Monday, July 23, 2007


Spirit of the Rules?

Many say spirit is linked to knowledge of the rules. Some want
to require rules quizzes for teams. Every player is a referee, right?
So shouldn't all be required to know the rules?

Though I am attracted to the logic of these arguments, I reject
them wholeheartedly. In fact, my recent effort to learn the rules was
to better understand the connection, if any, between rules and spirit.
(Administratively, quizzes would be nearly impossible anyway.)

It's true that players are referees, so they should know what a violation
and what a foul is. By and large, these are easy to recognize.
The consequences of foul calls and violations are much more
subtle, and whilel I *do* think that every game should have a
copy of the rules on the sideline, I don't think it is incumbent on
individual players to know all intricacies. If playing the game were
like operating heavy machinery, then there'd be an easy argument
for knowing the rules. But it's more like knitting. If there's a stray purl here and
there, the sweater will still keep you warm.

On-field conduct is simply way more important.

Examples from actual play:

* Player calls equipment time-out just before his team turns the disc
over. The "technical time out," however, cannot be called in running
play. This was explained to the player, who was gracious in acknowledging
the turnover. Poor rules knowledge, but excellent spirit.

* I have the disc waiting for a check, when a self-check (a.k.a. "ground check")
would suffice. Had I known that, I could have put the disc into play earlier and
had an easier time making the throw I wanted. Result: I would have
benefitted from better rules knowledge, but that's all.

* Close call on the sideline and I ask for clarification as to whether the
defender touched the disc ("yes" says defender's teammate)... and
while he was still an in-bounds player? ("yes --- I know the rules," perhaps
a bit snidely). So far, knowledge of rules, yes, but no evidence of great (or poor spirit).
Later that game, I call a foul on the player who had responded earlier, indicating his
knowledge of the rules. (Perhaps my only foul call all weekend, but he wouldn't
have known that.) I claim that he bumped me while I tried to catch the disc. He says that
his hand was under mine -- "contest." I try to explain that his point is moot, as
the hand had nothing to do with the foul. He (without 60% of the vote, mind you!)
demands cloture and cuts off debate stating "contest -- the disc goes back --
that's what the rules state" (or something like that). Well, my understanding of XVI.B
is that one needs to contest a play on specific grounds relating to the infraction.
My point here: knowledge of the rules demonstrated satisfactorily. Spirit? Not
so much.

* I bobble the disc but eventually catch it in the endzone. I did not intentionally
mac it in order to advance the disc. Opponent asks whether it is not a goal. I
call it a goal, explain the rule after the point, and he graciously accepts the result.
Verdict: spirited opponent with imperfect rules knowledge.

* Before the no-double-turnover clause XII.C was established in the rules
(this is quite some time ago), I used to argue for a double-turnover, on occasion.
Most of the time, these efforts were dismissed summarily. Summary: my attempt
to apply my knowledge of the rules was seen as unspirited.

* I have, on occasion, called a foul on myself. This is not allowed in the rules.
I can alert an opponent of the infraction, but it is up to him/her as to whether he/she
will make a call. Fair enough, the opponent may prefer to let play continue.
Calling my own foul was ignorant of the rules, but I don't think it has ever
been seen as unspirited.

Maybe I'm stacking the examples, or maybe these are exceptions that prove the
rule, but I just don't see the connection.

I do understand the argument that you have to *know* the rules to *follow* them,
but I don't think you have to have a detailed knowledge to play with sportsmanship.
Generally, good intentions take you a long way. I know that people *intuitively*
feel the connection between rules knowledge and spirit -- or at least between
rules knowledge and rule abiding? -- but I can't support the contention after a
close review. (We don't base national policies on intuition. Um... er... well, at least
we *shouldn't.*) Can you?


p.s. The version of the spirit guidelines currently under consideration by the
UPA has language mixing "knowledge of" and attempts to "adhere to"
to the rules (i.e. not cheating). I think we are all against intentional nonadherence.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


The Rules Game, Part III

These comments cover sections XVI through XIX in the 11th edition UPA rules.
For disclaimers, see "Part I" post of 7/4/07. Warning: these notes were written in
some haste and have not been edited for content or formatted to fit your screen.


