USAGA Ranking for USA Golfers with Disabilities (USAGR™)
Purpose Implement an easy-to-use Ranking System that is totally inclusive and identifies our country’s top players by disability type that participate in USAGA Accredited Golf Events, and each year qualifies a new United States Para-Golf team, which is named at the season-ending USAGA Open Championship. Eligibility All accredited events for golfers with disabilities are eligible for the USAGR™ and are accredited/approved by the USAGA Competitions Committee; USAGA non-member organizations that run events are eligible for participation in the Ranking System. Classification Each Accredited Event is classified as a Level I, II or III Event; each player’s individual performance at these events is rated and ranked both overall and by disability type under a Classification Structure that includes 14 different Sport Class designations, as well as a Women’s division. Exemptions Players can earn valuable exemptions to the season-ending USAGA Open Championship through performance at the USAGA accredited golf events; three different types of exemptions can be earned, and include a Special Exemption, Regular Exemption, and Conditional Exemption; all three exemption types carry different priority status and value; a Special Exemption can only be earned at a Level I event, while Regular and Conditional Exemptions can be earned at all accredited events; exemptions are granted by USAGA and only to USAGA Members whose dues are paid & are in good standing.
Ranking Standards Each player needs 4 posted scores from the collection of Accredited Events before he or she can be eligible for the US Para-Golf team; scores posted in Level I Events are “double-weighted,” so each score posted in a Level I event is posted twice; for every 5 scores a player posts, the worse-rated score is removed & not used in that player’s calculated rating/ranking. Scores posted at the season-ending USAGA Open are “triple-weighted.” The USAGA Open is the only “triple-weighted” event; the top-2 players ranked in each of 14 different Sport Classes, as well as the top-2 ranked women, at the conclusion of the USAGA Open, will be named to the US Para-Golf team, and will serve as official members of this prestigious team for approximately one year, or until the next team is named at the following year’s USAGA Open.
Having Your Event Ranked Please contact Alan Gentry at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone/text at 502-523-5128 to obtain the necessary documents required for Event Accreditation & Introductions for Ranking. Mr. Gentry will be able to answer any questions about USAGR™ requirements.
Player Classification by Disability Type (Sport Class)
In accordance with eligibility standards recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IRC), USAGA will classify golfers with disabilities based upon the following definitions: Golfers with lower limb impairments Sport Class G1: The golfers have an impairment affecting one leg, for example an amputation above the knee. They may use a prosthesis or golf on one leg. Sport Class G2: Golfers in this sport class include those with impairments in the lower parts of one leg, but with less impact on golfing compared to G1. Typical examples are amputations above the ankle or loss of muscle control in one leg or leg length difference. Sport Class G3: This sport class includes golfers with an impairment in both legs, such as muscle weakness in both legs or double amputation.
Golfers with arm impairments Sport Class G4: The golfers in this sport class have impairments affecting one arm and either 1) do not use any golf aide or adaptive device to connect to the club, or 2) do not intentionally use the impaired arm when initiating a stroke through striking the ball. At the initiation of the stroke through striking of the ball, there can only be one intentional point of contact on the club. All golfers in this category, must play every stroke during a round of golf with one arm - any aid from an artificial appliance, prosthetic, or part of the impaired arm is not allowed. This category includes limb deficiency, impaired passive range of motion and impaired muscle power related to the arm. Sport Class G5: The golfers in this sport class have impairments affecting one arm and either 1) use a golf aide or adaptive device to connect to the club or 2) use the impaired arm at any time in the swing between when initiating a stroke through striking the ball. At the initiation of the stroke through striking the ball, this class is allowed to have two points of intentional contact on the club while striking the ball for any stroke during a round of golf. This category includes limb deficiency, impaired passive range of motion and impaired muscle power related to the arm. Sport Class G6: This sport class is designated for athletes with impairments in both arms that prohibit them full use of the golf club. Golfers, for example, have missing hands or cannot grip firmly the club properly. Therefore, you may see them using an adaptive golf tool.
Golfers with combined impairments in arms and legs Sport Class G7: This sport class is designed for golfers who have an impairment in arms and legs. Some of the G7 golfers have mild coordination problems in all extremities. Others have amputations affecting at one arm and one leg. Sport Class G8: Athletes with Neurological Conditions and Coordination Impairments. Abnormal increase in muscle tension and a reduced ability of a muscle to stretch, lack of co-ordination of muscle movements, unbalanced, involuntary movements and a difficulty in maintaining a symmetrical posture due to a neurological condition, such as cerebral palsy, brain injury or multiple sclerosis.
