Official Rules of Disc Golf

Revised January 1st, 2018

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800 Description of the Game

The object of the game of disc golf is to complete a course in the fewest throws of the disc. A course typically consists of nine or eighteen holes, each of which is a separate unit for scoring.

Play on each hole begins at the tee and ends at the target. After the player has thrown from the tee, each successive throw is made from where the previous throw came to rest. On completing a hole, the player proceeds to the teeing area of the next hole, until all holes have been played.

Disc golf courses are normally laid out in and around wooded areas with diverse terrain to provide natural obstacles to the flight of the disc. The course must not be altered by the player in any way to decrease the difficulty of a hole. Players must play the course as they find it and play the disc where it lies unless otherwise allowed by these rules.

801 Application of the Rules

801.01 Fairness

  1. These rules have been designed to promote fair play for all disc golfers. In using these rules, the player should apply the rule that most directly addresses the situation at hand. If any point in dispute is not covered by the rules, the decision is made in accordance with fairness. Often a logical extension of the closest existing rule or the principles embodied in these rules will provide guidance for determining fairness.

801.02 Enforcement

  1. Players are assigned to play holes together in a group for the purpose of verifying scores and ensuring play in accordance with the rules. Any determination made by the group as a whole is to be made by a majority of the group.
  2. Players are expected to call a violation when one has clearly occurred. A call must be made promptly to be enforceable (except for misplays).
  3. A player in the group may call or confirm a rules violation on any player in the group by notifying all players in the group.
  4. A warning is the initial advisement a player is given for violating certain rules; subsequent violations of the rule incur penalty throws. A call for a rules violation that results in a warning does not need to be confirmed to be enforced. Warnings do not carry over from one round to the next, nor to a playoff.
  5. A call made by a player for a rules violation that results in one or more penalty throws can only be enforced if the call is confirmed by another player in the group or by a Tournament Official. A penalty throw is a throw added to a player's score for violating a rule, or for relocation of the lie as called for by a rule.
  6. A Tournament Official, or Official, is a person who is authorized by the Director to make judgments regarding the proper application of the rules during play. An Official may call or confirm a rule violation by any player. An Official's call does not need to be confirmed to be enforced. An Official who is playing may not act as an Official for players who are in their division.
  7. The Director is the person in charge of the tournament or event. The Director may be a Tournament Director (TD), a Course Director, or a League Director. Only the Director may disqualify a player. Decisions made by the Director are final.
  8. A throw or an action that is subject to penalty under more than one rule is played under the rule that results in the most penalty throws; or, among rules that call for an equal number of penalty throws, the rule that was first violated.

801.03 Appeals

  1. When a group cannot reach a majority decision regarding a ruling, the ruling is based on the interpretation that is most beneficial to the thrower.
  2. A player may appeal a group decision to an Official, or an Official's decision to the Director, by clearly and promptly stating that desire to the group. If an Official or the Director is readily available, the group may stand aside and allow other groups to play through while the appeal is being heard.
  3. If an Official or Director is not readily available, the thrower may make a set of provisional throws for each additional possible outcome of the ruling, and later appeal the ruling to an Official or to the Director when practical.
  4. If a ruling is overturned, an Official or the Director may adjust the player's score to reflect the correct interpretation of the rules. Alternatively, the Director may have the player replay one or more holes. Rulings by the Director are final.

802 Throwing

802.01 Throw

  1. A throw is the propulsion and release of a disc in order to change its position. Each throw that is made as a competitive attempt to change the lie is counted.

802.02 Order of Play

  1. Throwing order on the tee of the first hole is the order in which the players are listed on the scorecard(s).
  2. Throwing order on all subsequent tees is determined by the scores on the previous hole, so that the player with the lowest score throws first, and so on. Ties do not change the throwing order.
  3. After all players have a lie other than the teeing area, the player whose lie is farthest from the target (the away player) is next in the throwing order.
  4. If a player is making another throw from the same lie, or a re-throw, that player remains next in the throwing order. A re-throw is an additional throw from the same lie which is played instead of the original throw.
  5. To facilitate flow of play, a player who is not next may throw if the player who is next consents, or if throwing will not impact the player who is next.
  6. Throwing out of order is a courtesy violation.
  7. During tournament play, no group may play through the group ahead unless directed by an Official, or if the group ahead is standing aside in accordance with the rules.

802.03 Excessive Time

  1. A player has taken excessive time if they are present and have not thrown within 30 seconds after:
    1. The previous player has thrown; and,
    2. They have had a reasonable amount of time to arrive at and determine the lie; and,
    3. They are next in the throwing order; and,
    4. The playing area is clear and free of distractions.
  2. A player who takes excessive time receives a warning for the first violation. A player who takes excessive time after having been warned for it during the round receives one penalty throw. See 811.F.5 for a player who is absent when it is their turn to throw.

