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. 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."