stevenpwest
Nov 18 2009, 11:07 PM
It seems to me that there are some things that everyone agrees make for "good" rules.

At the highest level, there are probably a few statements about what rules "should" do. Like, "a good set of rules would help grow the sport." or "a good set of rules makes the game more fun."

One step below that, there are probably some guidelines that would generally help separate the good rules from the bad. For example: "Simpler is better than more complicated."

And on a mechanical level, there are probably strict procedures which, if followed, would make for a better set of rules. One might be: "No rule should contradict another rule."

I think if we could lay these out, it might make it easier to judge proposed rule changes.

Your thoughts?

Karl
Nov 19 2009, 08:40 AM
Steve,

A noble endeavour, but one (the way you've worded it) that may run into resistence.

First off, you use the phrase "...to judge proposed rule changes.". In general, NO ONE likes to be judged - and therefore probably won't have that faction in your corner. You may want to somehow 'soften that approach' a bit.

Secondly, what you're proposing would (I think) require a complete "re-writing" (or at least analyses) of the entire set of rules, comp manual, etc. In a totally different way than they are right now. Not to say this is bad, just saying that it seems to be a MAJOR undertaking. A lot of hard work...which may be for naught IF no one "in power" takes your work to mean anything. Read: You can make the best mousetrap in the world, but if the only store in town won't buy it, it won't catch as many mouses as you'd like it to.

As for the actual rules:

One stipulation should be that all the rules are written in a way which they can be understood by the general playing population. Read: There's probably nothing wrong with a treatise on quantum mechanics, but it's pretty useless (to the masses) because they just can understand it.

Karl

Ps: To do a TOTAL re-do of the rules may already be 'impossible' (the sport is 30+ years old). Old habits / ways die hard....

Pps: And on a personal note...try to keep the word "fair" out of the whole thing! It has to be one of the most overly-used, ambiguous, abused, and self-serving words in the sport.

james_mccaine
Nov 19 2009, 09:48 AM
IMO, we have a very good set of rules and I've always been impressed by the RC. Until one has written rules, it is hard to appreciate the complexity of seemingly simple rule-making. Where we can improve by clarifying and limiting conflicts, we obviously should.

Btw, I would think the higher-level purpose is to insure fair play. Growing the sport or having fun is not a rules issue IMO.

gotcha
Nov 19 2009, 10:09 AM
"Simpler is better than more complicated."




Less is more.

:)

exczar
Nov 19 2009, 01:21 PM
Less is more.

:)

I'll second that emoticon!

A goal of a rule should be to be elegant, and by that, I mean "scientific precision, neatness, and simplicity" .

stevenpwest
Nov 21 2009, 12:28 AM
Steve,

A noble endeavour, but one (the way you've worded it) that may run into resistence.

First off, you use the phrase "...to judge proposed rule changes.". In general, NO ONE likes to be judged - and therefore probably won't have that faction in your corner. You may want to somehow 'soften that approach' a bit.

Secondly, what you're proposing would (I think) require a complete "re-writing" (or at least analyses) of the entire set of rules, comp manual, etc. In a totally different way than they are right now. Not to say this is bad, just saying that it seems to be a MAJOR undertaking. A lot of hard work...which may be for naught IF no one "in power" takes your work to mean anything. Read: You can make the best mousetrap in the world, but if the only store in town won't buy it, it won't catch as many mouses as you'd like it to.

As for the actual rules:

One stipulation should be that all the rules are written in a way which they can be understood by the general playing population. Read: There's probably nothing wrong with a treatise on quantum mechanics, but it's pretty useless (to the masses) because they just can understand it.

Karl

Ps: To do a TOTAL re-do of the rules may already be 'impossible' (the sport is 30+ years old). Old habits / ways die hard....

Pps: And on a personal note...try to keep the word "fair" out of the whole thing! It has to be one of the most overly-used, ambiguous, abused, and self-serving words in the sport.

So, you're suggesting "should be written in a way which they can be understood by the general playing population". I don't see any disagreement with that.

You also suggested "Keep the word 'fair' out of the whole thing." That contradicts "to insure fair play" so we haven't found something we can all agree on there.