802.04 Teeing Off

  1. Play begins on each hole with the player throwing from within the hole's teeing area. A teeing area, or tee, is the area bounded by the edges of a tee pad, if provided. Otherwise, it is the area extending three meters perpendicularly behind the designated tee line. The tee line is the line at the front of the teeing area, or the line between the outside edges of two tee markers.
  2. When the disc is released, the player must have at least one supporting point within the teeing area, and all supporting points must be within the teeing area. A supporting point is any part of the player's body that is, at the time of release, in contact with the playing surface or any other object that provides support. The player is allowed to have a supporting point outside the teeing area before or after, but not at, the moment the disc is released.
  3. A player who violates 802.04.B has committed a stance violation and receives one penalty throw.

802.05 Lie

  1. The lie is the place on the playing surface upon which the player takes a stance in order to throw. The playing surface is a surface, generally the ground, which is capable of supporting the player and from which a stance can reasonably be taken. A playing surface may exist above or below another playing surface. If it is unclear whether a surface is a playing surface, the decision is made by the Director or by an Official.
  2. The lie for the first throw on a hole is the teeing area.
  3. A drop zone is a lie. A drop zone is an area on the course, as designated by the Director, from which a throw is made under certain conditions. A drop zone is marked and played in a manner similar to the marking and playing of a teeing area may either be marked and played in the same manner as a teeing area, or in the same manner as a marked lie. A teeing area may be used as a drop zone.
  4. In all other cases, the lie is a rectangle that is 20cm wide and 30cm deep, centered on the line of play behind the rear edge of the marker disc. The line of play is the imaginary line on the playing surface extending from the center of the target through and beyond the center of the marker disc. The marker disc, or marker, is the disc used to mark the lie according to 802.06.

802.06 Marking the Lie

  1. The position of a thrown disc on the in-bounds playing surface marks the lie.
  2. Alternatively, the player may mark the lie by placing a mini marker disc on the playing surface, touching the front of the thrown disc on the line of play. A mini marker disc is a small disc, not used in play, that complies with PDGA Technical Standards for mini marker discs.
  3. When the thrown disc is not on the in-bounds playing surface, or when the lie is to be moved by rule, the player marks the lie by placing a mini marker disc in accordance with the applicable rule.
  4. Marking the lie in a manner other than described above is a marking violation. A player receives a warning for the first marking violation. A player receives one penalty throw for each subsequent violation of any marking rule during the round.

802.07 Stance

  1. If the lie has been marked by a marker disc, then when the disc is released, the player must:
    1. Have at least one supporting point that is in contact with the lie; and,
    2. Have no supporting point closer to the target than the rear edge of the marker disc; and,
    3. Have all supporting points in-bounds.
  2. A drop zone is played as a teeing area. See 802.04.B.
  3. A player who violates 802.07.A or 802.07.B has committed a stance violation and receives one penalty throw.

803 Obstacles and Relief

803.01 Moving Obstacles

  1. A player must choose the stance that results in the least movement of any obstacle that is a permanent or integral part of the course. Once a stance has been taken, the player may not move an obstacle in order to make room for a throwing motion. It is legal for a player's throwing motion to cause incidental movement of an obstacle.
  2. A player is not allowed to move any obstacle on the course, with the following exceptions:
    1. A player may move casual obstacles that are on or behind the lie partially or completely on the lie or in the stance area, regardless of whether they extend in front of or behind the lie. A casual obstacle is any item or collection of loose debris (such as stones, leaves, twigs, or unconnected branches), or any item as designated by the Director.
    2. A player may request that other people move themselves or their belongings.
    3. A player may restore course equipment to its proper working order, including the removal of obstacles.
  3. A player who moves any obstacle on the course other than as allowed above receives one penalty throw.

803.02 Relief from Obstacles

  1. A player may obtain relief from the following obstacles that are on or behind the lie: motor vehicles, harmful insects or animals, people, or any item or area as designated by the Director. To obtain relief, the player may mark a new lie that is on the line of play, farther from the target, at the nearest point that provides relief.
  2. If a large solid obstacle prevents the player from taking a legal stance behind the marker disc, or from marking a disc above or below the playing surface, the player may mark a new lie immediately behind that obstacle on the line of play.
  3. A player who takes relief other than as allowed above receives one penalty throw.
  4. A player may elect at any time to take optional relief by declaring their intention to the group. The lie may then be relocated by marking a new lie which is farther from the target, and is on the line of play. One penalty throw is added to the player's score.
  5. No penalty throw is added if optional relief is being taken following a penalty taken for a disc out-of-bounds or above two meters.

803.03 Damaging the Course

  1. A player who intentionally damages any part of the course receives two penalty throws. The player may also be disqualified from the tournament, in accordance with Section 3.03 of the Competition Manual.

