The history of CEDGC

Disc golf in Central Europe has a long history dating back to 1980's when the first tournament in Austria was organized in 1981. For many years the best players in the region traditionally play at big tournaments across the region regardless of the country.

In 2009 only for one year Central European Tour was organized in which the best players from the region played 4 tournaments a year. The common tournaments helped the growth and strength of the top players as no individual country was strong enough at that time for its own development at such a fast pace. In the recent years players from multiple countries in the region participate regularly each year in the international Austro-Hungarian tour while players from the Czech Republic focus more on their own national tour. In 2016 the region hosted almost 70 PDGA tournaments, including one Disc Golf World Tour and one EuroTour event and the number of permanent disc golf courses grew to more than 100. Currently there are approximately 300 PDGA members in the region and more than 1000 active disc golf players. The region is particularly strong in women division with 2 players in the European Top 10 and 15 players in Top 100, including one of the best European junior players.

Nevertheless with the big growth over the recent years the disc golf calendars in the Central European countries got very packed with the national events and thus the best players from the all countries in the region did not have a competition at which they would regularly compete against each other. That is why during the summer 2015 after a long term discussion with Bernd Wender (Austria) and some other regional players Richard Kollár (Slovakia) proposed an idea to create an annual championship tournament for the best open, women and junior players in the region. It took only a short time and an international committee was created with a representative from each participating country: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The group announced a call for the host of the 2016 Central European Disc Golf Championship and they also formulated rules, and particularly the way the spots will be distributed to the individual participating countries. The rules brought a new factor – only the best players in the region were invited directly to the championship tournament, and in addition each nation could nominate the remaining players from their country.

The selection committee received multiple bids for organization of the inaugural CEDGC and decided to award the bid to Smolenice, Slovakia, a location of a popular Slovak tournament that offers a spectacular world class disc golf course. This was certainly a challenge for the TD (Richard Kollár) as the tournament in Smolenice is regularly organized in June and the dates of CEDGC in September could bring a lot of surprises. Fortunately enough, he was able to find a big support within the local community and businesses and they all helped to prepare the tournament on an unexpected level particularly compared to the regular Smolenice Open tournaments. The number of subjects involved in the organization grew significantly. A very strong support was received from the Slovak Association of Frisbee that not only supported the event financially but it also facilitated the participation of Slovak ultimate junior team players as helpers at the tournament. Their work as spotters was just amazing and led to a mind blowing fact that not a single disc was lost during the competition.

There was one change compared to the original plan – due to a very high interest of the top junior players from the region, the size of the junior division was increased from the planned 8 to 14 players and the sizes of FPO and MPO were decreased correspondingly.

And thus at the end of September 2016 the best disc golf players summoned in Smolenice to play the first CEDGC tournament ever and they all became a part of the history. On the final day Katka Bodová (FPO),  Bohdan Bílek (MJ1) and Lukas Filandr (MPO) were named as the first disc golf champions of Central Europe. For a full story on what was happening in Smolenice from the start to the winners ceremony check out this article. For scores check out PDGA website.