Growing the Sport for Women #kcdiscgolfdivas

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Announcing Heartland Women’s Disc Golf Series

Announcing Heartland Women’s Disc Golf Series

I am pleased to announce a new women’s series right here in the Midwest: the Heartland Women’s Disc Golf Series!

I founded the Kansas City Disc Golf Diva’s league in 2011 and following that success we hosted the first annual KC Diva Spring Feeva event in 2015. In 2016, it was also a Women’s Global Event (WGE) and we filled our event with 89 players, the second largest Women’s Global Event overall.

I say this to point out the promising growth we’ve seen in women’s disc golf here in the Kansas City area.

It’s been on my heart to expand our reach and spread the love to more women, especially in the lower Midwest states. This past November while attending the Director’s Cup in Indiana, I had the pleasure of meeting PDGA Women’s Committee member, Erin Oakley. In chats with Erin, who is also the organizer of the Midwest Women’s Disc Golf Tour, I was inspired to take a leap of faith and move forward.

The Heartland Women’s Disc Golf Series was born! Teaming up with ladies from other states, our mission is to plant the seeds and provide support and resources to grow women’s disc golf leagues and events in the lower Midwest states: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Oklahoma.

The 2017 schedule is below. We hope to add more events soon. Please contact us if you are interested in hosting a women’s only event or even starting a women’s league in your area. We don’t have all the answers but we’d be happy to share tips and our experience with you.

Be sure to like Heartland Women’s Disc Golf Series on Facebook!

2017 Events:

May 13: KC Diva Spring Feeva – Kansas City, Mo
Tournament Director: Rhonda Crosby
More Info

June 17: Tempest Women’s Disc Golf Tournament – Wichita, Ks
Tournament Directors: Miranda Bishop and Duck’s Flying Discs
More Info

July: Women’s Only Tournament – Omaha, Neb
(Event name and details to be announced soon)

October 14: Throw Pink event – Wichita, Ks
Tournament Directors: Miranda Bishop and Duck’s Flying Discs
More Info

First Ever Women’s Disc Golf Symposium

First Ever Women’s Disc Golf Symposium

 

  • Date: Wednesday, February 1st @ 8:30pm EST / 7:30pm CST
  • Broadcast: SmashboxxTV – YouTube
  • Duration: 2-3 Hours
  • MC: Valarie Jenkins – PDGA Women’s Committee Chair

In celebration of National Girls & Women in Sports Day on February 1, 2017,  the PDGA Women’s Committee will be hosting the first ever, PDGA Women’s Symposium.

Speakers and Topics:

Speaker Topic
Zoe AnDyke Growing Disc Golf Through Teaching
Jenny San Filippo Women’s Leagues: How to Attract, Encourage, and Retain Participants
Erin Oakley Women’s Tournaments: How to Attract, Encourage, and Retain Participants
Sarah Hokom History of Women in Sports and How it can Influence Change in Disc Golf

Tune in and learn more about women in disc golf and how you can support and help grow the sport!

2016 Diva Feeva Wrap Up

On May 14th at Swope Park Disc Golf Course in Kansas City, Mo an extraordinary event occurred. 89 ladies from 8 different states, from ages 7 – 60, shared a disc golf experience like no other here in the Midwest. 81 of the 89 actually competed, and for many it was their very first tournament experience.

Video credit: Melissa Petrin

Thank you to Melissa Petrin for her hard work filming and doing interviews to help capture the event. She was also was responsible for getting us covered in the local media. Check out the video that aired on Time Warner MetroSports Channel.

This has been a dream come true for myself and my assistant director, Amy Crowe. Just seeing that many women competing and having a great time together brought a few tears throughout the day. Our mission with the Kansas City Disc Golf Divas has always been to grow the sport for women. We started doing this locally with our leagues and other activities. Now with this event, we have a greater reach and can share the sport with women in the entire Midwest. More women playing disc golf and more friendships made that we hope are for a lifetime.