804 Regulated Routes

804.01 Mandatory Routes and Objects

  1. A mandatory route restricts the path the disc may take to the target. It is defined by one or more mandatory objects. Each mandatory object indicates whether the mandatory route passes to the left, right, below, or above it. The most common mandatories are: a single mandatory, which defines a mandatory route to the right or left; a double mandatory, which defines a mandatory route between two single mandatories; and a height-restricted double mandatory, which adds an upper boundary to a double mandatory.

804.02 Prohibited Routes

  1. Mandatory Lines
    1. A mandatory line is a line on the playing surface marked by the Director to indicate when a disc has missed a mandatory.
    2. If no line has been marked for a single mandatory, it is defined as a straight line extending indefinitely from the center of the mandatory object on the incorrect side, perpendicular to the line connecting the mandatory object to the previous mandatory object, or if there is no previous mandatory, the tee.
    3. If no lines have been marked for a double mandatory, then there are two lines, one for each mandatory object. Each line is defined as described above for single mandatories.
    4. A double mandatory may also be height-restricted, in which case there is a third line connecting the two mandatories, with the incorrect side being either above or below the line.
  2. A throw has missed a mandatory if, from the direction of the tee previous lie, it completely crosses a mandatory line and comes to rest without coming back across the line (a throw or sequence of throws that crosses the line in both directions is considered not to have crossed the line).
  3. A player who makes a throw that misses a mandatory receives one penalty throw. The lie for the next throw is the drop zone for that mandatory or, if no drop zone has been designated, the previous lie.
  4. The nearest mandatory whose mandatory line is crossed by the line between the lie and the target is considered to be the target for all rules related to marking the lie, stance, obstacles, and relief, with one exception: 806.01 Putting Area.

805 Regulated Positions

805.01 Establishing a Position

  1. A thrown disc establishes a position where it first comes to rest.
  2. A thrown disc is considered to be at rest when it first stops moving. A disc in water or foliage is considered to be at rest when it is moving only as a result of movement of the water, the foliage, or the wind.
  3. If a disc first comes to rest above or below the playing surface, its position is on the playing surface directly below or above the disc.
  4. If a thrown disc breaks into pieces, its position is that of the largest piece.

805.02 Disc Above Two Meters

  1. The two-meter rule refers to the rules within 805.02. It is not in effect unless the Director declares it to be in effect. The Director may declare the two-meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, for particular holes, and/or for individual objects.
  2. If the two-meter rule is in effect when a disc has come to rest at least two meters above the in-bounds playing surface (as measured from the lowest point of the disc to the playing surface directly below it), the player receives one penalty throw. The position of the disc is on the playing surface directly below the disc.
  3. A disc supported by the target for the hole being played is not subject to the two-meter rule.
  4. If the thrower moves the disc before a determination has been made, the disc is considered to have come to rest above two meters.

805.03 Lost Disc

  1. A disc is declared lost if the player cannot locate it within three minutes after having arrived at the area where it is thought to be. Any player in the group or an Official may begin the timing of the three minutes, and must inform the group that the timing has begun.
  2. All players in the group must assist in searching for the disc. Failure to do so is a courtesy violation.
  3. A player whose disc has been declared lost receives one penalty throw. The next throw is made from the previous lie. If a drop zone has been designated for lost discs on the hole, the player may throw from the drop zone instead of from the previous lie.
  4. If it is discovered prior to the completion of the tournament that a player's disc that had been declared lost has been removed or taken, then two throws are subtracted from the player's score for that hole.
  5. If a drop zone has been provided for lost discs, the Director may allow players to proceed directly to the drop zone at the cost of two penalty throws.

806 Regulated Areas

806.01 Putting Area

  1. Any throw made from within 10 meters of the target, as measured from the rear of the marker disc to the base of the target, is a putt.
  2. After having released a putt, the player must demonstrate full control of balance behind the marker disc before advancing toward the target. A player who fails to do so has committed a stance violation and receives one penalty throw.

806.02 Out-of-Bounds

  1. An out-of-bounds (OB) area is an area designated by the Director from which a disc may not be played, and within which a stance may not be taken. The out-of-bounds line is part of the out-of-bounds area. Any area of the course that is not out-of-bounds is in-bounds.
  2. A disc is out-of-bounds if its position is clearly and completely surrounded by an out-of-bounds area.
  3. A disc that cannot be found is considered to be out-of-bounds if there is compelling evidence that the disc came to rest within an out-of-bounds area. In the absence of such evidence, the disc is considered lost and play proceeds according to rule 805.03.
  4. A player whose disc is out-of-bounds receives one penalty throw. The player may play the next throw from:
    1. The previous lie; or,
    2. A lie designated by a marker disc placed on the playing surface at any point on a one-meter line that is perpendicular to the out-of-bounds line at the point where the disc was last in-bounds; or,
    3. If a perpendicular lie as described above is not available, a lie designated by a marker disc placed on the playing surface at the point that is nearest to where the disc was last in-bounds, and that is up to one meter away from any out-of-bounds area.