XVI.A I used to think that you could call your own foul, and have done so. I guess
not. (See XIX.A, too.)

XVI.B Ahhhhh, if only life were so simple!

XVI.C Oy yi yi, the continuation rule.
I have saved this for last [I'm writing this afterr all the other stuff] because I'm afraid of it.
So much has been said. Now UPA and WFDF are worlds apart.
Has simplification begat complexity?

I think that from a jurisprudence point of view, having a continuation rule
(even one that would have disallowed continuation) that applies to many different calls
is a good aim. However, in this case I think that it runs counter to the way the
game is played today. So, should the rules be a chicken or an egg? Should our
behavior follow the rules, or should we adapt to the rules. Of course we must adapt
as players, but the question I am asking pertains to how we should write the rules.

Without answering this question, I'll say that this rule has definitely preceeded behavior.

Also (and I have read some on the UPA Rules Blog and 11th Edition Discussion Forum)
a buck seems to have been passed from point of infraction or point of call to point
of acknowledgement. Further, is it clear what constitutes acknowledgement of a call.
And what about my question about etiquette XIX.F? Is it poor etiquette to fail to
acknowledge a call? Why? If the thrower sees the infraction and judges it not
to affect his intended play, and if the rules are written not to penalize infractions
but to recreate the situation as if they hadn't occurred, then why would it be
unspirited not to acknowledge a call and therefore to take advantage of the continuation

There is more to say, but I don't think I can exhaust the issues here.

The rule is fairly clearly written if you allow that "affected the play" is clear. It seems
fairly clear except for that meddlesome word "meaningfully." Are there meaningful
ways of affecting a play other than to change the outcome of a pass from incomplete
to complete, or vice versa? Suppose you lost 10 yards on your player but he was
not involved in the play. Then "the play" was not affected, but "continued play" was
affected, in that a goal will be easy. Should this be permitted? It would seem that
the players should be lobbying for a more liberal definition of "affected the play,"
because "the play" is not what's important to them but rather the likelihood of scoring.
Any maneuver such as a pick that affects the likelihood of scoring, even if it does
not affect a play, should not be allowed to stand. I realize that one can never
quantify likelihood of scoring, but I take this as evidence for advocating a more liberal
definition of "affected the play."
(Apologies: all this was right off the cuff and unedited. May not stand up to

XVI.C.4.a Do we return to where we were when the call was made or
when the infraction occurred. (Is timeliness of calls reflected in the rules at all?
This seems an important issue, at least for the etiquette section.)
In XVI.C.4.c the time of the infraction is the relevant one. I haven't checked the
rules for consistency on this matter.

XVI.E "Advancing in any direction"? Is this the same as "increasing its speed"?
I don't know what the word "advance" is otherwise, if it can be done in any direction.

XVI.F Interesting rule. I'd have expected to see "last point of contact."
Hmm... now that I think about it, what if the thrower has caught a pass near the
endzone he is attacking and leapt to throw a goal which comes back on a
contested call? The closest part of the playing field may be in the endzone.
I guess X.B comes into play, but the applicability seems dubious, especially
since this is a specific rule which should trump a general rule (see I.E).

Would the notion of "offensive playing field proper" (playing field minus
endzone the offense is attacking) be useful for any purpose? Likewise
for the defense?

XVI.G It seems we need some guidance as to what constitutes "offsetting"?
Would not any two (or more) calls from opposing teams which "affected play"
be offsetting? If so, then it would help to say so.

XVI.H.2 The use of the term "adjacent" is funny. Why is it there. If I can imagine
such contact between "nonadjacent" players, would it not be covered by this
note? Aren't two contacting players adjacent by definition? Sorry, this is all
unnecessary, of course.