This year we were also a part of the 3rd biennial PDGA Women’s Global Event (WGE) and over 1600 other women across 11 countries and 28 states also competed simultaneously in events like ours! Collectively, this created the largest PDGA sanctioned event for a single demographic ever. With WGE events held in the United States, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Australia, Estonia, Iceland, United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan, the WGE reached more new countries and countless new players from around the world.

Thanks and big hugs to Valarie Jenkins, Sara Nicholson and the entire WGE planning team for their hard work and dedication to making this such an amazing event. Read more about this  international success story here! 

 

Cover Photo: The largest 2016 WGE (97 women), The Chick Flick/Women of DGOD WGE event in North Plains, OR. (Photo Credit: Jessica Boone, PDGA Women's Committee member.)

Cover Photo: The largest 2016 WGE (97 women), The Chick Flick/Women of DGOD WGE event in North Plains, OR. (Photo Credit: Jessica Boone, PDGA Women’s Committee member.)

 

Congratulations to our division winners:

Open: Paige Bjerkaas
Masters: Nova Politte
Advanced: Mariah Flagg
Advanced Masters: Elisabeth Borg-Bowman
Advanced Grandmasters: Joy Mcnatt
Intermediate: Nadya Vorobyeva-Santiago
Recreational: Fresa Jacobs
Novice: Susan Broockerd
Junior V: Virginia Polkinghorne

Here are the Global Results

 

Thank you once again to all our fabulous sponsors of the KC Diva Spring Feeva! Be sure to check out our final sponsor page here with a list of their businesses and websites.  Please be sure to thank them for helping us bring this event to Kansas City.

Thank you to our friends and volunteers for their assistance, encouragement, tips, and overall support that contributed to the success of this event.

The course was BEAUTIFUL thanks to Patrick Smith, Gary Birge and everyone else that played a part in setting up the Diva Feeva layout.

Special thanks and gratitude goes to Amy Crowe!  She has put in countless hours of work helping organize the event. She is a tremendous asset to our team and a great friend. I could not have done this with out her.

Last but not least I thank my husband, Ben Crosby, who has supported me all these years with my mission to promote women’s disc golf. I can’t imagine having another Tournament Director for this event.

See you next year!
Much Love,
Rhonda Crosby
Co-Tournament Director and O.D. (original diva)
 

2016 Summer League Schedule

2016 Summer League Schedule

banner-ladiesnight

 

The weather is getting warmer and windier here in Kansas City which is a sure sign that the Spring and Summer disc golf season is here!

2016 marks our 6th consecutive year and we will continue our traditional Monday nights at Rosedale a.k.a. Ladies Night Out!

We’re also trying something new this year. It’s like a traveling league… with a twist. I want to get a better understanding of where the ladies play in the KC area so we will be coming to a course near you very soon! I also hope this will give better opportunities for more women to participate.

So every Monday night we will be at Rosedale- this league is FREE and VERY beginner friendly. We will offer clinics once a month that will also be free. More advanced players are highly encouraged to come out and be a mentor!

New for 2016:  Then one night during the week we will offer a 2nd league on a rotating schedule of courses.  We will be supporting other KCFDC leagues  throughout the year with hopefully 1 or 2 women’s cards. You know- we gotta spread the KC Diva’s love!

Diva Feeva Supports Right to Play

Diva Feeva Supports Right to Play

For the 2016 PDGA Women’s Global Event, the PDGA will be supporting Right To Play, a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Through playing sports and games, Right To Play helps over one million children learn to create better futures, while driving lasting social change in 18 countries each week. Founded in 2000 by social entrepreneur and four-time Olympic gold medalist Johann Olav Koss, the organization’s mission is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict and disease in disadvantaged communities.

Check Out the KC Diva Spring Feeva Team Page in Support of Right to Play

righttoplayThe Kansas City Disc Golf Diva’s have our team’s Right to Play page live and ready for donations.

Top Fundraising Team Prize: The winning team will receive their own feature article write up on PDGA.com, receive a special mention in the Fall DiscGolfer magazine, and be listed as the Top Fundraising Team on the PDGA Women’s Global Event page. In addition, the team captain will receive 2 free one year PDGA memberships, a free KEEN shoe card, and a $100 gift certificate to huklab to distribute among their team.