    The above options for an out-of-bounds area may be limited by the Director only with prior approval from the PDGA Tour Manager.

    At the Director's discretion, the player may additionally choose to play the next throw from:

    1. Within the designated drop zone; or,
    2. A lie designated by a marker disc placed on the playing surface at any point on a one-meter line that is perpendicular to the out-of-bounds line at the point that is nearest to the position of the disc.
  5. If the position of the thrown disc is in-bounds and within one meter of an out-of-bounds line, the lie may be relocated to a new lie at any point on a one-meter line that extends perpendicularly from the nearest point on the out-of-bounds line and passes through the center of the thrown disc.
  6. The out-of-bounds line extends a vertical plane. When marking within one meter of the out-of-bounds line, the one-meter relief may be taken from any point up or down on the vertical plane.
  7. If a drop zone has been provided for an out-of-bounds area, the Director may allow players to proceed directly to that drop zone at the cost of two penalty throws.
  8. If the thrower moves the disc before a determination regarding its out-of-bounds status has been made, the disc is considered to be out-of-bounds.

806.03 Casual Area

  1. A casual area is casual water, or any area specifically designated as a casual area by the Director before the round. Casual water is any body of water that is in-bounds, and has not been explicitly declared by the Director to be in play.
  2. To obtain relief from a casual area, the player's lie may be relocated to the nearest lie which is farther from the target and is on the line of play, at the nearest point that provides relief (unless greater casual relief is announced by the Director).

806.04 Relief Area

  1. A relief area is an area designated by the Director from which a disc may not be played, or any in-bounds area that players are prohibited by law from entering. A relief area is played as an out-of-bounds area with the exception that no penalty throw is assessed to a player whose disc comes to rest in a relief area.

806.05 Hazard

  1. A hazard is an area designated by the Director which incurs a penalty throw.
  2. A disc is in a hazard if its position is clearly and completed surrounded by the hazard.
  3. A player whose disc is in a hazard receives one penalty throw. The lie is not relocated.
  4. If the thrower moves the disc before a determination whether it is in a hazard has been made, the disc is considered to be in the hazard.

807 Completing the Hole

  1. A target is a device whose purpose is to clearly determine completion of a hole. A basket target is designed to catch discs and generally consists of a tray, chains, and a chain support mounted on a pole. An object target generally has a marked target area.
  2. In order to complete a hole with a basket target, the thrower must release the disc and it must enter the target above the top of the tray and below the bottom of the chain support, and come to rest supported by the target.
  3. In order to complete a hole with an object target, the thrower must release the disc and it must strike the marked target area of the object.

808 Scoring

  1. The player listed first bears primary responsibility for picking up the group's scorecard(s).
  2. Players in the group keep score proportionally, unless a player or a scorekeeper volunteers to keep score more and that is acceptable to all players in the group.
  3. After each hole has been completed, the scorekeeper records the score for each player in the group in a manner that makes each score clear to every player in the group. Any warnings or penalty throws are to be noted along with the score for the hole.
  4. The score for a player on a hole is the total number of throws, including penalty throws. The total score for the round is the sum of all hole scores, plus any additional penalty throws. The use of anything other than a number as a score (including the lack of a score) is subject to penalty as described below in 808.G.2.
  5. If there is disagreement about the score a player reports, the group reviews the hole and attempts to arrive at the correct score. If the group cannot reach consensus on the player's score, they seek the help of an Official or the Director as soon as is practical. If all players in the group agree that a score is incorrect, the score may be corrected before the scorecard is turned in.
  6. All players are responsible for returning their scorecards within 30 minutes of the completion of a round, which is when the last group on the course has completed their final hole and has had reasonable time to turn in their scorecard. Failure to turn in a scorecard on time results in the addition of two penalty throws to the score of each player listed on the late scorecard.
  7. After the scorecard has been turned in, the total score as recorded is final, except for the following circumstances:
    1. Penalty throws may be added or removed up until the Director declares the tournament over, or all awards have been distributed.
    2. If the total score is incorrect, improperly recorded, or missing, two penalty throws are added to the correct total score. Those penalty throws are not added when the score has been adjusted for other violations determined after the player had turned in an otherwise correct scorecard.

809 Other Throws

809.01 Abandoned Throw

  1. A player may choose to abandon a their most recent throw by declaring their intention to the group. The abandoned throw and one penalty throw are counted in the player's score, and the player plays from the lie from which the abandoned throw was made. Penalty throws incurred by the abandoned throw are disregarded.

809.02 Provisional Throw

  1. A provisional throw is an extra throw that is not added to a player's score if it is not ultimately used in the completion of the hole. The player must inform the group that a throw is provisional prior to making it.
  2. Provisional throws are used:
    1. To save time. A player may declare a provisional throw any time:
      1. The status of a disc cannot be readily determined because it may be lost, out-of-bounds, or have missed a mandatory; and,
      2. The group agrees that a provisional throw may save time.