XVI.H.3.b.3 Perhaps this is heresy, but it may be time to get rid of the grandiose
"principle of verticality." Does it say anything that is not already covered
by XVI.H.3.b.1 and XVII.B (see note there, too)?

XVI.H.3.b.4 I'm confused by the phrase "or out of the end zone instead of
in the end zone," in the first sentence. Let's consider the two possible end zones
involved in that phrase. If it's the end zone being attacked, then the second
sentence applies. If it's the end zone that the offense is defending (that
"offensive playing field proper" concept is useful here), then why should being
in it or out of it have any bearing on the play whatsoever? From the point of
view of the offense, the goal line separating the defended end zone from the
playing field proper has no meaning. I'd remove this phrase and not try to group
the end zone situation with the out-of-bounds situation. This seems more accurate
and clearer.

I'm amused by the fantasy scenario of a huge bump sending a player
flying through the air from one end zone to the other. Then what?

XVI.H.3.c.1 I said I wouldn't carp on grammar, but this run on sentence really
hinders comprehension. Let's replace the "and" by a period and a new sentence:
"Any resulting non-incidental contact constitutes a receiving foul on the blocking
player (XVI.H.3.b)."

But we have a new problem: the word "solely" may be too strong. It is easy to argue
that you rarely, if ever, do anything in ultimately "solely" for a certain effect.
And yet these blocking fouls are a very gray area, and it's impossible to avoid
controversy. For example, if I recommend "primarily" instead of "solely," then
this may be more accurate to what should be called, but the language
is more slippery. Still, I think I prefer "primarily." I wonder what others have said
about this.

XVI.H3.c.2 I think replacing "that is unavoidable by"
by "that renders unavoidable contact with" makes this rule more readable
(people will probably prefer "creates" to "renders," but not me).

XVI.H.3.d Hmmm... the disc in a player's possession is part of that player, so
isn't any such contact already subject to rules forbidding initiating contact
with the thrower? (So is it time to remove the strip from our lexicon?)
The reason I point this out is that it is still a foul whether or not you drop the
disc, no? So why the special call?

XVI.I I like this writing.

XVI.J.1.c Here again we have the phrase "advance in any direction," and here
again it is confusing. If I bobble the disc to catch it, I am purposefully redirecting
it so that I might catch it. If I purposefully redirect it as such, then surely I am
purposefully advancing the disc in *some* direction. Here the replacement
by "decreasing the speed of the disc" doesn't seem to help at all.

I guess it's the same group of words being problematic. If we write "solely" to
advance the disc, then we have other issues. Again, "primarily" may be the
best way out? I don't know.

XVI.K This is a doozy, but I have nothing to say about how it is written. It is


XVII.A Can five players on a team form a ring around a very strong player
and obstruct his movement (but without moving themselves), in the chance
that the other two against the other six gives them better odds of winning? Of
course not. And yet it is not a blocking foul or a pick or, as far as I can tell,
addressed anywhere else. This section should define obstruction more broadly.

XVII.B The second scenario subsumes the first. The rule should simply state,
"A player who jumps is entitled to land without hindrance by opponents
provided that the landing spot and the direct path between the take-off
and landing spots were not already occupied at the time of take-off."
In the event of a purely vertical jump, it is clear that the provision applies.

However, this rule is self-contradictory, as you can see from the case of
two opposing players running from opposite directions who jump so as to land on
top of each other. Neither path was occupied at the time of take-off, but both
players' landings were hindered by the other. What we need is some kind of
right-of-way. (Presumably, it goes to the offense? But what if these jumps were
not to catch a disc, for some reason?)

Also, there is throughout the rules a kind of awkward treatment of kinetic
situations, where position is not as important as momentum (or more precisely
the combination of the two). I don't have a great solution for this. I would like
to see what is written in the rules of similar team sports like soccer, lacrosse
and field hockey.