Sitting Golfers All sitting-golfers have an impairment affecting their legs. They are allocated different sport classes depending on their trunk control, which is very important for golf. Sport Class G9: Golfers have an impairment that limits their leg and trunk function. They would be unable to sit without supporting himself or herself with the arms, for example due to paraplegia. Sport Class G10: Golfers in this sport class have near to normal trunk control.
Golfers with Visual Impairments Sport Class G11: No light perception, or light perception which is not functional, central or peripheral, with or without light projection, up to the inability to differentiate between ablank sheet of white paper and a sheet of white paper with a black symbol on it. (The black symbol is displayed on theIBGA/USBGA Sight Formand is used as part of the exam.) IBGA Classification - B1 Sport Class G12: From the ability to recognize the shape of a hand up to visual acuity of 20/600.. IBGA Classification - B2 Sport Class G13: From the visual acuity above 20/600 up to visual acuity of less than 20/200. IBGA classification - B3 To ensure safety all vision impaired participantsmust use a caddy. Short In Stature Sport Class G14 - Athletes with short stature compete in this sport class
USAGA Exemption Structure for 2019 USAGA Open
USAGA uses an exemption structure that provides priority entry status and associated value to the highest-performing players with disabilities, both overall and within their distinctive sport class, for participation in the USAGA Open Championship. The exemption structure comprises three different types of exemptions, all of which are earned through high-performance at ALL of the various USAGA accredited tournaments staged throughout the United States. The three exemption types and value associated with each are listed below:
Special Exemptions – A “Special Exemption” is earned to a USAGA Open Championship when a player achieves the highest overall rating (using USAGR™) at a USAGA accredited Level I event. A “Special Exemption” is also awarded to the highest-female player in each Level I Event. The value of a “Special Exemption” is top priority entry status for the player along with a 100% paid entry fee into the USAGA Open Championship.
Regular Exemptions – A“Regular Exemption” is earned to a USAGA Open Championship when a player achieves the 2nd highest overall ranking at a USAGA accredited Level I event, OR the highest ranking at a Level II or Level III accredited event (using USAGR™). A “Regular Exemption” is also awarded to the highest-rated female in Level II and Level III Events. The value of a “Regular Exemption” is 2nd highest priority entry status for the player, behind only that of “Special Exemption” status, along with a $200 entry fee credit into the USAGA Open Championship.
Conditional Exemptions – A “Conditional Exemption” is earned to a USAGA Open Championship when a player achieves the 3rd highest overall ranking at a USAGA accredited Level I event, OR the 2nd highest ranking at a Level II or Level III accredited event (using USAGR™). A “Conditional Exemption” is also awarded to the overall “Net Score” winner at any USAGA accredited event regardless of event classification level, with “Net Score” being defined as gross score minus course handicap. A “Conditional Exemption” will also be awarded to the top-3 ranked players in each of the 14 different disability sport classes as of September 1. The value of a “Conditional Exemption” is 3rd highest priority entry status for the player, behind “Special and Regular Exemption” status, along with a $100 entry fee credit into the USAGA Open Championship.
Summary of Exemptions Structure
Players may earn valuable Exemptions to the season-ending USAGA Open Championship through participation and performance in up to 19 Accredited Events in the United States sanctioned by the USAGA Competition Ranking Committee (CRC).
Three different types of Exemptions will be granted by USAGA that consist of:
1) Special Exemption that providestop-priority entry status and a fully-subsidized tournament entry fee 2) Regular Exemption that provides 2nd highest priority entry status and a $200 credit toward the tournament entry fee, and 3) Conditional Exemption - that provides 3rd highest priority and $100 credit toward tournament entry fee).
In order to receive Exemptions, organizations hosting event MUST be a USAGA Member Chapter in good standing (paid dues); events run by non-member organizations can still have their event accredited and qualify for entry into the ranking system in 2019, but NO exemptions will be granted to non-member organizations or member not current on their dues.
Maximum of 10 Special Exemptions could be granted to the 5 Level I Events (5 Men's & 5 Women's Overall Champions).
Maximum of 33 Regular Exemptions could be granted to Level I, II and III Events (5 LI runner-ups, 14 LII & LIII Champs, and 14 LII and LIII Women's Champs)
Maximum of 83 Conditional Exemptions could be granted (5 LI 3rd place, 14 LII & LIII runner ups, 45 top-3 ranked in each Sport Class plus Women's division, and 19 "Net" Event Champions).
