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PDGA Official Rules of Disc Golf & Competition Manual Updated for 2022

While the Official Rules of Disc Golf (ORDG) and the Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events (CM) go through some level of revision each year, occasionally, there will be years that see major substantive revisions. 2022 is such a year.

From OB, to holing out, to new membership requirements, this is the most comprehensive review of the governing documents of sanctioned disc golf since 2018. As such, we want to make sure you know which provisions are changing come January 1, 2022, so that you can be ready for your PDGA season.

A list of the changes – first major, then minor, then a rundown of some clerical matters – is here for your reference.  You can also preview the 2022 ORDG and CM (a printer-friendly version will be available after January 1).

Major Changes

Official Rules of Disc Golf

802.03 Excessive Time

This revision does two significant things. First, it eliminates the “free of distractions” language, which was broad enough to render the rule essentially unenforceable. Instead, the primary concern is safety: the playing area must be clear. Second, it allows a reasonable amount of time for bathroom breaks.

A. A player has taken excessive time if they are present and have not thrown within 30 seconds:

  1. After the previous player has thrown; and,
  2. After they have had a reasonable amount of time to arrive at and determine the lie; and,
  3. After they are next in the throwing order; and,
  4. During which the playing area is clear.

B. 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.

C. A player may request extra time from the group to take a bathroom break. If the player does not return in a reasonable time, the player is considered missing for the hole and receives a score of par plus 4 for the hole. 

804 Regulated Routes

The entire sections 804.01 and 804.02 have been replaced with a new 804.01. Functionally, this is simpler than the prior rule, which required players not only to monitor the disc in flight to see where it passed relative to the mandatory object, but also to be concerned with where the disc came to rest. Here, the latter is eliminated from the analysis. Instead, the instant the disc passes into the restricted space, the outcome is clear: the player has missed the mandatory. In addition, this revision recognizes that tournament directors define the edges of the restricted space with different types of mandatory objects, such as poles or trees. Tournament directors need to be clear on what defines the edges of the restricted space in their course rules. Additionally, this update simplifies the line of play on holes with a mandatory route and object: the line of play is now always a line to the target.

804.01 Mandatory Routes and Objects

A. A mandatory route restricts the path the disc may take to the target. 

B. The restricted space is a vertical plane marked by one or more objects or other markers which define the edges of the space.

C. If a throw clearly and completely enters a restricted space, the player receives one penalty throw. The lie for the next throw is the drop zone for that mandatory. If no drop zone has been designated, the lie for the next throw is the previous lie.

Illustration of tree with mandatory sign on it. "Restricted space" call out and striped area shown on the incorrect side of the tree. Arrows point to the restricted areas, pointing out of the graphic.
For a mandatory like this one, a TD might say: “mandatory: restricted space extends right of the trunk of the marked tree, with the boundary extending both straight upward and toward the right to infinity.”

806.02 Out-of-Bounds

This change gives the player more flexibility after going out-of-bounds. This change is especially important where multiple out-of-bounds lines intersect, or where obstacles preventing the player from taking a legal stance may be within one meter of the out-of-bounds area. It prevents excessive relief in the case of intersecting OB lines at acute angles or in a tight space, and also prevents a player who lands in-bounds from having to abandon the throw if no legal stance can be taken along a perpendicular one-meter line. This change also treats discs that are OB and nearly-OB differently. 

D. 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 up to one meter away from the point where the disc was last in-bounds.

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

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 up to one meter away from the point on the out-of-bounds line nearest the position of the disc.

E. 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 that point on the out-of-bounds line and passes through the thrown disc. Alternatively, when the thrown disc is within one meter of a corner, the lie may be relocated on a one meter line that extends from that corner through the thrown disc.

F. 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.

G. 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.

H. The Director may announce relief greater than one meter for particular out-of-bounds areas on a hole.

I. 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.

807 Completing the Hole

This change means the group no longer has to see the disc enter the target in order to make the call. This also removes the potential of a throw that completed the hole not counting as having completed that hole because the group could not observe how the disc entered the target.

B. In order to complete a hole with a basket target, the thrower must release the disc and it must come to rest supported by the tray or the chains below the chain support.

