Spirit of the Game
The WFDF SOTG Committee and Disc Golf Committee have been committed to introducing SOTG principles to Disc Golf since the 2019 WTDGC in Estonia. We believe this is an open and honest way of celebrating any successes, resolving any issues and addressing cultural and sporting differences. We recognise that in Disc Golf, where the responsibility for Spirit is on the individual player, that this may be problematic. However, in a team setting such as WTDGC it is both a valid and useful system to improve relationships, honesty and openness in our sport. WFDF Disc Golf Committee have simplified the system used in Ultimate as a trial and ask all teams to engage with the process willingly. Thank you.
What is Spirit of the Game (SOTG)?
Spirit of the Game is the mindful behaviour practised by players worldwide prior to, during and after a game. It encompasses attitudes and skills such as sportsmanship, professionalism, knowledge of the rules of the game and its competition, self regulation, responsibility to uphold the rules of the game and to enhance the event and the environment in which the game is played.
“Competitive play is encouraged, but never at the expense of respect between players, adherence to the rules, and the basic joy of play.”
What is a Spirit Circle or Group and how to conduct one?
Spirit Circles have a long-standing tradition in flying disc sports. They encourage a bond between players and provide a forum for constructive discussion, and an opportunity to learn and educate.
We suggest you start each match at WTDGC with a general, positive attitude towards your competitors - wishing them luck, ‘have a good round’, ‘may the best team win’ or other such comments.
At the end of the match, when all Doubles and Singles are complete, all 6 players should get together far enough away from the course not to get in the way of any ongoing games.
1. Form a group of all the players involved out of earshot of spectators. Nonplaying Captains and Managers may also join in. Keep any social distancing protocols in mind.
2. Address the topics you would like to address concisely based on the criteria in the scorecards. Be open, honest and candid, but not abusive. Give players space to share and be mindful that players’ perspectives may differ and not everybody may be comfortable to be fully candid. This should take no more than five minutes.
3. To finish, the players may opt for a ritual of respect (e.g. fist bump, shake hands, bow, high five, etc.) in line with social distancing measures.
The ability for opposing players to all come together after a match, tough or joyous, is something special to Spirit of the Game.
How to use the Spirit Scoring System?
In Disc Golf for WTDGC we are using 3 categories for players to consider. This is a trial system and will be evaluated after the event.
Rules, Knowledge and Use
- Did your opponents know the PDGA Rules of Disc Golf, Rules for Matchplay, Rules for Doubles and apply them consistently throughout the game. Did they follow all the guidance in the PDGA Competition Manual ? Did they show an appropriate level of professionalism? If there were language or cultural difficulties in the interpretation of the Rules were the players willing to listen and learn about those differences and come to an agreement? If their knowledge was not as complete as your own were they also willing to listen and learn (great spirit!)
Fair-mindedness and Communication
- Did your opponents show a good level of self-regulation in their game? Did they communicate respectfully? Did they take responsibility to call the rules of the game even when they made calls against you? Did they leave you with an overall positive impression during and after the game. Did they listen and resolve issues effectively?
- How well did the team behave towards you, the course and the event. This would include player attitude, self-control and aspects of respect, safety and care towards the environment, spectators and the whole event. Did they show a high level of sportsmanship towards all involved in the game?
It’s important to note, that these dimensions are intentionally loose to allow interpretation and discussion within the team and it is trusted that overall a shared understanding develops on the values of SOTG. After all players have come together for a Spirit Circle each team should get together to decide on their teams Spirit Score for their opponents.
In order to conduct the spirit scoring, get one person to lead:
Bring your 3 players together out of earshot of other teams, spectators or coaches and trainers.
Fill in one spirit score per game per category. Spirit Score Cards will be given to teams along with the Game Score Cards and should be returned to the main Scoring Centre no later than 20 minutes after the end of the match.
Range of scores
- Teams can be scored in a range from 0 to 4 - where 0 = Poor, 1 = Not So Good, 2 = Good, 3 = Very Good and 4 = Excellent.
Go through each category one at a time and share examples if necessary.
Players should hold up fingers to “vote” for the score they think should be given in each category - its good to have a visual display of scores.
Note: A “2” is a good, common score and should be default.
People with outlying opinions (0s, 4s or maybe 1s and 3s) should speak about why they feel this way.
Note: Do not give spirit scores out of retaliation or prejudice (e.g. reputation, hearsay or previous encounters with this team) but only based on their performance in this game.
Other players can then adjust their score Take the average and mark it on the sheet - 0 to 4 - for each category.
Share an explanation for any 0s and 4s in the comment box . You may also add anything else in there as these comments will be shared with your opponents through the scoring system and TRG. There is also an opportunity to nominate any individual who you feel has shown exceptional SOTG during your match.
All scores will be published and there will be Spirit Medals for the top team and recognition of any outstandingly spirited individuals.