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5/20/08

Based on reading Ben’s discussion about a ‘limit’ for discs being carried. …I had this thought. How about an IROC ‘type’ event or series of events? Similar to the International Race of Champions. Which, I believe, is either now defunct or in hiatus :( Instead, call it the International Round of Champions. …Invitational to the top rated players in the world. Having a limited field, all using equal and limited equipment.

Now…the acronym IROC probably won’t work due to…pesky trademark infringements. But the idea is to equip the players with an absolutely identical bag of discs…comprised from all manufactures….this way the manufactures don’t completely get their panties in a bunch. …They actually …could embrace this.

What’s in the bag isn’t disc-closed until the start of the round(s). The manufactures would have to agree to equal sponsorship, contribution, and of course…allowing their sponsored players to use ‘other’ discs. …The sponsored player’s would have to agree to it...…too. ….Mark? …what’s your thought on this?

The exact number of discs could be based on manufacturer participation…like 2 per …or something along those lines. All rules, of course, in effect.

There could be some interesting variations here….What do you think?

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It'll never happen in a real way. Players are way to wed to their discs, especially the top players. Many are even wed to a disc they've had in their bag for a long time, not just a Tee-Bird, but this Tee-Bird. Many players learn their discs and how they play in any condition. My guess is they'll never go for it, unless there is plenty of money involved.
Yeah perhaps. But it would be interesting to see the top players all competeing with identical equipment. Your probably right it would have to be a big purse. ...could be a fundraiser or promotional gig....for the sport in general.
If not on a large scale, it could be more localized and catered to local players of all skill levels. The exact guidlines could be crafted a few different ways.
I've played league nights with similar variants...one disc only, putter only, trade bags with your partner doubles, etc. All with the idea of leveling the field a bit by taking that bag customization factor (like Lyle said, not just a Teebird, but my Teebird) away and making players rely purely on their throwing and shot making skills rather than the discs they know.

It's an interesting idea for a one-off type of event, but I doubt it would hold up interest over a series of events. Sort of like "vintage" or "lids" tournaments...there are some popular once a year events that require players to all use the same or similar old-school lids (there used to be one up here in Maine that required everyone throw 100-mold frisbees). But a vintage or lids series probably wouldn't hold up (something I know from experience because it was something we tried to get going once with no interest whatsoever).

Also, based on my experiences with the vintage/lids tourneys, the event would need to be on just the right kind of course. The successful vintage tournaments tend to be on the older courses that were designed with them in mind back in the 70s (imagine playing Winthrop Gold with a lid). In the same vein, an IROC-type event would need something relatively neutral and straight-forward, not a course where the players would stand at the tee and say "man, my [insert special favorite disc here] would be perfect for this hole" a whole lot.

I do think it would be curious to decide exactly what discs would be made available to the players too. What is a stable straight flier for one player might be a turnover disc for another or too overstable for another. I know players who can't flip a 150-class Valkyrie to save their life and I know players who rely on max-weight Firebirds and Predators as their "straight" fliers because they flip anything to the understable side of those. Is there a fair way to structure the "standard" set of discs that wouldn't favor one player's strength over another's. I know if the driver choices were an AvengerSS and a Teebird, I'd be ok with that, but my buddy that uses an Orc as his turnover driver is going to have a hard time not turning his drives over more often than not.

There is so much variance in skill level and equipment in our sport I think we'd have a hard time "leveling" the field while not still being unfair to some. Part of what makes the sport great is that I can tailor my bag to my own skills and compete against guys that, if I were to use their bag instead, would probably beat my brains in...and vice versa.
We have done a ton of different things as regards to coming up with variations of play. I've heard about the 'old school' lid tourneys. I'm an 'old school' lid player and that sounds like a blast ....from the past. but not something I'd want to do every weekend.

Heck yeah! it's kinda of 'cut throat' ...some would be completely lost with a bag of unknown discs...some would have no problems with it. ...that's the beauty of it. The cream would certainly rise to the top, IMO.

It would have to be in the name of fun first of all and a fundraiser, ...promoting the sport, second. The prize money should be a distance third if there was any at all. The discs could then be auctioned to benifit a charity or given to a local youth program.

