Illegal rackets

Discussion in 'Classic Racquet Talk' started by Autodidactic player, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    All of these rackets have been deemed illegal for sanctioned tournament play. Who wants to say why?

    P.S. I think a good argument could be made that three are not really illegal under a literal reading of the rules and another one could easily be made legal prior to play.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    ^^^Great photo, but my head's hurting thinking about why they are all illegal, so am going to leave these for someone else to work out!
     
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  3. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Probably longer than 29"?
     
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  4. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    Length, headsize, stringing system (spaghetti), length of main strings in relation to the cross strings, and movable parts inside the racquet.

    Am I right?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2013
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  5. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Is the lenght of that "R" adjustable? That would be really cool!
     
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  6. Slitch

    Slitch Rookie

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    Yes it is.
     
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  7. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    OK, here are the rules regarding racket construction:

    a. The hitting surface, defined as the main area of the stringing pattern bordered by the points of entry of the strings into the frame or points of contact of the strings with the frame, whichever is the smaller, shall be flat and consist of a pattern of crossed strings connected to a frame and alternately interlaced or bonded where they cross. The stringing pattern must be generally uniform and, in particular, not less dense in the centre than in any other area. The racket shall be designed and strung such that the playing characteristics are identical on both faces. The racket shall be free of attached objects, protrusions and devices other than those utilized solely and specifically to limit or prevent wear and tear or vibration or, for the frame only, to distribute weight. These objects, protrusions and devices must be reasonable in size and placement for such purposes.

    b. The frame of the racket shall not exceed 73.7 cm (29.0 inches) in overall length, including the handle. The frame of the racket shall not exceed 31.7 cm (12.5 inches) in overall width. The hitting surface shall not exceed 39.4 cm (15.5 inches) in overall length, and 29.2 cm (11.5 inches) in overall width.

    c. The frame, including the handle, and the strings, shall be free of any device which makes it possible to change materially the shape of the racket, or to change materially the weight distribution in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the racket which would alter the swing moment of inertia, or to change deliberately any physical property which may affect the performance of the racket during the playing of a point. No energy source that in any way changes or affects the playing characteristics of a racket may be built into or attached to a racket.

    d. The racket must be free of any device that may provide communication, advice or instruction of any kind, audible or visible, to a player during a match.

    5 of the rackets are longer than allowed; the R A Y C O, however, can be adjusted to legal length. 6 of the rackets have main strings longer than allowed. 1 of the rackets has cross strings longer than allowed. 1 of the rackets is filled with fluid which would "alter the swing moment of inertia" and the Yahama 33 is spaghetti strung. * One of the rackets violates two rules!

    I think you could successfully argue that the two SP.IN rackets and the Bancroft should be legal even though the main strings are longer than 15.5 inches because the "hitting surface" does not exceed 15.5 inches on these rackets - although I guess it would be possible to hit the ball on the strung part of the throat of the SP.IN rackets.
     
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  8. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Wouldn't stuff like microgel or 3do be illegal, then? Iff there is actually a cpnsiderable %, of course...
     
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  9. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    No. Those technologies don't "change materially the weight distribution in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the racket." In other words, microgel and other similar materials don't move in any material way thus they are "legal."

    Pro Kennex made rackets with what they called "kinetic" technology which basically amounted to putting small chambers filled with miniature BBs around the head. When you swung the BBs would move very slightly supposedly giving a "kinetic advantage" and lower vibrations. The powers that be determined that this technology was legal - most probably because there was very limited movement of the "kinetic" BBs.
     
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  10. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    Sorry but the SPiN fan string racquet is not illegal, the British player Jo Durie used it on the tour.
     
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  11. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    I'm not sure this is correct; although I can't find any definitive statement. The Sp.In racket was never challenged when Ms. Durie played with it on tour so it was "legal" then. Much like spaghetti strung rackets were "legal" when first introduced in 1977 and then later banned by the International Tennis Federation. I think that after Head introduced the TIs7 with extra long main strings and had the racket successfully challenged and banned the rule appears to have been clarified to prohibit main strings longer than 15.5 inches.

    I'm happy to be corrected if this is wrong.
     
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  12. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    Hi , I asked our clubs resident "racquet guru and pro shop owner" as the SPiN racquet is still used by a number of members here (it was from what I was told) pretty popular in and around London. There are a number of members here that still use them and he said that there was talk of the old company coming back and re releasing them again, so on that basis I guess they have done their home work? I guess it will make a difference for all the cookie cutter racquets on the market today :)
     
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  13. yonexRx32

    yonexRx32 Rookie

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    The reason PK's approach is legal is that the movement of the particles is perpendicular to the face of the racket and thus does not change the weight distribution along the axis of the racket.
     
