And evidently one player used a Ringer for one shot during the event and got stroked for it.
The players were repeatedly warned that the new discs were not yet legal.
It is not uncommon for new discs to be released at major events. Discraft has released new discs at the Discraft Great Lakes Open and other select events for years.
Tournaments have always been times for the debut of new things. How many new courses have been opened just in time for a tournament? How many World Championships use brand new courses? A tournament creates a cut-off date and forces things to get done. Sometimes things get done just barely in time. A few days before Am Nats Discraft was not happy with the plastic blends in the Ringer and debated whether to release it or change the mold and test it some more. The last run of plastic tested came out superbly so it went into the player's packs.
I would guess the players would rather have prototypes of new discs, even if they were not yet approved, than to not receive them. No matter the disc, few players would show up to a major event and add a new mold disc to the bag. Most players will test out a new disc for days or weeks before being confident enough to use it in tournaments.
BTW, the "poor ams just learning and being steered adrift" are some of the top Amateur players in the world and most are veterans of tournament play. The player who was stroked is a tournament veteran and has pro level skills. He is also my friend so I get to harass him.
I threw the Stalker today and really liked it. It went exactly where I was throwing it. I throw hard but it didn't turn over. I half expected it to looking at the shape of the disc. It isn't a disc that you have to get the feel for. It goes right in your hand and comes out smooth. I parked a downhill 340 hallway shot on a practice drive with the Stalker. Hole 18 at Robert Morris Park in Kalamazoo, MI if anyone is familiar or interested.
Now with these new discs out I can't wait to throw Josh's ringer to see if I like it. I just hope they come up with a sweet color for them because that milky color is bleh.
Answer: Nope, the Stalker is Discraft therefore superior to all other plastic. Aside from that fact, it looks almost identical to a t-bird, just a really slight bead at the bottom of the rim, and supposedly flies a lot like some t-birds too (since innova is so inconsistent its hard to say what run would be the most similar). I think Mark made an educated comparison to the two discs previously in this thread. I love the disc and find myself replacing my impact, which used to be my "tweener" disc, with the stalker since I can throw it harder and it goes straighter. It probably won't leave my bag for a long time.