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Frequently Asked Questions - Obstacles and Relief

In general, no. Picnic tables, along with any other park or course equipment, are obstacles on the course. They are to be treated as any other obstacles, for example a bush or a tree. How you play your next throw depends on the picnic table. If there is room for you to take a stance under it, even by sticking your leg underneath, that’s what you do. If your disc is on top of the picnic table and there is room underneath, it is a lie above ground and you mark directly below it and play from there.

Yes, if you are able. There is no limit on the size of a casual obstacle as long as it meets the definition. You can move it as long as that’s practicable and you throw within the 30 seconds allowed by the Excessive Time rule.

Yes. If part of the branch is in your stance or run-up behind your marker, you’re allowed to move it, even if another part is between your lie and the hole.

No. Since it is not on or behind your lie (your lie is on the playing surface), it has the same status as a healthy, connected branch. You will have to play around it.

No, unless the Director has declared casual relief for them. Those plants affect players differently, and very rarely pose a serious health risk. If your disc goes into some plants and you don’t want to play from there, you can take optional relief, or abandon the throw, at the cost of a penalty throw.

The Director may declare an area to be OB or a Relief Area, in which case you mark your lie according to the relevant rule. If no special handling of the area has been announced by the Director, and you are prohibited from entering it, then it is a Relief Area, and you play according to the applicable rule. Note that you can take optional relief, or abandon the throw, at the cost of a penalty throw.

If the problem with the tee is a casual obstacle that cannot be easily removed (such as standing water), you can take casual relief behind the tee. No relief is provided for other adverse tee conditions, though you can place a towel down to provide traction if the tee is slippery. If the tee is poorly marked, locate an Official or a local player in another group if possible to help identify the tee area boundaries.

Only if at least some of it is on the ground on or behind your lie, in which case it is debris and can be removed as a casual obstacle. If it’s only in your flight path or it doesn’t touch the ground, it cannot be moved.

Greater relief could be a drop zone, a re-throw, or the ability to move the lie. Relief (moving the lie without penalty) is granted for situations that are out of the ordinary, so the Director has a lot of leeway to deal with exceptional situations.