Weighing Discs

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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby discspeed » Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:43 am

You are just illustrating why the next step would not be to start enforcing the impossibly impractical rule we have now and write something for the real world that could be enforced. Do top golf pros weigh their golf balls before every competition? Do they question the equipment they receive from their manufacturer/sponsor, or do they assume that they are being given equipment in adherence with all rules? Does their equipment significantly change it's characteristics based on environmental factors like plastic discs do?

On another note...Dave M was obviously getting .02 and 2% mixed up. I'm fairly certain it's 2% rather than .02%. I've seen discs gain multiple grams of water weight.

Nice research...I guess my memory doesn't serve me 100% true. The real discussion I guess is how to get this rule enforceable, which would need to account for the water weight absorbing/non-static properties of plastic discs. If there is a 3-4g tolerance then there would be no excuses for legitimately having an overweight disc in your bag because it would not fit within the specifications under any conditions.

On the example you referenced above about a Pro with max weight discs having all his discs go over weight in high humidity...I can just imagine now 4 competitors staying together in a hotel, and one puts another competitor's favorite disc underwater overnight so that it becomes overweight for the tournament.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby Frank Delicious » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:48 am

Not golf but many QBs in the NFL and college go over their game balls to make sure they are to their liking and to make sure they are inflated to within the rules of the game. Even if they don't personally go over all of them, someone in the clubhouse does.

But then again pitchers don't check every baseball prepared for the game, they assume if the ball leaves the factory the ball has met the standards set by MLB as the factory QCs the balls.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby garublador » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:51 am

It should just be clarified that the disc weight is taken at time of manufacture. That's really what it means, anyway. It's not up to the players or TD's to enforce that rule. It's strictly between the manufacturers and the PDGA. It doesn't make any sense to force players or TD's to measure all of the physical aspects of all of their discs just to make sure that they aren't a tenth of a millimeter or gram off of what the official specs say. It also doesn't make sense to have such a tight tolerance on those specs. I agree that there should be a tolerance listed in the rules, but the fact that there isn't doesn't give people license to turn this sport into "disc lawyer" rather than disc golf.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby iacas » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:11 pm

discspeed wrote:You are just illustrating why the next step would not be to start enforcing the impossibly impractical rule we have now and write something for the real world that could be enforced. Do top golf pros weigh their golf balls before every competition?

No, but golf balls are weighed rigorously at the factory. There have been a few high-profile cases where, for example, the Coefficient of Restitution (CoR) of a driver face was 0.831 instead of 0.830 or lower and they had to recall hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, or even into the millions. Titleist golf balls alone probably make Titleist more money than the entire disc golf industry makes in a year. Golf pros don't weigh their balls, but they don't come from the factory weighing illegal amounts (or too small) and they don't absorb or lose much in the way of water.

discspeed wrote:Do they question the equipment they receive from their manufacturer/sponsor, or do they assume that they are being given equipment in adherence with all rules? Does their equipment significantly change it's characteristics based on environmental factors like plastic discs do?

Those aren't really arguments that pertain. You have a disc (or someone does) that they know is in violation of the rules. Manufacturers knowingly ship discs they know are in violation of the rules.

That said, again, I understand the problem with enforcing the rule, but the farther up the supply chain you enforce it, the better. If Gateway can make Wizards that weigh 165 grams and Wizards that weigh 175 grams (or 177), they can certainly shift the whole thing down a few grams to produce more Wizards that are 163 to 172 grams, then the few outliers that exceed their target of 172 are still likely to be legal.

And rather than make excuses (not you, I've seen others do this) and rationalize that "a 176 gram Wizard isn't cheating", a disc golfer that knows a disc is overweight - perhaps because it absorbed water but came from the factory in legal status - should not play it. If they want to play THAT close to the legal limit, they should take it upon themselves to be honorable.

Of course, they could always claim ignorance and "I don't have a scale" and they'd probably be truthful in that most of the time... which still makes the problem of enforcement a very legitimate one. But again, if factories tuned their weights down a few grams, they'd have to shred less discs and they'd have fewer discs that were truly at or just past max weight that they decided to ship anyway. So there would be fewer instances of a disc golfer getting or even having a disc that could possibly be over max weight.

discspeed wrote:On another note...Dave M was obviously getting .02 and 2% mixed up. I'm fairly certain it's 2% rather than .02%. I've seen discs gain multiple grams of water weight.