Now, to respond to your other comments. I don't think that a defintion of what makes for "good" rules implies that a total re-do is needed.

I think the rules committee is reviewing the rules in 2010, and I was hoping we could give them some ideas for a set of value statements to evaluate rule changes against. This would ease their load, and make any changes more explainable in relation to things that everyone agrees on. It makes for a more useful discussion that the usual "someone doesn't like this rule... but someone else does.

I did not mean to imply that outsiders would be coming up with a set of weapons to use to bad-mouth whatever changes happen.

stevenpwest
Nov 21 2009, 12:34 AM
IMO, we have a very good set of rules and I've always been impressed by the RC. Until one has written rules, it is hard to appreciate the complexity of seemingly simple rule-making. Where we can improve by clarifying and limiting conflicts, we obviously should.

Btw, I would think the higher-level purpose is to insure fair play. Growing the sport or having fun is not a rules issue IMO.

I have written rules - everything from contract to laws to computer systems. It is especially hard when the first step - trying to determine the principles everyone agrees they are working toward - is skipped.

I assume you would agree with the idea that the rules should be "elegant".

As for you other point, I can see that rules are never going to be the lead factor in growing the sport. What if I said "rules should not prevent growth of the sport" and "rules should not make the sport less fun"? It would certainly be easy enough to come up with rules that would hinder the growth of the sport ("Any player who stands to make money from playing is disqualified.") or spoil the fun. Shouldn't we have a filter to get rid of those kinds of rules?

cgkdisc
Nov 21 2009, 12:37 AM
Something that comes to mind is having rules that are "easily" and "willingly" enforceable by players as a sport essentially operating without officials. All of the posting regarding foot faults provides a dilemma for any future rules revision in this area.

stevenpwest
Nov 22 2009, 01:23 PM
Something that comes to mind is having rules that are "easily" and "willingly" enforceable by players as a sport essentially operating without officials. All of the posting regarding foot faults provides a dilemma for any future rules revision in this area.

I'm hoping to avoid talk of specific rules here (except as examples to illustrate a point, as you did). I think you have two points: 1. "Rules should be enforceable", and 2. "Rules should allow for play without officials".

Any sport needs enforceable rules, so I can't see any disagreement over that. However, play without officials is a separate issue, but it's on the list unless someone objects.

bcary93
Nov 22 2009, 04:09 PM
I'm hoping to avoid talk of specific rules here

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. But, in practice, there is. - Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut

Alacrity
Nov 23 2009, 10:38 AM
Here is a bit of stolen web lore:

In "writing up" their research findings for publication, scientists naturally must present their findings as clearly, concisely, and rigorously as possible. Readers will expect the emphasis to be on understandability and evaluation of the information rather than on the "elegance" of the words themselves. Clear, concise, and rigorous research writing relies on language that favors simplicity, precision, and directness. Such writing must be, in short, measured and "plain." Or, as the Council of Biology Editors (1994) puts it: "Effective scientific prose is accurate, clear, economical, fluent, and graceful." It should not be surprising that the effectiveness of scientific writing is a direct function the writer's thinking: In agronomist Martha Davis's words, "You think well; you write well" (1997). For Davis, the best set of rules for scientific writing is that proposed by Nora Ransom, who teaches that subject at Kansas State University; Ransom's rules are as follows:

1. If it can be interpreted in more than one way it's wrong.

2. Know your audience; know your subject; know your purpose.

3. If you can't think of a reason to put a comma in, leave it out.

4. Keep your writing clear, concise, and correct.

5. If it works, do it.

This is from http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=LKdQg4JSSJ7JcrmJ7mppx gsCNvKpqlPGQpmTrYdDJ8yG2QTYyd2c!921627548!19309315 51?docId=5002415295

and is a good example of how rules should be written as well.

cgkdisc
Nov 23 2009, 11:15 AM
3. If you can't think of a reason to put a comma in, leave it out.
4. Keep your writing clear, concise, and correct.
Ironic that no comma is required after the word concise isn't it? :)

Alacrity
Nov 23 2009, 11:21 AM
I saw that too.


