PDGA rating calculator for casual rounds

I would like to be able to see what a casual round would rate as if it were a tournament. I am casual player, no PDGA number as of yet, and will likely not play too many tournaments any time soon, so I have no idea where my game would stand. Yes I know this would lead some to say they are blah blah rated and over inflate themselves, so what. And I know often courses are set up a little different than whatever tees I am playing, and I also know you can calculate this on your own, but I am lazy, and want the app to do it for me, merely for curiosity sake.

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Hi Loren, thanks for contributing to the community! We agree round ratings of some sort would be a nice option to have. We hope to provide something like this in a future update! Please always feel free to let us know any feedback or suggestions you have!

Hi Loren, I agree completely. And, I’d like to add that you really cannot calculate it on your own unless you have the SSA (scratch scoring average) for the course you are playing. What is great is that UDisc has all the data that they would need to calculate this for each smart layout. Well, they would need the PDGA ratings for some number of players. I have a spreadsheet that calculates this weekly for a league that I am in so we can all see a PDGA “style” rating for our league play. It’s really cool and I hope that UDisc can add this soon. It would sure make it more fun to see that we are improving and to have a target score at a new course (also would allow competitions between players of differing skill levels).

Pat

To Loren and Pat,
I could see Udisc utilizing whatever the last sanctioned round as the most recent basis of settling what a causal round would be. However, if the basket changes for the following week this would skew the rating accuracy. I feel like each hole assignment would need to earn an allotted points, but that revamps the whole rating system. Then there’s weather from the date of the round, is it comparable? Best bet is look at PDGA live scores and tap on rated rounds to compare your own. Additionally, playing in a first tournament most people play with a lot more nerves and don’t play the same as a casual round. -1 in a casual, same layout in tournament and get +8.

I think casual ratings would be really tricky for UDisc to implement well. It would be a huge undertaking for something that will likely be very open to criticism.

The debate has gone on for years, way longer than UDisc itself: are ratings relevant outside of the context of playing multiple tournaments?

The consensus, I believe, is no. A tournament creates the conditions and controls necessary for ratings to be fairly reliable. Yet they are still flawed and people discuss factors such as strength of field, relative course difficulty, geographically skewed data sets etc.

With casual rounds on UDisc, there is a lack of those tournament controls:

  • Was OB played correctly?
  • Has the smart layout been updated to the current basket positions?
  • Are there enough propagators?
  • Are people playing in the same conditions?

And so removing the tournament control leaves casual ratings open to lots of doubt: Potentially flawed data going into an arguably flawed system.

Therefore the risk is that a lot of resources are poured into something that might be immediately criticised and easily dismissed.

For what gain? To get a number that just tells us which division to play in at the tournaments that we apparently aren’t playing.

I think UDisc could focus on a more subjective system where the app quietly predicts what you might score at a course and then tells you at the end of the round whether you played better than expected or not.

This could be linked to the new system that calculates course technicality from statistical analysis of scoring data.

/cc @matt @josh

Hi Matt and James,

I think that both of you bring up valid points. Courses that have multiple pin positions that change from week to week would be really hard. Also, I’ve seen one course that is like a great big transformer with pins and boxes all over with almost limitless options (they put up signs to guide you from week-to-week). However, most courses near me have either one layout or the short-long-tee/short-long-basket that basically make 4 smart layouts in UDisc. For these more standard courses, I feel it could work ok. I have used the SSA values from dgcoursereview and found that they are a pretty darn good predictor of my scoring ability at a new course (even though many are based on very few rounds).

Weather is a huge factor. But, I think it will average out over time. Tournaments are played in high wind, but not as many people go out casually when it is howling. As I mentioned, I track data for my league which includes a brand-new 18 hole layout (was 15). After just a few weeks of tracking, the SSA has become really stable.

Of course, that stability does also rely on the players playing by the rules (no mulligans, OB, cali, etc). At least at first, the ratings would be based only on the scores from players who have a PDGA rating. These players would be the most likely to play correctly.

Maybe it would be tough. It would certainly be open for debate. But I’ve been able to do it on a course and it works great. I would note that ball-golf gives every course a slope despite the unpredictability of the wind, weather and pin position and it works.

Here are the benefits that I see:

  1. Allow new players to see their rating over time to understand that they are improving even if they play lots of new courses. Strava does this for fitness…people get hooked!

  2. Allow players to arrive at a course and have a predicted score based on their current progress. This has been very helpful for me and my daughter when we play a new course that is tougher than our home course. She doesn’t get frustrated because she knows what to expect. The new long-short-technical ratings on UDisc are helpful at knowing what type of course you are heading towards, but don’t really give a clue whether I’m looking at a -5, even or +5 as a target.

  3. Those first two are most useful for beginners, so most of the people in this community are way more hooked than that and may forget how it was for them at the beginning. But then there is gambling…ball golf uses course slope and handicap to make it easy for a 15 handicap to play a scratch player for a beer. Coincidentally, I like beer also…

Pat

For casual round implementations, I think ball golf’s handicap rating system would work better.

This allows for normalized comparisons between people, courses, and holes, and translates directly to a number of strokes. It also avoids a round rating, which as others have pointed out, have large variability across rounds (weather, pressure of the event, etc.).

More about ball golf handicaps below:

Ballgolf does make it a little easier. But, if you have a disc rating and a course SSA, it is easy to calculate a predicted score. Given that UDisc has the data, they could provide your expected score at the beginning of each round.

I do it myself with the questionable SSA values from dgcoursereview and it is amazing how accurate they turn out to be most of the time.

Pat

I love the concept but do not believe this is a good use of development/time as it would be terribly unreliable. At best case, I would like to see courses have some sort difficulty rating (and even, possibly, hole handicaps)

When you @scottrhs say a course should have a difficulty rating, what do you mean by that?

Do you mean a Scratch Score Average/Estimate? Aka SSA and SSE.

Or do you mean something else?

They have just implemented the difficulty labels for smart layouts. Apparently using statistic analysis of scoring to derive technicality.

Yes I was think SSA. The new difficulty rankings are much better but I would love to see a quantitative way to compare 2 similar courses.


Here is a quick image of the main page of my disc golf calculator. I track all my rounds and calculate a PDGA Rating based on the previous year and a recent rating based on the last 15 rounds. Then, using the SSA for the selected course, it calculates my expected score at each rating.

To make this somewhat accurate, you would need to download PDGA ratings for the players that have entered scores at the course. Then you could calculate ‘roughly’ what a course rating would be. As you know, there are other factors that go into calculating a disc golf round, but this could get you somewhere close. (there also might be a need to be a adjustment for those 15 ft ‘that’s good’ pickups that might be missed in tournament play)
For busier courses, this could get pretty accurate. Slower courses that only have a couple rounds a day/week would be more difficult to calculate ‘conditions’ into the mix. We all know that there is a good size difference for rounds played in the rain, wind, sun, snow…however, most casual rounds are played in better conditions.

Please feel free to reach out to me, sounds like a fun project.

Jason