If observers are mentioned in the rules, the so should the rules governing
the interaction between players and (especially on-field) observers.
So the rules which say that the observers are in- or
out-of-bounds, the rules which govern obstruction of play by observers (picks),
and whether or not an observer can adjudicate a call in which he himself
was involved (say, by lingering in front of the thrower) should be there (or at the
very least referenced).


XIX.F This piece of etiquette is somewhat at odds with the continuation rule.
My understanding of the current rules is that it is okay for the offense to
ignore a call in favor of the continuation of play. This says that it is a failure of
etiquette. Also, "call" should be clarified, as some "calls" (such as "fast count")
patently DO NOT stop play.

Monday, July 09, 2007


The Rules Game, Part II

These comments cover Sections IX through XV of the 11th edition UPA rules.

For disclaimers on my rules comments, see "Part I" post of 7/4/05.

1. Apology: I tried to cut and paste the rules and intersperse my comments, but
the list format of the document completely screwed up the paragraph enumeration.
I recommend opening up a window with the rules, or actually take out the free
copy that the UPA sent you.
2. Aside: I have to remark that while the "Ultimate Talk" meta-blog is generally a good
idea, I'm not sure I'd have signed up to share billing with "god bless my underwear."]


IX.C & IX.C.3 If a player jumps from in-bounds to catch a disc and might land
out-of-bounds, can a teammate then CATCH THE PLAYER and bring him back
in-bounds? So far in my reading, it seems possible as 1) the teammate can stand out-of-bounds
without being part of the out-of-bounds area, and 2) the contact with teammate
does not confer the out-of-bounds status to the catcher (of the disc), and
3) XII.D.5 does not apply, i.e. the teammate did not assist in the catching (of the disc).



XI.A Presumably, Callahan scores are subsumed in this, as they are catches
of legal passes in the end zone, just not passes from your own team.


XII.A "other than as a result of a pull"? But when you pull (i.e. "pass") it out of
bounds, the receiving team gets the disc and possession has changed.
XII.B "before thrower regains possession" should be "before offensive team regains
possession" (here "possession is used in a non-technical sense, since possession
is not lost until the pass is complete so cannot be "regained"). I guess what is
a bit frustrating is that the level of technical writing is somewhat inconsistent
across the rules. So, some definitions have a hard-core meaning while some
are used mainly to describe what is happening. Sometimes there seems to be
overlap, and that's the most troublesome (okay, sometimes I mis-read things, too).
XII.D.3 What if the disc is thrown and contacts another player and then the
thrower catches it... BUT... in the process of catching it and in order to gain
possession the thrower intentionally deflects the disc against another player?
I'd amend this rule to say something like "unless all such contact occurs as the result of
intentional deflection by the thrower."
XII.D.5 Presumably, this should be expanded to include "assists a teammate's
in- or out-of-bounds status," or something, to address the loophole I cited above.
Or "catching" a pass can be defined to include the landing.
XII.D.5&6 Intent is always a slippery concept to introduce into law. What if
the defense knocks down a "hail mary" pass by throwing a hat? There may be
no specific intended receiver. Maybe the rule should be that the offense is
awarded possession at the point where the disc would have been caught or
last left the playing field, or something, and perhaps the offense should be able
to choose who gains possession (a slightly stiffer penalty), possibly other than
the thrower.


XIII.3 A disc can roll out and then back in, so the rule should state something like
"if the disc comes to rest on the playing field proper without having come into contact
with the out-of-bounds" (or some such wording)

Another wording comment: there are several instances of "the defensive player may do B...
but only after having done A" These should read "the defensive player may to A and then
B," e.g. "when the disc is on the ground, a defensive player may initiate a pre-stall then
stall by announcing 'X' after Y seconds." A separate paragraph on pre-stall would
save some redundancy in the writing.

