Apr 24 2012, 10:25 AM
The following situation came up on the final hole of a tournament i just played, and there was some discussion about what the correct call should be.

The hole is 600 feet downhill with a small stream running across about 140 feet short of the basket. There is a small gallery on the green watching the final four teeing of, and one throw hits a tree above the the stream. A spectator (A player from another division) is standing nearby, sees the disc in the water floating away, but neither the gallery on the green or the group, can see where the disc landed. He picks it up, and leaves it were it went OB.

The spectator who saved the disc told the group when they arrived what had happened. The group made their decision, and I don't think there was any drama there, but other players were discussing what the call should be. Looking in the rule book, I can't find a definitive answer.

According to 803.03 F the disc came to rest OB. It was subsequently moved. 803.07 A is about a disc in flight, and 803.07 B is regarding the movement on the disc on the playing surface, which the stream is not, according to the definition. 803.09 D determines where the lie is, if moved by a player, but in this case it was a spectator (Assuming that a player is no longer a player, when he has holed out the last hole)

803.03 Marking the Lie:
F. A disc thrown in water shall be deemed to be at rest once it is floating or is moving only by the action of the water or the wind on the water.

803.07 Interference:
A. A thrown disc that hits another player, spectator, or animal shall be played where it comes to rest. A thrown disc that is intentionally deflected or was caught and moved shall be marked as close as possible to the point of contact, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. Alternatively, for intentional interference only, the thrower has the option of taking a re-throw. [...]

B. If a disc at rest on the playing surface or supported by the target is moved, the disc shall be replaced as close as possible to its original location, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. [...]

803.09 Out-of-Bounds:
D. If the in-bounds status of a disc is uncertain, either a majority of the group or an official shall make the determination. If the thrower moves the disc before a determination has been made, the disc shall be considered out-of-bounds, and he or she shall proceed in accordance with 803.09B counting all throws made prior to the determination of the in-bounds status of the original lie. If a player other than the thrower moves the disc before a determination has been made, the disc shall be considered in-bounds, and play for the thrower and the mover of the disc shall proceed under the rules of interference, 803.07 B and C.

Should the next throw be played where the group found the disc, or should it be played as OB. Or could this be classified as Intentional Interference, and give the player a re-throw? (which by the way is not clear to me, whether or not the original throw will count towards the score or not)

Apr 24 2012, 11:04 AM
If the player is a certified official, then the disc is OB and marked where the spectator/official indicated it went out. If the player is not an official (i.e. spectator), the disc apparently came to rest in the water and theoretically would be placed back where it was located on the playing surface (in the water). Since the place it came to rest is OB, the disc is declared OB and marked where the player indicated it went OB. Same result in either case.

Intentional interference is usually a deflection action that occurs prior to a disc coming to rest or a player who hasn't completed the event does something like hiding another player's disc with leaves. The disc apparently came to rest "officially" before starting to float away.

Apr 24 2012, 07:38 PM
Chuck has it right. I can see your point about the little gap in the rules here. The disc was at rest, under the rules, but was it at rest "on the playing surface"? It would seem to have been at rest out of bounds and the definition of playing surface might or might not include an out of bounds area.

Apr 24 2012, 08:50 PM
Despite my objections, the RC ruled that OB is "playing surface" when we had the discussion regarding the disc at rest in OB being kicked back IB by a passing car before the player marked it so it resulted in the disc being OB.

Apr 25 2012, 03:33 AM
An OB road can be considdered a playing surface, but a body of water cannot as far as I can read the definition. I agree with both of you that that should be the call, and to the best of my knowledge that was also the groups call. But i would still find it hard to document that the call is correct according to the rules.

I also find i peculiar that if this had not been the final hole, the player should have left the disc floating down the stream, posibly resulting in a lost disc, so as not incur a penality.

Apr 25 2012, 07:41 AM
Seems to me that unless the spectator was an official the player would have the right to declare the disc IB as per the last part of 803.09D if he/the group did not consider the word of a single person to constitute reasonable evidence that the disc came to rest within the out-of-bounds area. In fact I'd even go so far as to suggest that he *should* do that, otherwise what purpose does that part of the rule serve?

[edit] By 'should' I mean under the rules, rather than morally :)

Apr 25 2012, 07:53 AM
803.09 D clearly states player, and I have used both player and spectator to describe the situation. In reality he was a spectator at this point so 803.09 D doesn't really apply. But why should this situation be treated differently based on the status of the person moving the disc? (except for an official) What about a designated spotter?

Apr 25 2012, 08:54 AM
The intention of the rule is to prevent cheating by the player who first arrived at the disc in saying that a disc was in/out and giving the benefit to those that arrived later to assess the status of the disc (this is why who moved the disc may matter). When you have a gallery and the disc is clearly OB by the many eyes observing the situation, 803.09.D is not really needed to achieve fair competition.

Apr 25 2012, 12:44 PM
My reading of the OP was that the only person who observed the disc OB was the guy who moved it. The intent of the first part of the rule is to prevent the thrower declaring IB without verification, the intent of the second part is surely to give him the benefit of the doubt if someone else interferes before he/the group can verify?

Not saying the decision wasn't morally valid and I'd likely do the same, but what if the lone spectator was say the leading players brother-in-law and you were 1 shot behind?