Making disc golf more inclusive for people with disabilitiesPost Date: July 11, 2023
Paralyzed Veterans of America, Tournament Director Jeff Shattuck, and the PDGA make disc golf more inclusive for people with disabilities
New adaptive disc golf rule enhancements debut at the 2023 National Veterans Wheelchair Games
PORTLAND, OR (July 11, 2023) – Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Professional Disc Golf Association today announce that the sport of disc golf just got a lot more inclusive for people with disabilities. For two years, the duo – along with 2019 U.S. Women’s Disc Golf Championship Tournament Director Jeff Shattuck – worked together to develop rules and regulations for adaptive disc golf. Those rule enhancements debuted at the 2023 National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Portland, where over 120 veteran athletes from across the country competed.
“PVA has seen the growth in disc golf over the past nine years and felt it was time to become partners with the PDGA and to legitimate the game’s rules and regulations,” said Jennifer Purser, Associate Director of PVA Sports and Recreation. “We wanted to create consistency throughout the adaptive disc golf program and work towards one day making that program a competitive sport with true player rankings. With PDGA’s support and today’s new rule enhancements being introduced at the Wheelchair Games, we are well on our way.”
This groundbreaking move forward began in 2021, when PVA and Shattuck, who regularly organize adaptive disc golf PVA clinics for disabled veterans (to include the Wheelchair Games, which is co-sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs), worked together for two years and developed a new set of rules and guidelines. The duo then approached the PDGA with their list of proposed rule enhancements and a description of why each enhancement was necessary. The enhancements were then vetted and approved by the PDGA Global Board of Directors, and formally adopted as “Appendix F” to the Official Rules of Disc Golf. Appendix F is now available and enforceable worldwide to help adaptive disc golf grow in every community.
“Appendix F adds much-needed clarity to the game of adaptive disc golf,” said Shattuck. “It defines important points and considers not only the positioning of mobility devices during play but also adverse conditions, which affect mobility devices. It also makes the sport accessible to quadriplegic and visually impaired players, who have limited hand and wrist movement or require beepers and other sound-emitting devices. In short, it includes people with disabilities and ensures their assistive aids are permissible in all sporting events and divisions.”
“Creating adaptive sports programs and formalizing adaptive rulemaking, like Appendix F, keeps veterans and people with disabilities healthy and independent, which is PVA’s mission,” continued Purser. “Getting them out of their homes, showing them that their disabilities don’t hold them back in life, and creating opportunities to make life-long friends is the power of adaptive sports. It ensures no one is left behind and everyone matters.”
Formalized in the 1970s and formerly known as Frisbee® golf, disc golf is exploding in popularity with more than a million people regularly playing the sport and over 15,000 disc golf courses in over 80 countries. Played much like traditional golf, disc golf players use a flying disc or Frisbee® instead of a ball and clubs to complete each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, the fewest throws).
“The PDGA looks forward to continued partnership with PVA and the National Veterans Wheelchair Games,” said Mike Sullivan, PDGA Senior Policy & Compliance Officer. “We also look to other organizations and sporting events that can help us expand adaptive disc golf.”
Learn more about PVA’s adaptive sports program at PVA.org/AdaptiveSports or to view Appendix F visit PDGA.com/rules. NOTE. If you have any questions about the applicability of Appendix F or how to apply these rules to your event, please contact PDGA Event Support at email@example.com.
About Paralyzed Veterans of America
Paralyzed Veterans of America is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and the only congressionally chartered Veterans Service Organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or diseases. The organization ensures veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitors their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funds research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.
As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, PVA also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families, and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Learn more at PVA.org.
About the PDGA
The Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA) is a membership-based organization boasting more than 260,000 lifetime members across 90 countries. The PDGA is also the governing body for the sport and sanctions competitive events for players of every skill level. There are more than 9,800 disc golf courses worldwide, with more being installed every day. Learn more at PDGA.com.