XIII.5.B I played this weekend with a rules expert who called a violation for
failure to self-check/ground-check an in-play but not live disc. Is it widely
known that you have to self-check a disc when it is out of bounds and there
is no defender present for a check? Let alone whether it is widely known,
is it actually widely practiced? I think that there are several instances (more on
this later) of the rules preceeding convention, a move which hints
at "legislative activism."

XIV. A There is no requirement that one second elapses between the
first utterance of "stalling" and the word "one." This means that the stall count
in ultimate is actually just 9+ seconds. Is it unspirited to say "stalling-one" very

Also, it now makes a much greater difference how players resolve
a dispute of whether the defense reached a count of 8 before a foul is called?
Previously, the defense had either 2 or 3 seconds (50% more time).
Now, without the delay, the D has either 1.5 (say) or 2.5 seconds (67% more time).

XIV.A.3.a.2 Are these the only two options? Can't the marker (now thrower) put
the disc into play without the previous thrower becoming the marker? Option
(2) should simply state that he can retain possession of the disc and put the
disc into play with an appropriate check.

XIV.B.1.a "intervals" should be "an interval," since only one instance, and not
a pattern, constitutes a fast count (or *should*).

XIV.B.2 The metric thing, again.

XIV.B.3 "one disc diameter" This phrase should be changed. Suppose that
under the captain's clause two teams agree to play with a very small disc.
Fine, but this decision should not impact the separation distance (it could get
comical). The distance should be an absolute distance, presumably defined
by the current (2007) diameter of a Discraft Ultrastar.


XV.A This paragraph should be made more clear. The "but" is a wrong choice
of words. There should be at least two sentences. At issue is purposeful bobbling
which advances the disc, but is done in order to gain control. Namely, make it
explicit that the first reason (catching) trumps the second (advancing). Occasionally,
as sort-of happened to me this weekend, one must advance the disc purposefully
in order to catch it.

XV.B I've been looking and cannot find where the pivot needs to be on the playing
field. It must be for starting play, but nowhere (that I can find) is it said for a live disc,
e.g. after coming to a stop you might be out-of-bounds.

XV.C For that matter, in part C if no pivot foot is established there is even less
reason to assume that the thrower needs to be in-bounds to release a throw.
So, if I am running toward the sideline to catch a disc, I can take two full-speed
points of contacts out-of-bounds as long as I toss the disc before the third.
If this reading is correct, it would be as exciting as the play in tennis where you
hit the ball low and *around* the net.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


The Rules Game, Part I

Here is what I mean by the rules game: try reading the rules
like a lawyer and develop hypothetical loopholes. Much of the
time, these loopholes run counter to SOTG, but this is just
an intellectual exercise, after all. Sometimes, interesting questions
arise. These comments are written purely for fun, and
to point out ambiguities, logical errors and the like (but not
trivial grammatical errors). You can view the rules at

The longtime UPA board member Henry Thorne would say
that I'm trying to "Zazzify" the rules, a term with negative and positive (?)

Here goes.

1. Building consistent rules is a GARGANTUAN task and these rules
function INCREDIBLY well. They (all the editions) are an awesome achievement,
and serve hundreds of thousands of games without incident.
1. This is NOT A CRITIQUE and NOT A REVIEW of these excellent rules.
2. I have NOT DONE MY HOMEWORK, i.e. I have not read all existing rules
3. I haven't read the rules thoroughly since, well... um, ever?
4. I know that it is easier to find fault than to repair.
5. This is an amateur and unofficial exercise.
6. The comments are stream of consciousness, and possibly
inconsistent with one another.

These comments (Part I) cover the Preface through Section VIII.




I.A [none]

I.B "never at the expense of mutual respect..." So does this
mean that you are completely spirited as long as your actions
do not diminish the joy of play, etc., for the opposing team, or
does perfect spirit require that you enhance the experience
of your competitors? This was a long-ish discussion among the
committee trying to establish a standard SOTG ranking system.