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  14. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Have you seen Brian Battistone's crazy two handled racquet? When you look at it it seems like there is no way it is legal, but he won the Colorado State Open last year with it. After reading the rules above I see he is not breaking any current ones, but I am guessing a rule will be written at some point banning it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQYOW1DlydU
     
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  15. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    The Handler(?) and one or two other two-handled rackets have been around since the '80s. Frankly, I don't see the advantage for 99.9% of players ;) .

    That guy's gotta be darned fit, if he's ever serving like that @ 5-5 in the third !!! How about second serves ? My feet and knees hurt just watching that :).

    I only watched for a minute...what's with the switching hands on the toss/serve?

    "Tennis" blew it in the '70s by giving in to the manufacturers and not implementing some reasonable regulations early in the development of big, powerful, long, light rackets, IMHO.
     
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  16. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Great thread for understanding the racket rules !

    Brian Battistone is amazing, I have seen him and his brother play both singles and dubs and they were in the top 100 in dubs.
    Brian can do it for 3 sets and several matches a day in tournaments. The serve is sorta like a volleyball jump serve in that he tosses the ball and then jumps into the serve. What really makes it amazing it that he tosses and hits the serve with the same hand, while changing the racket from off hand to hitting hand between the toss and launch into the jump serve.
     
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  17. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    Four double handled rackets - all legal!

    Unlikely, double handled rackets have been around for decades and they haven't been banned yet. For example, here is a patent filed for a double handled racket in 1954; here is another example of a patent for a two handled racket filed in 1988.

    Here are four of my double handled rackets. All are legal!

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Nice collection of the dual handle rackets.
    The below links shows some info and marketing reasons for using the dual handle rackets like the Battisone Handler model

    http://www.woodtennis.com/2handles/
     
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  19. colowhisper

    colowhisper Semi-Pro

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    Very interesting, I had no idea they went back that far, thanks for sharing. Do you play with those vet often?
     
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  20. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    The one on the left, called "The Handler," plays really well. Moderately stiff with good control and excellent power. I use a one handed backhand so the second handle is useless to me, and I really don't see that it would be of great benefit to others, but overall I give that racket two thumbs up. The next racket, the "Logix," is terrible. The head has serious flex and anything hit slightly off center causes massive twisting at the grip. The racket is also "oversize," probably 125 square inches or so, and that causes it to have all the control issues associated with oversize rackets. The design just seems inferior to the Handler. "The Natural" falls in between the first two. The racket itself feels pretty nice but the forked grip is even more difficult to use than the first two. I learned to play in the 70's where strokes were still taught :wink: so the forked grip throws my strokes off far more than the other style. The Battistone is new and I don't intend to string it.
     
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  21. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    The great thing about the Handler and Logix is that their design allow the player to hit a two handed overhead or serve - woefully undertaught shots in today's game.
     
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  22. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I played a guy with one of the Battistone rackets a while ago. Early in the match he kept passing me because I kept being surprised about the direction the ball came off the racket. Either I adjusted subconciously or he started playing worse because it wasn't an issue later in the match.
     
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  23. The Meat

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    In the first post, why was the top most left racquet banned? It looks under 29".
     
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  24. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    The racket is the Tony Trabert "Big Bubba" and it measures 29 1/4 inches long, the exact same length as the racket to its right, the Dunlop "Superlong 2.25." I recall that Marion Bartoli was told that she couldn't use one of her customized rackets in a tournament last year because it measured a a shade over 29".

    It's hard to see but here is a picture of the Tony Trabert Big Bubba with a tape measure:

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Thanks, I was wondering how it was illegal because it looks to be a midsize racquet from the picture. That's a really long handle/beam.
     
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  26. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    Only with the Gamma Big Bubba in the picture could the Tony Trabert racket look small! Here is a picture that shows how clownishly large some of these racket dimensions are:

    [​IMG]
     
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  27. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Oh my.......that's a monster.... :shock:
     
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  28. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    Of course the most important thing to remember is that they are only "Illegal" for sanctioned tournament play, as the vast majority of players never play ITF etc, tournaments and only play the game for enjoyment, any racquet whatever the size or shape that makes this more enjoyable should be embraced.
    The sport is in bad shape compared to it's boom time when the oversize racquets hit, making the game more enjoyable for hackers. IMO Bring on the wacky innovation and design.

