PDGA Tournaments are a great experience and fun. When you're playing in the tournament for the first time, you may not know what to expect. You've been playing casual golf disc rounds, and there are things you're used to that are done differently in PDGA Tournaments.
It would help if you learned some basic things to ensure that you'll have a successful first PDGA tournament. You have to ensure that you've read the PDGA Official Rules of Disc Golf and Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events before the tournament.
You'll likely play with more experienced tournament players and you shouldn't be afraid to ask them questions.
Important basic things you should know as you prepare for your first tournament
Feet Positioning is key
Feet position is a very important rule in disc golf. If you don't know where to and where not to put your feet, you'll find it difficult to play the game well. The rules require that your supporting point of contact at the time of releasing a disc should be within the teeing area.
Thus, your foot should be touching the teeing area as you release the disc. The rules allow you only to have your foot or any other supporting point outside the teeing area before and after the disc is released. Once you release the disc, your foot should be on the teeing area.
You're required to be in contact with the lie if you throw after teeing off. The lie is that place on the playing surface where you take a stance to throw.
Avoid Slapping the Chains
Most disc golf players have done this. More often when playing casual rounds, we like to pick our discs once we have parked the basket. We don't even want to putt, but we want to pick our discs and slap them against the chains. The crush of metals often produces a ringing sound that we feel great when we hear.
This isn't the case when playing a PDGA tournament. In such an event, you must complete the hole. It's considered that you have completed the hole once your disc comes to rest supported by the basket.
Learn the Tournament Etiquette
You're playing with other tournament players, and you should know what is expected of you. Disc Golf Tournament etiquette is very straightforward. All you need is common sense, and you will maintain essential decency.
When you encounter a group on the hole, you shouldn't throw your disc. Even though playing through is a courtesy that should be extended as possible, you should not ask to play through in a tournament.
Ensure that you maintain tournament quiet to avoid distracting other players. Always avoid unnecessary movements that can hinder another playing while throwing their discs.
When players in your group are throwing discs, you should be alert in case you will need to make a rules call or find a disc. When you mind your manners, you will have fun there, and other players will have fun too.
Record Your Score as a Number
You will have to compare scores with other players in a tournament. You may have become used to such reports as a par two or a par five for a given hole in casual disc golf rounds.
You should know that numbers are very important in a PDGA Tournament. After every hole, the disc golfer recording on the official scorecard will report their scores. Other disc golfers will then be required to report their scores for the same hole.
You should make your report as simple as possible. If it took you four throws to complete a hole, just report that it took you four. This is more comprehensive and simpler.
Sharing the scoring responsibilities amongst the groups is good for the tournament. Scoring is what makes the competition valid, and that's why there should be the best independent methods for doing that. When score comparisons are made, there will be more accuracy.
The Greatness of Mini
A mini disc golf disc marker is an interesting part of a tournament. The PDGA rules allow a player to mark the lie by putting a mini marker disc on the playing surface so that it will touch the front of the thrown disc.
This mini marker enables you to keep track of the position where you will throw your next shot. When you make good use of a PDGA standard mini marker, it will make things easier for you.
Cash Prizes Have Consequences
Taking cash in PDGA tournaments means you have been classified as a professional-class player. When you are a professional-class player, you will be required to pay more annual dues. You will also be excluded from Amateur divisions in PDGA majors as you will not be eligible.
If your rating is higher, you will not be eligible for some divisions at all. It's not easy to be reclassified from a Pro to Am. It's a difficult process, and there are requirements for one to qualify for reclassification.
You'll undoubtedly have more questions as you play more PDGA tournaments. You should study The Official Rules of Disc Golf and the Competition Manual to get all the answers.