I.C So we can play ultimate under the variation of the rules:
replace rulebook with the rules of poker (or Rochambeau)?
When does approval of the TD take place? Or what if a rogue
TD actually does approve? (And shouldn't "event organizer"
be replaced by "TD" or something more germaine, as the
organizer may not even know how to play ultimate?)

I.D What about logistical changes that are necessitated
AFTER competition starts (say, for a hurricane, e.g.)?

I.E Interesting "fudge factor" to cover inconsistencies.
Shall we take I.E as a general or a specific rule?


II.A [none]
II.B This definition seems backwards. Don't I determine retention
of possession by whether or not a pass was complete, and not
define completeness through retaining possession?
II.C The second part of this definition is a rule, not a definition.
II.D [none]
II.E [none]
II.F [none]
II.G "Reacting"? to the offensive player. So, if I am guarding one
player when another player within three meters suddenly breaks
free of his defender and I "react" by yelling "help!" to my teammates,
I am now guarding him? So I can be guarding two or more players?
Maybe... I'll have to read on.
II.H [none]
II.I [none]
II.J This definition ALMOST does what it should. The problem on an
unlined field is the sideline. With cones at the front and backs of
endzone there are four possible line segments you could draw
by picking the front or back of one endzone and the front or back of
the other. This definition should specify something like the "shortest"
possible line segment, or some such verbiage which makes the front-front
line segment the only correct one. (The definition clarifies one point of contention.
For example, if you are on the sideline near a goal, you could draw a
line which extends the segment from the back cone to the front cone of
the endzone you are near. This extension would not technically be
a "line segment between two field markers" are therefore does not apply.)
II.K The second part of this definition is not sharp enough. There could
be several offensive players and therefore several defensive players
within three meters (and why succumb to metric with all those crazy
numbers like 23 meters? why not just say "ten feet" and suck up the
two-inch difference?).
II.L [none]
II.M "body"? not "foot"? Can I establish a pivot nose? (In my case, this
might just be possible.)
II.N "up to" fourteen? Why not just "fourteen"? 'Cause of the captain's clause?
But then there could be more than fourteen. Or maybe it's because a team is
allowed to play with fewer than seven? (Is this true?) Or, if you can't write a correct
number, don't write a number.
II.O [none]
II.P [none]
II.Q Is this any different from "possession"? And doesn't the game start
with a pull, which is NOT a scoring attempt? Probably I am wrong and
this definition is needed to clarify some time-cap ruling.
II.R [none]
II.S [none]
II.T 1. Why this 1? The pull is a throw, but not a pass, no?
II.U [none]



IV.E "unfairly"? What a strange choice of words. How do I determine
whether my assistance is fair or unfair? Why not just remove the word?


Strangely organized section. Part A, game to goals, Part B, halftime, Part C,
overtime. No comments, otherwise.


VI.B.1 70 seconds? I thought 90. Maybe it will be 70 + 20
to restart play?
VI.B.4 Presumably the phrase "that has survived ground
contact" rules out calling a time-out in the middle of a "greatest" play?
"Survived" is a funny word. "Sustained," maybe?
"Should audibly say"? -- so that's not a requirement? I think all use of
judgment and subjective words like "should" and "unfairly" should be
omitted. Either you have to say time-out or you don't. There is enough
relaxing of the rules during the context of play that the rulebook itself need
not be soft on matters. I would require it, as an accidental formation of a
"T" with the disc does not create a time-out.
VI.B.5.b Here the time issue is mistreated. If the maximum time-out is
seventy seconds, then 20 seconds for the defense *cannot possibly* be longer than the
90-second limit, and therefore that clause should be removed. Here again
the rules are soft, implicitly acknowledging that in practice time-outs last
much longer than 70 seconds.
VI.B.5.c "over 8"? Isn't this equivalent to 9, since 10 would have been a stall?
Maybe just "but not more than 9"? Anyway, it's clear enough.
VI.B.5.d This speaks back to enforcing parts a and b, but doesn't really
clarify the issue. Anyway, how does the defense invoke the rule of making
the offense restart the disc?

