2015 FDDO International Champion
Photo by Wayne Ramsay
Exclusive disc policy effective as of July 1, 2016
Skyhoundz has selected Hyperflite flying discs as the exclusive flying discs of the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship Series. Beginning July 1, 2016, only Hyperflite discs, will be permitted in the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship Series at all levels of competition. For clarity, from July 1, 2016, going forward, at all Skyhoundz competitions (including, but not limited to, Local Championships, State Championships, DiscDogathon Qualifiers, Skyhoundz Classic Qualifiers, Xtreme Distance Qualifiers, DiscDogathon World Championship, Skyhoundz Classic World Championship, and Xtreme Distance World Championship), all competitors are required to use genuine Hyperflite discs. This change will ensure that the Skyhoundz Series will be around for future generations of canine disc enthusiasts to enjoy. Specific Skyhoundz disc-use rules can be found on our individual event rules page here. Why is Skyhoundz requiring that only Hyperflite Discs be used at its competitions? In a word, we want to ensure the long-term future of canine disc sports. Hyperflite’s support of the Skyhoundz Series is crucial to our plans to grow the sport, around the world, and provide more competitive opportunities for canine disc enthusiasts.
Here are some facts about the Skyhoundz Series and Hyperflite’s Sponsorship —
*Skyhoundz supports its organizers by permitting them to keep every penny that they make from staging a Skyhoundz competition which, in turn, helps those organizers grow the sport. *Skyhoundz has twice as many canine competitions as the other major organizers combined with plans for even more events in the future. *Hyperflite’s sponsorship allows Skyhoundz to give out nearly 4,000 awards each year, compared to about 1,000, in total, for the other major canine disc competitions. *Thanks to Hyperflite’s sponsorship, the DiscDogathon World Championship, Skyhoundz Classic World Championship, and Xtreme Distance World Championship, and the banquet and other special events held in connection therewith, are always free to qualifying teams. *Of the major canine disc competition series, Skyhoundz is the clear innovator when it comes to the addition of exciting new competition formats, divisions, and classes designed to appeal to every canine disc enthusiast. *Skyhoundz wants to double the number of canine disc competitions in the Skyhoundz series in the next five years as well as add new competition formats, but we can’t achieve that goal without the support of all enthusiasts who compete in the Skyhoundz Series. *Skyhoundz receives no sponsorship money from any other source and relies financially on Hyperflite to stage the Skyhoundz Series. Without the support of Hyperflite, there is no Skyhoundz Series.
It’s Time to Level the Playing Field...
The playing field has never been level for Hyperflite. For years, certain domestic and international canine disc competition series have not permitted Hyperflite canine discs to be used in their competitions. This exclusivity has given other disc manufacturers a competitive advantage. The liberal disc policies of the Skyhoundz Canine Disc Championship Series for the past 15 years have meant that other disc manufacturers have profited from selling discs to canine disc enthusiasts who compete in the Skyhoundz Series, while not supporting the Skyhoundz Series at all. These same disc manufacturers also “cherry pick” successful teams who then compete with the sponsor’s discs in the Skyhoundz Series, knowing full well that Hyperflite, as a sponsor of the Skyhoundz Series, cannot ethically sponsor individual teams in its own sponsored competitions. These manufacturers then promote the successes of their sponsored teams to the detriment of Hyperflite. To put it another way, existing manufacturers have preferred to go the cheaper route of sponsoring individual competitors, rather than a full competition series like Skyhoundz. So, while a few elite teams benefit from personal sponsorships, profit-oriented disc manufacturers have avoided paying their fair share to those competition series that provide the competitive opportunities that are the lifeblood of the sport. Not only that, Hyperflite faces pressure from companies that have copied Hyperflite’s patented disc design. We have actually observed competitors throwing “knock off” Hyperflite discs at Skyhoundz competitions in Asia and elsewhere. Adding to the pressure, in the past few years, at least three new canine disc manufacturers have introduced discs that these manufacturers hope to sell to canine disc competitors. Not one of these new disc manufacturers meaningfully supports any of the organized canine disc competition series. A level playing field will demonstrate which companies are committed to the sport, and which companies are simply committed to their bottom lines. Now that the free ride is over, our hope is that the other disc manufacturers will do what they should have been doing all along and, as a consequence, all canine disc competition series will benefit and enjoy the resources necessary to grow and thrive.
Why make this change now, instead of at the beginning of the season?
The change was originally planned for the beginning of the year, but before implementing it, we wanted to be able to offer competitors who preferred a classic style disc, a viable option — hence, the newly available Hyperflite Z-Disc. With Z-Disc availability now at 100%, further delays are unnecessary. We have always endeavored to do what is right for competitors. As such, all competitors who have qualified for our World’s with other manufacturer’s discs will remain qualified, though they will have to use Hyperflite discs at their respective Skyhoundz World Championship (DiscDogathon World Championship, Skyhoundz Classic World Championship, and Xtreme Distance World Championship). In addition, we wanted to give competitors an opportunity to become comfortable with Hyperflite discs before requiring their use in competition. Announcing the change, as we have, on Friday, May 13, 2016 will give teams six weeks to make necessary adjustments before the rule change takes effect on July 1, 2016. This should give everyone plenty of time to adjust to new discs to the extent that they do not already use Hyperflite’s canine discs. To conclude, Hyperflite’s demonstrated commitment to our beloved sport will not change, and both organizations look forward to even greater things for the Skyhoundz Series, and the disc dog community, going forward.