I agree with Tom (Tscarborough) that is worth trying to open up your dough while it is cold. However, in my experience, the two most important things to consider in this regard is the hydration of the dough and the degree of fermentation. If the dough is a high hydration dough, it will most likely lend itself reasonably well to opening while cold. In fact, in some cases, that might be preferable to letting the dough warm up before opening because such a dough when warmed up might be too extensible. However, I can pretty much assure you that you will not be able to easily open up a cold dough with low hydration. For example, when I conducted my experiments with Mellow Mushroom clone dough balls, the hydration of those dough balls was around 51%. A couple percent of oil and copious amounts of molasses made the "effective" hydration of the dough balls around 54-55%. When those dough balls came out of the refrigerator, they were firm, stiff and dense. There was no way that I would have been able to open up those dough balls while cold. Similarly, when I was conducting experiments with Papa Gino's clone doughs, which had nominal hydration values of around 51% (plus a couple percent oil), those dough balls were also far too stiff to open up cold. But, interestingly, and somewhat surprisingly, when given about an hour or two at room temperature, both of those types of dough balls opened up quite nicely and easily, although the Mellow Mushroom skins still did exhibit a fair amount of elasticity even though it did not pose any problems.
Most of the big pizza chains have manuals that instruct workers in their stores as to when and how they should open up the dough balls. In two instances that I am personally aware of, those manuals instruct workers to open up the dough balls when their temperature is about 55 degrees F. As I have mentioned before, that is too cold for me. I shoot for something over 60 degrees F and as high as 70 degrees F. In Texas where I live, it does not take long for dough balls to rise to those temperatures, especially in the summer where room temperatures are considerably higher than the rest of the year. I have also found that the tempering of dough balls at room temperature also allows the dough balls to ferment more. It will often happen that a dough ball, especially one with a small amount of yeast, will not ferment as fast as one with considerably more yeast. As a result, there may not be much rise in the dough balls while in the refrigerator (this is a common complaint among our members, especially newbies). But, giving the dough an hour or two, or even longer, at room temperature allows the dough balls to ferment more and exhibit a noticeable rise. That makes the dough balls easier to open up.
What I have observed is that many of our members do not know why their dough balls should be tempered before using. Usually what you hear about is that the dough balls are easier to open up after they have warmed up. That may well be true but the main reason for letting the dough balls warm up before opening is that they are less prone to bubbling in the finished crust. This is something that comes through loud and clear when Tom Lehmann talks about this subject. An example is this post by Tom at the PMQ Think Tank: http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=13820#p13820
. See also his post at http://thinktank.pmq.com/viewtopic.php?p=48918#p48918
The main point I am trying to make is that not all dough balls can be opened up while cold. But if you know what to look for, you might be able to predict whether your dough balls will be easy or difficult to open up while cold. But, as Steve (Ev) mentioned, all is not lost when a dough ball does not readily submit to opening up cold. A brief rest here and there will usually solve the problem. I have also seen workers in pizza stores (most notably, Papa John's) use dough dockers on dough balls right out of the cooler. I have never seen a dough ball abused as much as when the PJ workers go to town with their dough dockers.