Ironic that no comma is required after the word concise isn't it? :)

james_mccaine
Nov 23 2009, 12:49 PM
This thread needs some context (read detail, examples) to give it meaning. Otherwise, what am I to assume the reason for this thread is? That our rule writers wouldn't naturally try to be brief, write intelligently, etc. That they wouldn't think about enforcibility?

Btw, elegance is not an aim, but a result.

veganray
Nov 23 2009, 01:08 PM
Ironic that no comma is required after the word concise isn't it? :)
Especially in message board prose, no punctuation is really "required", but The Chicago Manual of Style, Strunk and White's Elements of Style, and Warriner's English Grammar and Composition all recommend use of the serial comma (aka the Oxford comma). I agree, and I use it religiously.

stevenpwest
Nov 24 2009, 03:21 PM
This thread needs some context (read detail, examples) to give it meaning. Otherwise, what am I to assume the reason for this thread is? That our rule writers wouldn't naturally try to be brief, write intelligently, etc. That they wouldn't think about enforcibility?

Well, yeah - maybe. Or - more to the point - I want a complete definition of your "etc."

I think an explicit list of "good" traits would be a helpful tool. It would provide focus. So, if someone wanted a rule merely because it "keeps a certain pro from whining" - they can look and see if that is on the list or not. It's more efficient to make an explicit decision about whether it should be on the list, than to spend hours arguing for a certain rule.

Limited examples probably would be helpful. I'm hesitant to bring up examples because I am afraid that if, say, I pointed out the multiple definitions of par in the rules, it might devolve into a discussion of what par is. (PLEASE, NO!) The focus of this thread should be: "anything in the rules should only be able to be interpreted in one way".

Btw, elegance is not an aim, but a result.

So, what is elegance a result OF?

veganray
Nov 24 2009, 03:31 PM
So, what is elegance a result OF?
Aiming for elegance.:p

bluemont
Nov 24 2009, 04:52 PM
"I'm sorry this letter is so long, I didn't have time to make it shorter."
— George Bernard Shaw

davidsauls
Nov 25 2009, 09:19 AM
Rules.

Rules for making "good" rules.

How to determine what rules for making "good" rules should be?

Rules for rules for making rules.

chainmeister
Nov 25 2009, 03:59 PM
Rules and laws are always more difficult when we apply them to the real world. We aim for artful and concise rules. However, the exceptions and new interpretations make the simple become more complex. I do not say this as an apologist for the makers of the current rules. Its a a reality. A number of years ago I did a workshop in a middle school where the kids got to be legistlators- er, rulemakers. We started with a simple law- "No vehicles in the park." We then discussed a variety of real world situations- garbage trucks, emergency vehicles, bicycles, strollers, and our simple statement became more and more complex. The balance between brevity and comprehensiveness was difficult to hit. Is this any different from starting with a simple statement such as, "There shall be one penalty stroke for a disc that goes out of bounds" and then applying it to the realities, stories and situations that we all encounter?

Rules grow with experience as they catch up to realities that were previously unexpected. a good rule is an edited rule. When the simple statement about the penalty grows to the point where we have so many alterations and exceptions that we lose sight of the original rule its time to edit the rule and make sure the loose threads and exceptions are not in conflict with one another. I don't mind tweaking the rules every couple of years to make sure they still say what we originally intended.

stevenpwest
Nov 27 2009, 12:01 PM
The list so far:

Simpler is better than more complicated.

No rule should contradict another rule.

Rules should be written in a way which they can be understood by the general playing population.

A goal of a rule should be to be elegant; scientific precision, neatness, and simplicity.

Rules should be "easily" and "willingly" enforceable by players.

davidsauls
Nov 27 2009, 01:06 PM
Rules should also cover every imaginable situation. Every 1-in-a-million throw, every crazy idea a course designer comes up with (such as basket 3" from a tree), or an equipment manufacturer, and every clever notion some player dreams up to circumvent the rules and gain advantage.

Which is what makes is so hard for rules to be simple, non-contradictory, easily understood, or elegant.

