So I bring this up to all you that run tournaments. This was really messed up at the Creekside Open in SLC. Each hole has 2 to 4 t-pads and 3 to 4 pin positions, so each round you play a different layout. On the cards at the tournament it stated "play 12 long". When one walked up to the t-box, there was a sign on the box which I didn't read cause I read the players package and scorecard, that said play "12 long regular". Not being from SLC, I had no idea what "regular" meant, not anyone in my group cause we were 100% from out of town.
So we played 12 long. Both the "regular" t-box and "long" had a sign that said "12 long". So myself, and 38 other players, played the longer t-box when we were to play the shorter t-box (made not sense was during the "all long round"). The shorter t-box is played for a birdie and most of us would be bummed to get a 4. The longer box I played aggressively, but getting a birdie from there meant an extra 75 feet of tree alley and water hazard. Getting a 3 on the long box wouldn't upset any player, and getting a 2 is a bit of a treat. I'd estimate 50% or more of the players I saw 4'd it from the long, just too many trees and mando if your disc peeled out left about 300 feet down fairway.
So in the end it was more than a 2 stroke penalty for most players, some I'd call it a 4 stroke (like Cary Trotter 4'd it and was steamed when he found out they were to play the birdie t-box position). We found out right after we played it cause the td was in the group in front of us, watched us throw it wrong, and then bombed us with the news. One player in my group won masters and is a pretty knowledgeable official (he runs the Gentleman's Classic in Vegas). I felt the td didn't handle things well initially, and I saw several sponsored players use the f-word and border on a fight. It got ugly, and in all my disc golf years I had never seen anything like this. I truly felt f'd. We really checked the card and thought we threw the right hole. THe other masters groups all had at least one local that knew the course and they all got a 2 to 3 stroke advantage on us that played it wrong. I felt it was extremely screwed up when the scorecard and sign have dif instructions, and no box is marked "regular". Only the locals seemed to get it right, who else knows that the "regular" box is.
The TD claimed to call the PDGA on this one. There is a provision that says he could if enough people appealed the ruling over turn it. I guess 39 player making the same mistake wasn't enough. He and the PDGA agreed we deserved the 2 strokes. I thought it was bs and since the players in error played a much harder t-box I was bummed the td didn't make an exception and just let us take the penalty of playing the harder t-box.
So, if you are running a tournament with many t-boxes my advice is always make sure people clearly understand the different boxes. Like give them colors or put names on them that match the card. Also imo put sticks and branches in the box not being played, make it clear. Three make sure the scorecard instructions match the instructions on the sign. IN this case they were not the same, but we all go stroked, the sign on the t-pad takes precedence over the instructions on the score card. That was the pdga's final word on this issue.
The same kind of thing happened to me when I played in Maine. There was some kind of "special" hole that everyone knew about, except there were no locals in my group, so we misplayed the course.
Kind of cheesy, if you ask me.
Ya it was a bit cheesy, just wish there was some "spirit of the game" involved in rulings like this. When 39 pdga members play the wrong hole something was done wrong on the setup and management of the tournament. When 3 or 4 play the wrong hole it is one thing, but when over 33% of the field plays the wrong hole it says a lot. We played a harder hole as a result, just let it ride in the name of the spirit of the game. On the plus I didn't care that much. It's like once we played it and found out we played the wrong hole there wasn't we could do about it. A few others got hot and did the lobbying to have it overruled.
I was talking with my wife after the zoo town open and she informed me that she wouldn't mind helping out in any way at the tournaments that she attends. She said that most of the women that don't want to play the game are there to be with their significant others. She personally along with 1 or 2 others she had talked with would like to help out in any way possible (counting cards, spotting, etc.) just so they are not so bored during the rounds. So idea's or thoughts on this would be nice to hear, my wife in particular will be at most of the tournaments this year, so the ones she is at you can put her to work! I'm sure any other's that show up not to play DG wouldn't mind participating also in some way. Easy way to make tourny's run a little smoother maybe?