The USAGRTM System ranks true player performance in Accredited Events, assigns higher importance through "double-weighting" to Level I Events, and awards Accredited Event "top-performers" with highly-valuable exemptions to the highly-valued (triple-weighted) season-ending USAGA OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP.
The ultimate competitive pathway is completed when, at the conclusion of the USAGA OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, a prestigious 30-player USAGA United States Para-Golf team based on player performance throughout the year, per player sport class, is named and honored, and the USAGA Cup is awarded to the nation’s highest overall-ranked male and female players.
The USAGA Exemption System promotes increased player participation in events held at the national, regional and local level by its Members who comprise the grass-roots operations of the competitive disabled golf industry in the USA.
2019 Events Eligible for USAGR Rankings
April 6-8 USBGA Handa ISP Open (Arizona) May 14-16 *USDGA Championship (Richmond, Virginia) - All Disabilities May 17-19 Southern Amputee Championship (Birmingham, Alabama) June 22-23 WAGA Washington Amputee (Washington) June 23-27 *NAOAGA Championships (Florida) - One-Armed Players Only July 12-14 Iowa Amputee (Iowa) July 12-14 Ray Rice Memorial GA State Amputee (Milledgeville, Georgia) July 20-21 WAGA Sacramento Disabled Open (California) July 21-23 *EAGA Championship (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) July 26-28 SWAGA Waco Amputee (Texas) July 26-28 Michigan Amputee (Three Rivers, Michigan) August 5-8 *NAGA National Championship (Clymer, New York) – All Disabilities August 10-11 Wisconsin Amputee (Wisconsin) August 12-14 Maine Amputee Open (Maine) August 24-25 Omaha Amputee (Iowa) Aug 31-Sept 1 Pennsylvania Amputee Open (Pennsylvania) Sept 8-12 *USBGA National Championship (Nevada) - Blind Golfers only Sept 13-14 Midwestern Amputee Open (Chicago, Illinois) OCT 7-10 **USAGA OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS (Las Vegas, NEV)**
* - Indicates a Level I Event that carries double-weight status ** - Indicates the country’s only triple-weighted event
Earn your spot on USAGA's 30-Member US Para-Golf Team!
How do I qualify as a USA Team Member? Enter and play in any accredited disabled golf event in the United States, get rated by the United States Adaptive Golf Ranking System (USAGR TM ) through your performance at those events, and finish the season ranked in the top-2 of one of 14 different sport classes based on disability type, as well as a Women’s division. The 14 different sport classes are described here.
How does the USAGR TM ranking system work? USAGR TM ranks players based on the scores they shoot while participating in accredited tournaments for golfers with disabilities. Each score posted receives a competitive score rating that is calculated by applying a course difficulty factor (based on the USGA Course Rating and Slope for the tee box played) to the score posted. The player’s average competitive score rating among the posted scores used comprise that player’s overall rating. A brief overview of USAGR TM can be found here. A detailed explanation of the entire system can be found in the USAGA Ranking and Competition Standards found here.
How many tournaments qualify for the USAGR rankings, when are they held and where are they located? Each player earns a rating by playing in any one of twenty (20) tournaments held around the country between April-October. The team will be announced at the completion of play of the USAGA Open Championships held in Las Vegas October 7-10. All 2019 events eligible for USAGR TM are listed here.
What tournaments carry the most weight in the USAGR rankings? Five Level I Events carry double-weighting (USDGA Open, NAOAGA Championships, EAGA Championships, NAGA National Championship, and the USBGA Championship), while the season- ending USAGA Open Championships in Las Vegas is the only triple-weighted event.
Do I have to qualify to play in season-ending triple-weighted USAGA Open? No, the season-ending triple-weighted USAGA Open, where the US Para-Golf team will be announced, is open to all eligible golfers with disabilities. You may enter the USAGA Open by clicking here. Valuable exemptions worth discounts off the entry fee can be earned by attending an accredited golf event that is run by a USAGA member organization.
How can I earn valuable exemptions for entry-fee discounts to the USAGA Open in Las Vegas? Valuable exemptions may be earned by playing in one or more of the various accredited tournaments across the United States run by a USAGA member organization in good standing and performing at a high level, or by being ranked in the top-3 in your Sport Class on September 1, 2019. A complete explanation of the exemption structure is shown here.