In the meantime, you might add to your list that rules should be objective, not subjective, as much as possible.

gnduke
Nov 27 2009, 04:19 PM
How about a rule should start with a generic statement to be used by default followed by clarifications and exceptions.

i.e.
Discs that come to rest completely surrounded by or suspended directly above OB area are considered OB.

a. Discs that failed to successfully negotiate a mandatory prior to going OB follow 803.xx
b. Discs that are interfered with while in flight or at rest follow 803.xx

davidsauls
Nov 30 2009, 08:33 AM
That's a good idea.

The baseball rulebook is full of examples that clarify the rules, or their application to rare occurances. They are often printed in italics, just below the particular rule, sometimes preceded by "[approved ruling]". The batting-out-of-order section goes on for a while, but others are brief. (Or, at least, this is how it was when I last had to study it, 10 or 15 years ago).

I rather wish to the disc golf rulebook included this format.

Though not enough to volunteer for the effort.

cgkdisc
Nov 30 2009, 10:44 AM
Another challenge for rules is to assign penalties so they seem proportional to the "crime" and equivalent in relation to penalties for other infractions.

For example, in the 1990 version of the rules, every throw a score was recorded lower than the correct score resulted in a 3-throw penalty. So a player who shot a 58 and incorrectly entered 55 on the card (maybe it was a 19-hole course and the player was counting birdies and bogeys in relation to 18 instead of 19 holes) would have gotten a 67 in the early 90s and under current rules "just" a 2-throw penalty for a 60.

stevenpwest
Nov 30 2009, 01:01 PM
How about a rule should start with a generic statement to be used by default followed by clarifications and exceptions.
i.e.
Discs that come to rest completely surrounded by or suspended directly above OB area are considered OB.
a. Discs that failed to successfully negotiate a mandatory prior to going OB follow 803.xx
b. Discs that are interfered with while in flight or at rest follow 803.xx

That's a good idea.
The baseball rulebook is full of examples that clarify the rules, or their application to rare occurances. . . .
I rather wish to the disc golf rulebook included this format.
. . .

I'll include both of these under "Rules should be organized in a way to facilitate finding the correct rule for a given situation."

Note this doesn't just say "well-organized". There are altermative ways to organize rules that are just as "good". They could be listed in the order you need to learn them, for example. So, I think what we're saying is that the prime goal of organization should be to get the player to the right rule for a situation.

Then, whowever is doing the real work can hash out whether generic to specific is best, or whether including exampels would work. For me, I don't like to see references to other rules. Coming across a "see 803.06" frustrates me. However, if that happens to be the best way to organize the rules, then I defer to goal of better organization.

I, too, like the baseball rulebook. Especially compared to golf's rules. I think the golf rulebook has almost every example of what we don't want in a set of rules.

Another challenge for rules is to assign penalties so they seem proportional to the "crime" and equivalent in relation to penalties for other infractions.

I don't disagree, but this seems like it's getting a little close to being subjective, and may even involve that most un-agreed upon word: "fair".

Is there a way to determine what punishment fits a specific infraction? I think one aspect would be that the player should never be able to gain an advantage from breaking a rule. Does more than that need to be said?

Your example of turning in a mis-added scorecard reminded me of another one: "Rules should never depend on guessing the intent of the player." It is simply not possible to find out what is in anyone's brain. So, the rules should apply only to actions.


It could also raise the debate about whether players should be required to be good at addition (or arriving on time, or knowing the proper course of play, etc.). Where should the limits of the rules be? Should rules apply to only what happens from tee to target, or should they include every aspect of a player's life from registration to the awards ceremony?

gnduke
Nov 30 2009, 01:38 PM
My first rule about making rules is to never define the same rule twice. If the same situation is described in two places, the wording will eventually conflict. There are many overlapping situations like marking the lie, relief, OB, and interference. The mandatory rule brushes all of them. It is much better to reference an existing rule than add a new definition in another rule.

