The SoCal Disc Golf Association board met on Saturday, January 4th for its first meeting of the new year. In addition to the typical housekeeping and procedural issues, the board also discussed the points system used to award SoCal Series divisional championships. A lively discussion had been held at the SoCal end-of-year banquet regarding the points system, with critics of the current system expressing the opinion that the points system was giving too much weight to events that featured large fields or more than two rounds of golf and not enough credit to winners of smaller, one-day events. A proposal for changes to the points system was made at the general membership meeting that occurs as part of the year-end banquet, but that proposal failed to garner enough votes to make changes.
The board continued this discussion at the Jan. 4th meeting. There was general agreement that the series had become dominated by a small number of large-field, two-day events. For example, since the series points system only counted the best 4 tournament point totals for Ams and best 5 for Pros, players could place highly in the standings by playing only the series’ 2-day events (Wintertime Open, La Mirada, Summertime Open, Cannonball Run, Goleta, Wrightwood, Sun Valley, Blue Heron, SoCal Championships), with no 1-day events contributing to their points totals. Board members generally agreed that it would be good to find a way to support increased participation in the often smaller, 1-day events. The board did not feel comfortable with making major changes to the points system without considerable input from the membership. The board did, however, feel that it could make minor adjustments that would not radically change the current system.
The compromise reached was to increase the number of events included in a players’ series points total to seven events for both Am and Pro players. This change would increase the likelihood that more 1-day events would be used in players’ point totals. There was concern that this change would greatly increase the number of events that players seeking division titles would have to play, thus increasing the financial burden for players wishing to be competitive in the title chase. But an analysis of the number of events played by top competitors for the points titles (defined as the top 1/3 of each division in the final points totals) found that top Am players played an average of 7 events in 2013, while top Pro players played an average of 8 events. Thus, players who were seriously competing for the titles were already playing as many events as the rule change called for.
The increase in number of events included in series point totals will go into effect for the current (2014) points series. All other components of the series points system (5 participation points per 18-hole round, 1 point per player beat or tied, 1 bonus point for a win, up to 10 bonus points for number of events played awarded for participation in series championship event) will stay as is. The board encourages members to use this season to discuss both the goals of and the mechanism for the points series in preparation for December’s year-end players meeting.