Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Marking Violations - Disc Space IS a Call

"Disc-space: If a line between any two points on the marker touches the thrower or is less than one disc diameter away from the torso or pivot of the thrower, it is a disc space violation." [11th Ref: XIV.B.3.]

What the heck does that mean??!!!?

Before I explain, let me tell you one of the objectives for the change to this rule. The 10th had a number of rules that different people interpreted differently, and this new rule is intended to encapsulate them all.

What were these old rules, and how were they broken?

Well, of course there was the original disc space rule. Some contended that this was a callable violation that stopped play, while others countered that a call of "disc space" was more of a warning. And what did 'mutual responsibility' mean? It's an offsetting violation because they're both responsible?

Then there was the rule that the thrower couldn't be restricted from pivoting or throwing. Some referred to it as the "no wrapping the thrower" rule. Some contended that the thrower should be allowed all throws and pivots; and well, perhaps we shouldn't have a mark at all then?

Others suggested that as long as the thrower was allowed even only one pivot and throw, then the rule was satisfied. However, unless your arms complete encircle the thrower with your hands clasped, the thrower will always be able to pivot directly away from you and throw unimpeded in that direction.

There are more examples of differing arguments and interpretations, but the rule's gone now, so other than let you hear more of my dulcet tones, there's little benefit.

Then we had the 'straddling' rule. This may have been the clearest, although I still heard more than one (potentially valid) interpretation.

So now we have the new and improved disc-space rule.

First off, it's clearly a call.

The 'whose fault is it' is (or should be) clear. Take particular note of the second sentence of this rule, "if this situation is caused solely by the thrower, it is not a violation." [11th Ref: XIV.B.3.]

This says two important things:

(1) the thrower cannot pivot towards the marker and call "disc space" or "violation" just to get the count reset, because the situation was caused solely by the thrower; and

(2) if the thrower and marker both move in a direction (e.g., say from one side to the other during a pivot), and this area is invaded, then it's both players' movements that caused it, and not solely the thrower, and so is callable.

Okay, so what is this space?

First we have the "line between any two points on the marker". Oh my! There's dozens, hundreds, millions of points and lines on the marker... How can we keep track of them all?

You don't need to. We really only care about those closest to the thrower. For example, when facing the thrower, the toe-to-toe line will be more meaningful than the heel-to-heel or toe-to-heel lines. And the hand-to-hand line will typically be more important than the elbow-to-elbow line; severely double-jointed players notwithstanding.

What it really comes down to is that for a vast majority of situations, we'll be most concerned with the hand-to-hand and toe-to-toe lines. In most situations, the other lines will be farther from the thrower.

In some situations, for example with foot-blocks or some arm contortions and reaches, we might be concerned about foot-to-hand, or hand-to-body/head lines. But for the most part, I'd expect these will be rather rare. With most of the recent player interactions I've been watching and pictures I've seen, almost all will be governed by the hands/fingers across and toes across.

Sure, the rule could have been worded for only hands and toes, but then it'd have more potential for abuse in the other rarer but still relevant situations.

Okay, so I hope we all understand this 'any line' stuff. It really is rather simple.

Moving through the rest of the disc-space wording, we're told that these lines cannot touch the thrower or be within one disc diameter from the thrower's torso or pivot.

An important thing to be clear about here is that we're talking about marker lines compared to thrower's body parts. Or in other words, we're not comparing marker lines to the thrower's lines. Or in other other words, it's two points on the marker (line) versus one point on the thrower.

And we're certainly not projecting thrower points/body parts into planar surfaces. Or inter-planar dimensions; at least not with current available technology. What I mean is that we do not project the thrower's pivot in a plane straight up. Even though the marker's hand-to-hand line may be above or inside the pivot, normally this line is nowhere near the pivot itself, so is not by itself a disc-space violation.

Now, if the marker was reaching way down to block a low-release throw, then the hand-to-hand line might come close to the pivot, but that's to do with the hand-to-whatever line and the pivot itself (of course with a disc-sized buffer), and not because of planar extensions.

So, one of the 'real/common' situations is that the toe-to-toe line needs to be at least a disc-space away from the pivot. That's the no-straddling part.

Yes, this is likely going to push some marker's back a bit from what they're used to. However, many will already have been 'straddling' the pivot or within a disc-space of the upper body, or "climbing all over" the thrower up until now. Before, the thrower may have reluctantly chosen to play through this hard/illegal mark because the 'worse evil' was to stop offensive flow. Whereas now, the mark is less likely to be this close and if so the thrower can make a call (or many calls) without stopping play.

