods. I played open there a year or two before I moved up, since the course is all about approach and putt. Last year you were in the top ten with missing two events in Rec., not bad, not bad at all.
Posted: Friday, January 03, 2014 9:08:41 PM
Rank: Veteran

Joined: 2/15/2012
Posts: 124
by the way everyone my post was mainly for humor not to be taken seriously but on serious side chris and any others should see how the fare in same tourneys to higher divisions then you will know what to do. and ryan is correct move up in CCS and see what happens. thanks everyone and see ya at a tourney near everywhere!!!!
Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 1:10:03 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 8/13/2008
Posts: 355
Location: Mt lookout
As a friend I think it's completely reasonable to stay in REC considering you finished 6th last year and have a PDGA rating under 900 with a $h!t ton of sanctioned events. Compete for the series this year then move up. I guarantee it will be a battle all year long, it always is in REC. Especially considering you beat out two people at WW by one stroke and it's the least effective course to measure skill bye.

PDGA always play your ratings. It's the most scientific way to determine skill with as many tourneys as you play.
Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 1:11:38 AM

Rank: Extreme Veteran

Joined: 8/13/2008
Posts: 355
Location: Mt lookout
As far as the bagger comment goes I can tell you you should take it as a compliment. All it means is people wish they didn't have to play against you.
Posted: Saturday, January 04, 2014 3:08:05 PM

Rank: Elite Veteran

Joined: 1/16/2007
Posts: 931
Location: Wyoming
Ok, Mark is right (very exp. also) once you ask yourself it likely IS time to move up. One of the primary reasons to move up is to be more challenged. If, you are being pushed to your edges of comfortable/safe self - potentials for growth and Improvement abound and; well, you are in the right division. Mr. McMath's advice is what I've suggested to many locals. In non-sanctioned events play up to a level of affordability and maximum learning potential. You'll learn more this way. Chris, move up in CCS comps- stay in your "rated" div. for PDGA events.Winton is NOT a good barometer of Baggingness. Top pros can only get -18 most likely. I've seen a rec player shoot -14 there. Bagger being yelled is often a backhanded compliment. Bottom line: If, you feel you aren't bagging, you aren't. Just take the jeers and maybe stick out your tongue at them.
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