811 Misplay

This is a re-thinking of the way misplay ought to work in certain discrete situations, paying particular attention to eliminating ways players might attempt to intentionally misplay to gain competitive advantage. It emphasizes that players need to play with their assigned group, in addition to making adjustments due to 802.03’s new bathroom break option. This also dictates that players must be present at their starting hole at the time the round starts, not merely at their turn in the throwing order. This eliminates the extra time previously given to players later in the teeing order.

F. Types of misplay:

  1. Absent. If a player is not present at the start of the round for their assigned group, the player is considered absent and does not play the hole.  A player is also considered absent if the player has not played the previous hole and is not present when their group is ready to start on a hole.  The absent player receives a score of par plus four for each hole not played. Par is determined by the Director. 
  2. Missing. If a player was present with the group and is now missing when it is their turn to throw, the player is given 30 seconds to rejoin the group. If the player remains missing for that time, then the player is considered absent for the hole and receives a score of par plus 4 for the hole. See 802.03.C for exception to this rule.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Wrong Starting Group. The player has begun play on a hole or in a group other than the one to which they were assigned. The player must find their assigned group to begin play. Any throws made by a player in the wrong group are disregarded. The player is subject to penalties for being absent from their assigned group.
  7. Wrong Starting Hole. The group has begun play on a hole other than the one to which they were assigned. If any player in the group makes more than one throw on the hole, the entire group has misplayed the hole. The group completes the hole, and each player adds two penalty throws to their score for the hole. Otherwise, the players who have made a single throw each receive one penalty throw and the misplayed throw is disregarded. The group then proceeds to the correct hole to begin their round.

Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events

1.01 Player Eligibility

Beginning in 2022, we provide an additional benefit to our current members by limiting B-Tier participation only to current members. For many PDGA members, their local B-Tier is the biggest event of their competitive season. Now, those members are no longer engaged in a click-race with players who are not current members.

B. Membership Requirements:

  1. Current PDGA Membership is required to compete in any Major, Elite Series, A-Tier, or B-Tier event.
  2. In all other PDGA-sanctioned events, players who are not current members may compete by paying a non-member fee (not required for Leagues, see 1.14.C.1).
  3. In PDGA-sanctioned events which permit non-members or non-current members to compete by paying a non-member fee, such a fee will not apply to players competing in Junior divisions or where the requirement has been waived by the PDGA Director of Event Support (e.g., WGE or Competition Endowment Program events).

1.06 Grouping and Sectioning

This new provision lays out explicit regulation of ghost groups, limiting their use to emergency situations only.

K. A ghost group is a designation for a secondary group of players that is assigned a starting hole already occupied by a group of players. Ghost groups are only to be used to resolve emergency situations, such as a hole being unexpectedly rendered unplayable by flooding, downed power line, or other circumstances outside the control of the Tournament Director.

  1. A ghost group will always tee second on the hole as the lowered-numbered hole for both first-round groupings (see 1.06.B) and subsequent rounds (see 1.06.D).
  2. Ghost groups should start on a shorter length hole after a longer/more difficult hole to minimize the impact on course-flow and speed of play.

1.10 Distribution of Prizes

1.10.A has not existed since 2018, when a proposed version was deleted by the Board of Directors.  This new version of 1.10.A focuses on the integrity of competition.  In short, it means people cannot take cash, subsequently join the PDGA as an Amateur, and then compete in Amateur divisions for which they would not qualify, had they accepted cash while having a PDGA number. It does not require current membership, only that the person has a PDGA number.

A. Any player accepting cash in a Pro division at a PDGA-sanctioned event (except Leagues, see 1.14.C.2) must have a PDGA number for tracking purposes prior to the start of the event (players receiving a PDGA number after event registration must alert the TD prior to the event). Non-PDGA-numbered players are only eligible for trophies, and any cash payouts at or below that place would move down one place causing an additional place to be paid.

Minor Changes

Official Rules of Disc Golf

802.01 Throw

This is a reinforcement of existing rules.