Another common situation will be the marker's hand-to-hand line in relation to the thrower's torso or arms/hands. This line cannot intersect/touch any part of the thrower, and must be a disc-space from his or her torso. This will give the thrower some space to pivot around and move without your arms being excessively in the way, and still allow you to get close to the disc release point for hand-blocks.

That's the no-wrapping part... with some back-off for good measure.

For the most part, that pretty much covers the core rule itself.

There is a nice little side-effect of this rule, which is that this rule can also cover some marker-thrower contact as well. Think of the markers that bump early to disrupt flow and stop the give-and-go or quick huck. In the past, sure you could call a foul, but the count will reset only 1 or 2 counts and at a larger cost. Because you need to stop play to do it, this serves to disrupt flow even more, not to mention the defense has the time to look around and be more aware of the field during the stoppage. Often not worth it for a 1 or 2 count reset.

Here's where this rule comes in. Sure there was contact, but in almost all cases, disc-space was also violated. So call "disc-space" instead of foul and you at least get some relief: count reduction without needing to stop play or flow to do it.

And plus later in the count, because you've already called a marking violation earlier in the count, another instance of any marking violation will get you more relief again, including the option to stop play and reset the count.

For those of you who are doing that early count bumping/disrupting--whether as adrenaline-charged accidents, or intentional 'strategies'--in addition to re-reading rule I.B (re: "intentional infractions or other win-at-all-costs behavior"), you may wish to read new rule XIX.G. In fact, let me read it for you: "In addition to the assumption that players will not intentionally violate the rules, players are similarly expected to make every effort to avoid violating them." Interestingly, it's the last rule in the book; "the last word", if you will. Take that as you want.

Next up: the rest of the marking violations. Should be less to say about those... "and the crowd goes wild!"

Play on.


Nano said...

Not to be nit-picking... but the "any line" wordinggives quite a bit of room for ridiculous calls. For example: If the marker stands 2.9 meters away from the thrower, and points at him with his finger, then technically the thrower can call a disc space violation, since the line defined by the marker's shoulder and finger is clearly touching the thrower. I originally thought the rule intended for the vertical plane that touches any two points of the marker to avoid being within a disc-space of the thrower, but this post cleared that out. I think that maybe changing "line" with "line segment" would clarify that this involves stuff *between* points of the marker, and nothing else. Like I said, it's a bit of nit-picking, but I am a huge advocate of clarity.

Mortakai said...

Clarity is absolutely important, which is largely the reason for this blog in the first place, so please continue being that advocate.

For your particular example, note the precise wording of the rule, which states, in part, "If a line between any two points on the marker..." [11th Ref: XIV.B.3.], so we shouldn't be extrapolating the line beyond those points on the marker.

Mortakai said...

Notwithstanding that it's impolite to point, and perhaps a violation should be called simply on that principle.


bluffton said...

Question: If the line between the markers toes becomes closer then one disc width from the throwers pivot foot, then it is a violation?

If so, what's the proceedure for the call please? (and contest?)

Mortakai said...

You may have read it by now, but you'll find information on the way marking violations are called and resolved in the post entitled, Marking Violations - Part 1.

Idris said...

For those of you who are doing that early count bumping/disrupting--whether as adrenaline-charged accidents, or intentional 'strategies'...

How can SRC members continue to acknowledge cheating, but refuse to factor it in when making the rules?

Doesn't XIX.G. go against the preface? After all, if it is assumed nobody cheats, then we don't need a rule that says "don't cheat".


a: the preface should be amended to read more like XIX.G. or

b: the preface should have that part removed and XIX.G. should become rule I.A.

But you can't have it both ways.

awjone0 said...

Question: I get the 'whose fault is it' rule mostly. I’m confused about this part mostly.
(1) the thrower cannot pivot towards the marker and call "disc space" or "violation" just to get the count reset, because the situation was caused solely by the thrower;
So, situation:
Say this happens, the thrower moves towards the marker to cause the situation. No call. Now the next second. Should the marker move back in order to not be in the ‘space’ or is the marker good where he/she is because the thrower caused the situation or can the thrower now call disc space?

Lucius said...

Before, the thrower may have reluctantly chosen to play through this hard/illegal mark because the 'worse evil' was to stop offensive flow. Whereas now, the mark is less likely to be this close and if so the thrower can make a call (or many calls) without stopping play.

But by calling a named marking violation, couldn't the mark simply contest and therefore stop play? It would seem that the thrower would still not have an incentive to call the violation if "offensive flow" was important