DGPT 2022 All-Star Recap and Recommendations


Table of Contents

The 2022 DGPT All-Star event has come and gone. There were some exciting moments and a few less than thrilling moments this weekend. Both the MPO and FPO offered some exciting play during the singles play on Sunday while the doubles and skills competition had a few highlights. I want to go over what I liked, disliked, and thought they could improve on. I understand that there were some things out of the DGPT’s control and I will not fault them for those things, though I will highlight them as possible areas of improvement. All the events and topics I will discuss are in chronological order starting with the draft going through the singles play. I do want to make it crystal clear that I think this is a great idea and as a fan I want to offer my constructive criticism to make the DGPT All-Star weekend even better next year.

DGPT All-Star Draft

The Good

Starting out the event the DGPT decided to take a page out of the NBA All-Star playbook with the team captains and picking teams. The concept has the potential to offer a lot of entertainment value with minimal input from the DGPT. On the FPO side, we witnessed to genuine enthusiasm from Paige Pierce. Her personality, at least on social media, is dynamic and outspoken. She was able to explain why she picked players for her team. We were able to get insight into her thought process. She considered the improvements each player made in the off-season through their social media posts. I’m not certain this was the best move just based on most player not posting the negative outside of Kona Panis whose brand is all about the journey and improving her skills.

Catrina Allen was able to offer some insights into her team selection though her process appeared more stats based. Obviously, both Pierce and Allen play with these women every single week. They know them well and have natural insight to both the mental and physical side of the game. While its easy for us to look up the stats on any player, knowing them behind the scenes is a much different approach. From the team that Allen picked, she went the more stats-based route, taking the best available player for a given position.

On the MPO side I like that Calvin let the people he picked, pick what event they wanted to do. Considering, all the MPO players 2021 putting stats are within ten percentage points of each other anyone could have popped off and dominated the putting event.

Overall, the FPO draft was as good as it gets when we are talking about the inaugural DGPT All-Star draft. There is no history, the DGPT has barely a fraction of the budget the NBA has to throw around at an event like this.

The Bad

In my honest opinion, the MPO draft was boring. That’s the nicest way I can phrase it. Eagle McMahon who, going of his social media, is a dynamic personality. In his videos he’s energetic and entertaining. Calvin Heimberg is the opposite of McMahon. His personality comes across as a dry, dark sarcastic humor that isn’t easy to convey. Personalities aside, the feeling I got from both Heimberg and McMahon was boredom. Both appeared uninterested in the draft and wanted to get it over as fast as possible.

The image that came across for the entire draft was one of haphazard. I made a comment in the text group for the Half in the Bag crew saying that the DGPT All-Star draft felt rushed and thrown together last minute. I have no way to prove that case. But perception is huge and with all the hype surrounding the draft and the players coming this felt like a letdown; the wind taken out of my sails.

Having the wildcards added last minute only detracted from the event. I remember looking at the interview list and wondering why Paul Ulibarri was on the list. His brother helped design the course and I love listening to his commentary but it didn’t make much sense until you find out he was one of the wildcard players. The fact that Holly Finley arrived a few hours before the putting competition started lend credence to the notion that it too was a last minute addition. I have a hard time believing that she’s intentionally leave at the last minute.

The Enhancements

Having a plan or the appearance of a plan goes a long way. The interjections from the onsite field reporter felt forced and unnecessary. Having a master of ceremony inject some personality to this would have improved the MPO side for sure. A good MC would have improved the FPO side as well by inject commentary when appropriate. The less is more approach for the FPO while take the more is more approach for the MPO. Also, get rid of the wildcard. It felt completely unnecessary.

Trying to have the commentators on site would also be an improvement. Having both hosts away from the action for golf is fine. Having them separated from a live, dynamic event like this isn’t the best. However, commentators aren’t necessarily needed if the is an MC running the DGPT All-Star draft.

Dressing up the stage and draft area is another area for improvement. The casual aspect of disc golf is great and I’m not suggesting this needs to be a black tie affair. More that the area felt like a pavilion with two microphones and a camera. Minimal signage to dress up the walls and having the players sitting at a table with a table cloth would go a long way again with minimal expense. You can even sell the signage to sponsors. Overall, make the DGPT All-Star event a spectacle that people and pros want to see and be a part of.

DGPT All-Star Skills Competition

The Good

In the putting, accuracy, and distance competitions appeared to to accurately gauge the skills of the participants. The various locations for the putting challenges really seemed to test all the putter. I thought it was an accurate test of a players putting skills.

I have the same thoughts with the accuracy challenges. For those who did not watch it, each participant had three throws to throw around 5 different mandos. Points were awarded with the most for an ace, then bullseye, then circle 1, and finally circle 2. the mandos were to the left, the right, high, low, and a straight shot.

Finally, the distance competition involved a bit of accuracy. Those participating in the longest drive had to keep it within a generous fairway. Any throw OB dies not count. Unlike other distance competitions, this where the disc comes to rest and not where it initially touches the ground.

The Bad

There are several areas that I thought were not up to the DGPT standards when I watched the skills competitions. This is the DGPT All-Star weekend and it needs to feel like that both on camera and behind the scenes. My first and biggest complaint was the camera work. Several of the throws were shown from the drone which was cool but difficult to follow the disc. If it wasn’t the drone shot it was a shot of the player throwing and watching the disc fly. When it was working it was great. But it was a 1 in 3 chance it worked.

Not knowing the format of the competitions ahead of time was a huge frustration as a fan. While distance was pretty straight forward putting and accuracy weren’t. While I liked the format for all three it would have been nice to have some insight to what we’d see ahead of time. Joe’s Disc Golf was not the only place that did a mock draft. In every instance that I could find the statement, “well I’ll just put this person in accuracy because they aren’t great at putting/distance,” or some variation of it.

The Enhancements

The most obvious enhancement is the camera work. This is the first event of the season and I understand the the DGN has hired a bunch of new people. However, as a premium disc golf viewing service, on the job training isn’t acceptable. Using a drone is a great way to establish the location, If there is a way to add a Jomez style flight tracker that would be a huge step up in quality.

Clearly marking the distance of the accuracy challenge. It was frustrating not knowing even the approximate distance to the mandatories and the overall distance of the hole. This is another simple fix that could make this event even better. I will concede that the skills competition is not the most exciting thing to watch but give the impression that you are trying.

DGPT All-Star Doubles and Singles Play

overall, this portion of the event was the best in terms of clarity and presentation. For the most part this felt like a normal DGN covered event. The commentary was what you’d expect from DGN and the camera work was the quality we’ve grown accustomed to over the 2021 season.

The format was pretty interesting. For the Sunday singles it was seed for seed play. So the number 1 played the other number one and so on. Points were awarded for beating your opponent. This added a unique competitive element you don’t get in normal play. The players changed their game plan on every hole depending on what their opponent did.

For the Saturday doubles, it was what you’d expect to see from best shot doubles. I wasn’t a fan of the ties but I can see for time why it was done that way. If there was a tie in the overall points at the end of the entire weekend then there was a playoff. At least we knew no matter what there would be an overall All-Star winner.

Closing Thoughts

This is the second showing of the DGPT All-Star event. But after last year’s event there were major changes and you could easily consider this as an entirely new event. With that are growing pains. From the camera work, to the communication, and everywhere in between there is plenty of room for improvement. As I outlined there are some major areas that the DGPT/DGN can address for the 2023 All-Star event. I thought the experience was pretty good and a great primer leading in to the 2022 Las Vegas Challenge. What did you think of the DGPT All-Star weekend?

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