It is interesting to see the Australian Spar building being referenced when our gear checks in Australia suffer from major drawbacks because of it.
We cannot gear check equipment properly according to our rules without pulling it apart (because of all the rules of how far from the core padding needs to be). So there is no real way to check that people are following some of the rules including "minimum padding" specifications. What is written in our Spar Specifications contains a lot of guidance towards how we encourage gear to be made in Australia and we check what we can as gear checkers. You will be interested to know that this has been flagged as something to be reviewed and updated. Work has been started to take the rules from the Spar Specifications document and incorporate it into the Australian Jugger Rulebook and leave behind a spar builders guide. The Australian Jugger League community will then drive what happens next.
We also suffer similar problems as elsewhere when it comes to how much the foam must be able to compress. Our wording of how to check the padding was not being utilised and we found people resorting to the European check of digging thumbs in deep to try and feel the core. Similarly, padding checks of pommels has come under fire at tournaments as different gear checkers have different ideas of pass/fail.
In my travels I see bad habits creeping in because of variations in rules. I saw at the Irish tournament players added a tiny piece of padding and tape to create a pommel or a staff's "sleeve" that passed Irish specs and ripping it off immediately after. Or the piece of coloured tape added to pompfen for a German pommel check.
In my opinion pushing a single thumb (or two) into padding with a lot of force does not represent gameplay or how the padding compresses under game usage. I believe compression checks should refer to how well the padding distributes force and compresses under normal usage (and known cases). Adding a minimum amount of compression (a few centimetres?) required by striking tips might also help with that critical area. I would be interested to see what data could be compiled about setting weight restrictions on pompfen. We can easily weigh equipment at a gear check, but not easily pull equipment apart to check you added 20mm of padding to the core and didn't then apply so much tape that it is now only 10mm off the core.
If someone started an international rules committee, committed to creating specifications accepted worldwide, I would be there with bells on!