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Old 10-27-2012, 03:17 PM
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New disc terminology and ratings system

I posted this in another thread, but I spent so much time thinking about it and it's not exactly on topic in there so I'm starting this as a new thread. 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?
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:20 PM
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OMG! You posted in 2 different threads!
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:56 PM
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I love it!

Let me give one a shot then correct it for me.

Comet= speed 5, resistance 0 (assuming 0 is neutral), stability 5, power 2

I based all resistance, stability, and power on a -5 to +5 scale.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:58 PM
rakamkram rakamkram is offline
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I agree that the current ratings have no scientifically quantifiable basis whatsoever. I think if you could find quantifiable terms that everybody could relate to (not arbitrary numbers), you would be golden. I liked Vibram's speed/distance rating of how fast you need to throw the disc to make it go so far, but we have no good method for comparison to know how fast we're really throwing. I think your system is a good start, but I got the impression that it was mostly like the discraft rating with a speed/power rating thrown in. If that's not the case, please steer me in the right direction so I can understand better. The biggest problem with actual ratings is that everybody throws differently, different speeds, different percentages of their max power. It's almost like we need a good way of tracking the actual path of the disc (like you see some of the charts show) and having enough data to show perfect throws of that same disc at varying speeds before we could come up with any real and truly accurate rating system.
Edit: I do like your rating system to some extent, I just think one of the biggest problems is the arbitrary numbering system. How do you know what a 5 is? The categories sound good, the numbering system is my biggest problem with so many of these.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:01 PM
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Then lets say a teebird= speed 7, resistance 2, stability 3, power 3.

The only issue I'm seeing is that the resistance and stability are inverted on a scale, and once people use the term understable they would begin assuming anything with a low nimbler would be understable.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rakamkram View Post
Edit: I do like your rating system to some extent, I just think one of the biggest problems is the arbitrary numbering system. How do you know what a 5 is? The categories sound good, the numbering system is my biggest problem with so many of these.
Being able to define and quantify and measure would certainly be ideal, but it seems like that is still a LONG way off. It would take a lot of technology and innovation to figure out how to find some real numbers.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:07 PM
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I like the old innova charts that described it. Throw with power goes right, thrown easy goes straight, etc. Are we so lazy we can't read descriptions and need this complicated system to describe a discs flight?
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:09 PM
rakamkram rakamkram is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discspeed View Post
Being able to define and quantify and measure would certainly be ideal, but it seems like that is still a LONG way off. It would take a lot of technology and innovation to figure out how to find some real numbers.
I totally agree with you. I think that may be the most critical part of developing a comprehensive system though, and thus the only true way of solving many of our problems. I'll try to come up with some methods of my own while I'm stuck inside waiting for my Volt to arrive and the weather to clear up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thugjitsu View Post
I like the old innova charts that described it. Throw with power goes right, thrown easy goes straight, etc. Are we so lazy we can't read descriptions and need this complicated system to describe a discs flight?
I think the problem isn't that we're lazy, but the fact that rating systems lack consistency, even within the same company sometimes. Obviously, I should know how my discs fly, but for someone who doesn't own or throw the disc, it's hard to say how it will fly for them without them having their own previous and thorough test period

Last edited by rakamkram; 10-27-2012 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdw80550 View Post
Then lets say a teebird= speed 7, resistance 2, stability 3, power 3.

The only issue I'm seeing is that the resistance and stability are inverted on a scale, and once people use the term understable they would begin assuming anything with a low nimbler would be understable.
I'd probably give the Teebird a higher stability rating. I'm not sure I understand your issue. A disc with high resistance and high stability would represent a disc like the Teebird...It has a lot of resistance to turning in the direction of it's spin, and it's also a disc that likes to hold it's line of release for a long time if it's power requirement is met. Understable discs would have negative resistance numbers like the high speed turn numbers are now. If it were perfect then perhaps zero would represent the lowest possible amount of resistance, but that's problematic because it kind of limits how understable a disc could be rated. Maybe I'd have to define (0) resistance as a disc that will become understable when thrown past 300' or something like that.
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  #10  
Old 10-27-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thugjitsu View Post
I like the old innova charts that described it. Throw with power goes right, thrown easy goes straight, etc. Are we so lazy we can't read descriptions and need this complicated system to describe a discs flight?
Lazy would be not wanting to do anything about terrible and confusing rating systems and terminology.
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