USA Ultimate Procedure DSWG001 - Disc Approval Process
USA Ultimate Procedure DSWG002 - Disc Testing Criteria
USA Ultimate Procedure DSWG002-01 - Disc Technical Drawing
USA Ultimate Procedure DSWG003 - Disc Testing Criteria for U-12 Discs
USA Ultimate Procedure DSWG003-01 - U-12 Disc Technical Drawing
Discraft 175g Ultra-Star through 2016 - Read the 2014 News Article/Announcement
Current USA Ultimate Approved Discs
UltraStar, Westland Mold – Hot Stamp
UltraStar, Westland Mold – Supercolor Center
UltraStar, Web Mold – Hot Stamp
UltraStar, Web Mold – Supercolor Center
• Discraft UltraStar, Web Mold II – Hot Stamp
• X-COM Ultimate Standard – Hot Stamp
• Yikun UltiPro – Hot Stamp
UltraStar, Web Mold – Full Supercolor
• Discraft UltraStar, Web Mold II – Full Supercolor
UltraStar, Westland Mold – Full Supercolor
• EuroDisc Ultimate Standard – Hot Stamp
• Daredevil 140g U-12 Ultimate Disc – Hot Stamp
• X-COM Junior Standard – Hot Stamp
USA Ultimate employs a Disc Technical Standard (see DSWG002 and DSWG003 above) that specifies the official size and weight of USA Ultimate Approved discs. Once a disc meets these requirements, USA Ultimate begins a multi-level player review of the flight characteristics of a candidate disc. This approach ensures that candidate discs not only meet the size and weight requirements, but also have acceptable flight characteristics, comfortable grip for players of all sizes and reasonable catchability.
Vendors are advised to use a currently approved disc as guidance for candidate discs. A vendor submits a candidate disc for an informal review by members of the Disc Standards Working Group (DSWG). This is a "reality check" to ensure resources are not wasted (vendor or USA Ultimate) on a disc with little or no chance of approval. If a disc shows promise it is then tested by the seven members of the Disc Approval Committee (DAC). This seven member committee determines if the disc is ready for a formal review. Once a disc is approved for formal review it tested by the larger Flight Test Pool (FTP) as described below. Should a manufacturer make any changes to the mold, or to the plastic that is used to manufacture the submitted discs, it will be necessary to re-apply for approval. Approved Discs need to be re-submitted for review by the Disc Standards Working Group every 3 years.
Based on a definition accepted by the USA Ultimate Board of Directors, a disc meets the USA Ultimate minimum standard of "USA Ultimate Approved" if it is accepted as "good enough for use by leagues, tournaments, and USA Ultimate members." This requires a score of greater that 50% by members of the Flight Test Pool.
Similarly, a disc earns Championship Approval if it is accepted as "good enough for use in high level ultimate competions such as competitive tournaments and USA Ultimate Championships Series events." This also requires a score of greater than 50% by members of the Flight Test Pool.
The multi-level approval process was adopted by USA Ultimate for several reasons. It allows a disc to be used in recreational play without being encumbered by the exacting standards of our elite members.
With time, a disc with a different flight or other characteristics may be accepted for a subset of our members (for example, a smaller disc for younger players, or a disc with more stable flight characteristics for novice players). The multi-level approach gives USA Ultimate the flexibility it needs to approve a disc for uses appropriate to the level of play.
Composition of the Flight Test Pool
The Flight Test Pool is composed of a geographically diverse mix of players, both male and female, who are skilled throwers. These players evaluate a candidate disc using an online survey composed of questions approved by the Disc Standards Working Group. The results from these surveys are used to determine the acceptability of a disc for various levels of play.
For more information, contact David Raflo, coordinator of the USA Ultimate Disc Standards Working Group: firstname.lastname@example.org