Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Altering

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Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Altering

Postby iacas » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:02 am

Mark Ellis wrote:When Discraft first allowed me to make a batch of custom gripstamps...

That's new information. :) If the PDGA inspected and ruled, then I have no issue and that's not quite what I was discussing.

Mark Ellis wrote:PDGA rules are often criticized for being incomplete and not fully addressing issues. Our aged grandfather (Ball Golf) has VOLUMES of rules and hordes of officials to enforce them.

I don't think that's accurate. Every sport that's been around for awhile and is several levels above "beer pong" has lengthy rules books. Golf's is no longer or than the NFL's, NHL's, MLB's, etc. And even a PGA Tour event with 156 player fields only has two or three actual rules officials. Walking officials are often assigned (and only sometimes used) during some majors as a convenience and pace of play.

Mark Ellis wrote:Our rules fit in a small pamphlet we can easily carry with us and we are mostly self-officiated. Our rules try (and usually succeed) in being simple and clear. They don't cover every conceivable situation but create principles which can be fairly applied when odd occurrences pop up. We could "lawyer up" our rules if we choose. How many things in life improve with more lawyers involved?

Oh brother. :roll: The PDGA rules will likely become increasingly complex as the sport continues to grow. There will be a desire for those "situations" to be covered.

Mark Ellis wrote:All these methods can make a disc more under or overstable but otherwise doesn't change the flight characteristics in any useful way.

That's an opinion. Clearly the flight characteristics of the discs were changed. And for the record I don't have any problem whatsoever with someone modifying a disc. Heck, you can bend it in your hands as part of your pre-shot routine to affect the flight of the disc. That kind of modification doesn't matter, but it's against the rules as they're written.

The rules simply say "Players may not make post-production modifications of discs which alter their original flight characteristics." Bending a disc as part of your pre-shot routine doesn't gall me, but a strict interpretation of the rule says that even THAT would be illegal. It doesn't take a strict reading of those rules to see how boiling and doing other things that noticeably change the shape of the disc would be illegal "post-production modifications which alter their original flight characteristics."

This is especially important given the rule for 2013 where a disc whose legality is questioned is unavailable to that player until a TD makes a ruling. In my opinion you can't put THAT rule in place while having sloppy, loosely defined rules on what makes a disc legal or illegal.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to believe that disc golf is filled with people that simply look the other way in a "we all do it" kinda fashion. Though I personally prefer to adhere to the rules very strictly myself in the sports I play, the one time I've ever called someone on a rules violation in my years of competitive golf was actually pre-emptive to prevent him from getting a penalty. I've looked the other way on the few rules infractions (all in match play - in stroke play I have the obligation to protect the field) I've seen, often because I was winning already and I found it sad that someone would feel the need to cheat at a game.

Mark Ellis wrote:PDGA Technical Standard testing is purposely low tech, easy and inexpensive. Ball Golf scoffs at this. Fine, let it scoff. My driver costs under $20.

I don't believe that it's "purposely" low tech. I think it's "low tech" simply because there's no money in disc golf. There's simply not enough money (and thus not enough demand from pros and consumers) to enforce tighter standards, but the key phrase there is "enforce," not "standards." The standards are written. They're out there. It's just impractical to have a scale at every tournament, and customers and pros aren't requiring manufacturers to adhere to strict standards, because everyone just looks the other way.

Mark Ellis wrote:You might have the concept somewhat off. Discs, per se, are not approved. Molds are approved. So any disc made from an approved mold is also approved.

I understand the distinction. An approved mold can still result in an illegal disc, specifically if post-production modifications are made. Hot stamping is not part of the mold, nor is a disc that's overweight but made from a legal mold. A disc with a hole punched in it, a disc with detectable thickness stickers applied, a disc that's been cut, overly sanded, had its "original flight characteristics altered," etc. are all illegal discs.

Mark Ellis wrote:As far as hotstamping goes it does not change the weight, stiffness or rim configuration of a disc. The danger of doing a poor job with a grip stamp is that the disc can become warped or the flight plate could be burned through. Neither of these mistakes gives any advantage in terms of flight characteristics and just means the poor disc is doomed to the regrind box.

Mark, the rules do not say "give an advantage" (which is subjective anyway - a disc that becomes more understable after some procedure might not suit you but may be just what someone else wants). They say "alter their original flight characteristics."
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Frank Delicious » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:28 am

I have a couple of lizard skin stamped magnets and the one I threw doesn't fly any different than a normal magnet. It grips better but that is about it.

Lat 64 used to/maybe still does make spikes and sinuses with grip plates built into the mold.

I remember when DC tried making surges with the thumb grip technology but those were never approved for PDGA play. I don't know if they never submitted them or they didn't pass for some reason.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby iacas » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:28 pm

BTW, the thought occurs to me that this is a simple way of summing most of this up: The rules regarding disc "legality" are unenforceable.

