South Dakota Disc Golf

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So league attendance continues to go down each passing week. Last week we only had 9 people total for Wednesday night sanctioned league, Sunday nights are hit-n-miss almost every week if there will even be enough people to play. I'm not able to attend on Thursday nights due to softball, but from the few weeks that I've been able to play, attendance wasn't through the roof, and both times there were at least 5-6 people that I recognized as previous league players who were on the course playing, but chose not to play in league.

Now I know there is a good contingent of people that read these forums, because almost every player that showed up for the Shootout tournament in Brandon a few weeks back said they heard about it through this website.

My question to those of you who read these forums but choose not to participate in our leagues we set up, is there any specific reason why you don't want to attend? Is it all due to scheduling conflicts with work/family for the weekday nights? Is it becuase we hold it at a state park and you dont' want to pay the entrance fee? Is there anything about the way we set up our league play that you don't like, division structure, etc? Why did so many local players come out of the woodwork to play in the Sanctioned Tournament, but have no interest in playing in a Sanctioned League, or either of our doubles leagues?

For those of you who I see playing on the course during league, but make the decision to just play on your own, is there any specific reason why?

These leagues are set-up by players for players, and we're always open to ideas to get people to WANT to play in our leagues. Remember that ALL of our leagues are money OPTIONAL, and you can show up any night and play for free just to compete and try to get better. Also remember that if you want, you can bring 5-6 of your buddies and make up your own division and just play against each-other for money, and get PDGA round ratings in the process.

Please take the time to reply to this forum and give us some imput, or just any ideas as to how we can try to expand our league base and get people have more interest in attending.

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Just wanted to add that if it is an issue with paying the park fee that there is the option to buy a park pass for your car for $28, plus a second pass at half price, that is good for one year. That is equal to paying for five separate visits to the course. Also, the pass is good for any state park including Custer state park for those of you who visit the black hills area. Another option is parking on the road by the bridge just West of the park entrance and walking the trail in to the park to avoid the park fee, although it is much cooler to pay and support our parks. I would also encourage those of you who read the forum to help spread the word about this site and the league nights to anyone you may know who loves our sport and would like be involved with the competitve side of our disc golf scene. We love seeing new faces and help grow the sport in our state. It suprises me that with the number of people who play disc golf on a regular basis that we don't have a huge turnout for league that I know we could have.

I would play league at brandon on wednesday if I could make it. I get off work at 530 and work over by the mall so no way I can make it. That is the reason I do not play leagues.

My schedule at work is 12:30-9:00pm.  On days I do get off early I have an 11m old daughter to be with.  I can't speak for those who consistently make it out to league or are a part of the "group", but that's exactly what it is.  This "league" is a mere group of friends - with little to zero increase in players because, I think, there's nothing out there, other than this site, showing them otherwise.  A forum doesn't promote, it simply offers valuable information and allows you to communicate with people who already know about the league.  If you want more players somebody needs to get out there and find them - they shouldn't have to find you.  Posters, flyers, cards, newspaper, attend city counsel meetings, simply go out and promote!  The league is what you make it, and simply showing up on Wednesdays is not enough.  I wanted this league to be fucking huge and fun and awesome but when I showed up on my first day earlier this year it was none of that.  I got thrown into a random division with no questions asked, wondering what to do.  One guy said what's up.  The league has no structure, at all.  I hope nobody takes this personally but you asked, so I answered.

I completely agree with everything you guys are saying. The whole idea of Tuthill being the place to get a better following was exactly our thinking as well at the beginning of the year, and was the main reason that we held 2 of our 3 leagues at Tuthill for the first 6-7 weeks of the year. Problem was that people weren't showing up, and when new people did show up, they only played a week or two and then lost interest. Like I was saying in my original post, most of the time when I play league at Tut, I run into more people on the course that are just chosing to play casual rounds instead of playing in league. I have no problem with people chosing to just play a casual round with their friends, but was just curious as to why they weren't that interested in playing in league with everyone else.

Reference showing up to league and getting beat by the same people everytime, I've said it many a times before, we will have as many division as people want to have, if 5 new guys show up and they want to play in their own division all by themselves, I have no problem with that at all. If people want to play with the best players to learn and improve their game, remember that playing for free is ALWAYS an option in all of our leagues. On an interesting side-note, since all divisions play for $5, up until a scheduling conflinct with League for John Wheeler, he was far and away the leading money winner for our league, playing in Advanced.

In reference to Tate feeling like our League has no structure, or is unorganized, what ideas are out there to give our league a better "feel"? It's always going to feel a touch unorganized due to the timing of having to start at 5:30 earlier in the year to get the round in before daylight, and that being so close to when people get off work, so people are always rolling in right at the last minute, so it always seems a little unorganized from that stand point. That being said, our league has always been super casual, without much true "structure", and up until the last year or so, we've never had a problem with getting a fairly decent following.