Your gift changes the lives of children struggling to get a quality education, lead healthy lives and live in conflict-free communities. Your support plays a critical role in reaching over 1 million children every week in programs across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Canada.

 

 

 

 

29th Annual Kansas City Ice Bowl

29th Annual Kansas City Ice Bowl

icebowl-2015

The Kansas City Ice Bowl, hosted by the KCFDC is held every year in January and this marks the 29th year.  It has grown to become the largest locally attended disc golf event of the year and you don’t want to miss out. Its purposes are raising funds to fight hunger, having fun, and connecting our Disc Golf community in a positive way to the community at large. Kansas City disc golf community has raised over $67,000 in support of the hungry.  Our supported charities are the Bishop Sullivan Center’s St James Food Pantry and Harvesters: the Community Food Network. 

Last years Kansas City Ice Bowl raised a total of $8,000 that was divided between the two local food charities.  The KC Ice Bowl tied for 6th for the most money raised out of 208 events. The final player/donator counts was 401 people, 325 of which played at least one round. We are attempting to raise $10,000 this year – come out to support and have a great time!

How To Participate

icebowl-2015winner

Steve Dresser is the 2015 Ice Bowl Champion.

The KCFDC is continuing its drive with the additional satellite events taking place the weekends prior to the final Ice Bowl, similar to what was done in 2015.  We are splitting up the event across 3 weekends for the best fund raising opportunities as well as giving players multiple shots at posting their best score while playing their home/favorite course.

 

Weekend 1 Satellite Events (10:00am shotgun start)
Sat, Jan 16th – Recreation Park (Raymore, MO)
Sun, Jan 17th – Prairie Center (Olathe, KS)

Weekend 2 Satellite Events (10:00am shotgun start)
Sat, Jan 23rd – Shawnee Mission Park
Sun, Jan 24th – Bad Rock Creek / Stocksdale (Liberty)

Weekend 3 Satellite Events (10:00am Shotgun start)
Sat, Jan 30th – Rosedale – Top Only (Kansas City, KS)

Weekend 3 Final Event (8:00-10:00am flex start)
Sun, Jan 31st – Swope Park

chili_small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main Event, Final 9, Silent Auction, Chili Cook off and more!

Bring Chili or other goodies to share.  We will continue this year with our traditional chili cook-off. We are asking you to have your entry at Swope by 10, judging will begin at 10:30. The club will provide drinks and condiments, but as always, we need more food to so that we can feed everyone.
Check out the full registration details on this years event here on KCFDC.org

History of the Ice Bowl

The Ice Bowl is a collection of disc golf events that are held each year in January and February with an overall mission of raising funds to fight hunger. Related goals include having fun and connecting the disc golf community in a positive way to the community at large.”

– taken from the official Ice Bowl HQ website,  maintained by the Ice Bowl instigator, Rick Rothstein .

The first Ice Bowl was the product of a good idea, born out of yearning for the winter of 1987 to be over and for the disc golf season to begin again. While the course in Albert-Oakland Park was always there in Columbia, Missouri, and it was certainly possible to get a buddy or three to go out for a round, it was always more fun to get as many people as possible together for a couple of rounds. Rick Rothstein dreamed up the event and decided that the Sunday before the Super Bowl would be the perfect time, since no one would have to miss any football playoff games on  TV,  and  maybe  he  could  entice  some  local  media  to  check  out  the  disc  golfers playing  in  the  winter  weather.  Little  did  anyone  know  that  the  Ice  Bowl  would  become  a  traditional,
annual  event  that  would  eventually  raise  over  $3 million  in  charitable  contributions,  specifically targeted to fight hunger and feed the hungry.

Check out the full Ice Bowl History PDF that includes many more details such as the snowiest events, the coldest events, the events that raised the most money.

 

 

2015 Disc Golf Divas Holiday Party

2015 Disc Golf Divas Holiday Party

Facebook-event-holidaysJoin us for KC Divas Holiday party!

Date: Saturday December 12th

Place: 75th Street Brewery,  520 W. 75th Street, Kansas City, MO 64114

(They were our 2015 KC Diva Feeva Players Party sponsor and hope to have their support for 2016!)