I think your right,The players probably would be the toughest sell.... followed by the manufacturers. It would have to be a very limited type series ...if not just one event, once a year, for the specific purpose of raising money for charity and of course disc golf awareness.
Great idea, but probably would never happen. Plus who would want to throw "gateway"
If you had the added cash, they'd all show up. When their sponsor sends them they go to the Japan Open where they all have to throw 150 class. They all go to the USDGC with its yellow rope, triple mandos, hay bales and bamboo walls. All it takes to get most of the top pros to show up is about 40 grand added. The rest is negotiable.

Not disclosing until the start of the rounds isn't going to work. How are you going to keep it a secret from Discraft that you just ordered 150 Wasps and 150 XLs for your tournament?

2 per manufacturer means they'll be carrying 42 discs each. Can they just carry the eight discs they might actually throw or is carrying 42 discs part of the fun?
Bruce is right. Add enough cash and the players will want to play. Even if the players think the idea is lame they will want a shot at the purse. The 150 class experience seems to show that the top players will still be the top players no matter what they throw.

The biggest rub that I see is from the manufacturers standpoint. What's in it for them? Most of the top players are sponsored. A sponsorship agreement requires them to use their sponsor's equipment. Why would the sponsors release the players from this obligation? Does Innova want to see a photo of Climo putting with a Magnet? Does Discraft want to watch the video of Doss throwing a Roc?

For the major manufacturers, most disc models have similar counterparts made by both companies. So what is the point of the equal bag of discs? In the past when top players switched companies they continued to be top players (Juliana Korver, Cameron Todd). So really we are asking a question that we already know the answer to. If the top players can throw 150 class discs in big winds, anything else we ask of them will be relatively easy. The real challenge would be for average golfers. Could they forgo their favorite, perfectly tuned midrange disc and still play well? Probably the answer is the better the Indian, the less the arrow matters.
You guys are right, there are way to many problems and legal BS with making something like this work ...as I outlined it. It's more of a 'what if...' type thought then anything. I know it's a crazy idea!!! ...but it's a start.
That's why I asked for variations ...other thoughts on it.
It's a shame it has to always be about the money...and less about the fun of it....but such as life. ..."he who dies with the most toys ...wins"

How about this? I think a tourney....regardless of the format, should be held where it was less about the players purse and more about the pledge from sponsors. Something like this could be a real attention getter for our sport. This sport needs a huge boast of momentum.
Having the best in the world competing for ‘not the prize money’ …but pledge contributions from the sponsors. ...would be huge, IMHO. Show the world what disc golf can do. It's time this sport got some big time media attention. If it raises money into the 6 figure area or close...for selected charities. That could lead to some real media exposure. Yeah the sponsors would have to dig deep ...real deep. The PDGA would have to step up to the plate, add some moola to get the media in it, mainly advertising. ...yes, now I'm reaching.

The top players may not be as lost as we think…when it comes to using other discs. I would imagine most would have the confidence to play with anything. Like Mark said ....the better the indian, ...less about the arrow.
Maybe instead of using equally prepared bags...yeah Innova wouldn't want Kenny using a magnet..let alone being photographed using it. ...Limit the number to a putter, two mids, two drivers...players choice. Require the weights be identical, molds similiar.

Oh, and I’m not saying “take all the prize money away” just make the charitable contribution bigger then the purse...way bigger!!!

Bruce I'm curious about 21 Disc manufacturers. list them if you would. seperate entity companies, not those who may own the 'smaller guy'.


'What's in it for the sponsors?"....well, What's in it for them now? add big time media exposure, a charitible cause. What's in it for them?


Keep in mind, It's not my plan. It was just an idea taken from the thought of limiting the discs used in play. The real movers and shakers would have to step up to define it, craft it, make it happen.

The IROC series was a good series, successful before Crown Royal dropped the ball. In that series Ford allowed it's drivers to compete in GM products for just that event. Vica Versa, when it applied.
I just quickly scrolled through the PDGA approved list of discs and counted manufacturers. It may be that one or more manufacturers on the list are no longer in existence. And i don't know when the list was last updated.
Another current thread overlaps this one in a way, the Ace Race. The one at my home course, every player got two prototype discs from discraft, and could only use those two discs. They got to keep them after the tourney.
i've also played casual rounds where everyone leaves the bag in the car. Just carry a driver, upshot, and putter. That's fun, since I usually use the same three discs all round anyway, despite my large bag.

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