People routinely alter the original flight characteristics of their discs outside the bounds of normal wear via use in play/practice, they often carry overweight discs, or discs which aren't quite the same proportions, and even one mold of the same disc can ship from the factory with a wide array of flight characteristics.

The rules are out of sync with the reality of the current economics and state of disc golf.

I think, though, that wanting disc golf to grow and being opposed to better and more thorough rules are at odds with each other, unless by "grow" the person means only at the recreational level, where the rules of every sport are loosely interpreted and often customized heavily.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Frank Delicious » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:10 pm

You know what hot stamps do alter the flight characteristics? Those 6 or 7 stamped ones that are included in innova x-out deals. I have some that have been stamped so much they definitely added weight/thickness to the disc.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Frank Delicious » Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:11 pm

You know what hot stamps do alter the flight characteristics? Those 6 or 7 stamped ones that are included in innova x-out deals. I have some that have been stamped so much they definitely added weight/thickness to the disc.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:29 pm

If the current rules are unenforceable is the best solution to write lots more rules?

I have played in a few tournaments. Many times I have wondered if the guys in my division were better than me (ok, sometimes I have KNOWN they were much better than me :D ). I have never worried whether their discs were better than mine or if they had done some nefarious thing to make them fly differently than PDGA specs allow.

Heck if the next tournament someone told me they had some new secret method of improving their discs I would laugh and not care whether it was done in a factory or in a mad scientist's laboratory. If their PDGA handicap rating was worse than mine I would probably offer a side bet.

Some famous guy once remarked it ain't the arrow it's the Indian. If that Indian wants to sand or microwave that arrow it is still true.

Most of have done relatively radical things to discs like tape ribbons on in winter or glow lights for nighttime. Do these things affect the flight? Not enough to worry about and certainly nothing that makes them better.

There are rules which are important to the fairness of the game. In my opinion this is not one of them.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby iacas » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:10 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:If the current rules are unenforceable is the best solution to write lots more rules?

I didn't say that it was. But either the rules need to be changed or the enforcement needs to be changed.

Mark Ellis wrote:I have never worried whether their discs were better than mine or if they had done some nefarious thing to make them fly differently than PDGA specs allow.

That's just an example of the "look the other way" culture that seems to pervade disc golf.

Mark Ellis wrote:Heck if the next tournament someone told me they had some new secret method of improving their discs I would laugh and not care whether it was done in a factory or in a mad scientist's laboratory. If their PDGA handicap rating was worse than mine I would probably offer a side bet.

So? That doesn't mean what they did was legal.

Mark Ellis wrote:Some famous guy once remarked it ain't the arrow it's the Indian. If that Indian wants to sand or microwave that arrow it is still true.

Again, though you may not care, that's not what the rules say.

Mark Ellis wrote:Most of have done relatively radical things to discs like tape ribbons on in winter or glow lights for nighttime. Do these things affect the flight? Not enough to worry about and certainly nothing that makes them better.

Your opinion and the rules are very different things, Mark. And the Rules don't talk about what's "better" only that the "original flight characteristics" are "altered."

Mark Ellis wrote:There are rules which are important to the fairness of the game. In my opinion this is not one of them.

So a person should be allowed to throw a heavier than legal putter on a windy day? That doesn't affect the fairness? A person should be allowed to cut notches into the wing of his putter to grab the chains? That doesn't affect fairness?
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby money 21 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:32 pm

iacas the are two parts to any law or rule the intent and the word. you attemp to write a law so you get the benefet that you want. I work in law enforcement an as an example of this i will put forth this situation. Speed limits are set usually at 55 did the law makes really want 55 as the speed for people to go? No they want people to go 60 so they set the limit at 55 because they knew people would bend the laws just a little. Same here I think the rule was set to keep the major motifications from happening the little ones are just to hard to enforce.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby iacas » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:10 pm

money 21 wrote:iacas the are two parts to any law or rule the intent and the word. you attemp to write a law so you get the benefet that you want. I work in law enforcement an as an example of this i will put forth this situation. Speed limits are set usually at 55 did the law makes really want 55 as the speed for people to go? No they want people to go 60 so they set the limit at 55 because they knew people would bend the laws just a little. Same here I think the rule was set to keep the major motifications from happening the little ones are just to hard to enforce.

I disagree, and you can get a speeding ticket for going 59, so the law disagrees as well. You're just describing another example of "look the other way."

The best rules don't have grey areas, and if you try to add "intent" to everything, then you get a big mess real fast.

Again, this is especially important (while at the same time, in the grand scheme of things, being the least important thing this week) given the rules change about questioning another player's disc and that disc being unavailable to them (a terrible rule, IMO).