Don't forget that those of us who have stepped up to run these leagues are just disc golfers like everyone else. If there are ideas out there on how to get our league to expand, or how to make it better and more appealing to those people that give it a try for a few weeks, by all means step forward and help us out. I have no problem taking criticism and trying to tweak a few things here and there, but the best thing would be for people to start stepping forward with me and help me in trying to get more people and expand league as a whole.

Also, I completely agree with the assessment that right now, our sanctioned league is just a "group of friends" that play each Wednesday. But keep in mind that aside from my brother, every person that I'm friends with at league, I met *through* league, including Samson and McLarty who I really just got to know this year. So the problem really isn't that we have an "exclusive" group of friends that noone else can be a part of, but more so just getting more people interested in coming out giving league a shot and actually sticking with it to become a member of that "core" group of players.

I apprecaite everyone speaking their mind, I don't take any of this personally, and I hope noone else does either. The only way we're ever going to expand to a truly respectable number of players in our leagues, is if we all put in a little here and there to help out, spread the word, get people interested and find ways to make people feel welcome when they show up and make them want to come back each week.

Nothing wrong with having a casual league - but with the amount of players in Sioux Falls the potential is much greater there.  Tuthill should be the only course played, with Big Sioux Rec on the side for tournaments and just another fun course. I've lived in Brandon my entire life and can tell you that it's not the place increase the number of players; although Pioneer is a nest for potential newbies.  League should stay at Tuthill Park - no traveling. I couldn't believe league was traveling to Baltic and other towns.  There is nothing confusing about Wednesday night League at Tuthill Park at 6:00pm.  You don't need three days of league, no wonder the numbers are low some days and not on other days.  The numbers could be much higher with only one day of league which would therefore help in coming together as one.  Think about it - is there any particularly large league around here? No.  But there could be.  If help is needed - shit i'll help.  All it would take is a couple years of hard work and promoting players and sooner or later the hard work would pay off into doubling the number of players.  They are out there.  They need reasons to join. You run into people playing casual rounds but choose not to join League.  But that's exactly what League is.

If a few guys are serious about making this happen, there needs to be a group that sits down and plans it all out.  You can't just wing it.  Certain people need to do certain things in order for it to work.

You guys are making it sound like it was difficult to know when and where the leagues were going to be? 

Big Sioux was unplayable due to flooding so the guys did the best they could to inform people, using this site, where it was going to be held at. They always did that days in advance. You can't help it if a course floods and I thought they did a good job staying on top of it. 

The league times have been the same for 2+ years now. singles Wednesday at 5:30, doubles on Sunday at 5:30, and, until recently, Thursday doubles at 5:30. So, there shouldn't be any confusion about when leagues are. look at a calendar, if its Wednesday, there's league. If its Sunday, there's league. very simple. 

You guys keep throwing out tuthill as the solution. Its not. I tried holding a doubles league on Thursday nights for 2 years. Each year attendance would start strong (15ish people) and then completely fall apart (less than 4 people). It got to the point this year that nobody came for a month, and I called it quits (why waste my time). Still, you'd see many familiar faces out at tut playing disc during the league nights, but not playing league <--This is what we are trying to fix.  We are looking for ways to make league more appealing. People just don't seem to want to get on board. Its not because of location or scheduling. People are just not interested.

Putting up fliers at tuthill is out of the question. I did it for a month straight last summer only to find them taken down after a few days, finally I noticed that it was actually the park workers that were the ones taking the fliers down. Apparently they don't want fliers everywhere (I can't blame them).

League information is posted on the bulletin board up top, but nobody seems to even notice that thing exists.

Basically, if you've attended league once or twice, but decided you didn't like it, tell us why! Hopefully its not just because the people that currently go are friends. Get your friends to also go and we'll all be friends eventually. 

That's all I got. 

Again I work most nights till 530, so for me time. A 6pm.start I would.come, I am very interested at possibility of.getting advice from you good discers.
James, The reason we start at 5:30 is because of limited daylight for the first couple of months at the beginning and end of the season, and we dont' want to confuse anybody by changing the start time each month dependant on how much daylight we have. We have a couple of guys that drive in from out of town, and sometimes we flex back 15-20 minutes to make sure everyone that is planning on going, gets there. If you'd like to come out a few Wednesdays and give it a shot, just let me know, and we can probably take a few extra minutes to warm up and wait for you and get started a little late.

