2018 Scoring: Part One

The Pro Tour has brought many innovations to the top level of the sport. The Live Broadcast, the Tour Championship (and its bracket), recap articles posted within an hour of the final putt, new business partners. These are all critical components of what we are building, but there is one innovation that has helped to drive each of these and that is the UDisc Instant Stats and Scoring. Stats are a critical component of the tour and for 2018 we want to do better.

The UDisc Stats are an integral part of the Live Broadcast. The Tour Championship utilizes the Tour Points that are calculated (instantly) at the end of each event by UDisc. The recap articles by us, Ultiworld, PDGA, as well as many podcasts utilize the UDisc Stats to inform their discussions. Business partners get millions of impressions on the scoring and stats pages of the UDisc Live website and app. Without the stats, we would be much less than we are. Even the trading cards use the stats collected in UDisc.

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An additional advantage of UDisc came clear at the first event of the 2017 season when Ricky Wysocki experienced an incorrect score card. Twice. In both cases, the error would have been caught had the scorecard been compared to the scores in UDisc. In 2016, a similar error happened to Michael Johansen which again would have been caught with a comparison against UDisc. UDisc not only matters for the external appreciation of the skills of our top players, it also matters for the consistent internal application of the scores.

Not only is this a tip of the hat to UDisc, we also need to thank the scoring coordinators and large numbers of volunteers that helped to get the data into UDisc. On average, there were over 20 different people that were involved on the ground at each event to collect these stats. These are volunteers that the event TD prioritized to collect stats instead of having another spotter or parker or greeter. Thanks to each and everyone of these people and the TDs that helped to make it happen. Literally hundreds of people working thousands of hours. Without them, this could not have happened. Thank you!

Successes in 2017

  1. Instant scoring and stats for tens of thousands of fans following online.
  2. Power leaderboards and overlays for the live broadcast
  3. Reduce scoring errors by tracking each throw
  4. Augment the articles and discussions with more information on how scores were achieved
  5. Compare player performance and identify strengths/weaknesses from round to round, tournament to tournament, and season to season
  6. Player profiles and stats rankings for everyone that plays the pro tour
  7. Improve course design through analysis after each event – identify areas to update for next season

Misses in 2017

However, even with this tremendous effort, we still fell short of getting statistics for every card (64% of MPO and 85% of FPO were covered). We also occasionally missed statistics for touring pros. These are rounds that spectators, writers and commentators should be able to review and analyze. With hundreds of people, thousands of hours, and a strain on the staffing levels at our events, we still fell short of our goal. We did well but we need to do better. We need to do better to make the game fair.

Imagine being on a lower card that does not have UDisc live scoring and getting a scoring error that UDisc would have caught, while in the same round there is a scoring error on a UDisc covered card that UDisc does catch. One player literally loses strokes because they did not have someone entering scores into UDisc (or any other score checking system). For the sake of fairness, it is necessary to either utilize UDisc on all cards or none.

In the interest of leveling the playing field we will continue the conversation on this important topic in part two, where we will discuss our plans for 2018 live scoring.

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