      The thrower then continues play from whichever of the two throws is deemed by the group or an Official to have resulted in the correct lie.

    2. To appeal a ruling when there are different resulting lies. A set of provisional throws may be taken to complete a hole as part of an appeal when a player in the group disagrees with a group decision and an Official is not readily available, or if a player in the group wishes to appeal the decision of an Official. The scores from both sets of throws are recorded. Once the appeal has been resolved, only the score from the correct set of throws is counted.

809.03 Practice Throw

  1. A practice throw is any throw that is not made as a competitive attempt to change the lie, except for a throw that is made either to set aside an unused disc or to return a disc to a player and that travels less than five meters in the air. A drop is not a practice throw. Practice throws are disregarded.
  2. A player receives one penalty throw for making a practice throw.; the throw itself is disregarded.

810 Interference

  1. If a thrown disc has moved after having come to rest on the in-bounds playing surface, it is replaced to where it first came to rest, as agreed on by the group. A thrown disc that has come to rest elsewhere does not need to be replaced, and its position is based on where it first came to rest, as agreed on by the group.
  2. A marker disc that has moved is replaced to its original location, as agreed on by the group.
  3. A thrown disc that strikes a person or animal is played where it first comes to rest.
  4. A thrown disc whose course was intentionally altered is given a position at the point of contact, as agreed on by the group. The thrower may choose to play from the resulting lie, or to abandon the throw without penalty.
  5. A player who intentionally interferes with a disc in any of the following ways receives two penalty throws:
    1. Altering the course of a thrown disc (other than to prevent injury); or,
    2. Moving or obscuring a thrown disc or marker disc (other than in the process of identification, retrieval, marking, or as allowed by 810.H).
  6. If a player or their equipment interferes with their own throw, the player is assessed one penalty throw. The disc is played where it first comes to rest. See 810.E for intentional interference.
  7. Players must not stand or leave their equipment where interference with a disc in play may occur. A player may require other players to move themselves or their equipment if either could interfere with the throw. Refusal to do so is a courtesy violation.
  8. A disc in play that was thrown by another player and comes to rest on or behind the lie may be moved. After the player has thrown, the other player's disc is replaced to where it came to rest, as agreed on by the group.

811 Misplay

  1. It is the responsibility of the player to play the course correctly. Before play begins, players are expected to attend the players' meeting in order to learn about any special conditions that may exist on the course, including extra holes, alternate teeing areas, alternate hole placements, out-of-bounds areas, mandatories, and drop zones.
  2. A misplay has occurred if the player has failed to complete every hole on the course correctly and in the proper order, or has played from an incorrect lie for any throw.
  3. If a misplay is discovered after the scorecard has been turned in, the player receives two penalty throws.
  4. A misplay is not a stance violation, nor is it a practice throw.
  5. A player who deliberately misplays the course to gain competitive advantage may be disqualified in accordance with Section 3.03 of the Competition Manual.
  6. Types of misplay:
    1. Incorrect Lie. The player has played from a lie that is not the correct lie. For example, the player has:
      1. Teed off from a teeing area that is not the correct teeing area for the current hole; or,
      2. Thrown from a lie other than that established by the thrown disc; or,
      3. Played an out-of-bounds disc as if it were in-bounds; or,
      4. Thrown from a lie established by a previous throw which missed a mandatory; or,
      5. Played a disc in a relief area as if it were not in a relief area.

      If no subsequent throws have been made after the misplayed throw, that throw is disregarded. The player plays from the correct lie and receives one penalty throw for the misplay. If an additional throw has been made after the misplayed throw, the player continues play and receives two penalty throws for the misplay.

    2. Wrong Target. The player has completed play on a target that is not the correct target for the hole being played. If no subsequent throw has been made, play continues from the resulting lie. If the target is a basket target, then the disc is above the playing surface and play proceeds according to 805.01.C. If the player has teed off on the next hole, two penalty throws are added to the score for the misplayed hole.
    3. Failure to Complete a Hole. The player has finished the round or thrown on a hole without having completed a previous hole. The score for the misplayed hole is the number of throws made, plus one for completing the hole, plus two penalty throws for the misplay. Intentionally failing to complete a hole constitutes withdrawal from competition.
    4. Non-Sequential Play. The player has completed play on a hole in the wrong order. The player continues to play the course in its proper order. Regardless of the number of holes played in the wrong order during the round, a total of two penalty throws is added to the player's total score for the misplay. The score for any completed hole stands.
    5. Missed Hole Due to Late Arrival or Absence. If a player is not present to throw when they are next in the throwing order, and remains absent for at least 30 seconds, the player does not make any more throws on the hole. The player's score for the hole is par plus four. Par is the score that an expert disc golfer would be expected to make on a given hole with errorless play under ordinary weather conditions, as determined by the Director. See Section 1.05.B of the Competition Manual for determining late arrival.
    6. Omitted Hole. The round has been completed, and the player has neglected to play one or more holes. The player receives a score of par plus four for each unplayed hole.
    7. Incorrect Hole. The player has completed a hole that is not part of the course for that round, in place of a hole that is part of the course for the round. Two penalty throws are added to the player's score for the hole.
    8. Extra Hole. The player has completed a hole that is not part of the course for that round. Two penalty throws are added to the player's total score. Throws made on the extra hole are not counted.
    9. Wrong Starting Hole or Group. The player has begun play on a hole or in a group other than the one to which they were assigned. The player continues play, and two throws are added to the player's score for the first hole played.

