Rules School - Demonstrating Balance - Putting


What's required to demonstrate balance when putting inside 10 meters?

Writing the rules to define foot faults and making rulings in the field have to be some of the toughest rules challenges in disc golf. Even our most experienced members of the Rules Committee were initially split whether some of the following video clips were foot faults or not per stance rule 803.04C 802.04 Throwing from a Stance.

After a year of discussion, the following QA37 was developed by the Rules Committee and approved by the PDGA Board of Directors. Here's the text of QA37 to follow along with the video below.

QA37: What is "Demonstrate Balance" for Putts?

Q: As I release a putt, I push off from my back foot so that after release I am balanced on my front foot. I typically freeze there for a couple of seconds, then swing my back foot forward and continue toward the hole. Is that a foot fault?

A: It's hard to say. Your group will have to make a judgment call. To demonstrate "full control of balance" the player must perform some action that breaks up the flow of movement after release before proceeding toward the target. Some examples of actions that demonstrate balance might be: (1) a clear pause and display of balance, (2) placement of the back foot on the ground behind the mark, or (3) retrieval of the marker disc. The key to all of those is to show balance and control of your body behind the mark before moving forward. The best course of action is to leave no room for doubt, which is easy to do if you are indeed in control of your body after you've released the putt.

A video was developed to provide examples for demonstrating balance and the sometimes fine line between an acceptable putting motion and a foot fault.

Chuck Kennedy reviews rule 803.04C 802.04 Throwing from a Stance and offers various putting examples for when a player has demonstrated balance to avoid foot faults.