The rules are written in a way that they cannot be enforced... yet they also prevent someone from putting a sticker with their name and phone number on the bottom of the disc so they can easily peel it off without inking the disc and lowering its value (if you're into that sort of thing).
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby chainsmoker » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:01 pm

This thread could go on like this forever until there is a rule to cover every possible situation and those rules are enforced constantly by an endless supply of rules enforcing officials, or at least one official to follow every player in every sanctioned event. Are the current PDGA rules perfect? No, they are from from perfect, but a larger number of rules isn't better.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Chuck Kennedy » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:25 pm

The disc specs came about for a variety of reasons with safety (read: liability) and some dimensional uniformity being the primary driving forces as the game evolved. If you have weight, material, edge sharpness and flex standards, the thought was that at least the sport overall had some nominal standards to reduce possible injury should the feared "big lawsuit" ever come about. The proverbial "James Bondlike" disc with the razor blades in the rim wouldn't be legal for example. Safety concerns were the driving force for the 150 class being established for the Japanese in the early 90s. I was on that committee and felt they also needed to limit the rim sharpness standard to the equivalent of the Cobra so that aspect would also be accounted for. That part failed and just the weight limit was considered enough by the Japanese.

The max & min size standards had more to do with allowing the target manufacturer (DGA at the time) to know what they might be expected to catch and retain in the basket and not fall thru.

The post production modification clause was inserted to make sure enough players would have access to some unknown new disc design tweak. That's why minimum production quantities were also in there. Apparently, some players were either getting or had in the past been getting access to new discs before their competitors, sometimes right before Worlds. The design advances at the time with the new beveled edge technology were enough that it mattered. It probably matters quite a bit less at this point now that many discs are bumping up against the spec limits. So as Ellis points out, no one is really afraid of someone tweaking a disc for an advantage. But the spec remains more for the competitive fairness issue where enough players should have access to some sort of tweak via the disc approval process and sufficient production quantities being available for player access.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby ferretdance03 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:44 pm

Judas f'ing priest. If I didn't know better I'd swear iacas was VeganRay trolling us. Hard. Or maybe a love child of VR and JR.
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Flipflat » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:48 pm

ferretdance03 wrote:Judas f'ing priest. If I didn't know better I'd swear iacas was VeganRay trolling us. Hard. Or maybe a love child of VR and JR.


yup, that's what I was thinking viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18135&start=30

in any case, disc noob who doesn't even throw in the winter vs pro who has gone through a shit-ton bunch of tournaments; gonna have to go with the pro on this one
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Mark Ellis » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:00 pm

iacas wrote: And for the record I don't have any problem whatsoever with someone modifying a disc. Heck, you can bend it in your hands as part of your pre-shot routine to affect the flight of the disc. That kind of modification doesn't matter, but it's against the rules as they're written.

The rules simply say "Players may not make post-production modifications of discs which alter their original flight characteristics." Bending a disc as part of your pre-shot routine doesn't gall me, but a strict interpretation of the rule says that even THAT would be illegal. It doesn't take a strict reading of those rules to see how boiling and doing other things that noticeably change the shape of the disc would be illegal "post-production modifications which alter their original flight characteristics."

This is especially important given the rule for 2013 where a disc whose legality is questioned is unavailable to that player until a TD makes a ruling. In my opinion you can't put THAT rule in place while having sloppy, loosely defined rules on what makes a disc legal or illegal.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to believe that disc golf is filled with people that simply look the other way in a "we all do it" kinda fashion. Though I personally prefer to adhere to the rules very strictly myself in the sports I play, the one time I've ever called someone on a rules violation in my years of competitive golf was actually pre-emptive to prevent him from getting a penalty. I've looked the other way on the few rules infractions (all in match play - in stroke play I have the obligation to protect the field) I've seen, often because I was winning already and I found it sad that someone would feel the need to cheat at a game."


iacas,

If a player throws his disc into a thick bush but tries to take his next shot from the middle of the fairway I will stop him and tell him he cannot do this under the rules. The rules should prevent anyone from an unfair competitive advantage. But if a player is sneaking a beer at lunch in a park which is alcohol free I won't call the cops on him. He is breaking a rule which doesn't matter to the fairness of the competition. Some rules I just don't care about.

Yet to you evidently every rule should be enforced (or re-written so it can be enforced). But you say YOU don't call players on rule violations. Why don't you call everything and make citizens arrests for every law you see broken anywhere in society? Why bother to write any rules if even you won't enforce them?

If you are correct about the new rule coming in 2013 then this sounds like a terrible rule. My competitor makes his first 3 putts. I question the legality of his putter. Now he can't use it until a TD rules on it? Either a huge backlog occurs as the group waits for the TD to be located (he is playing in a group 3 holes in front of you but you don't know it) or the player is deprived the use of his disc. For all you guys who carry small bags this might be scary. And what is to stop me from questioning every disc in everyone's bag?

And for any who believe in the STRICT enforcement of PDGA rules, what would happen if every Amateur player were called on every foot fault? :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Was: The Putter Thread; Now: Disc Legality, Rules, Alter

Postby Jerbob » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:13 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:
iacas wrote:

And for any who believe in the STRICT enforcement of PDGA rules, what would happen if every Amateur player were called on every foot fault? :lol: :lol: :lol:


What if every pro were called on every foot fault? No tournament would ever finish before dark.
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