812 Courtesy

  1. A player must not:
    1. Throw if the throw might injure someone or distract another player; or,
    2. Throw out of order without consent or when it would impact another player; or,
    3. Engage in distracting or unsportsmanlike actions such as:
      1. Shouting (unless warning someone at risk of being struck by a disc),
      2. Cursing,
      3. Striking, kicking, or throwing park, course, or player equipment,
      4. Moving or talking while another player is throwing,
      5. Advancing beyond the away player; or,
    4. Leave equipment where it may distract other players or interfere with a thrown disc; or,
    5. Litter, including cigarette butts; or,
    6. Allow their smoke to disturb other players.
  2. A player must:
    1. Perform actions expected by the rules, including:
      1. Helping to find a lost disc; and,
      2. Moving equipment when asked; and,
      3. Keeping score properly.
    2. Watch the other members of the group throw in order to ensure rules compliance and to help find discs.
  3. A player receives a warning for the first violation of any courtesy rule. Each subsequent violation of any courtesy rule by that player in the same round incurs one penalty throw. A courtesy violation may be called or confirmed by any affected player, or by an Official. Repeated courtesy violations may result in disqualification by the Director.

813 Equipment

813.01 Illegal Disc

  1. Discs used in play must meet all of the conditions set forth in the PDGA Technical Standards.
  2. A disc which has been modified after production such that its original flight characteristics have been altered is illegal, excepting wear from usage during play and the moderate sanding of discs to smooth molding imperfections or scrapes. Discs excessively sanded, or painted with a material of detectable thickness, are illegal. Adding a device to make a disc easier to find (for example, a light, ribbon, or chalk dust) is allowed only when night or snow play has been announced by the Director.
  3. A disc which is cracked or has a hole in it is illegal.
  4. A disc that is questioned by another player or an Official is illegal unless it is subsequently approved by the Director.
  5. A player who throws an illegal disc during play receives two penalty throws. A player who repeatedly throws an illegal disc may be subject to disqualification in accordance with Section 3.03 of the PDGA Competition Manual.
  6. All discs used in play, except mini marker discs, must be uniquely marked. A player receives a warning for the first throw of an unmarked disc. A player receives one penalty throw for each subsequent throw of an unmarked disc.

813.02 Illegal Device

  1. A player must not use any device that directly assists in making a throw. Devices that reduce or control abrasion to the skin (such as gloves, tape, bandages, or gauze) and medical items (such as knee or ankle braces) are allowed. Placing an object as a directional aid is not allowed. An item such as a towel or a pad may be placed on the lie as long as it is not greater than one centimeter in thickness when compressed.
  2. A device that is questioned by another player or an Official is illegal unless it is subsequently approved by the Director.
  3. A player receives two penalty throws if observed at any time during a round to be using an illegal device. A player who repeatedly uses an illegal device may be subject to disqualification in accordance with Section 3.03 of the PDGA Competition Manual.

Appendix A: Match Play

A.01 General

  1. In match play, a pair of players competes against each other in an effort to win each hole during the round. The player who wins more holes wins the match.
  2. The PDGA Rules of Play (which describe medal play) are to be used except where superseded by these rules.
  3. A pair of opponents plays in a group with at least one other pair, or an Official.

A.02 Order of Play

  1. The teeing order for pairs of opponents in the same group follows the order on the scorecard.
  2. Within each pair of opponents, the player listed first on the scorecard throws first on the first hole. On all subsequent holes, the player who won the previous hole throws first. Ties do not change the throwing order.

A.03 Penalties

  1. Only a player's opponent may call a violation on or warn a player. Any player in the group or an official may confirm the call.
  2. Penalties and warnings assessed between holes apply to the next hole.

A.04 Scoring

  1. Scoring in match play is recorded in terms of which player has won more holes at any given point. The match starts with the pair tied, or all square. As the match progresses, the player who has won more holes is up that many holes; their opponent is down that many holes.
  2. A player wins a hole by completing the hole in fewer throws than their opponent. The player who won the hole receives a score of 1. The other player receives no score, which can be indicated by a dash. If the two players complete the hole with the same number of throws, the hole is halved, and neither player receives a score.
  3. A player may ask their opponent how many throws they have made on the current hole. A player who falsely reports that number loses the hole.