Time: 12:30 – 3:30 pm

We have changed the time of the event in order to take advantage of 10$ bottomless Bloody Mary’s, Mimosas and Poinsettia’s, Drink specials are only available till 2pm with the purchase of an entrée. Brunch and Lunch menus will be available.

  • White Elephant gift exchange. $20 or less.
  • Craft-Mart: Share your favorite craft or hobby. What do YOU make or create with your own hands?!  Share Christmas gift ideas etc.
  • Disc Swap: Bring any discs you’d like to trade.

Please invite a friend to join you- it will be a soft introduction to us hard core disc golfers 🙂

Spouses/significant others, and KC disc Golf Divas supporters and volunteers are of course welcomed.

 

Swope Love Projects

Swope Love Projects

DivasLoveSwopeSwope Park Disc Golf course is my favorite in the city and what I call my home course. It’s beautiful year round but especially beautiful in the spring and fall. You put this amazing piece of property with such rich history in the hands of Patrick Smith and Gary Birge (and other workhorse volunteers over the years) and you get to be privileged to play on a course like we have today.

The Kansas City Disc Golf Divas have made Swope our home for our weekly fall league and our annual women’s only event, KC Diva Feeva. It’s important for us to give back and we have 2 upcoming projects that I invite you all to participate in. Instead of course work days, I prefer to call them Swope Love Projects 🙂

Sunday November 1st- 10 am:

[UPDATED: World Series Delay! Change of plans for our workday this Sunday, we’re a little behind schedule on getting the bush pulled out which is step one. We will still have league on Sunday but we won’t be working on our project yet. I’ll let everyone know the new date soon. It may not be on a Sunday if that’s cool with everyone.]

We’ll be starting a beautification project in front of the clubhouse and planting a flower garden. Can you imagine how beautiful it will be this spring for Diva Feeva?! Do you have a garden at home that needs some thinning out- this is the perfect time. Bring anything from your own gardens you want to share. We’ll also be planting bulbs. Bring your gardening tools if you have them too.

Sunday December 6th – 11 am:

We’ll be decorating the pine tree near #3’s basket for Christmas. Please bring out any extra decorations and ornaments you don’t need or maybe were thinking of donating/throwing away.

 

Both of these project will happen at Swope before league at 1pm. Any questions, let me know in comments below.

Thanks in advance for your help and support!

 

Growing Disc Golf through Youth and Schools

Growing Disc Golf through Youth and Schools

Bring your Kids and Join Us for the 3rd Annual Juniors Championships Saturday October 10th at Foxhill Elementary School

 

2015KC-foxhill-juniors

In support of Growing the Sport, why not bring your family out for a fun day of disc golf. This is not just for the competitive golfer. It’s an opportunity for kids to play tournament golf that is geared exclusively for juniors, but any skill level is encouraged to play. It’s one round and the kids are divided into 5 different appropriate age groups. Raffle and other prizes throughout the day, CTP and Ring of Fire. There’s also a BBQ lunch served.

>>Download Flyer and Information<<

A majority of the event proceeds are donated to United Way.  Bill Lentz, the Fox Hill P.E. teacher and tournament co-director’s goal every year is to raise $300 for United Way.  Fox Hill has hosted a Frisbee tournament and disc golf event in KC for numerous years and we hope to continue  growing this event and raising money for United Way. The flyer states that is the 3rd annual KC Juniors Open, but this event started as a frisbee and hula hoop event fundraiser for United Way is one of the longest frisbee events in KC’s rich history going steady for 24 years.

 

A conversation with John Theiss,
one of the organizers of the Juniors Open

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John Theiss: PE teacher for the Blue Springs School District for 13 years and playing disc golf for 14 years

Course designer and member of the Disc Golf Course Designer Group

Designed five 18 hole courses
One 9 hole school course
One 4 hole school course

 

I recently had a conversation with John to get his thoughts and perspective on growing the sport and how he sees the future. He had great advice to share and ideas on promoting disc golf through school programs and more.

Where do you see the future of disc golf heading?