VI.C How do we call an injury time-out? Are there special signals?
VI.C.4 Note that there is no penalty to a defensive team with no time-outs
remaining that calls injury time-outs for noninjured fellow members. I guess
there couldn't be a penalty, but this is conceivably something that could
be exploited against SOTG. Remember, we only set up with the same
positions before the time-out, not the same momenta!
VI.C.6 If a team calls an injury time-out between points (thinking that they
would need more time, say, due to an injury) but then does
not substitute the player (say if it was called by a teammate that did not
understand that the player only tripped) are they charged with a team time-out?
What if they have no team time-outs? Who is the team in possession of the
disc after a point? I thought that possession didn't really apply to the
team that was pulling (see definitions) since that team has not caught
a pass?

VI.D.1&2 So there is no way of dealing with an opponent who maliciously
warps the disc during play, say by spiking in anger after missing a catch? So now
you have to play with a warped disc or correct it on your own stall count?
I didn't realize this.
VI.D.4.a.2 What does it mean to be "charged" with a technical time-out?
There are no limits on them, as far as I can tell.



VIII.B.3 Two players on the field? Can we really play with just two?
I'm sure that I've been in point-assessing situations where the other team
had at least two players. So they could have given it a go? I thought there
was a minimum of, like, five.
VIII.B.4.d&e Seems like the off-sides penalty is worse with an observer
than without (just a repull).
VIII.B.4.e.2 So for a weak-pulling team against a very strong wind (so that they
could only throw it, say, 25 meters) in a game with observers, it is in their
advantage to wildly violate the off-sides rule so that the opposing team gets
the disc at midfield. I've actually been on decent teams where the pull went
backward (okay, that was a hurricane -- but it happens!).
Viii.B.5 Again, it pays to mack a bad pull until it is far, since the only
penalty is re-pull (yes, I understand the penalty philosophy in ultimate,
this is just for fun).
VIII.B.6.d.2 So on a really out-of-bounds pull, say one that goes over
a fence and is not easily recoverable, I may sustain a delay-of-game
penalty because I can't call "re-pull" anymore and I can't get the disc in-play in time?
VIII.B.6.d.2.a So I can call "brick" on a really short, out-of-bounds pull, and
put it in at the brick mark if I choose. This may be useful for a team which uses
a very wide array of set plays requiring a start at the brick mark.
As far as I can assess, there's nothing unspirited about this.
Could even foil a team which is great at endzone D but not so good at
open-field D that intentionally pulls short.
VIII.B.9 So if I drop it but a teammate of mine catches it (before it hits the ground)
and then hands it back to me, we're okay? What if he dives to catch it and it hits
the ground (in his possession) before he gives it back.
What is his legal status? He is not the
"thrower" as far as I can tell, but some temporary substitute (since the rule specifies
that I am the thrower), so does that mean that the disc is NOT considered
part of him, and therefore a it is a turnover? This teammate is in some legal limbo
(can he challenge his detention?).
VIII.B.10 I recently could have benefited from knowing this rule. I was
the thrower putting the disc into play and there was a defender standing
right there while my teammate (Jim P of blog fame) was cutting deep, open.
But the opponent, for whatever reason, didn't check the disc quickly. Had
I ground-checked it immediately it would have been an easy completion. As it
was, it turned out much closer (but still complete). Would it have been unspirited
to self-check the disc on a pull even with the defender right there? I don't
think so. I don't think it is a question of spirit at all, just a question of rules.
Here is an instance where being a rule stickler could really help. Still, I'm
not sure that there would be consensus within the community on this one.
VIII.C.2 Again, if the D has to signal by 70 seconds, how can adding 20
possibly be more than 90? If these two cases are kept, there should be
a reference to a delay-of-game procedure, at least, I feel.
VIII.D.3a "whether complete or incomplete." I bet that few such incomplete
throws are re-done.

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