A.05 Conceding

  1. A player may concede a match at any time before the conclusion of the match. The opponent wins the match.
  2. A player may concede a hole at any time before both players have completed the hole. The opponent wins the hole.
  3. A player may concede their opponent's next throw. The throw is considered to have completed the hole.
  4. A pair of players may agree to halve the hole being played.
  5. A concession may not be declined or withdrawn.

A.06 Winning the Match

  1. When a player is up more holes than there are holes remaining to be played, that player has won the match.
  2. If a pair of players is all square at the end of the round, the match is tied. The Director decides if and how ties are to be broken.

Appendix B: Doubles and Team Play

B.01 General

  1. A doubles team consists of two players. Alternative formats with different team sizes are possible and can be extrapolated from these rules.
  2. The PDGA Rules of Play are to be used except where superseded by these rules.

B.02 Order of Play

  1. The throwing order for the first hole is the order in which the teams are listed on the scorecard(s). Throwing order on all subsequent tees is determined by the scores on the previous hole, so that the team with the lowest score throws first, and so on. Ties do not change the throwing order.
  2. After all teams have a lie other than the teeing area, the team whose lie is farthest from the target is next in the throwing order.
  3. Members of a team who are throwing from the same lie may throw in either order.

B.03 Penalties

  1. Penalties incurred by a throw apply only to the team member who made the throw. All other warnings and penalties are incurred by the team as a whole and are scored against the team regardless of format.
  2. Any throw which cannot possibly improve a team's score is an extra throw. A team whose member has made an extra throw receives a warning for the first violation, and a penalty throw for each subsequent violation by any member of the team.

B.04 Lie

  1. In formats where both team members throw from the same lie, a team member who throws from a lie other than the lie played by the first member to throw receives one penalty throw for misplay.
  2. A lie being played by both team members must be marked using the same marker disc. Failure to do so is a marking violation.
  3. If a lie being played by both team members is relocated for any reason, both members must play from the relocated lie.

B.05 Formats

  1. Best Throw
    1. Both team members throw from the teeing area. The team then chooses which of the two positions to play from for the next throw. Both team members throw from the resulting lie, and the team again chooses which of the two positions to play from, and so on.
    2. A team completes a hole when either team member completes the hole.
    3. The score for a team on a hole is the number of throws for the lies that were played, plus any penalty throws.
    4. If a team picks up a thrown disc before a lie has been chosen or marked with a marker disc, the team may not choose that throw. If a team picks up both thrown discs without a lie having been marked, the second disc to have been picked up is replaced to its original position as agreed upon by the group, and the team must play from the resulting lie.
    5. If one team member is absent, late, or ceases play, the other team member may play, but no throws are made on behalf of the missing team member. A late team member may join play only between holes.
  2. Modified Best Throw
    1. Modified Best Throw is the same as Best Throw, with the following variation: The Director may set a limit on when the team may use each member's tee throw. The team receives two penalty throws each time that limit is exceeded.
  3. Worst Throw
    1. Both team members throw from the teeing area. The team's opponents then choose which of the two positions the team will play from, with the goal of maximizing the team's score on the hole. Both team members throw from the resulting lie, and their opponents again choose which of the resulting positions the team will play from, and so on.
    2. A team completes a hole when all team members complete the hole from the same lie.
    3. The score for a team on a hole is the number of throws for the lies that were played, plus any penalty throws.
    4. If a team picks up or marks a thrown disc before their opponents have chosen a lie, the disc is replaced to its original position as agreed upon by the group. The opponents then choose between the resulting lie of the moved disc, the lie of the other disc, and the previous lie as the lie for the moved disc.
    5. If the opponents choose a clearly favorable lie, they may be disqualified by the Director.
    6. If a team member is absent, late, withdraws, or is disqualified, the team is disqualified.
  4. Tough Throw
    1. Tough Throw is the same as Worst Throw, with the following variation: A team completes the hole when any team member completes the hole.
  5. Alternate Throw
    1. The team chooses which member makes the first throw on the first hole. Each team member then throws from the lie resulting from the previous team member's throw, and so forth.
    2. A team completes a hole when either team member completes the hole.
    3. The score for a team on a hole is the number of throws by that team, plus any penalty throws.
    4. A throw by the incorrect team member is a misplay and incurs one penalty throw. The throw is disregarded, and the correct team member throws. If an additional throw has been made after the incorrect team member has thrown, the team receives two penalty throws, and play continues.
    5. For any re-throw from the same lie, the same player makes the re-throw.
    6. The team receives a score of par plus four for any hole missed by a late or absent team member. If either team member withdraws or is disqualified, the team is disqualified.
  6. Modified Alternate Throw
    1. Modified Alternate Throw is the same as Alternate Throw, with the following variation: The Director may designate which team member makes the first throw on each hole.
  7. Best Score
    1. Each team member plays the hole as an individual player.
    2. A team completes a hole when a team member completes the hole with the lowest potential score for the team.
    3. The score for a team on a hole is the lowest score on the hole by either team member, including any penalty throws incurred by that player, plus any team penalty throws.
  8. Best Score from Alternating Lies Alternate Throw
    1. Each team member throws from the teeing area. Each team member then throws from the lie resulting from the other team member's throw, and so on. ,which starts two sequences of Alternate Throw
    2. A team completes a hole when a team member either sequence of Alternate Throw completes the hole with the lowest potential score for the team.
    3. The score for a team on a hole is the lowest score on the hole by either team member lower of the scores for the two Alternate Throw sequences, including any penalty throws incurred by that player, plus any team penalty throws.