If you have simple generic rules with references below that point to rules that can override the generic rule, it makes it easier to understand and clear which rule takes precedence. Such as referencing the mando and interference rules within the OB rule.
If you tried to briefly explain the missing of a mando or what constitutes interference within the OB rule, those explanations would eventually conflict with the real mando and interference rules.

stevenpwest
Dec 02 2009, 08:57 PM
How about a rule should start with a generic statement to be used by default followed by clarifications and exceptions.

i.e.
Discs that come to rest completely surrounded by or suspended directly above OB area are considered OB.

a. Discs that failed to successfully negotiate a mandatory prior to going OB follow 803.xx
b. Discs that are interfered with while in flight or at rest follow 803.xx

...

My first rule about making rules is to never define the same rule twice. If the same situation is described in two places, the wording will eventually conflict. There are many overlapping situations like marking the lie, relief, OB, and interference. The mandatory rule brushes all of them. It is much better to reference an existing rule than add a new definition in another rule.

If you have simple generic rules with references below that point to rules that can override the generic rule, it makes it easier to understand and clear which rule takes precedence. Such as referencing the mando and interference rules within the OB rule.
If you tried to briefly explain the missing of a mando or what constitutes interference within the OB rule, those explanations would eventually conflict with the real mando and interference rules.

I agree that references are a lesser evil than having two definitions of the same thing. However, your example leaves me with a finger on the OB, and another on the Mando page while I try to figure out what "successfully negotiate" means.

Perhaps the rules could guide players to the correct rule by using a tree structure. If missing a mando takes priority over OB, then the rule about What if Your Disc Lands Out of Bounds would be in the section What if Your Throw Does Not Miss a Mando. (There are probably better titles, but you get the idea.)

I'm not saying a tree structure is the best structure, but I think we can agree on "Nothing should be defined in more than one place." and "References to other rules should be minimized."

stevenpwest
Dec 09 2009, 11:37 PM
The list so far:

& Simpler is better than more complicated.

& A goal of a rule should be to be elegant; scientific precision, neatness, and simplicity.

* No rule should contradict another rule.

* Nothing should be defined in more than one place.

^ Rules should be written in a way which they can be understood by the general playing population.

^ References to other rules should be minimized.

# Rules should be easily and willingly enforceable by players.

# There should be sufficient incentives to comply.

% Rules should be objective instead of subjective.

% Rules should never depend on determining the intent of the player.

- The rules should cover every situation.

- The rules should be organized to make finding the correct rule for a situation easiest.

The opinions marked with similar characters seem to be related, and could probably be merged if done carefully. Please offer suggestions.

cgkdisc
Dec 10 2009, 12:17 AM
% Rules should never depend on determining the intent of the player.
This may not be possible nor fair. Take a look at situations where a player can do something deliberately versus accidentally like moving/damaging foliage or deflecting a disc for example. Should deliberate versus accidental incidents be treated the same for uniformity or different as they are now because it's seen as appropriate?

august
Dec 10 2009, 08:22 AM
This may not be possible nor fair. Take a look at situations where a player can do something deliberately versus accidentally like moving/damaging foliage or deflecting a disc for example. Should deliberate versus accidental incidents be treated the same for uniformity or different as they are now because it's seen as appropriate?

Treat it all the same. Like the PGA guy who accidentally had an extra club in his bag a few years ago. He was DQ'd even though it was his caddy who made the mistake.

There is no way to definitively determine intent beyond any reasonable doubt and doing so should not be part of the rules.

gnduke
Dec 10 2009, 09:57 AM
The rules should be objective. Willful abuse or destruction is about as close to subjective as the rules should go. Even there, if there is any doubt, it is not enforceable.

cgkdisc
Dec 10 2009, 10:56 AM
It appears that philosophically, our rules over the years have been biased toward retaining participants in the game. For example, we have a few rules where there are penalties rather than a DQ which would occur in ball golf (missing a few holes to start or signing incorrect scorecard for examples). It's not just a "good guy" philosophy but it has practical benefits. Because we are self officiated and regularly have small divisions, having rules that allow players to continue play helps by having more players in groups to spot and make rules calls, especially those requiring a second.

