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DGPT Adjusts Schedule & Media Plans To Protect Competitive Fairness in FPO Division 

By Charles McCracken
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For Immediate Release: 

DGPT Adjusts Schedule & Media Plans To Protect Competitive Fairness in FPO Division 

The FPO division is now being relocated for several events

July 14, 2023: The Disc Golf Pro Tour (DGPT) has adjusted its competition schedule and media plan for the remainder of the 2023 season. These adjustments have been made in order to protect competitive fairness in the FPO division and to limit financial burden in locations where the PDGA Policy on Eligibility for Gender-Based Divisions may become the subject of last-minute litigation harmful to the tour. The DGPT is taking this action to ensure competitive fairness while working to maintain the operational viability of the FPO division.

These adjustments (listed below) include relocating the FPO division at multiple DGPT events. While the FPO division has been canceled in certain states, the DGPT is working to replace these FPO competitions with events in nearby states, as well as considering other options. These replacement events will award the same points value as the now-canceled tournaments. Scheduling efforts are still underway, but the DGPT is optimistic about implementing these replacement competitions for the FPO division.

“Competitive fairness is the underpinning of the Disc Golf Pro Tour, the professional disc golf industry, and all of elite, competitive sport worldwide. The DGPT is committed to the future of the FPO division, and in order to protect competitive fairness for the division, these changes are necessary at this time. We will not waver on the PDGA Gender Eligibility Policy as we’ve adopted it for the FPO division,” said Jeff Spring, DGPT CEO and Tour Director. “This said, I also want to affirm the concept that you can simultaneously respect and support transgender people and support competitive fairness for the FPO division. These are not mutually exclusive concepts, and the DGPT will continue to show respect to all people involved while thinking creatively about long-term solutions for this challenging issue.”

As fans of the FPO division are aware, this season the DGPT’s eligibility rules for the Female Professional Open (FPO) division have twice been challenged at the last minute in states with expansive public accommodations laws. Both legal challenges were filed just days before the tournament was to occur. On both occasions, trial judges relied on the state’s public accommodations law to enter emergency injunctions without the DGPT being allowed to submit evidence regarding the need for the DGPT eligibility rules to protect competitive fairness in the FPO division. Thus, the DGPT is working to avoid further disruptions due to last-minute legal challenges that do not provide the DGPT a full and fair opportunity to defend its eligibility rules. These adjustments also represent a necessary step to limit financial liabilities detrimental to the long-term sustainability of the division and the Tour as a whole.

Spring continued, “Our company is in its fourth season operating the DGPT. As a relatively new professional sport, we have limited resources which we must use wisely in order to support an FPO division that has been publicly voicing their strong support for, and the necessity of, this policy. We are confident that the DGPT’s eligibility rules will ultimately be upheld. However, we cannot continue to endure last-minute challenges that drain the resources the DGPT needs to expand the game and grow elite competitive opportunities for our athletes. The Minnesota lawsuit is ongoing, and we plan to appeal the TRO decision and defend the policy before the court. Minnesota statutes allow for a sports exception to their public accommodation law, and if we prevail in Minnesota, as we expect to, we will again look to schedule the FPO division in these states in the future.”

A current list of adjustments to the DGPT schedule and media plan appears below. Any future updates will be announced at a later date.

Mid-America Open (Silver) (July 28-30)

No changes are currently planned.

Discraft’s Ledgestone Open (Elite+) (August 3-6)

The FPO division at Discraft’s Ledgestone Open in Peoria Illinois has been canceled. This FPO event, or a separate FPO-only DGPT Elite+ Event with a different name, is likely to be rescheduled in a nearby state for the same week. The DGPT intends to provide standard live and post-pro coverage if the event is rescheduled elsewhere and is optimistic about implementing a replacement.

LWS Open at Idlewild (Elite) (August 11-13)

No changes are currently planned.

Discraft’s Great Lakes Open (Playoff) (August 17-20)

The FPO division at Discraft’s Great Lakes Open in Milford Michigan has been canceled. This FPO event, or a separate FPO-only DGPT Playoff Event with a different name, is likely to be rescheduled in a nearby state for the same week. The DGPT intends to provide standard live and post-pro coverage if the event is rescheduled elsewhere and is optimistic about implementing a replacement.

American Flying Discs Open (Silver) (August 25-27) 

The FPO division at this event will no longer be a DGPT event, nor will it award DGPT points. The MPO side of the tournament is planned to proceed as normal and will award points at the Silver level. The DGPT plans to continue with live broadcast plans at this event for the MPO division as well as post-production coverage. Any concurrent FPO A-tier (no longer a DGPT event) will not have live coverage or DGPT Media Partner post-pro coverage.

Discmania Open (Silver) (September 8-10)

The FPO division at this event will no longer be a DGPT event, nor will it award DGPT points. The MPO side of the tournament is planned to proceed as normal and will award points at the Silver level. Any concurrent FPO A-tier (no longer a DGPT event) will not have live coverage or DGPT Media Partner post-pro coverage.

MVP Open (Playoff) (September 14-17)

The DGPT has canceled the FPO division at MVP Open and will only offer MPO at this tournament. The DGPT is working hard to reschedule a new FPO-only DGPT Playoff Event that would take place sometime between the 2023 PDGA Pro World Championships and the U.S. Women’s Disc Golf Championship. The DGPT intends to provide standard live and post-pro coverage if a new FPO-only event is created.

DGPT Championship (October 12-15)

No changes are currently planned.

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For media inquiries, please contact DGPT Communications Director Charles McCracken at charles@dgpt.com