    BTW. This link on the bay clearly states the legality of the spin. www.****.co.uk/itm/1980-SP-IN-G-300-Long-String-Tennis-Racket-Case-TC-Soong-Wimbledon-Tennis-SPIN-/221208459750?pt=UK_Tennis&hash=item33810d39e6[/url]
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
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  29. jimbo333

    jimbo333 Hall of Fame

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    I know I've said this before, but your collection really looks amazing. So many unusual rare frames!
     
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  30. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    How come the WEED is banned? I thought that was OK under current rules aka GAMMA big bubba is still 135 sq in after they chopped 2-3 in. off the length.
     
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  31. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    The "hitting surface" (measured inside the frame) is 12 inches wide which is 1/2 inch wider than allowed.

    "The hitting surface shall not exceed ... 29.2 cm (11.5 inches) in overall width".
     
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  32. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    Have you measured a GAMMA BIG BUBBA in the same way? I have one packed away but can't think it would be narrower, but maybe it is and possibly longer. I recall that it is about the maximum legal size any racquet can be given the dimensions from the ITF.
     
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  33. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    This only matters if you are playing tournaments.....good on brands like WEED.
     
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  34. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    Actually the Gamma is 1/2 inch narrower than the Weed; 11.5 inches at its widest, measured inside the frame. Since its 32 inches long, a full 5 inches longer than the Weed, I think it just makes every other racket seem small!
     
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  35. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    I completely agree. A lot of these odd rackets are loads of fun to play with at the local club and they're great conversation starters. :)
     
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  36. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    I was talking with a couple of the ITF tournament playing vets at the club bar and they said there were "Plenty" of WEED's being played at events, so I guess they are not that Illegal after all :)
     
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  37. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    The Weed in my picture is the original Weed, circa 1979, called the "Weed Killer." It is technically illegal now because the hitting surface is 1/2 inch too wide. Weed has subsiquently fixed this issue and now their widest model is a legal 11.5 inches.

    * Gamma also fixed their illegality issue with the "Big Bubba" by reducing the length to an even 29 inches; they left the head size the same. This is why the original Weed Killer and original Gamma Big Bubba are so collectable.
     
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  38. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    Fair enough, think I'm going to order a couple......I'm feeling pretty old after this mornings doubles ;-)
     
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  39. High street sw19

    High street sw19 Rookie

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    Ha ! just pulled the trigger on a 125 & 135......sweet :)
     
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  40. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Anyone remember the DynaSpot rackets of the 80's, with an oil bladder along the inside surface of the hoop? They were designed to do what the ITF says a racket is not allowed to do, changing its swing weight along the longitudinal axis during the swing.
     
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  41. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    The Dynaspot is shown in the first picture; middle row right hand side. Here's a better picture:

    [​IMG]
     
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  42. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Whoops... My Classic Racket Fu and my vision are both weak!

    Great idea for a racket, though, wasn't it? It's a compliment to an engineering achievement when a design gets outlawed – sort of like all those basketball rules that got changed when Wilt Chamberlain came along.
     
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  43. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    To add to the excellent examples already posted. If you read point d. under the ITF rules of racquets a few posts back you will then understand why this great idea from a French inventor with Tretorn aptly titled THE SPEEDGUN couldn't progress to market.

    The screen displays the last 10 shots speed which is calculated via a vibration dampener type unit measuring string movement / tension under impact from the ball. Claimed accuracy to +- 2.5Km so great fun.

    Even though not legal perhaps a great coaching tool and one where students can be reinforced on shot speed targets for passing shots, serves etc.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  44. skiracer55

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    A two-handed serve...

    ...run that by me again...
     
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  45. retrowagen

    retrowagen Hall of Fame

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    At last! It's taken three weeks for someone to get my joke!! :lol:
     
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  46. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Hi Auto,

    Sorry to revive this old thread.....curious about the handler. I can't find the specs anywhere . Do yo know what they are?
     
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  47. Autodidactic player

    Autodidactic player Semi-Pro

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    Head size = 110 square inches
    Racquet length = 29 inches
    Weight = 13.4 ounces

    I don't know the specific flexibility rating but I judge the racket to be quite stiff, about equal to the other "wide-body" rackets that were popular in the 90's.

    P.S. The inventor is still marketing updated versions of this racket: Boukheir Tennis
     
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  48. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Thanks !

    Yes I saw it ....called the paradox.

    Have you hit with it ? His videos look amazing .....the consistency was off the charts.

    Was he hitting a regular tennis ball ?
     
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  49. rodracquet

    rodracquet Rookie

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    I just measured the WEED 11 and it is 11.25 wide inside frame width, 11.5 half frame to half frame.

    Sure is a big racquet when you get it out of the bag!!!
     
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  50. The Dark Knight

    The Dark Knight Legend

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    Did anyone ever hit with it? Does it do anything?
     
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