A. A throw is the propulsion and release of a disc in order to change its position.

B. Each throw that is made as a competitive attempt to change the lie is counted, unless by rule it is disregarded.

C. For a throw that is disregarded, any penalty throws associated with making that throw are also disregarded. Penalties that are associated with making a throw are those for: out-of-bounds, hazard, missed mandatory, above two meters, stance, marking, taking improper relief, and lost disc.

802.06 Marking the Lie

Penalty throws do not accrue for marking violations until the throw is made.  This new language accurately reflects that.

D. Throwing from a lie marked 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

Again, this gives more flexibility to the TD.

A drop zone is played as either a teeing area (see 802.04.B) or a marked lie (see 802.07.A).

803.01 Moving Obstacles

This replaces the confusing term “stance area” with more specific language.

B. 1. A player may move casual obstacles that are on the playing surface where a supporting point may be placed when taking a stance. 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.

803.02 Relief from Obstacles

This adds flexibility to the TD’s options regarding relief.  The language regarding large solid obstacles has been broadened to include obstacles that are not fully solid but effectively act as they are, such as bushes with tightly packed stalks. Additionally, a clarification to the language in B renders the specific enumeration of motor vehicles redundant.

A. A player may obtain relief from the following obstacles that are on or behind the lie: 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 (unless greater relief has been announced by the Director).

B. If an obstacle physically 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.

805.01 Establishing a Position 

This clarifies the rule with more specific and accurate language.

C. If a disc first comes to rest above the playing surface, its position is on the playing surface directly below the disc. If there is no playing surface below the disc, then its position is on the playing surface directly above the disc.

805.03 Lost Disc

This update provides context to the timeframe for a discovered disc negating the lost-disc penalty throw. 

C. Once a disc has been declared lost, the status does not change if subsequently found. A player is allowed to use the disc if found.

D. 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.

E. If it is discovered prior to the completion of the tournament that a player’s disc that had been declared lost had been removed or taken prior to it being declared lost, then two throws are subtracted from the player’s score for that hole.

F. 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.

808 Scoring

Provides a more concrete timeframe for completing a round. 

F. All players are responsible for returning their scorecards within 30 minutes of when their group has finished the round. A player whose scorecard is not submitted on time receives two penalty throws.

809.03 Practice Throw

Clarifies that disregarding the throw also means that the throw is not counted in the player’s score.

A. 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. 

B. A player receives one penalty throw for making a practice throw; the throw itself is disregarded and not counted.

810 Interference

This changes the resulting lie following self-interference. Now, all instances of self-interference are effectively treated like an abandoned throw. 

D. It is a violation if a player or their equipment interferes with the course of their own thrown disc. The throw and one penalty throw are counted in the player's score; the player continues play from the previous lie. Any other penalty throws incurred by the throw are disregarded. If a throw is interfered with by request of the thrower, that is considered the same as a player interfering with their own throw.

E. 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, in which case the original throw is not counted in the player's score.

F. 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).

813 Equipment

This revision is not substantive. It simply breaks up the previous version into a more readable and understandable format.  

813.01 Illegal Disc

A. Discs used in play must be approved by the PDGA and meet all of the conditions set forth in the PDGA Technical Standards. For a list of approved discs, see

B. Allowed modifications to a disc after production are limited to:

  1. Wear and tear from usage during play;
  2. Moderate sanding to address wear and tear or small molding imperfections;
  3. Marking with dye or permanent marker ink.

C. Other modifications to a disc after production make the disc illegal, including but not limited to:

  1. Modifying the disc in a way that alters its original flight characteristics;
  2. Excessively sanding the disc;
  3. Etching, carving, or engraving the disc;
  4. Adding a material of a detectable thickness such as paint.

D. When night or snow play has been announced by the Director, players are allowed to add a material or device to assist in finding the disc.

E. A disc which is cracked or has a hole in it is illegal.

F. A disc that is questioned by another player or an Official is illegal unless it is subsequently approved by the Director.

G. 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.

H. All discs used in play, except mini marker discs, must be identifiably 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

A. A player must not use any device that directly assists in making a throw. 

B. Placing an object as a directional aid is not allowed.

C. Devices that reduce or control abrasion to the skin (such as gloves, tape, bandages, or gauze), items applied to the skin to improve grip (such as talc, chalk, dust, or dirt) and medical items (such as knee or ankle braces) are allowed.