 John: The future of disc golf will grow exponentially once disc golf becomes part of our state PE curriculum.  In my short time playing, I have seen tremendous growth and change in our sport.  There have been changes in how events are run locally, more events are available now than ever, and new courses are popping up everywhere.  All of these changes are great and point to growth, but the real growth occurs once all children have been exposed to the sport.  Disc golf must be a mandated activity for physical educators to teach.  When kids are introduced and instructed in schools, it provides a sense of legitimacy that varies from  parents dragging their kids out and trying to teach them.

You have a real passion for promoting our sport to kids. What lessons have you learned and advice can you give others that might have the same passion?

John: My  passion is all things related to disc golf, but not strictly promoting it to kids. I am very fortunate to have a profession where I am able to impact disc golf, been privileged to design, and able to instruct thousands of students.  With my main professional P.E. goal of promoting lifetime fitness, disc golf is an activity that aligns perfectly.  Youth are an untapped population in the disc world and anyone can make a huge difference in this group, not just P.E. teachers.  YOU can make a difference and one does not need to be a P.E. teacher.  Do not wait for someone else to do make things happen at your local school.

Team sports are fantastic and our country embraces team sports, however, team sports are not for everyone. I witness large percentages of my student population struggle with traditional team sports.  Disc golf  provides opportunities for full inclusion and teaching a disc golf lesson is one that encourages everyone to be active and engaged. All students have a piece of equipment versus waiting around or watching. All physical abilities can participate, those with poor hand eye coordination or foot agility can achieve skill progression and mastery, and my student in a chair is able to throw rollers  as far or even further than his classmates. Disc golf levels the playing field and students can quickly progress, master skills, and interact together in cooperative but competitive environment.

“Some lessons learned along the way, why install permanent baskets at your neighborhood school, purchasing discs and baskets, and the matching baskets program”

We’d love for you to share more about how you went about putting in the school courses. Tell us more about your experiences and how you were able to make this happen.

Having permanent baskets was important for me and I wanted my students to have real baskets to utilize in class and outside of class providing families and students a place to play after school.  Fold up baskets are great for some teachers, but lugging them out and setting them up takes some prep time and over the years they start to show wear and tear.   I was passionate about installing permanent baskets for my school (but the price was a big factor) and luckily one year our PTA donated money for our 4 hole course designed on a perimeter loop of a field.   My passion for school courses did not stop at my school and I continued to push and have since put in numerous baskets at schools using the DB-5 from Lightning Golf Discs.  From my experiences, schools can be easier than parks departments to get courses installed.  I have worked with various park departments and two school districts, but I have found schools are more willing to approve the project and have less bureaucratic measures and red tape slowing you down.  The biggest hurdle with schools is money.  However, you can write grants, ask the PTA to earmark the money for this year or next, sell tee sign sponsorship, do a walk-a-thon or exercise -a-thon to raise funds.    I have written several grants and it can be a very difficult process to find outdoor grants that are not specifically geared towards  S.T.E.M.  (science, technology, math). Do not get discouraged when searching for grants, writing grants, or working with schools to convince them to install a course.  Schools often have some of the best overgrown and neglected spaces between sports fields and buildings that are just waiting for you and your energy to install a course. Once one school installs some baskets, often times the other P.E. teachers in the district will jump on the disc golf band wagon and the domino effect has begun.

If you teach elementary school or want to get a disc golf program started at your child’s school, finding the right discs are also very crucial.   Students need to feel successful and experience skill mastery in order to stay engaged.  I recommend that you call a manufacturer and ask them to mold your discs as light as possible.  If you do not get the answers you want, call around.  Someone will be willing to help you out today since the market has so many new companies.  When working with elementary kids, I use weights starting from 117g to 150g.  Most of my students in grades K-5 stay in the low weights of 117g to 130g until they  are turning them over.  I know that sounds super light, but if you purchase a stable disc, they fly predictable and have great glide. I also look for a plastic that has some flex so they are not as stiff in case they make contact with other students.  I tend to go with an approach and putt disc that has some flex.  Discs that have beveled edges are too dangerous, even mid ranges discs are too firm on the edge and can be pose safety issues with errant throws.  Go with a slower lightweight flexible disc that they can control.