So the question would be, should our rules have an explicit statement to the effect that efforts to retain participation be a consideration (i.e. benefit of the doubt) or not? This is related to my previous post on the differentiation in penalties between deliberate versus accidental actions.

davidsauls
Dec 10 2009, 12:42 PM
Other sports survive with subjective rules and even rules that infer intent.

Much better for rules to be objective as much as possible, but it's not always possible.

chainmeister
Dec 10 2009, 12:54 PM
I understand and agree with the desire for inclusion. We want more players. But I have to disagree with Chuck on intent. Intent is too slippery a slope to adjudicate on the course. The only manner in which I agree would be an oaf like me looking to find a place behind his mini trips over his own feet or the mini or a rock and falls down sending branches snapping and generally disrupting the greenery. I suspect some lattitude may be desired here. However, that same oaf who falls over his own feet while putting inside the circle has commitetd a foot fault regardless of the intent. Once intent is injected can we argue that "I really didn't intend to throw at that time" or "I didn't intend to miss the putt?"

davidsauls
Dec 10 2009, 02:04 PM
It's not a question of whether all rules are based on the player's intent. Just whether some rules should be.

Damaging foliage, as in your example, perhaps interference with a thrown disc (if you're trying to get out of the way but zig when you should have zagged....or if you don't see the disc coming?), probably other examples as well where "intent" might be appropriate. Accidentally moving someone else's disc (you picked it up in error), as opposed to intentionally (DQ!).

wsfaplau
Dec 10 2009, 02:04 PM
Of course intent needs to be considered in some places.

A - A player walking down a fairway is struck by a disc from an adjacent hole. The disc is deflected and falls to the ground.

B - A player is putting. As his putt nears the chains his buddy, trying to be funny, slaps the disc out of the air and to the ground.

Without considering intent both these scenarios are players deflecting a thrown disc. Of course scenario B is absurd but it still illustrates why you can't just ignore intent.

stevenpwest
Dec 10 2009, 09:39 PM
This may not be possible nor fair.

You could say the same about any of the goals for rules. The question is: if it is possible, is it better? I think so. Look at the opposite: every rule should be interpreted differently, depending on the intent of the player.

Take a look at situations where a player can do something deliberately versus accidentally like moving/damaging foliage or deflecting a disc for example. Should deliberate versus accidental incidents be treated the same for uniformity or different as they are now because it's seen as appropriate?

Does the foliage care if it was intentional? Does the disc veer less if the deflection was unintentional? I think a case could be made that a particular action should result in a particular consequence, no matter the intent.

However, even if you think they should be treated differently, I would suggest that the difference should depend on something observable. For example, swinging your arm, jumping, or standing in the way of a disc coming from in front of you (and the disc touches you) might be a different rule than if the disc hits you in the back. That would allow for treating deliberate vs. accidental differently, without getting into the mind of the player.

I would not want to use deliberate vs. accidental - simply because it is impossible to read minds. At best, you could say "appears deliberate", but that's subjective.

So, leave "should not depend on determining the intent of the player" on the list as universally agreed on, or take it off?

davidsauls
Dec 11 2009, 09:05 AM
Other sports don't make perfect analogies, I know, especially those with paid officials, but....

In basketball, we have the "intentional foul", and incidental contact, among others. Contact is penalized differently in different cases, depending on whether it was incidental or depending on the judgement of the referee as to how severe it was.

In baseball---a game with pretty cut-&-dry rules, a player hit by a pitch doesn't get a base if it was deliberate on his part---if he didn't attempt to avoid it. A checked swing or a bunt attempt is a called strike based on whether he tried to hit the ball. If a player is out but continues running, another player may be called out because of the first player's intent to deceive. If a runner intereferes with a thrown ball, his intent determines whether he is out or not.

Just a few of many examples where "intent" or "deliberate vs. accidental" come into play, or you have to assume what's in the mind of a player.

*

One argument for different rulings on accidental vs. deliberate, for example on deflecting moving discs. We want to stop deliberate actions, or people would be playing defense. Accidental deflections of discs are rare enough to have little consequence if allowed to go unpunished.

gnduke
Dec 11 2009, 09:40 AM
There is also the argument that removing a lesser punishment for accidental interference would increase vigilance. If it is just a warning versus two strokes, will players be as cautious?

august
Dec 11 2009, 10:13 AM
It appears that philosophically, our rules over the years have been biased toward retaining participants in the game.