D. An item such as a towel or a pad may be placed under a supporting point as long as it is not greater than one centimeter in thickness when compressed.

E. A device that is questioned by another player or an Official is illegal unless it is subsequently approved by the Director.

F. 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.

Competition Manual for Disc Golf Events

1.05 Grouping and Sectioning

Several minor changes here, which clarify the responsibility of the player to know the course rules, respond to the changes to 811 Misplay, and codifies the requirement that Tournament Directors have paper scorecards available.

D. It is the sole responsibility of the player to know the course rules, be at their starting hole, and be ready to play in time for the start of their round.

E. Players who are absent for their starting hole or any subsequent hole have committed misplay (see 811.F.5 and 6, Misplay). If a complete round is missed, or if a player does not finish a round, the player may, at the discretion of the Tournament Director, be disqualified.

F. Late-arriving players, for either Shotgun or Tee Time rounds, are responsible for checking with the TD, Tournament Central, or the Tee Time Starter to learn their correct starting group and are solely responsible for starting play with that playing group or the group created by the TD due to the player’s absence. Failure to do so is a misplay (see 811.F.10, Misplay).

G. The Tournament Director must provide two scorecards to each group, to be kept independently of one another. These scorecards may be of the same medium or of different media. The two scorecards must be reconciled by the group and submitted by whichever method the Tournament Director has designated as the official scoring method for the tournament

H. Paper scorecards must always be made available to each playing group, regardless of what the Tournament Director has declared to be the official method of scoring.

1.08 Reduction of Field Size (Cuts)

This makes the timeline for announcing the existence of a reduction in field size concrete and specific.

A. The field may be reduced (cut) for a semi-finals or finals at the discretion of the Tournament Director, provided that is announced prior to opening player registration for the event. The only exception may be due to the PDGA Mid-Event Weather Suspension & Cancellation Guidelines Policy being invoked to finish an event.

1.09 Ties

This revision adds more specific procedures for carrying out sudden-death play.

B. Except where noted below in 1.09.D, final ties for first place in any division must be broken by sudden-death play. Also, if ties are being broken for the reduction of field size, they must be broken by sudden-death play. Under no circumstances should any other method such as hot round, head-to-head scores, etc. be used to break a tie for first place.

  1. Sudden-death play shall begin, wherever possible, on the same course as the previous round on hole number one unless a different course, hole, or series of holes is designated by the Tournament Director prior to the start of the tournament. Team Play must use the same format as the previous round.
  2. The specific order in which players tee off for sudden-death play shall be determined by random draw (e.g., numbered playing cards, selecting tee positions from a hat, etc.).
  3. In the case of a tied hole during sudden-death play, the teeing order for the next hole will rotate from the order used on the just completed hole.

1.12 Tournament Officials

This simply takes an item previously covered in the Questions and Answers and moves it into the Competition Manual.

H. Video evidence or other media is not allowed for the purpose of making rulings for sanctioned play. Such evidence can only be used to document player misconduct (as defined in 3.03). Evidence of player misconduct may be evaluated at any time by the PDGA Disciplinary Committee.

1.14 Leagues

This takes the League regulations formerly covered by a separate policy document and places them in the Competition Manual. Each reference here has a corresponding cross-reference in that section back to 1.14.

A. PDGA Leagues are the lowest Tier of PDGA-sanctioned events. Rather than a single tournament, Leagues feature one round per week, on the same day of the week each week, for six to ten consecutive weeks (e.g., eight consecutive Mondays, or ten consecutive Fridays). Leagues may skip a week due to weather or other extenuating circumstances upon approval of PDGA staff.

