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No one wants to break the rules in sports.

Well, maybe that’s not completely true.

Let’s clarify: No one wants to get punished for breaking the rules in sports.

For most players, the worst thing they can imagine is penalties piling up on penalties for breaking rules they didn’t even know existed!

Although disc golf is one of the most accessible sports to begin, it comes with its fair share of rules and regulations.

But who wants to read a gigantic rule book before trying to play the game?

Often, it’s much more convenient if you briefly familiarize yourself with the fundamentals. Then you can work on digesting everything else.

The best way to learn is through experience.

Luckily, this article will cover one of the most important things to understand: how to mark your disc in disc golf.

Why you should mark your disc

Surprisingly, there are quite a few reasons players should mark their discs.

In most cases, it depends on if you are a casual player who does this for fun, or if you are a professional player competing in tournaments.

Maybe you fall somewhere in between and want to start competing.

Either way, here is a quick look at the different reasons players should want to mark their discs.

Recreational players

Most players mark their discs because it’s a standard way to ensure their return.

Disc golf is like any other sport with flying objects.

Sometimes they don’t fly where you wanted them to and wind up way off course.

In disc golf, this is an especially big problem because these discs can travel quite far.

Players will scribble contact information on their disc and hope that whoever stumbles on it will be a kind soul.

It varies, but some disc golf courses are notorious for being areas where people just take any disc they find.

There’s a small debate among the community itself on whether it’s acceptable to just grab a disc if you’ve found it.

This is why you should try to track your disc down yourself and not rely on the generosity of others.

Plus, depending on your throw, it might not land where other people would stumble on it.

Plenty of discs have gone incredibly off course and become a shelter for forest bugs.

To be fair, this habit of grabbing a disc and taking it does not apply to all disc golf courses or players.

There are plenty of people who will go out of their way to send a disc back to its owner.

That’s why it never hurts to mark your disc with a name and number, just in case.

Competitive players

Marking your disc has a whole new meaning in competitions. In tournaments, it is a rule to mark your discs with a “unique marking.”

According to PDGA Technical Standards, if a disc does not have a unique marking on it, it is illegal.

Player’s discs are examined for these markings, as well as any tampering.

The reason this rule exists is simple. Players often use the same model of a disc.

This makes it difficult to judge who it belongs to on the fairway.

In the 2016 Professional Worlds disc golf tournament, Ricky Wysocki and Devan Owens used identical Fuzion Defenders.

The problem with this is that they were both completely unmarked.

PDGA rules do not consider stamps on the disc from the factory as legal, unique models because situations like this can occur.

If discs are the same make and model, then they’ll have the same stamp.

Throwing with an unmarked disc in competitions can seriously mess up your game.

According to section 801.02 F and PDGA regulations, “A player shall receive a warning for the first instance of throwing an unmarked disc.

Each subsequent throw by the player with an unmarked disc shall incur one penalty throw.”

Yikes. Those penalty throws can start multiplying.

Let’s cover what a unique marking means and how to mark your disc in disc golf.

How to mark your disc

If you’re a casual player or competitor, the best way to mark your disc in disc golf is to make it stand out.

For people who only want their disc returned, include your phone number and name.

Maybe include an e-mail address for those wary of calling strangers. You write on your disc with a black sharpie.

It is equally simple for competition players to give their discs a unique marking.

You could add your name, PDGA number, or even a special symbol.

As long as the symbol is unique to your disc, it will be accepted.

However, you are risking a higher chance of potentially having the same disc markings as another player.

No matter why you’re marking your disc, make sure any writing is recognizable and have fun with the process.

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