And I completely understand where that philosophy comes from. However, as the monetary stakes get higher and more and more people become involved in the sport, we will have to re-evaluate that philosophy and make a determination if it still serves us well.

I see things gradually leaning towards stricter enforcement and more enforcement-friendly rules, but we as a whole are not quite there yet. There is still a slight majority that favors the status quo.

davidsauls
Dec 11 2009, 11:15 AM
There is also the argument that removing a lesser punishment for accidental interference would increase vigilance. If it is just a warning versus two strokes, will players be as cautious?

On the other hand, currently players are reluctant to make calls on clear violations that gain advantage (foot faults, 30-seconds, etc.). Would we be even less likely to penalize people for accidents that don't gain advantage? Would more unenforced rules be progress?

august
Dec 11 2009, 01:20 PM
No, that would be regress.

The foot fault "do-over" is a rule who's usefulness (if it ever was useful) has come to an end. Similarly, the penalties associated with handing in an incorrect score at the end of the round are more trouble than they are worth. Should be a stroke for every foot fault and a DQ for wrong score. The foot faults will then be called and math skills will improve.

davidsauls
Dec 11 2009, 02:25 PM
No, that would be regress.

The foot fault "do-over" is a rule who's usefulness (if it ever was useful) has come to an end. Similarly, the penalties associated with handing in an incorrect score at the end of the round are more trouble than they are worth. Should be a stroke for every foot fault and a DQ for wrong score. The foot faults will then be called and math skills will improve.

Only if called.

If people don't call footfaults now---and by a huge majority, we don't---when it's just a warning, they'll call them even less when it's a stroke.

august
Dec 11 2009, 03:32 PM
I don't agree. That's a symptom of an entirely different problem. I think people don't call violations because they don't want to be bothered with it, not because of the penalty. If we put our efforts into officials on every hole, then that problem begins to wither away.

I think history has proven that it's futile to try and get players to enforce the rules as is expected. Unless someone can think of a way to make it "cool" to enforce rules, the only way to insure that everyone plays by the same rules is to have officials on every hole. I think enforcing the rules due to a sense of honor and integrity is seen as too "mainstream" or "conformist" and is rejected by the counterculture roots of our sport. I embrace those counterculture roots, but eventually, the "whatever" mindset creates problems that have to be dealt with. Rules enforcement is one of those problems.

gnduke
Dec 11 2009, 05:45 PM
I think David is correct. At least in the am ranks, calls are not made to reduce the chance of the offending player taking offense at the call and repaying the caller with abusive behavior for the rest of the round. The fears will only increase if the result of the call is a penalty stroke.

stevenpwest
Dec 12 2009, 12:12 AM
So the question would be, should our rules have an explicit statement to the effect that efforts to retain participation be a consideration?

That is a good question. I don't see that it is really tied up with benefit of the doubt or intent, but it is a candidate for what rules should do.

stevenpwest
Dec 12 2009, 12:14 AM
The foot fault "do-over" is a rule who's usefulness (if it ever was useful) has come to an end. Similarly, the penalties associated with handing in an incorrect score at the end of the round are more trouble than they are worth.

Why? What principles of good rules do these two violate? (They may not be on our list yet.)

stevenpwest
Dec 12 2009, 12:28 AM
Other sports don't make perfect analogies, I know, especially those with paid officials, but....

In basketball, we have the "intentional foul", and incidental contact, among others. Contact is penalized differently in different cases, depending on whether it was incidental or depending on the judgement of the referee as to how severe it was.

Actually, neither "intent" nor "intentional" appears in Rule No, 12 – Fouls and Penalties.

"Section IV--Flagrant Foul
a. If contact committed against a player, with or without the ball, is interpreted to be unnecessary, a flagrant foul--penalty (1) will be assessed."

However, baseball has many mentions of "Intentional".

