IGA Men’s Point Systems will see significant changes in 2020

The point system the IGA uses to determine the Men’s, Senior Men’s and Super-Senior Men’s Player of the Year will have significant changes beginning with the 2020 season.

The IGA Rules and Competitions Committee presented recommendations that were approved by the IGA Board of Directors in late 2019.  Those changes include:

  • Count All Events – in 2020, all events where points are earned will count toward the year-end total.  In the past, the IGA would count points earned at all IGA conducted championships and USGA qualifiers, but would only count the best four point totals from Additional Sanctioned Point Events.

  • Points Earned Only within the Division you Play – the ability to earn points if you “play up” a division has been removed.  This means that a person over age 50 who chooses to play in the Open Division of a tournament and not the Senior Division, will now only earn points toward the Open Player of the Year race.  Those points will not transfer equally to the Senior Player of the Year race. This same philosophy will apply to Super-Seniors who choose to play in the Open or Senior Divisions.

  • Removal of some events – non-USGA national events will no longer count and three Iowa events will be removed from the point system.  This also means the removal of all collegiate events from consideration. The three Iowa events that will no longer be awarded points are the Tri-State Masters, the Joe August Four-Ball and the North Iowa Amateur.

  • Field size used to determine tiers is removed – Two tiers of Additional Sanctioned Point events will remain, but they will not be based on the total number of entries in a given year.  The Northwest Amateur and the Iowa Masters, due to their history and quality of the field, will be classified as tier 1 events while all other Additional Sanctioned Point Events around the state will be tier 2.

  • Removal of Tie-breakers – ties will not be broken if two or more players finish with the same amount of points. In this instance, Co-Players of the Year will be awarded.

  • Removal of Committee Discretion – the IGA Rules and Competitions Committee will no longer have the ability to award points for achievements outside the scope of the points system.

You can view the complete point scales and systems by clicking here.

The impetus for these changes came from discussions over the past few years with dozens of IGA players.  The Rules & Competitions Committee commissioned a small group of volunteers and staff to have specific discussions with players throughout 2019 to gather feedback.

“We heard loud and clear from most of our players that they wanted the system to be much more simple and bring the focus back on our events here in Iowa,” said Tom Christensen, Chair of the IGA Rules and Competitions Committee.

Christensen added, “We spent a lot of time throughout 2019 studying various ways to go about this and feel we have come up with a good system.  It should remove much of the complexity that had crept into the point systems over the past decade-plus.”

Bringing the focus back on to the Iowa events while still putting a high value on performances at USGA championships was important to the committee and IGA staff.

“We hope that making the schedule more stream-lined and counting all the events one earns points in will lead to players deciding to play a few more events in 2020, whether that’s IGA, USGA or Additional Sanctioned Events,” said IGA executive director Chad Pitts. “Having said that, someone who performs well at a USGA national championship will still have a leg up on the rest of the players in Iowa, and we feel it should be that way.”

The revamped system will have benefits to the IGA staff from an administrative standpoint as well.

“This complexity of the systems led to too many mistakes and corrections, as well as not being able to get points updated in a timely matter because they took so long to figure out,” Pitts said.  “This will allow us to automate the points much more and have our standings updated very quickly after each event. We are excited about that.”

The first IGA point event of the year will be The Classic at Elmwood Country Club in late April.  Entries into IGA-conducted events will open on Wednesday, March 4th.

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