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post copied from the PDGA discussion forum

Postby the invisible tree » Wed May 24, 2006 6:36 pm

This was posted by the inestimable "cromwell" over at the PDGA forum.
I don't know how in-depth most people read DGW, but the segment from the Technical Standards Committee in the previous issue shocked me a little bit and I was surprised to see no one on here talking about it.

The long and short of it was... when disc manufacturers send discs in to be approved, the disc goes through a variety of tests. One of these tests is a flexibility rating, I suppose to make sure the discs are still pliable to a certain degree and to keep them from being dangerous to anyone/anything who may be struck by them (altho we all know even softer discs can hurt if thrown hard enough!) Currently, the manufacturers are having discs approved but then some are being changed down the line without being resubmitted for approval - the gist I got from the read seemed to indicate things such as new plastics going into the same molds were not going through the same testing process and simply being sent to market with the "PDGA Approved" stamp on them. Yet the TSC has found out that some of these discs FAIL the flexibility tests, which means some of the plastic already out there may end up being blacklisted in the near future.

Does this make anyone else a little uneasy? And more importantly... who will take the most heat for this type of move if it happens? The PDGA shouldn't be blamed for what the disc manufacturers are doing, but I feel that this type of action will most likely result in a backlash against the Standards Committee rather than where (I feel) the blame should more appropriately be placed - on the people sending discs to market without the proper procedures being followed. For example (and the writing didn't specify any discs or manufacturers in it so this truly is just an example) are we going to see discs like the "Star TL 2 - this time it's legal!" come out after the runs that are on the market become illegal? What kind of nightmare are we going to see at tournaments if players and TD's have to police the discs in people's bags when someone who doesn't "keep up" with current events shows up and finds out their favorite driver that they carry 6 of in the bag aren't allowed to be used?

Just curious if anyone else had even read this and what others' thoughts may be.


I'd like to get a response from our glorious leader on this one. Is everyone going to be jumping on the DX bandwagon soon?
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Wed May 24, 2006 9:22 pm

thats something Ive questioned often. Many discs wraith, starfire, avenger and plenty of others are released in pro/x first. If they black list z avengers I will have to make due with the one esp avenger I have.... and mabey buy every one in sight ;-)

just kidding, I would proabably throw beat up x preds instead. (something I would like to try anyways)
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Postby Blake_T » Wed May 24, 2006 10:45 pm

this is an interesting and controversial topic and not something i'd like to really go "on the record" about.

i do know a bit about what is going on and it is two manufacturers that are being targeted for failing the crush test with a significantly large number of models.

in general principle, i do believe in standards that should be adhered to (otherwise why have them?)

there's several other issues that this raises.

what about discs being over legal weight?
should all legal discs have to carry a "pdga approved" label? if so, what about double stamps/xouts?
is it possible to enforce this?
how much responsibility should be put on the PDGA/tournament directors and how much on the manufacturers? what about the players?
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Wed May 24, 2006 11:21 pm

I think the system is working well.
And I believe that its the manufacturers responsibility to make "legal" dics. marking discs at max weight when there well over is wrong, but who really cares? does it really give anyone that much of an advantage? especially because anyone can do it?
If a company was making heavier discs intentionally an only giving them to their sponsored players then there would be an issue.
The pdga shouldnt have to test every mold in every plastic.
and as for black listing discs that are out that would be a problem, if they begin requiring companys to have new discs be tested in every plastic thats ok, it would be like when innova had to change ce plastic because it was too firm, but its still legal now.
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Postby Blake_T » Wed May 24, 2006 11:40 pm

a lot of it is up to debate.

the 200g limit for example was twofold.

the first was safety, the second was that in the era of understable plastic, it gave the biggest throwers an unfair advantage as they were the only ones who could successfully throw a 230g super puppy well, but also had a lot more control due to the added stability at that weight.

could also say that if a disc fails the crush test by 0.1 lbs of pressure, will that make enough difference if it hits someone in the neck vs. a disc that is at the legal limit?

does it make as much of a difference as the stability of a 179g disc that has a legal max of 175g?

the real question is not to really nitpick these questions, but where should the line be drawn? i believe in consistency and that if there is to be spec regulation that it should be thorough enough to cover all bases of spec regulation. similarly, if they don't do anything about one problem, they shouldn't do anything about any of them. i however, do not feel comfortable making a judgement upon which way they should rule on the issue.
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Postby presidio hills » Thu May 25, 2006 1:39 am

Blake_T wrote:i however, do not feel comfortable making a judgement upon which way they should rule on the issue.


seems like whatever happens could significantly change the sport... but who knows in what way.

to make all illegal discs illegal would wipe a bunch out that have already been produced as well as create a bunch of ruckus trying to figure out what every single person in a tourney is throwing.

to have discs created after june 2006 (for example) get tested in stricter fashion (testing enough samples of each batch to determine within a low margine of error that everything is going okay). discs made before then, will still be legal. then what happens to the market?

making everything legal... no matter what weight or type of plastic or shape. sport changes drastically (or does it? maybe we already are using the ideal specs for discs).

hmmmm....
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Postby Blake_T » Thu May 25, 2006 1:44 am

the original speed demon was actually a push to the absolute limits (in certain directions) of rim design. anyone who threw one saw the result. it is now on its 11th version of the mold (10 retools) and much less overstable than the originals.

i guess the thing with putting it on manufacturers is that it would require them to have the necessary testing equipment on site.

similarly, with putting it on the TD requires them to have necessary testing equipment on site.

thirdly, putting it in the player's hands... well, the idea of that is a nightmare.

i guess the problem i could see is if one side of the issue is attacked with others being ignored. i believe if they press companies failing rigidity standards (2 companies), there should also be further evaluation of retooled models, disc weights, etc., that is, to enforce all of the standards or doing away with them instead of just keying in on a couple.
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Postby discmonkey42 » Thu May 25, 2006 8:28 am

I've always wondered how these hard as a rock firm wizards could have passed any kind of flexibility test.
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Postby bigs348 » Thu May 25, 2006 3:10 pm

Overall, I don't see the impact that this might have. Let's take Innova for example, and say that the initial approval of everything was in DX. I don't find the Champion versions of these discs to really be that hard, and certainly not the Pro and Star versions. A Champion Firebird is probably the stiffest Innova disc that I can think of, and it closely resembles much of Discraft's Z plastic to me. Honestly, those plastics are nothing compared to much of Gateway's S. If S plastic was what the Illusion was approved in, then I don't see how any other disc wouldn't pass -- that disc is a friggin' board. I do think that with the advent of a new plastic, it would benefit companies to send the disc in for approval again just to be safe, but isn't there a fee for PDGA disc approval? Every new plastic would then require more money from the manufacturer. I guess there are extreme cases where a new plastic can extremely change the flexibility of a disc, but overall, it's a non-issue. I'm all for standards, but maybe we should try and enforce a bigger issue such as overweight discs?
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Postby Blake_T » Thu May 25, 2006 6:42 pm

there is a fee for disc approval.

money is the reason some discs have their names re-used as well... trademark renewals, etc.

as for the impact, there are two companies in particular that have a lot at stake in the decision of rigidity in that they have more than 5 models of discs that are currently failing.
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Postby daevidcardiac » Thu May 25, 2006 7:56 pm

ok blake so whats the other company besides gateway
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Postby Blake_T » Thu May 25, 2006 8:15 pm

unless i know the info is public, i can't really say anything about what i've heard (which has all been through the grape vine).

notice i never mentioned gateway in any of my posts :P
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