Thursday, August 17, 2017

DD Events Coordinator Doug Bjerkaas Awarded TD Of The Year

Joining a host of other Dynamic Discs team members who have organized events over the years, Events Coordinator Doug Bjerkaas is being honored in 2017 with the TD of The Year award. Those of us who work closely with Doug know just how much heart and soul he puts into the events that he runs, and the record attendance at the 2016 GBO is proof that he knows how to organize a great tournament.

Doug shared with us a bit about his experience in running events, why he’s so passionate about being a tournament director, and some of the times he’s learned a lesson the hard way.

Starting Off Small

Having played disc golf for about twenty years, Doug quickly saw the need and opportunity to help run events early on when he lived in Texas. Running weekly minis and larger events in the late 1990s, he found that he loved the atmosphere of organizing gatherings for the sport he loves. “I have always enjoyed the community that is created by organized disc golf events and jumping in to help with making them happen seemed like a natural fit,” he said.

Doug’s experience as a tournament director has run the gamut from large to small, with his smallest sanctioned event taking place in 2011. Organizing the inaugural Rocky Mountain Women’s Disc Golf Championship brought about 60 women to the competition and has since grown to one of the nation’s premiere women’s only tournaments.

Doing What It Takes

Doug commented that he often gets asked what kind of a person it takes to be a successful TD, and he believes it’s a combination of three essential skills: organization, communication, and caring.

Since the nuts and bolts of a tournament can easily become scattered or overlooked, “organization skills are critical to running a great event,” Bjerkaas says. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway - being a clear and effective communicator is required if you want to keep your players happy and you want your event to be well-attended now and in the future.

Lastly, a passion for the sport and caring about the event is a prerequisite for being a TD. Doug’s sage advice is applicable to many of us: “Like anything in life, a passion for doing what you do sure improves the results. A TD should be passionate about the event or events they are running. If not, they should quit TD-ing that event.”

Insider Secrets

If running a disc golf tournament seems easy, there may be a few surprises in store for you along the way. One item that Bjerkaas notes is imperative is not messing with tee times in a way that will negatively affect players. He recalls an instance in which this lesson was an important, yet difficult, one to learn:

“A handful of players saw a posted tee time, went to bed, and showed up to the course the next day after their revised tee time had already started. This was a very painful and difficult situation to sort through. A decision was made after that event that we would never adjust a tee time again that caused a player to show up earlier than originally posted.

TDs will make mistakes. TDs should not make the same mistakes over and over again though. We all need to learn from these difficult situations to better improve the tournaments we run in the future. I have found that disc golfers are generally understanding of a mistake when it is made the first time. Disc golfers tend to not sign up for events again when the same mistakes are made over and over again.”

Doug also makes an important distinction between the level of involvement in running a weekend B-tier compared to a massive undertaking like the Glass Blown Open. Without his dedicated staff and amazing volunteers, Bjerkaas would single-handedly have the task of managing players at six different courses and running extra events throughout the week.

A Gracious Recipient

Never one to take the credit all for himself, Doug recognizes that the people who devote countless hours toward running events each deserve a piece of the pie too:

“This award was really won by several folks including the entire staff at Dynamic Discs, all of the volunteers that worked these events, and the entire Emporia, Kansas community. Course TDs like Stevo Storrie, Tyler Searle, Mike Solt, Scott Reek, Brian Lamoreaux, and Matt Loyd are as deserving as I am for this award.

A guy like Dustin Leatherman who has stepped up to lead our junior GBO events deserves this award. Jackie Morris who serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for our events deserves the award. Jeremy Rusco and the entire staff at Dynamic Discs deserve part of the award.  Emporians like Chris Walker, Don Schrack, Susan Rathke, Bryan Williams, Mark McAnarney, Casey Woods, Jess Buckholtz, Kim Redeker, and scores of others have also won a piece of the award.”

Congratulations Doug - we appreciate all that you do at Dynamic Discs and know that players across the country are thankful for the incredible events you put on!
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    Doug Bjerkaas has been recognized as TD of the Year for his exceptional event coordination skills, dedication, and passion for the disc golf community. His attention to detail and professionalism are second to none, and his exceptional contributions to the disc golf world are acknowledged. Bjerkaas has gone above and beyond to create memorable and smoothly run tournaments, setting a high standard for event coordination in the disc golf industry. His innovative ideas and tireless efforts have left an indelible mark, and this award is a well-earned recognition of his achievements.

  2. Doug Bjerkaas, the DD Events Coordinator, has been recognized as the TD (Tournament Director) of the Year. This well-deserved award highlights his exceptional skills in organizing and overseeing events. Doug's dedication and expertise have made a significant impact in the field of event coordination. Congratulations to him on this outstanding achievement! how to get a reckless driving ticket dismissed in virginia

  3. Doug Bjerkaas has been awarded TD of the Year for his dedication to disc golf and organizing successful events. His experience spans from local events to national tournaments like the Glass Blown Open. His emphasis on organization, communication, and genuine care for the event and players is a testament to his dedication to the sport. Doug's insights into challenges and lessons learned, such as not altering tee times negatively, provide valuable advice for event planning. The Dynamic Discs team, volunteers, and the Emporia, Kansas community's collective effort in achieving this award reflect the collaborative spirit and hard work of everyone involved in making disc golf events memorable and successful. Bjerkaas's role in growing the Rocky Mountain Women's Disc Golf Championship from a modest beginning to a premier women's tournament demonstrates his commitment to inclusivity and expanding the sport. His openness about challenges, such as tee time incidents, emphasizes the importance of adaptability and problem-solving in the fast-paced environment of disc golf tournaments. His story serves as an inspiration for aspiring Tournament Directors and event organizers, showcasing the positive impact of dedication and a genuine love for the sport on the disc golf community. motorcycle accident attorney near me

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