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New MOS rules will welcome windmills to minigolf?


World 17 Mar 2009 at 20:22 | Published by: JJM | Views: 7478 | News search

New MOS rules will welcome windmills to minigolf?
Hans Olofsson playing a windmill with moving obstacle.  (Photo by Ted Detweiler 2008)

The Technical Committee of WMF has prepared a proposal for specific competition rules for MOS adventure golf courses.

The proposed new MOS rules (which must be approved by WMF General Assembly before they take effect) include the statement: "obstacles can be moving, if they are calculable and predictable". For example, a windmill lane with moving wings would be accepted, if the wings move with a predictable speed.

This rule opens the door for a new skill element in minigolf: timing of the shot (to get the ball through a gate, which opens and closes after short time intervals). Hitting the ball at the correct moment is not a matter of "luck" (if the obstacle moves at a reasonably slow speed): it is clearly a skill, which can be learned and mastered perfectly. But many minigolfers have strong opinions against moving obstacles, because timing is not a traditional skill element in golf or minigolf. Some people believe that such an element makes the game look less serious sport, in the eyes of the general public. Moving obstacles have been used mainly in British and American "crazy golf" traditions.

The new rule sketch does not specify what kind of changes in speed of the obstacles are allowed, and how short the required time of hitting the ball can be. This detail is essential for making difference between a learnable skill and an unlearnable matter of luck: if a gate opens and closes every 5 seconds, talented players can learn to hit the ball at the correct moment. But if the gate opens and closes 30 times per second (quicker than the human eye can see), getting the ball through the gate would be a matter of luck without any controllable skill element.


The proposed new MOS rules also include a statement about walls: "Borders (if existing) must be made of durable, use-intended materials and they must be smooth and calculable (e.g. straight bricks, metal, wood, fibrecement, concrete) at least for those parts which can be used as borders for technical and tactical play."

This proposed rule would allow MOS courses to be without any walls (in which case the nature of the game would be quite similar to golf, without much focus on the ball material). Any existing walls are required to be smooth, giving a predictable bounce to the ball.

Many adventure golf courses in United States, including the USPMGA courses in North Myrtle Beach, have old worn-out bricks as wall material. The hole is often behind a corner, and players must hit the ball to these uneven bricks, which throw the ball to a random direction. The proposed new MOS rule intends to remove this kind of "luck elements" from official competitions.

However, the proposed rule seems to (unnecessarily) ban totally unplayable wall materials, such as round natural stones, which are intended for stopping the ball from rolling away from the lane (especially when unskilled amateurs are playing). While the rule allows courses without any borders, it would be logical to allow also completely unplayable wall materials. The nature of the game would be similar in both cases — with the difference that unplayable walls help the general public to get a more enjoyable playing experience, as a wall stops the ball from rolling away from the minigolf lane.

» memorandum of WMF Technical Committee meeting 31 Jan 2009

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Comments (14)


Finland JJM (John Mittler)

22 Mar 2009 at 16:08
Our Vote of the Week (or two) asks opinions about this issue.

Netherlands JS (Jacco Van Der Stelt)

21 Mar 2009 at 07:30
i think it has nothing to do with skill or luck. All is countable :). for example when a clownsmouth closes his mouth, You can just count the seconds untill he opens again so you don't have to practive the stroke but just keep looking for a few minutes and you know the lane. Same goes with the windmill

Sweden Haazeman (Hans  Olofsson)

19 Mar 2009 at 23:52
I have played the windmill hole in Laughlin 4 times (2 tourneys), first 3 times I aimed long and well, hit it good and still hit the Ace. Last time I closed my eyes and hit it through for a real Ace of the hole.

Pure skill I would say...................

Finland JJM (John Mittler)

19 Mar 2009 at 06:24
Of course timing is a skill, and also hitting the ball flying in mid-air is a skill (see baseball).

The point of debate is, which skills are thought to be traditional, interesting and serious elements of minigolf. There are many who view minigolf as a miniature version of golf putting, and timing is not included in the skill elements of that tradition.

United Kingdom Donkey_G (Scott Lancley)

18 Mar 2009 at 23:11
Here here Keith...

How can timing your shots not be classed as a skill?

United Kingdom doctork (Keith Kellard)

18 Mar 2009 at 17:12
@Pedro466
Which is the whole reason why these rules need to be in place. To ensure competition is played on suitable, not lucky, courses.

So are you saying that countries such as USA or UK shouldn't have national competiton because we don't have eternit/beton/felt?

We want our sport to be inclusive, not exclusive!!!

Austria Rainer17 (Rainer Anhammer)

18 Mar 2009 at 16:57
Some people believe that such an element makes the game look less serious sport, in the eyes of the general public.

I agree to this statement!

nr
Rainer

Portugal Pedro466 (Pedro Carvalho)

18 Mar 2009 at 15:21
i think that this pruposal must be a joke...minigolf is not a lucky game but a technical sport, not a fun sport...

some players, see minigolf as a hobby, but the most part of the "minigolfers" see this sport very seriously like football players see football....

i agree that this system of lanes can de aproved, but can't be applied in national championships that provides the clearance to the european and world championships

Sweden CAS (Arne Spångtorp)

18 Mar 2009 at 13:13
Fountain Valley, Los Angeles 1976:
http://hem.bredband.net/arnspa/bilderna/usa/usa06.jpg

Netherlands JS (Jacco Van Der Stelt)

18 Mar 2009 at 11:44
what's next? a clown laughing irritating because you missed his mouth (opening)

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