League should be at one course. Tuthill.  There should be no confusion what-so-ever as to where it is.  You guys did a great job on this site letting people know, but it shouldn't even be a question. Tuthill isn't the "solution".  It's simply where league needs to be if you ever want it to grow to its potential.  So you tried for a couple years and it didn't work.  So what, we can try again.  This is where the players are at.  Rarely do  Am's from Sioux Falls go to Big Sioux. Apparently I'm not the only one who believes in this.

Big Sioux is always at risk of flooding, or at least being muddy.  Some would love to believe it's beyond Tuthill but it's simply not.  We need to take advantage of the better course.  People will have their own opinion on that statement so keep it to yourself, that's mine.

You wonder why people show & go.  If you asked me why I would rather play a casual round rather than attend league it's because there's no reason to play league.  It's the same group of people, who simply show up and play a round of disc golf. No structure what so ever, such as: "Am's, you can start where ever you want, just get out of my sight,  we could give 2 shits about the Am's."  is basically how I interpreted that.  It should never be that way.  New players are more than likely going to be Am's.

This "league" is not a what it see's itself as.  You might as well just be that group of friends always parked at the bottom of Tuthill.  Not everybody is a disc golf fanatic.  If you want to grow it's going to start with Am players and they aren't going to come to you.  Stop being a bad ass, try being nice and promote.  If fliers didn't work at Tuthill then don't put them there.  Hand them out, it doesn't matter where you are.  Give them cool reasons to join; if its a free disc, then you can take one of mine for all I care, as long as that persons going to tell their friends.  Create a T-shirt design with the website address on the back and people will see that.  This is going to take volunteers.  More than a couple.

I'd have 50 people rounded up from Pioneer by now if I only had a couple reasons for them to join.

People don't want to join league simply to meet up and play a round of disc golf. They want to be a part of something.  More players means more ideas and volunteers.  More players comes from promoting.  That's where the focus should be.

I would definstely come out, if you guys willing to wait next Wednesday. I would appreciate it a lot, looking for more tips to improve always.

We'll wait for you on Wednesday. Just shoot me a text (605) 370-9429 so I know you're coming on Wednesday. 

"""Big Sioux is always at risk of flooding, or at least being muddy. Some would love to believe it's beyond Tuthill but it's simply not. We need to take advantage of the better course. People will have their own opinion on that statement so keep it to yourself, that's mine."""

How is it fair to say that Tuthill is a better course, "but keep your opinions to yourself"? I don't disagree that some people feel this way, but lets keep it realistic, Tut-Hill is an *easier* course, is wide open, and takes significantly less time and effort to play a round, which is what makes it significantly more appealing to the AM player, which is what we really look at when trying to build a league, but you're never going to get an expirienced player to agree that Tuthill is the superior course, because that is just frankly untrue.

Those of us that attend league on a regular basis almost unanimously selected Big Sioux for our sanctioned league, so doing just one league, only at Tuthill would be ditching out on all of our current dedicated players, which is absoltely not an option.

I'll concede that you are definietly passionate about getting a league started, and I don't disagree that Tuthill probably has the best *opportunity* to get new players, just due to the overall volume of players that play there. You have all these ideas about getting the word out about league, but if you'd look a little closer at what myself and Brady have been saying, you'd realize that it's not a lack of exposure that hurts us. We were getting nearly 20 people showing up to leagues at the beginning of the year, and that was with very limited word of mouth between friends just the first few weeks of the season. Throughout the year we've had another 20 people give it a shot for a week or two, but didn't stick with it. If we could figure out a way to get all these people to stick with it and come back each week, we'd have 40+ people at league each week. I think it's funny that you said "stop being a bad-ass" and that might help get people to stick, if you'd have met and spent some time with Brady, you'd realize that he's probably the nicest guy we have out there, and he is always fighting for more stuff for the AM side of our leagues and tournaments, so if there was one guy to choose to try to get something started at Tuthill, he was definietly the guy.

Right now we do not have any kind of league at Tuthill at all, any night of the week. If there are so many people that think Tuthill is the course to go to for getting a good showing at league, why not get a few guys together and set something up? Maybe it will change the feel of the league if it's run by some new fresh faces, and AM's that more people are familiar with at Tut, rather than the "Same ol' group of friends" that nobody seems interested in playing with.

On a side note, I apologize if you've felt like we've just completely disregarded AM's on any of the leagues that you've been too. That is obviously not the case (as proven by the fact that we're trying to figure out a way to get MORE AM's to show up each week) Like I said before, these leagues are run by normal old disc golfers like yourself who decided to step up this year and put some stuff together. I think you may be looking a little too deeply into some of the the things that are said and done at league and are taking them a little too personally. You're right that we are just a "group of friends" that are out there playing a round of disc golf, but isn't that was league is supposed to be???

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