I would also like to see the Matching Baskets Program thru the Disc Golf Foundation be offered to elementary, middle and high schools.  After building two 18 hole courses at schools that required numerous resources, funding was our major obstacle.  How many colleges or universities are hurting to muster up the funds required to purchase 18 baskets?  Many universities have large activity fees focused towards building massive student rec centers.  For 1/10 of 1 percent of the cost to build a rec center, universities could build a disc golf course.

We need to get more permanent courses in at schools and the cost of 9 or 18 baskets is quite large when considering other costs for installing a course.  I believe that when elementary, middle, or high schools  have the adequate space and interesting terrain and features, they should have an opportunity to be considered for Matching Baskets.  Disc golf grows when more students have a access to it thru the instructional approach of a teacher versus being exposed to the sport on college campuses.

In addition, schools need help from basket manufactures by providing  affordable permanent outdoor baskets. Businesses  must make a profit,  but it would be nice if schools were given  wholesale basket prices that are offered to retailers.  Some retailers may be upset by this notion, but if you have a course nearby, that will drive more business into your store.   I have had two different store retailers (Disc Golf World and Discs Unlimited) sell baskets barely above their cost for my school courses.

Schools should be able to buy baskets at wholesale prices. This enables schools to have extra resources for tee signs, tee pads or for machinery needed to clean and clear land.   So the revenue problem, in my opinion, can be handled two ways to help grow the sport. Matching baskets for all schools that qualify (with appropriate land for 9 or 18 holes) or cheaper basket pricing for schools.

I started my quest for a school course only three years into playing.  Since then I have continued to grow and learn as a player, teacher, and designer.   Folks will ask me questions about their city and the absence of a course.  I ask them, “Why are you not going to your park board and making your wishes known? Why are you not asking questions at your kid’s school and all that great land behind the playground? You can do this! You can make a course happen!   You do not need to be a teacher or designer. There are many folks out there that can help you but you can be the driving force to get the process started.  Go to your local club or  local disc golf store and ask for help. You just have to have the energy, passion, and be ready to get your hands dirty to make it happen.”

Want to help GROW THE SPORT? Do you have any advice or ideas to share? Please leave your comments and feedback below.

 

Disc Golfing with Families at WOW Week

Disc Golfing with Families at WOW Week
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WOW Week – September 2015

We recently had the opportunity to share disc golf with the families participating in WOW school here in Kansas City.

WOW, National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School is designed to teach participants how to enjoy a wide range of outdoor recreation activities while practicing personal safety and outdoor responsibility. Each WOW course includes an outdoor skill, conservation, safety and ethics component. WOW is a National Outdoor Recreation and Conservation School that introduces families and individuals to a variety of outdoor activities. WOW teaches through hands-on learning experience in an outdoor setting attracting a wide range of ages, interests and abilities making it an affordable family outing with an educational experience.

Kansas City WOW school began on Friday September 18th with a campout at Camp Lake of the Woods in Swope Park. Then on Saturday families participated in several fun outdoor activities including: Archery, Canoeing, Disc Golf, GEOcaching, and tours of the horse stable for the Kansas City Mounted Patrol.

 

CAM00418 CAM00421Our disc golf volunteers included: Dan Cashen, Tim, Dan and Berny O’Boyle, LaRon Harris, Ben and Rhonda Crosby.

We setup a 6 hole course through the beautiful Camp of the Woods area of Swope park. As the groups would come through we would start with a introduction to disc golf and some basic putting and approach tips. From there each volunteer would take a group and play the short 6 hole course, playing best shot as a group. It was a fun and unique experience to share this lifetime sport with the families. Many wanted to know more, where they could play, where to get discs etc. We hope to see them out on the courses!

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Disc Golf Clinic Series for Women

March 4, 2018, 12:00pm - March 4, 2018, 1:00pm

Join us for a one hour disc golf clinic geared toward women. All skill levels welcome. The clinic is free. If you are wanting to start playing more tournaments, this is a great opportunity to get some...

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