The PDGA Should Suspend All Sanctioned Events, Not Just The Elite Series

Why some tournaments and not others?

Today, the PDGA made the difficult decision to suspend Elite Series events and Majors through the end of April due to concerns over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. It is surely gut-wrenching for players, media, the Disc Golf Pro Tour, and tournament directors to suddenly face the possibility of more than a month without professional disc golf. It was a hard choice, but the right one.

Similar measures have swept across all sports, as professional leagues have shut down, tournaments have been cancelled, and competition has come to a stop to help slow the spread of coronavirus via increased social distancing.

But the PDGA’s decision to effectively halt just four Elite Series tournaments is incompatible with their decision to allow other sanctioned events to continue. If, as they state, “this situation affects vast communities beyond disc golf” and justifies cancelling tournaments, why is it acceptable for hundreds of events to proceed as planned?

This is not a time for half measures. As governments around the world call for avoiding non-essential travel and, especially, gathering for events, the PDGA should be discouraging disc golf tournaments from taking place by revoking sanctioning, as USA Ultimate, the governing body of ultimate, has done. The Finland Disc Golf Association, too, has revoked PDGA sanctioning from events through April 5th.

Many people will still choose to play rounds of disc golf, alone or with friends. Frankly, it seems like a great solo activity in the time of coronavirus — being outside and away from large groups is an optimal exercise setting, compared, say, to a gym. But allowing hundreds of people to convene for tournaments under your watch — even if they are being run locally — is wrong.

Nobody wants to see tournaments canceled. Nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news. But as federal and state governments declare states of emergency, it is a critical time to slow down the spread of the coronavirus to benefit our communal society.

The PDGA should act now to do their part.

  1. Charlie Eisenhood
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    Charlie Eisenhood is the publisher of Ultiworld Disc Golf.

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