Yes, which doesn't help his case much. :)

A 21cm disc is limited to 174.3 because we do 8.3. If manufacturers treated the real limit as 8.2g/cm, that'd put the max weight at 172.2 - that gives Dave almost his 2%. Treat the rules as if they say 8.2%.

The golf industry, again likely because the money in golf is pretty large, has the technology and infrastructure in place to have very, very tight tolerances. If the disc golf industry doesn't have the money (and they don't), then they should self-adjust their tolerances to not exceed the weight ceiling.

discspeed wrote:Nice research...I guess my memory doesn't serve me 100% true. The real discussion I guess is how to get this rule enforceable, which would need to account for the water weight absorbing/non-static properties of plastic discs. If there is a 3-4g tolerance then there would be no excuses for legitimately having an overweight disc in your bag because it would not fit within the specifications under any conditions.

A tolerance wouldn't accomplish anything. Instead of saying the max weight of a Wizard is 174.3, a 3.5g tolerance would just be code for "max weight is 177.8." In other words, all a tolerance would do is raise the effective max weight in the minds of manufacturers and disc golfers. You'd still have a cut-off point, at which point you'd still get the argument that "yeah, but my 179.6g Wizard is not even 2g over the limit!" We'd be in the same place we are now.

discspeed wrote:On the example you referenced above about a Pro with max weight discs having all his discs go over weight in high humidity...I can just imagine now 4 competitors staying together in a hotel, and one puts another competitor's favorite disc underwater overnight so that it becomes overweight for the tournament.

That pro should be sanctioned and possibly kicked out of professional disc golf. My goodness, that's awfully dishonorable and disrespectful.

garublador wrote:It should just be clarified that the disc weight is taken at time of manufacture. That's really what it means, anyway.

I don't believe that's accurate. The Rules seem to say nothing of "at the time of manufacture." They simply say that if a disc is overweight it is illegal without specifying a time frame.

garublador wrote:It's not up to the players or TD's to enforce that rule. It's strictly between the manufacturers and the PDGA. It doesn't make any sense to force players or TD's to measure all of the physical aspects of all of their discs just to make sure that they aren't a tenth of a millimeter or gram off of what the official specs say. It also doesn't make sense to have such a tight tolerance on those specs.

The tolerances aren't tight. Make a bunch of Wizards that will range from 164-172 instead of making them 168-176. All of the first ones will be legal even if they exceed that range by two grams.

Though I disagree with you about when the weight matters, as you can read above I do think the manufacturers should take more care to produce discs that weigh the proper amount because it WOULD be a tremendous pain to try to weigh discs at a tournament or whatever.

Speaking of tolerances, that's the only time a true tolerance would matter - in determining whether a disc is over the max weight, and that tolerance would largely be based on the scale used (just as radar guns used by police have an automatic tolerance built in - typically if their tolerance is 2 MPH they simply under-report the speed by 2 MPH and that way they know you were going at LEAST 78 MPH, for example).

garublador wrote:I agree that there should be a tolerance listed in the rules, but the fact that there isn't doesn't give people license to turn this sport into "disc lawyer" rather than disc golf.

It's not "disc lawyer" it simply about playing by the established rules. As I said, a tolerance would just effectively raise the ceiling. If that doesn't make sense, tell yourself there's already a 2.5% tolerance built in because discs are only supposed to weigh 8.1g/cm. There, you've got a tolerance, and yet everyone tries to make max weight discs at the upper end of the tolerance.

It may be my background in golf but rules are rules. When I'm playing a tournament I don't roll my ball around, I don't give myself putts, and I certainly don't use equipment I know to be illegal. Maybe I'm in the minority expecting that disc golf would have the same sort of honor code.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby iacas » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:15 pm

Apparently I'm bored today.

Apologies for that miniature wall of text. I don't really care about this as much as the length of my previous post might imply. :P

I do care enough to know that I will never play a disc over the max weight in a tournament round, because personally I am just the type that follows the rules of the sport I'm choosing to play.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby allsport1313 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:55 pm

I agree with Iacas - I don't see any leverage in the rulebook to imply that sometimes it's 'okay' if your disc is illegal. I'm not a nitpicky golfer so I would never be someone to care about a few grams out on the course, but where is the ambiguity in a disc weighing more or less than it should? So what if its humidity? Disc golfers are always adapting to the elements and being aware of this makes it all the more reason to follow the rules.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby discspeed » Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:48 pm

iacas wrote:Apparently I'm bored today.

Apologies for that miniature wall of text. I don't really care about this as much as the length of my previous post might imply. :P

I do care enough to know that I will never play a disc over the max weight in a tournament round, because personally I am just the type that follows the rules of the sport I'm choosing to play.