Appendix C: Resources

Appendix D: Conversions

All measurements listed in the rules are given in metric units. The following English System equivalents are to be used when no metric measuring device is available:

Metric System English System
10 meters 32 feet 10 inches
3 meters 9 feet 10 inches
2 meters 6 feet 6 inches
1 meter 3 feet 3 inches
30 centimeters 1 foot
20 centimeters 8 inches
1 centimeter 1/2 inch

Appendix E: Index

Rules Questions and Answers

Summary of Rule Changes

In the opinion of the PDGA Rules Committee, the 2018 edition represents a large step forward. Far more effort has gone into it than into other revisions. There is a significant amount of change, which is summarized below. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to write to the Rules Committee using the contact form on the PDGA website.

General

The rules have been restructured to more closely follow the order of events during the play of a hole. That makes it much easier to find the right rule, and it keeps related rules together. Rules that cover infrequent scenarios (such as misplay) are toward the end.

There is no longer a separate section for definitions. Terms are defined where they first appear. That way, there is no need to flip back and forth between the definitions and the rules. Each defined term is listed in the index, along with the rule where it is defined.

The text of the rules has been rewritten into a less formal and more conversational style. For example, the word “shall” no longer appears.

New sections have been added to gather together similar rules:

Regulated Routes, Regulated Positions, and Regulated Areas.

Rules for Match Play and Doubles have been added.

The Q&A’s have been rewritten, reorganized, and greatly expanded.

New Stuff

Relief Area: A Relief Area is essentially a penalty-free OB area. A TD can use a Relief Area to keep players out of certain areas of the course, for example an area around a yellowjacket nest, an area under construction, or an area with protected plants.

Hazard: A Hazard is an area where you get a penalty but do not relocate the lie.

There’s a new OB option, available at the discretion of the TD: you play from the closest in-bounds point (similar to a lateral hazard in golf).

Major Rule Changes

The lie is now an area. It’s a rectangle 20cm wide and 30cm deep centered behind the marker.

Lie Area

Minor Rule Changes

802.02.D: If a throw does not change a player’s lie (for example, missing the island on an island hole), they throw again instead of waiting for others to throw.

802.07: There is no longer a re-throw after a stance violation. The throw counts.

802.07.C: There is no longer a warning for the first stance violation.

803.02.A: The five-meter limit on casual relief has been removed. You may go back along the line of play to the first available lie, however far that is.

803.02.E: A player may take free optional relief (back along the line of play) when placing the lie after taking a penalty for OB or above two meters.

809.01.A: A player may abandon a throw at the cost of one penalty throw (other penalties are not counted). Abandoned Throw replaces Optional Re-throw.

804.02.B: The mandatory rules have been clarified by limiting them to penalizing throws that pass the wrong side of the mandatory. The most important part is that the only line that matters is the one that extends to the incorrect side of the mandatory (two lines to the outside for a double mandatory).

805.02.C: A target for a hole other than the one being played is subject to the two-meter rule.

806.02.G: If an OB area has a drop zone, the TD may allow you to go directly there at the cost of two penalty throws (rather than trying to throw over an OB lake, for example).

806.02.D.3: You are guaranteed a lie up to one meter from all OB (handles OB lines that create a corner).

807.B: The rule for completing the hole has been simplified. Your disc must enter the target correctly and then be supported by the target.

809.03.A: Practice throw has been redefined. A throw that travels less than 5 meters in the air to return a disc to a player or your bag is not a practice throw.

810: The consensual interference rule (formerly 804.03.G) has been removed.

810.F: Accidentally interfering with your own throw (for example, if your putt rolls back and hits you or your bag) incurs a one-throw penalty. As before, intentional interference with your own (or anyone else’s) throw incurs a two-throw penalty.

810.H: You can move a disc that has landed on or behind your lie.

811.F.5: A player who is not present to play a hole gets par plus four.

811.F.9: A player who starts on the wrong hole and/or in the wrong group receives a two-throw penalty.