B. Every player must play the same layout during a given League round, but layouts and courses may vary week to week.

C. The Official Rules of Disc Golf and the Competition Manual apply to PDGA League play, with the following exceptions:

  1. Non-current members and non-members do not pay a non-member fee to compete in Leagues (see 1.01.B.2).
  2. Players may win cash prizes without having a PDGA member number (see 1.10.A).
  3. Amateur players may accept cash prizes without affecting their Amateur status (see 2.01.F).
  4. Where local law and event venue rules permit, players who are of legal age to do so may use or display alcohol between the two-minute signal and submitting their scorecard (see 3.03.B.5). However, players still may not drink to excess or be publicly intoxicated (see 3.03.B.6). 

2.01 General

The prior language limited the analysis to two-day events. This makes the applicability clear for multi-day events.

D. Players are allowed to compete in their scheduled round(s) once per event, unless the event:

  1. 1has different divisions competing on different days; and
  2. those days are listed as distinct entries in the PDGA calendar.  

3.05 Carts, Caddies and Groups

This change sets a minimum age for caddies, which is the same minimum age for minors to compete without an accompanying adult.

B. A caddie is a person who carries a player's equipment or provides other assistance during the round. Players may designate one caddie at a time during their round. A caddie must be at least 13 years of age and must comply with the same Official Rules of Disc Golf and Competition Manual their player must follow, including the dress code, although a caddie need not be a PDGA member nor Certified Official.

Clerical Items

In addition to grammatical and syntactical edits, we also have standardized several pieces of terminology.  

For example, “National Tour/Elite Series” is now simply called “Elite Series,” and a lingering reference to “Super Tour” events is now “A-Tier.”  

What variously was referred to as the “PDGA Official Rules of Play,” “PDGA Rulebook,” or “Rules of Play” is now uniformly and correctly rendered as “Official Rules of Disc Golf.”  

In addition, the now-defunct title of “Tour Manager” has been replaced with “Director of Event Support,” and the phone number listed has been updated with that of the PDGA Event Support Helpline

The term “card” is no longer used to refer to both “scorecards” and “groups,” and the scorecards are “submitted” rather than being “turned in.” Similarly, the term “two-minute warning” has been changed to “two-minute signal” both for accuracy and to avoid confusion with warnings for rule violations.

Finally, the ORDG and CM uniformly refer to “one penalty throw” or “two penalty throws” instead of using both that language and “one-throw penalty” or “two-throw penalty.”

CORRECTION: the initial version of this piece inadvertently omitted the change to 3.05.B. The change has now been added; we regret the error.


Submitted by ProBaller on

These rule changes have created a lot more questionable situations and I feel this will make playing competitions longer to play. Isn't it better to have less ambiguous rules then in trying to fine tune the existing rules. For example. option 4 for taking relief after going OB says; "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." reads that if I go OB near the tee but fly all the way to the basket but never re-entered inbounds can still be taken near the basket since the point nearest the disc is clearly near the basket. That's how I read it.
And what about option 2 reads to me that now I can use a meter in any direction from the point where it last crossed OB. So, a semicircle from this point?
Also, they took away taking a point where it last crossed and going as far back as you want. How is this not an option anymore?
The change with mandatories is better but still hard to define once you throw into the middle of trees and spits through. I believe that mandatories should be eliminated all together.
Anyway, I would like some feedback on the continued ambiguity to the rules. Thanks in advance. Patrick

Submitted by krupicka on

Option 4 in the OB rules is not new.It was in the 2018 rule book as well. It is only available if a TD chooses to allow it to be used.

Your understanding of option 2 is correct. a semicircle from last place in bounds. This flexibility was added where last place in bounds was not able to be used in some cases due to obstacles.

803.02.E (which allows optional relief after OB) is still in the rule book, that has not been removed.

Submitted by tindallh on

seems 813.01 F. could have been more carefully thought out... A single player with a grudge can question several of a another player's discs (or entire bag...), upon which he has to FIND the Director, or just do without ... There should be a provision for a second opinion, or majority of the group, as in the foot-fault....

Submitted by krupicka on

Two problems with your statement.
1- The rule says "unless it is subsequently approved by the Director", not "until". If a player is confident that the disc is legal, then they can keep using the disc and have the Director approve the disc later.
2- 801.02.E "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." So, no, a single player cannot enforce 813.01 on their own.