Yeah, I'd like to copy and paste certain parts of that post to respond, but I don't have the time.

I'm OCD and can't carry an overweight disc...I give myself a .4g tolerance so I can round down a 175.4 driver, but not a 175.5. I don't recommend this or think it is right, it's just what I do.

I think the crux of this issue is that until we have a governing body that has real control over the manufacturing industry we will not have discs that strictly adhere to the weight limits. No other amateur sport I can think of puts the kind of responsibility on the player as this rule would if enforced in today's disc golf. That brings up an angle we haven't really covered...The whole "PDGA Approved" thing. As long as the PDGA permisses the companies to put "PDGA APPROVED" on discs that are against the rules, they can't then turn on the player who spent their money on that disc(under the logical assumption that they were legal because they say "PDGA Approved") and punish them. So I agree with Garublador that this issue is really between the PDGA and the manufacturers.

I know from being a certified official/TD that the rulebook only gets you so far. Almost every single incident that happens during competitive play has aspects to it that aren't specifically addressed in the rulebook and require the TD's judgement. Most of the time the rules work well enough and the TD is experienced enough to get the job done satisfactorily, but a strict/literal interpretation of many of them (obviously including the subject of this thread) would create many absurd situations.

BTW, considering the absurd...Could a player bring legal action against a disc golf company if disqualified due to his discs, which say "PDGA Approved", are found to be overweight?
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby Frank Delicious » Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:10 pm

It is pretty crazy that a person could be disqualified from a tourney because they bought a disc that was legal weight at the time of manufacturing but gained weight and became illegal by the time of the tourney.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby keltik » Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:59 am

BTW, considering the absurd...Could a player bring legal action against a disc golf company if disqualified due to his discs, which say "PDGA Approved", are found to be overweight?


It would only make it to small claims court.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby zj1002 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:51 pm

keltik wrote:
BTW, considering the absurd...Could a player bring legal action against a disc golf company if disqualified due to his discs, which say "PDGA Approved", are found to be overweight?


It would only make it to small claims court.


Even if it did, most discs go through a retailer first. Smart retailers state that customers should expect a variance from the advertised weight if it it was scaled by the retailer. Advertising a guaranteed weight has its loopholes
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby garublador » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:27 pm

iacas wrote:It's not "disc lawyer" it simply about playing by the established rules.
That's completely false. Ignoring the intention of the rule in an attempt to give yourself and advantage is "disc lawyer" plain and simple. That is exactly what you are doing. You can justify it all you want in your own brain, but that's a fact.
As I said, a tolerance would just effectively raise the ceiling. If that doesn't make sense, tell yourself there's already a 2.5% tolerance built in because discs are only supposed to weigh 8.1g/cm. There, you've got a tolerance, and yet everyone tries to make max weight discs at the upper end of the tolerance.
What about all of the specs that aren't just a max? As the disc lawyer you are, you'd disqualify me for any Teebird I carried that wasn't proven to be exactly 21.2 cm in diameter. Or perhaps you're a hypocrite and use discs that you haven't proven to be exactly the same shape as the specs give, but don't worry about that becasue you're actually concerned about getting an unfair advantage and not about being high and mighty about the rules. Any disc that doesn't perfectly match the approve disc spec (and it has to be 100% exact because you say that tolerances aren't needed) isn't approved according to "disc lawyers." "Disc lawyers" just focus on weight only because they're too lazy to use other measurement equipment. The 200g absolute max doesn't need a tolerance, but everything else does because it's based on a dimension that can't be perfectly replicated.

It may be my background in golf but rules are rules. When I'm playing a tournament I don't roll my ball around, I don't give myself putts, and I certainly don't use equipment I know to be illegal. Maybe I'm in the minority expecting that disc golf would have the same sort of honor code.
There is an honor code, and as far as I'm concerned, anyone calling someone else out on a disc that doesn't weight exactly what the manufacturer claims would be violating it. You're just listing a bunch of stuff that's clearly outside the intent of the rules and claiming that's the same as misinterpreting a rule. The written rules for disc golf (or ball golf apparently if they continue to review the rules) aren't perfect. The honor code is the player's responsibility to correctly interpret the rules rather than be a "disc lawyer" and try to use less than ideal wording to their advantage.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby iacas » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:11 pm

I don't think you read what I wrote very well.

I will play by the letter of the rules. You're inferring intent when the rules as currently written make no effort to imply any "intent" that once a disc is determined to be legal it is no longer subject to possibly becoming illegal.

