2020 WI TOUR IS HISTORY
The 2020 WI Disc Golf Tour ended up being quite interesting. Seven tour stops did cancel and one rescheduled. The WDSA fully backed every Td in their decisions to either move forward operating or cancel their tournament. The tour also allowed Td’s to PDGA Sanction as a C Tier instead of A or B Tier. Two stops took the C Tier change as there was much disruption in normal business as well as life in general. Committed tournament sponsorships were lost to local government mandates limiting or closing facilities. This happened to both canceled tournaments and events that were completed.
Thank goodness the PDGA did come out with “Covid – 19 Best Practices” for how to operate a tournament during a pandemic. No meetings or ceremonies of any kind, use of tee times published for players to spend the least amount of time on site as possible. No food or water supplied on site, lots of sanitizer, social distancing encouraged as well as vending being discouraged. These are extremely hard things to ask of the human race. People need close relations with fellow people. All of our habits are counter to distancing from each other. This is a big reason some of the WI Tour tournaments were canceled. There are as many social events as tournaments of skill. Other tournaments were at the mercy of local government mandates of large group gatherings. The WI Tour only took place because of the PDGA eventually opening up sanctioning. Had the PDGA gone back to not sanctioning, the WI Tour would have stopped at the same time. No PDGA Sanctioning – no WI Tour Sanctioning. The most challenged PDGA “best practice” item was vending. While the PDGA did suggest not vending uncontrolled on site, it did happen at many tournaments including the Finale. Some tournaments had the advantage of a pro shop where there were mask and number of people requirements easily enforced, but outdoor vending had to rely on individual people and the huge range of belief in covid protections or not. While no one heard about infections from a tournament, there is no way to know if infections were passed. Timing was on our side with a low point of months in the covid spread. And a number of players following PDGA “best Practices.
The tour would have awarded Divisional Champions no matter how many WI Tour tournaments took place. Eleven stops and the Finale did run to completion. So far more than 60 Black Disc Fundraiser discs had been sold before the Finale. Any Fundraiser Discs sold after the Finale will fund the WI Disc Golf Tour 2021. 15 divisions did earn championship status this year. The rule used for earning a Champion Division was changed from 5 tournaments where a Black Disc is earned to 3 tournaments as we had no clue how many tournaments if any would operate to conclusion. 19 divisions earned a Black Disc but 4 did not achieve champion status. There were four or five divisions that were won in dominating fashion, but the rest were quite competitive with a few going down to the last tournament or two.
Some interesting statistics were compiled. Though these numbers are behind last years with 8 fewer tour stops, there is something about group numbers vs individual tournaments. Total of 2,076 people played at least one, and as many as all 11 tournaments throughout the season. 27 tournament rounds were completed using 26 different courses not counting course variations. There were 4584 individual total rounds played in 16 different communities making for a truly state wide disc golf tour. I commend all the Td’s work as well as the player base in WI.
Innova was our biggest sponsor this year. We thank them wholeheartedly. They completed the fundraiser over stamp on 75 Black Discs. Mike Cozzens handled the fundraiser project with great success. We were able to withstand the loss of revenue from canceled tournament stops so the Finale was quite normal in payouts and player packs. John Terlap manned the tour points collection and invitations to the Finale as he has done for many consecutive years. Jim Van Lanen worked on the website updates for the 2020 WI Tour, as well as the tour calendar banners which we used 3 different photos. Mike Harrington worked the schedule which gave WI Tour stops priority behind majors and A Tiers. Jim also worked the Black Disc art contest which was a success with 14 designs voted on at the 2019 Finale. The tour functions thanks to the volunteers mentioned above. Add the WDSA board members for collaborating a reasonable plan to navigate this WI Disc Golf Tour through a challenging period in planet Earth's history.
Not only are we lucky to have such a collection of tournaments that partner with the WI Tour, but there are a large number of smaller tours and series running in every section of WI. Plus so many individual events and tournaments going on through the entire year. You can find the event or tour to fit your needs. A shout out to every person that runs or helps run a disc golf event of any kind. Thank you so much for providing entertainment for a healthy group of people.
Highbridge Hills Mega Disc Golf Complex was the site of this year’s event. Mountain Man, Tom Wincse, and Northern Lights Disc Golf (Brooke and Bryan Lagergren) served as hosts. John Terlap constructed the Skins 1st round format, the PDGA rated based singles 2nd round format and payout structure. Jim Van Lanen, Karen and Brad Wendt stuffed payout envelopes, set up Tournament Central, made sure players received tour plaques and Finale award Innova Discs rounding out the staff. Northern Lights Disc Golf, Pandamonium, Disc Golf Experience and Sandy Point Resort and Disc Golf Ranch were vendors. Scotty supplied tasty lunch for a fair price, which saves some travel for players between rounds. Mother nature cooperated the entire weekend with warm dry conditions to enhance the color show of fall time of year. A spectacular color show enhanced by the views from the “hill”.
Having four courses for 75 players allowed us to run a round of no push skins, with lunch time between rounds, and a rating based singles round, plus get scores translated to placings and payouts allowing all to collect their winnings while getting on the road before dark. Every player earned a payout. Woodland Green, Blueberry, Granite Peak and The Bear were used. No push skins helped share the payout as every hole was paid to either one player, or as many as every player on the card. The lowest score on a hole won the hole. If the skin for the hole was worth $13 and one player had the lowest score, that player won $13. If 4 players on the card all scored the lowest on the each, each player earned $3.25. Each card played the 18 hole course. The PDGA rating based round split into 5 flights of players where each flight had its own payout scale. Only the top 17 PDGA rated players took on The Bear course. It is the most challenging course at Highbridge Hills at this time. Other flights played Blueberry, Granite or Woodland. This was the second year we used these two formats at the Finale. Added prizes were different Innova models and colored discs with the Black Disc artwork which were earned by winning your skins division and winning the rating based flight.
Many players did stay for the Fall Classic on Sunday hosted by Northern Lights, giving more bang for your travel time and the opportunity for four competitive rounds in one weekend. What a perfect weekend for a tournament disc golfer.