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2018 Scoring: Part Two

This is Part Two in our 2018 Scoring series. We closed with the choice of having all cards with live scoring or none. We vote for all. If you would like to read
Part One again (or for the first time) click here .
Keeping Score in 2018
Adjustments for 2018. In addition to the paper scorecard, we plan to have every card keep score using the UDisc app. Here is an example of what it takes to keep score in UDisc. To make this happen, UDisc developed Fast Scoring mode which is done after the hole is complete at the same time scores are taken for the paper scorecard.
As we discussed in Part One , using UDisc provides significant benefits for spectators, players, and Pro Tour partners. In 2017 we tracked full stats for just over two-thirds of the 67,745 throws made. Next year we want to track 100%. Achieving these benefits for the entire field is not feasible with only volunteers. For 2018, we will need to require the players to be responsible for entering scores in UDisc. The top cards for both divisions will continue to be scored by volunteers so we can provide instant scoring updates for the live broadcast as well as continue to feature the recently debuted throw tracker.
Players will be responsible for entering the scores in UDisc in addition to keeping the paper scorecard. As with the paper scorecard, with the group’s approval, this could be a caddy or friend or volunteer. At the end of the round, the UDisc score and paper scorecard will be compared to confirm correctness.
An additional benefit we will see is an increase of the accuracy of the statistics gathered. Very often we are faced with the reality that disc golf is blossoming and growing but that we do not yet have the resources to make everything work in the ideal way. With players entering their own scores into UDisc, the information will be more accurate.
In addition to the players being able to more accurately judge, for example, if a throw was in Circle 2 or just outside, we will also be able to work with the players to better define the “green”. At some courses, a disc can lend 50 feet from the pin (well inside “Circle 2”) and clearly be off the fairway. We would like to make the stats developed by keeping score in UDisc as telling as possible and we will work with the players to make this happen.
Statistics are a critical component to what we are trying to build. We recognize what we are implementing is a big ask of the players and we hope that they will understand that this is a situation with growing pains. In order to put a better product out there, we need help and buy-in from the players.
Player Collection of Scores
In 2018, we will ask players to track scores in UDisc during their rounds. The way this will work, for example, is that Player 1 will have the paper scorecard for the first five holes while Player 2 has the UDisc scorecard. On the next four holes, Player 2 will get the paper scorecard and Player 3 will utilize the UDisc scorecard. And so on. As mentioned previously, players may have a friend or caddy do the score / stat keeping duties on their behalf and the top cards for MPO and FPO will have volunteers assigned. Phones set up for scoring will be provided to all cards.
In reviewing our goals, the above will meet all of them and as our staffing abilities grow, so will the number of cards that are scored by staff. First, in this way, every card will have scores and stats. Second, this will free up five to ten volunteers for the event, which is critical as the spectator galleries continue to grow. Third, every card will have a built in double check on the scores so that we are able to remove scoring errors from the game.
UDisc has developed a Fast Scoring Mode (see video above) which will minimize the impact this has on the players to about 30 seconds per hole. After each hole is completed, in addition to calling out their scores, players will now be asked to call out how they got those scores. For example, on the next tee, score keeper (SK) asks for the scores:

  • SK: Al, what did you get?
  • Al: 2: Circle 1, 10 foot putt
  • SK: Bo, what did you get?
  • Bo: 4: OB to drop zone, Circle 2, 40 foot putt
  • SK: Cy, what did you get?
  • Cy: I got a 3. Fairway, Circle 2, 50 foot putt
  • SK: And I got a 3. Circle 2, Circle 1, 5 foot putt

Over time, we will increase the number of cards that have assigned scorekeepers. As the tour grows, resources will grow, and we will put more well-trained and compensated score / stat keeping staff on the course. It is important that this not be a slippery slope where we ask more and more of the players. We recognize that the players needs are a priority. This is why we push for standardization, toilets at the far point of the course, a meaningful platform where they can grow their fans, and many other improvements. In this case, we need to improve to increase the draw for the fans, but we simply cannot tax the event staff anymore. We need help from the players.
Bigger, Better, Stronger
It is useful to look back to where our sport was just two short years ago. The Vibram Open was a leader in live scoring when it had scoring volunteers spread out on the course, giving scoring updates for the entire field every three or six holes. In PDGA Live. With no stats. Only the lead card had live scoring every hole. Our hats are off to the tremendous push that UDisc has given our premier events. Thanks to their efforts, we are coming to expect not only hole by hole scoring but the cornucopia of stats that they offer us as well.
With the players collecting the data, we will get more stats, more accuracy and more insight into the stats. We will continue to work hard to grow the top level of the game so that, over time, we can increase the number of cards that will have stat keepers without taking away from the volunteer base of the tournament. Having every player tracked allows Ultiworld to write about how Eric Oakley scored -10 from the 15th card (his putting pants were on fire). Starting now also ensures we’ll have early career stats for the players who will dominate the podiums of the future (Austin Turner? Tim Barham? Kevin Jones?). Thanks for joining us on this journey and let us know your thoughts in the comments.