Knowingly playing a disc that's over-weight (or by extension improperly sized, etc.) is not something I will do, and if you knowingly play a disc that's illegal, then that's on you. I've got better things to do than call someone else on it, yet your entire reaction seems to be based on the mis-reading or mis-understanding of this thread in that one key area. I've talked only about how I will enforce the rules on myself.

I've also already agreed that there's no practical way of enforcing this rule in any reasonable manner, so people people should self-enforce it (again, on themselves) as that's the honorable thing to do. At no point did I say I'd be carrying a scale around asking to weigh other people's discs, nor am I "giving myself an advantage" by choosing to follow the rules for myself and asking that others do so for themselves.

The specs listed for discs in the PDGA Tech Standards are often given as ranges. There's the built-in "tolerance" you so desperately seek. 8.3g/cm is a MAXIMUM. Build in a tolerance and all you'll establish is a new maximum. Disc that weighs 8.3, 8.2 or 8.113235g/cm is legal, and a disc that weighs 8.31g/cm is not.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby Frank Delicious » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:19 am

Garu does make a good point about weight being the only spec we seem to care about when it comes to stuff like this and I do agree it is because it is the only one most of us can measure quickly and easily.

Is a disc that is wider than the specs allow an advantage just like an overweight disc in the wind would be?
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby iacas » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:19 am

Frank Delicious wrote:Garu does make a good point about weight being the only spec we seem to care about when it comes to stuff like this and I do agree it is because it is the only one most of us can measure quickly and easily.

Is a disc that is wider than the specs allow an advantage just like an overweight disc in the wind would be?

A good point (that is possibly OT, but closely related). I agree that it's much easier to slap a disc on a scale, too. Not practical at all for a tournament, but something some of us may do in our homes.

PDGA Tech Specs say:
Hi-Tech is the designation given to all discs submitted and approved for PDGA competition. Unless otherwise specified or restricted by the tournament director, all discs on the PDGA Approved list may be used in regular PDGA competitions. Hi-Tech approved discs must:

Under the definitions they say this about diameter:
(3) not be less than 21 cm in outside disc diameter, nor exceed 30 cm in outside disc diameter;

Yet if you peruse the approved discs list many discs are 21.0 to 21.9 cm and very, very few even get into the 23s or 24s let alone up to 30.

I measured a few of my discs just now and compared them to the specs. I think a Wizard I've already marked as being too heavy (I practice with it because 1g won't matter to me in practice but as I said above I will not ever compete with it... it never even leaves the basement) may struggle to reach 21.0cm, but an Avenger SS was 21.4 on the nose and other discs seemed to line up with their approved specs. NONE of the other discs I tested were below 21.0cm (including eleven other Wizards) and obviously none were above 30cm.

So it appears that if a manufacturer had to err in disc diameter, they could simply make the disc a little bit wider, and those closer to 22 or even 23 probably don't have to worry about it at all since they're quite a ways away from the 21.0 minimum.

P.S. The advantage would seem to be undersized discs, not oversized ones.

P.P.S. The 2013 rule "801.02.D A disc that is questioned by another player or an official is illegal unless it is subsequently approved by the Director." is in my opinion a TERRIBLE rule that seems ripe for abuse. What's to stop some asshole from saying "I think your putter, you know, the one you keep using to drain those 50 footers, is illegal." Then the player can't use the disc for the next several holes until the tournament director can inspect it? What kind of crap is that? What's to stop someone from questioning the legality of someone's entire bag? More here: http://www.pdga.com/discussion/showthre ... ost1469987 As JenB points out anyone actually doing this would probably result in mutual destruction, but that still makes it a terrible rule.
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Re: Weighing Discs

Postby discspeed » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:34 pm

That rule is ridiculous...It's really hard to imagine a group of intelligent and invested people agreeing on that one. However, I do see a time in the near future where it's going to be a LOT tougher for TDs to know what is legal or not legal. I've had people question my MVP discs in tournament play, but they didn't know their ass from a hole in the ground.

Back to weights...I think all that needs to happen is for the Worlds or USDGC to have a Japan Open style weigh in. This will scare the manufacturers into avoiding bad PR by being on with their weights more. Perhaps the companies would start selling real "tournament lines" where the discs are all actually under the max, and then they could sell overweight stuff at large retail outlets without "PDGA Approved" on them. Weigh ins at the biggest tournaments will also encourage top pros to completely avoid overweight discs (because there are top rated players that no doubt keep some heavies in their bags for windy days or whatever).
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