I posted this on the other site, but, well, you know...
I'd like to see some work done in our sport in terms of terminology and ratings systems. We all know that they don't make sense to anyone not intrenched in the sport, and they don't make sense to science either. I would really like to hear some discussion and input about this. We do not have to be satisfied with how things are...these jumbled nonsense terms that we've inherited are destined to extinction at some point because they don't really make sense on any level.
The terms HSS and LSS fall short of making sense in either a scientific way or an intuitive way as well. High speed stability makes some sense, but it's weird using a word like stable, which means balanced, to talk about how much a disc resists becoming unbalanced in the direction of the spin of the disc. It's also weird that very high speed stable discs have ratings like "0" or "+1". Low speed stability makes no sense, because we're actually talking about a disc becoming unstable or unbalanced and giving it a higher number the more the disc has a tendency to be unbalanced in the opposite direction of the spin. How would you deal with discs that both resist turning with the spin of the disc as well as resisting turning opposite of the spin? Read on...
I like the term "resistance" in place of both HSS. Resistance could be the tendency of a disc to resist turning with the direction of it's spin. So a disc like a FB would have a high resistance number and understable discs could be represented by integers based on how understable they are. This would eliminate the issue of speed stability and how some discs don't turn for some people, but will for more powerful throwers. No longer would the highest degree of resistance be represented by a "0".
We all know that the term stability is misused in our sport and it's a source of constant bickering. I think the term "stability" should be used to describe the disc's tendency to remain balanced in flight, aka how well/how long the disc holds it's line. Discs that really lock onto a line (ahem, MVP) would have high stability ratings, and discs that like to turn and fade more would have a lower stability number. Also, discs that are so overstable they want to turn soon out of the hand would have low stability ratings(because once again they resist flying stable or balanced). This would make SO MUCH more sense, however it would confuse the hell out of everyone for a time, but what change wouldn't?
As arbitrary as speed ratings can be, they cannot be simply left out of the equation, even if we divided disc into classes based on range. How would we rate fast overstable discs that have a fairly short range, but still move fast? I do think that we to use something like "potential speed" which connotes the fact that every thrower won't necessarily get the disc to it's potential.
Finally we need some sort of power requirement rating like Joe's has, which would be defined as the power it takes to make the disc behave according to it's other ratings.
Potential Speed, Resistance, Stability, and Power. What do you guys think?