More individual events will crop up
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
More individual events are being conducted without team scores and not a lot of people are talking about it.
Last year Duke held a tournament - the Coca-Cola Duke Individual – with an “individual only” field. North Carolina’s Philip Chauncey won the event by three shots over Florida’s Tim McKenney. While this was not the first event of its kind, it was certainly the biggest with more than 60 Division I players. This fall, the University of Washington hosted the Washington National Individual Championship, and for the first time, the women were involved in an individual tournament of their own.
We will continue to see more individual tournaments. Why? Because it is a great way for coaches to get their players involved in actual competition and it’s legal to do.
“We want all of our players to have as many competitive opportunities as possible and that provides a richer collegiate experience and helps prepare them to contribute the team,” Washington coach Matt Thurmond said.
On the surface this is a very confusing rule. What coaches would like to see is something as simple as each player is allowed 24 days of competition, which is the same a team is allowed. This would make it very easy to keep track of.
As it is, each player is allowed 24 days of competition in three categories: varsity, junior varsity and freshman. I am not sure I have ever seen a freshman event, but it is in the NCAA manual.
The next question is what is the difference between a junior varsity and a varsity player? The difference is not in ability; it’s in the participation numbers. A junior varsity team is established if a no more than half of a team’s lineup is made up of varsity players. What constitutes a varsity player? A player who competes in 50 percent or more of his teams’ varsity events.
Are you scratching your head yet?
College golf needs go with the KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) method.
If no team score is recorded and less than five players compete in an event, it does not count as a day of competition. However, it does count towards a player’s days of competition. If another team of players – we will call them junior varsity players – travels to another tournament on the same days when the varsity team is competing, the junior varsity event does not count towards a team’s 24 days allowed.
An individual event with no team score will count towards a players 24-day limit but not the team. That makes sense and the way it should be written and conducted.
Golfweek.com readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.