So, it seems "Rules should never depend on determining the intent of the player. " is too strong for universal agreement. I think any watered-down version would already be covered by "Rules should be objective".

august
Dec 12 2009, 07:22 AM
Why? What principles of good rules do these two violate? (They may not be on our list yet.)

The penalties are not severe enough to deter committing the infraction.

reallybadputter
Dec 12 2009, 07:38 PM
However, even if you think they should be treated differently, I would suggest that the difference should depend on something observable. For example, swinging your arm, jumping, or standing in the way of a disc coming from in front of you (and the disc touches you) might be a different rule than if the disc hits you in the back. That would allow for treating deliberate vs. accidental differently, without getting into the mind of the player.

I would not want to use deliberate vs. accidental - simply because it is impossible to read minds. At best, you could say "appears deliberate", but that's subjective.

So, leave "should not depend on determining the intent of the player" on the list as universally agreed on, or take it off?

Take it off...

It is not universally agreed upon.

I have been hit 3 times on the golf course with enough force to cause injury. Two were players on other holes... one a newbie that had no control, one an idiot that I looked up at, saw staring at me, saying nothing, and then realized that he was staring at me because his driver was about to hit me in the thigh (no he didn't yell fore or anything else, he just watched his disc drill me in the leg from 200 feet away) The third was an idiot that on hole 13 at Morley Field on a weekend when there were tons of slow groups, didn't check to see if the fairway was clear... I got drilled in the head as I was about to putt.

Say I saw the disc out of the corner of my eye and put up a hand to protect my head?

Had these happened in a tourney round, should I have be penalized? No way...

How about your bag is on the bench, on a teebox and you are on the tee... a disc from the previous hole hits your bag. Should that be a penalty?

Intent matters...

stevenpwest
Dec 15 2009, 11:51 AM
In theory, a rule should be based on the whether an action was legal or not and not what happened after the fault.

(Found this in Chuck's history lesson, moved it here so as not to divert discussion on that thread.)

Hmmm. Add this to the list? It sounds logical, but is there an analogy in football, where a penalty can be declined by the opposition?

reallybadputter
Dec 15 2009, 07:54 PM
Oh well... already responded over there... my answer... NO WAY

reallybadputter
Dec 15 2009, 08:02 PM
Lets look at the other option for a starting point for rules:

I deleted a few words that directly reference where this came from, but why not start from this logic? (If you are more of a disc sports player rather than merely a golfer, you will immediately recognize the origin.)

It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner that simulates what most likely would have occurred absent the infraction. An intentional infraction is considered cheating and a gross offense against the spirit of sportsmanship. Often a player is in a position to gain an advantage by committing an infraction, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. The integrity of the game depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game™, and this responsibility should remain paramount.

stevenpwest
Dec 15 2009, 10:24 PM
Lets look at the other option for a starting point for rules:

I deleted a few words that directly reference where this came from, but why not start from this logic? (If you are more of a disc sports player rather than merely a golfer, you will immediately recognize the origin.)

It is assumed that no player will intentionally violate the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for inadvertent infractions, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner that simulates what most likely would have occurred absent the infraction. An intentional infraction is considered cheating and a gross offense against the spirit of sportsmanship. Often a player is in a position to gain an advantage by committing an infraction, but that player is morally bound to abide by the rules. The integrity of the game depends on each player’s responsibility to uphold the Spirit of the Game™, and this responsibility should remain paramount.

There's a lot of good in that, but there are a couple of things I would have trouble with. First, I would start from the assumption that players may intentionally violate rules. Sure, the game may be self-officiated, and maybe in the overwhelming majority of cases a player will not intentionally violate a rule. But I wouldn't build a set of rules around the pretense that it will never happen. I think the assumption that sometimes a player will cheat would result in a more enforceable, more objective set of rules. Also, I think that in golf there is more temptation to "fudge" a little (not quite reach that lie if it means you can't reach around the tree) than in a fast-paced game where everything is constantly changing.

Second, I can't tell who is breaking rules "intentionally".

I do like the notion that breaking a rule should never result in an advantage to the player that broke the rule. That, and "resetting" the game so it can proceed as much like the infraction had never happened as possible (but with any penalties assessed).