Submitted by CDplayer on

806.02E It seems the OB lie (even having lost a stroke) gains an advantage over any in-bounds lie, by being allowed to position within a one-meter arc (in-bounds of course) as described in explanatory your video

Submitted by NOVASully on

I see what you're saying, but I think the real effect is essentially zero.

Let's say two discs land parallel to one another on the fairway: one out-of-bounds, and one within a meter of the OB, and let's further suppose we're measuring from the same spot for both pieces of relief.

The in-bounds disc moves to the very end of the meter line perpendicular to the OB line, and the OB disc moves as far up the fairway, one meter, as possible. You've bought a maximum of that hypotenuse - 1.41m, less than five feet - of distance between the discs for the price of a throw.  Where would that be a worthwhile trade-off?  Not even in the putting area; I doubt you'd find many people who would say they'd rather be putting for bogey from 4 meters/13 feet than for par from 5.41 meters/18 feet.

That said, if I'm missing something, please let me know.

Submitted by CDplayer on

Obstacles to the stance, throwing motion and disc flight are my main concern. The OB lie gains an advantage, albeit very little.

I'd like to see a photo of a location that the inbounds lie with relief cannot pitch to an equal or better spot that the OB with relief. Otherwise, the OB lie does not give an advantage.

Submitted by NOVASully on

I think the plain language indicates that we're talking about "compressed by the player," rather than "compressible by some level of force." That's also a reading that's enforceable.  

enforceable? make sure you have your ruler ready when someone drops to a knee! oh is it the area directly under the knee that is unseen due to the bulging foam around it. Get rid of this dumb rule, if you threw somewhere that requires taking a knee to get out you deserve the discomfort of the bare unforgiving ground. Just pull out your regulation knee pad from your giant cart you are wheeling around so you can have a seat to sit on and 50+ discs. lets try to make rules that don't make the sport look and feel like a bad joke.

Submitted by NOVASully on

This language has been in the ORDG since 2013.  The only change here is that it's broken out into its own subclause to make the rule easier to read and reference.  If you would like to contact the Rules Committee with a suggestion, click here.

Submitted by Robbio on

I don't understand the need to enforce amateurs to be PDGA member's to compete in 'A' tier and 'B'-tier events. If we are interested in "growing the sport", then why would you want to potentially limit the field in any way? At those events this year we have regularly seen a percentage of players compete that we're not members; IE there is interest to play.

I would be very interested in understanding the reasoning there. Perhaps an 'A' tier makes sense...perhaps. I'm very disappointed in that rule change. Is there an avenue to see what the committees are discussing before rule changes are handed down?

Submitted by NOVASully on

For your reference: current membership has been required to play in A-Tiers and above since at least 2013 (when the Competition Manual was created).

With the surge in interest in organized disc golf and with the advent of the click-race to get into popular B-Tier events, the Committee and Board decided to broaden the rule to include B-Tiers, such that members were not competing with non-members for spots in what are often marquee regional events for players.  Players who are not current members may still compete in C-Tiers (by far the most numerous Tier of event) by paying the non-member fee and in PDGA Leagues (where no non-member fee is assessed).

This change, along with the other major changes, was put forth for public comment on our website and various social media platforms:

Submitted by Robbio on

Understood - thank you. Is there a way to (regularly) see meeting minutes for various committee activity?

Submitted by NOVASully on

Not currently, and there's a good reason for that.  Committees discuss a lot of ideas, many of which are due diligence items which are unlikely to pass but need to be considered.  Because of that, we've generally saved public comment/discussion for changes that have been worked on, vetted, and approved by the Committee and the Board.

Several years ago, a list of hypothetical changes - not even ones that necessarily were up for consideration - that was intended to simply be a kind of repository of ideas was passed around social media, and it caused a lot of confusion.  We want to use the public comment period to get feedback on proposed and pre-vetted changes, but we also need to avoid misinformation and rumors.

That said, it's not a bad idea to continue to improve the comment process, and we certainly can continue to think of ways to minimize bad information while providing as much accurate information as possible.  Additionally, we'd encourage everyone who has thoughts on potential changes to contact the Rules Committee (who administers the Official Rules of Disc Golf) and the Competition Committee (who administers the Competition Manual and Tour Standards) with suggestions.

