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Disc Golf Rules School - Episode 3: Marking Your Lie

Disc Golf Rules School - Episode 3: Marking Your Lie

Thursday, January 27, 2022 - 11:20

The Lie

Every shot in disc golf is thrown from a lie (802.05). Put simply, the lie is the designated area of the playing surface on which a player must establish their stance in order to throw.

There are two types of lies specified by the Official Rules of Disc Golf: teeing areas and marked lies. Drop zones can be treated either like a teeing area or played in the same manner as a marked lie, depending on how it is designated by the Event Director.

Teeing areas (802.04) mark the beginning of each hole and can be defined in one of two ways: either as the area bounded by the edges of a tee pad, if provided, or as the area extending three meters perpendicularly behind a designated tee line.

Marked lies, on the other hand, comprise a much smaller area. The area of a marked lie is defined as a rectangle that is 20cm wide and 30 cm deep —about the size of a piece of notebook paper— centered on the line of play behind the rear edge of the marker disc.


A marked lie is an area, 20 cm wide by 30 cm deep, behind the marker disc and centered on the line of play. [Click to expand]

The line of play is an imaginary line on the playing surface extending from the center of the target through and beyond the center of the marker disc.

Note: The definition of the line of play has changed with the 2022 rules update. Previously, the line of play extended from the marker disc to the nearest mandatory object, if present, but as of 2022 the line of play does not change regardless of the presence of mandatories.


The Line of Play is used to determine the location of the lie (where you put your foot when throwing), as well as influences how to take relief, when applicable. [Click to expand]

Marking the Lie

When a throw lands in-bounds on the playing surface, the thrower has the option to use the thrown disc at rest as their marker disc or to use a mini marker, placed on the playing surface touching the front of the thrown disc on the line of play.

Check out our complete PDGA Rules School Video Series on YouTube »

In Episode 3: Marking Your Lie, host Sarah Hokom discusses the various types of lie and explains how to mark your lie on the fairway according to the Official Rules of Disc Golf section 802.05.

In other scenarios, like when the disc goes out of bounds or is otherwise not on the in-bounds playing surface, or when the lie has to be moved by rule (e.g., casual relief, relief from OB), then the lie must be marked with a mini marker disc.

For this reason, every player should bring a mini marker disc that complies with the PDGA Technical Standards. Mini Marker discs must have a circular shape, with a diameter ranging from 7 cm to 15 cm and a height not exceeding 3 cm, and can be made from a variety of materials (e.g. plastic, metal, wood).

Throwing from a lie that has not been marked according to these rules results in a marking violation. A player receives a warning for the first marking violation, and one penalty throw for each subsequent violation of any marking rule during the round.

Note: Disc flipping is not allowed! Oftentimes casual players will flip-over their thrown disc at rest in order to simulate marking the lie with a mini marker. This is not allowed in sanctioned play. If you don’t have a mini marker disc, then you must play from the thrown disc at rest as it lies, and—as noted above—you will almost certainly run into scenarios where there is no legal way to mark your lie.

Extra Credit: When Not to Use a Mini Marker

Even when you have a mini marker disc at the ready (and you should!), there are scenarios where it may be advantageous to leave it in your pocket and use the thrown disc at rest as your marker disc.

In some cases, it may be easier to see the larger disc on the ground if you are taking a big run-up to throw your next shot, or you may just prefer not to fuss with the mini marker when you don’t have to.

In other cases, the small change in location of the lie between the thrown disc and the mini marker may make a difference in footing, like if your disc lands on a tree root or other obstacle, and by marking it with a mini you would be forced into awkward footing.


[Click to expand]

Lastly, if your throw lands on the edge of the 10-meter circle which defines the putting area, then choosing to mark your lie with a mini may put you inside the putting area, whereas using the thrown disc at rest will keep your lie outside of the putting area, thereby allowing you to use a jump putt or step putt that would be prohibited inside the putting area.

For more information visit the Official Rules of Disc Golf and be sure to check back each Thursday for a new installment of PDGA Rules School.

See you out on the course!  


If the disc lands in front (basket side) of casual water but leaves you no room to stand without standing in the casual water. What are the options for your lie.

Submitted by steveganz on

See 806.03 B

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).

I'm wondering if you can still obtain casual relief even if your disc is not in casual water? The way it's stated is seems to imply (maybe) that your disc must be in the casual water to obtain relief.

Submitted by NOVASully on

The nearest point that provides relief is the nearest point where the player can put down a supporting point that is on the line of play and not in the designated casual area.

So if you're not in the casual area, there's nothing from which you can take relief.

Submitted by steveganz on

You may only obtain relief if your disc is in the casual area as defined by 806.03 A

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.

How does this affect a lie that is just beyond a hazard (either a sand trap or a hazard concrete slab) where your disc is in bounds but you wouldn’t be able to stand at your lie without standing in the hazard. Can you throw from the hazard without taking the penalty because your disc was in bounds but not so far as to provide enough footing to stand behind it in bounds, do you get the 1 meter out because it is hazard (even though you would be allowed to through from it if it fully landed within the hazard), Or do you go back and take it from the other side of the hazard in the line of play? Thanks

Submitted by NOVASully on


Unlike OB, which specifies that it's an area in which a stance may not be taken, 806.02.A, hazard areas have no such limitation.  You may place supporting points in a hazard - so long as the stance is otherwise legal - whether your disc is clearly and completely surrounded by the hazard (penalty) or not (no penalty).