Official Rules and Regulations of Disc Golf


Revised January 1st, 2013

Summary of Rules Changes

The 2013 edition of the PDGA Rules represents a significant rewrite of the 2011 revision. While most of the significant changes are structural in nature, there are some new concepts being introduced as well as minor to moderate changes to actual rules. No major changes to the rules of play have been made.

Restructure

The rules have been restructured to flow from basic to complex in an effort to improve the flow and to make it easier for both beginning and advanced players to find what they are looking for. Previously, all rules of play were gathered into a single section (803). Those rules have now been split into "Basic Rules of Play" (intended especially for new players), and then "The Lie" and "The Throw" which are more comprehensive and mostly handle problem scenarios. In general, rules are presented in chronological order based on what happens during play. As a side effect of the restructuring, the rules have been renumbered.

New Stuff

There is a new section called "Application of the Rules" which gathers together the procedures related to enforcement of the rules. Those procedures were formerly detailed as part of each rule.

Position vs Lie: The concept of a disc's position - the spot it occupies on the playing surface - has been separated from the lie (which is marked relative to the position). Previously, those were two separate meanings of the single term "lie".

The section that was previously called "Playing the Stipulated Course" has been expanded, reformulated, and renamed "Misplay".

New sections have been added for discretionary and experimental rules. Discretionary rules can be invoked by the TD without an exemption from the PDGA. So far, the two-meter rule is the only discretionary rule. Experimental rules are suggested variations that still require an exemption from the PDGA.

Changes

Definitions added: Approximate Position, Falling Putt, In-bounds, Position, Previous Lie, Re-throw, Tee Line

Definitions removed: Completion of a Round, Fairway, Thrower, Two meter rule

Only one witness is required for a violation that results in a warning. Confirmation from a second person is required for a violation that results in a penalty throw. If a throw is subject to more than one violation, the one with the most severe penalty is applied. For example, a throw from an illegal stance that goes OB is penalized for being OB. Ties are broken by chronological order of the violations. For example, a throw that goes OB and then crosses the wrong side of a mandatory is OB.

The 30-second clock (excessive time) now starts when you reach your disc, rather than after you mark it, since a disc may not be marked. You can no longer stand over your disc holding your mini for an indefinite amount of time.

Carrying an illegal disc is no longer punishable by itself. You have to throw it for there to be a penalty. The same goes for an illegal device. You are allowed to use a towel or pad on a lie. GPS devices are no longer disallowed.

"The thrown disc establishes a position where it first comes to rest." That is an important concept which provides a basis for many other rules. Once a position has been established, it remains even if the disc moves, no matter how that happens. The following rules are now related to establishing position: disc above/below ground, broken disc, and disc in water or foliage.

The disc on the playing surface is now the primary way to mark the lie. The use of a mini is presented as an alternative.

The thrower cannot call or second a stance violation. That closes the self-called falling putt loophole. You are now allowed to retrieve a disc after a stance violation (the excessive time rule still applies of course). There is no longer a three-second limit on calling a stance violation. All calls must be made promptly, as noted in "Application of the Rules".

A few exemptions have been added to the interference rules: interference to prevent injury or to prevent (with the thrower's consent) a disc from becoming lost is allowed.

The two-meter rule has been moved to "Discretionary Rules".

"Playing from Another Player's Lie" is now an "Incorrect Lie" misplay, meaning there's just one penalty throw instead of two. The player whose disc was moved handles it the same as the disc being moved for any other reason, and replaces it to its approximate position.

The entire group must assist in the search for a lost disc. Whoever starts the clock has to tell the group that it has started.

You can no longer throw back across a mandatory line after having made the mandatory. There's no longer a default drop zone. If the Director has not designated a drop zone, go to the previous lie.

A scorecard is late after 30 rather than 25 minutes.