Submitted by jon.finder on

806.02. With the new wording if a disc goes out of bounds in a marked area that is in the middle of the fairway can we no longer go backwards as far as we would like directly away from the target after receiving the OB stroke? IE. If there is a tall fenced in section in the middle of a fairway and the disc goes into this designated fenced OB area are we required to now play directly behind within 1 meter of where the disc entered the OB instead of being able to go as far back on the line of play as we would like to make a shot possible versus a re-throw from a previous lie?

Submitted by steveganz on

Optional relief under 803.02 E still applies. 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.

I have some questions concerning the new 804.01

Could you please clarify when a disc has 'completely entered' the restricted space? Does it have to cross the plane completely (leaving it actually behind) or would it be enough when only a part of the disc penetrates the plane? Or with an example: if the restricted space is marked by a line on the ground, has a disc that comes to rest on top of that line (touching the ground before and behind the line) missed the mandatory?

Another question: The plane is defined by one or more objects. Does this include the possibility of several objects (other than the mandatory itself) that define the course of the plane, so that the plane can have angles? For example: lets say the mandatory pole itself is attached to a fence. That fence is supposed to mark the vertical plane, even though it doesnt have a straight line. Is that ok?

Thanks for your answers!

Submitted by FredVocino on

I have noticed the change in the 2022 rules concerning disc modification (813.01). I saw no reference to that change in the August 2021 notice of potential changes. The Dec.1 2021 publication of the 2022 rules declares that the "revision is not substantive". I disagree; and, my opportunity to express my view prior to issuance of the revison was denied. The PDGA's stated opinion notwithstanding, text of the prior rule was understandable as permitting treatments to the disc that did not cause the disc to achieve flight characteristics that were not present at the time the particular mold was approved by the PDGA and made available to the community. That the prior text did not accomplish what the authors wished I and others might understand does not make the revision without substance. That change should have been subject to the members' right of review and to make assertions concerning the substantive changes they might find. At the very least, the misunderstandings you believe were present with prior text, would have been discussed and reconciled with the member views in the review period.
I have for years been mending the scrapes, gouges, and burrs in my discs by using a fine-tip soldering iron. The technique is rather effective in bringing the discs closer to the conditions they had before they suffered the changes in their surfaces. Whatever effect on flight characteristics have been associated with use during play, those are likely to persist after light to moderate sanding. Focused heat-treating is demonstrably superior to sanding, making the disc more like new in relation to the turbulence factors and the player's tactile experience. Sanding makes the disc more unlike its original condition and fraught with quarrels about what is, or is not, excessive.
The space provided me in the prior rules text has been squeeze-out with the revision. Whether some believe the space should not have been available to me in the first place is immaterial to an assertion that its elimination is not substantive. Now we have a rule that no longer identifies its existence as founded on the preservation of equal access to a range of flight characteristics. Instead, it expresses a simple and narrow set of treatments, a few are OK and all else are not. Strict adherence to the new rule will involve new purchases of sandpaper for my tool room and more frequent purchases of new discs to replace those discs I can no longer rehabilitate with heat. I note that the new rule has the effect of making the useful life-span of my discs shorter; that service to disc manufacturers is presumed to be unintended.

Submitted by NOVASully on


The relevant portion of the 2018 rule, 813.01.B, stated:

"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." (emphasis mine)

That says all modification whose result is different flight characteristics than the original flight characteristics is illegal.  It then gives two carve-outs: wear from use and moderate sanding (and it specifically says that sanding is allowed not to return the disc to its original condition or closer to that condition, but instead that it is allowed to smooth the surface of the disc).  In other words, if the disc is modified and the result is something other than the original flight characteristics, that disc is illegal but for the two carve-out methods.  As you put it: a few (two) are OK and all else are not.

It did not give heat treatment as a carve-out.  Therefore, even if heat treatment brings the characteristics closer to the original flight characteristics, it still meets the two-pronged test in the first clause: (1) a disc that has been modified after production; and (2) original flight characteristics have been altered.  

