The first order of business for a Committee planning a competition is to decide who is eligible to enter.
If a junior competition is planned, the conditions should state the age limit and the date on which a player must be under that limit in order to be eligible. For example, to be eligible to participate in the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship, a player must not have reached his 18th birthday by the last day of the Championship.
The conditions for a senior competition should state the age minimum and the date on which a player must have reached the minimum age. The USGA recommends that a player must have reached the minimum age by the first day of the competition (although qualifying for the competition may take place at an earlier date).
The Committee must decide whether the competition is to be open to all players regardless of ability or whether a player must have a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding a certain number of strokes in order to be eligible. If a limit is imposed, it should be stated as an eligibility condition. For examples of suggested wording and other types of eligibility requirements, see Appendix I.
In developing the condition regarding eligibility, the Committee must give consideration to the desired size of the field. If, for example, the Committee wishes to limit the field to 100 players, it must decide how to restrict the field to that number. The Committee might stipulate that the field will be limited to the first 100 players who file entries. Or the Committee might limit the field by means of a condition along these lines:
The field will be limited to 100 players. Entries will be accepted from the 100 applicants with the lowest Handicap Indexes. Any tie at the highest acceptable Handicap Index figure will be set- tled by lot.