Therefore, the operation of the rule is the same now as it was in 2018 (and, indeed, 2013 seems to have near-identical language to what I've posted above).


Submitted by FredVocino on

Sully, The language bolded in your response is precisely the source of my contention that my heat treatments were not proscribed under the terms of the prior rule. That is, those treatments did not cause the disc to behave in ways that vary from those flight characteristics found in the disc when I first acquired it as new.
As a matter of construction of the language in the prior rule, the exceptions you noted are those considered acceptable flight altering modifications. The addled approach to expressing the PDGA's view in the past notwithstanding, my heat treatments were outside the stated prohibition and therefore not in need of any "carve out".
The new text in the rule may not be regarded by some as substantively different from the prior text. That, I suspect, is a matter of their failure to admit to the failures of the prior text to accomplish what they may have wished was said in the rule. That wish seems to have been accomplished in the new text. It is a substantive accomplishment; and a queer one.
What is the PDGA's intrinsic interest in choosing sanding as the only means by which a PDGA member may treat the disturbances in their discs' surfaces? Had I been given the opportunity to address the PDGA authorities before the new rules were published, I would have attempted to expose them to considerations beyond the limits of their prior thinking. That is, they might have realized that sanding is not the best means of preserving the original flight characteristics of the disc. Now we are in the situation where you feel compelled to defend the change as not substantive; and I am denied what should be easily recognized as harmless to the legitimate competitive interest of PDGA members

Submitted by NOVASully on

I understand your point. However, I stand by the analysis in my prior post as the clearest reading of the text:  heat makes an alteration, and the end product is not possessed of its original flight characteristics.  There is no "closer to" or "further from" delineator in the language. It asks, simply, "are the characteristics different?" Your initial post indicates that you believe they are different, simply less different than prior to your application of the heat.  Less different from an original than an alternative is still different from the original.

I suggest directing further comments and suggestions for future revisions to Tech Standards:

Submitted by FredVocino on

We can disagree about what clarity may be drawn from the prior text. It suffices that it was announced as changed to improve clarity. While the revision did remove the prior reference to flight characteristics as a purposeful and meaningful threshold before exceptions were treated, it relocated "flight characteristics" to a section of the rule where it merely serves as a faint reminder of the foundation for the rule's existence. It is difficult to recognize the focus and import of those terms in their new setting.
This leaves us with the question: Why is the process of sanding exalted over heat-smoothing as the allowable way to reduce the severity of disc damage? Assuming that a disc once damaged cannot fully recover its prior flight characteristics by sanding or heat-smoothing, it seems contrary to the PDGA primary role as player advocates to suppress the treatment that more effectively extends the useful life of disc.
This response is not to defy your recommendation to address these issues with the folks at Tech Standards. I will do that. But I would not withdraw from the public debate on issues like fair consideration of proposed rule changes and matters indicating some officious acts on the part of the PDGA.

My concern with the changed mandatory rule is that, as a group being near the teeing area, you are at the worst spot to determine if a disc has fully entered a restricted area.
For example, discs bouncing of the mandatory that end up on or close to the mandatory line (on the correct side) you just can't tell if it was in the restricted area.
With the old rules you could at least go and take a look. Now it is a moment in time that has come and gone. A very fundamental change in the way we apply rules in disc golf?

Submitted by NOVASully on


Just as you needed a group member to act as a spotter before, you need a group member to act as a spotter now.  Before, you needed to see where the disc interacted with the missed mandatory line and where it came to rest (and maybe the whole flight in areas where mandos and OB might intersect).  Now, you only need to see where the disc interacts with the restricted space. 


Only in cases where the group is unable to see the mandatory clearly from the tee a spotter is needed. The spotters task is to determine on which side the disc passed the mandatory. The position of the disc relative to the mandatory line can be determined by the group once they have moved up fairway.
Imagine the OB rule was changed so that a disc is OB as soon as it leaves the inbounds area and is fully inside the OB area. I suppose such a rule change would generate quite a few comments. In my view this mandatory rule change is exactly that.

Was there a change to now require A tier participants to be certified as an official? I know you need this for DGPT and NT events but for local events I did not think it was a requirement. Thanks