Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Marking Violations - Part 1

Yay! Now we start to get into the meat of the rules.

The new/updated section on marking violations arguably encompasses the largest, broadest, and deepest set of changes to the ruleset. So that's a great place to start.

Marking violations: "disc space", "fast count", "double-team", and "vision blocking". [11th Ref: XIV.B.] Big deal: those were in the 10th... what's so new about that?

First, and easiest, is that all four are explicitly callable, with defined consequences. You may (or may not) know that in the previous 10th, while there were rules on disc space and vision blocking, the rules weren't necessarily clear on what happened when called. Some even claimed that "disc space" wasn't a call at all, and more of just a warning.

Regardless of the merits of the arguments tied to those claims, they are all calls now. And they all have defined, explicit resolutions.

It's also quite convenient that all 4 types have the same resolution; so we only need to learn one thing. Well, a few things, actually, but the resolution(s) apply to all of the marking violations. So once you've figured out the right way to deal with one of them, you have it nailed for them all.

And given that it's quite possible that a majority of players (collectively across all skill levels) didn't know what they were supposed to do when called for these things in the past (e.g., double-team or fast count), that's positive.

Okay, so what is the resolution?

When the thrower recognizes any of the 4 situations, he or she calls it by name [11th Ref: XIV.B.6]. This is one major exception to the either 'call a violation by name or use the word "violation"'. [11th Ref: XVI.A.] With marking violations, calling them by name means one thing, while saying the word "violation" means something else.

This is very important to understand and of course to remember.

Okay, so the thrower calls it by name the first time it occurs. As in the 10th, play does not stop on the first call. The marker needs to wait for the violation to be corrected (e.g., the double-teamer retreating past 3m, backing off for disc space, or stopping blocking the thrower's vision) before the count can be continued. Then the marker drops the count by one and continues counting (without the word "stalling"). [11th Ref: XIV.B.7.] So, in addition to the extra time for waiting for the violation to be fixed, this gives the thrower back 2 seconds of stall ti...

Whoa whoa. Hold up. But I thought you said the count only goes down one? How is this 2 seconds?

Ah, you are paying attention. Good.

Let me illustrate with an example...

"Stalling.One... Two... Three... " "Disc Space" "Two... Three... Four... "

After 'Three', without the call the marker would have moved on to 'Four', and because of the call moved back instead to 'Two'. [4 - 2 = 2] Math lesson no charge.

Notice also that the marker doesn't say the word "stalling" when continuing the count after a marking violation. "Stalling" is only required when the count starts, or is restarted after a stoppage. [11th Ref: XIV.A.1.b)]

And now for another difference from the 10th...

On a second instance of a marking violation during the same count the thrower can again call it by name. And as with the first call, again play does not stop, the marker drops the count by one, and continues the count (after the situation is corrected).

And ditto for the third instance, fourth, fifth, etc.

The important thing to understand when comparing this to the 10th is that play continues, or in other words, offensive flow doesn't get stopped unless the thrower wants play to stop.

Okay, then how does the thrower stop play?

Easy. Once the first marking violation is called by name, then on the second or subsequent instance of a marking violation--and it doesn't need to be the same violation--instead of calling another marking violation by name, the thrower says "violation". This stops play. One important caveat is that it needs to be called before the act of throwing. [11th Ref: XIV.B.8.]

Or said in a different way, if you don't want to stop play, then call the marking violation by name. If you do want to stop play, then call "violation"; but you cannot do this on the first instance in any count.

Why would you ever want to stop play and stop flow, instead of repeatedly making the marker drop the count?

A few reasons. First, and likely most common, the marker might not know the rule and be doing the wrong thing when it's called by name. Perhaps they're not waiting for the situation to be corrected before continuing, which in itself is another instance of that particular marking violation and callable again (or stoppable with 'violation', of course). [11th Ref: XIV.B.7.a)] So in this case, often the easiest thing is to call "violation", and explain to the marker the proper way to deal with marker violations.

Or perhaps so many marker violations have occurred during your possession that nerves and/or tempers are rising--either you two folks near the disc, or the teams in general--and stopping play is a good way to keep moods from escalating.

I'm sure you can think of other reasons as well, but the main thing here is it's the thrower's decision to stop play and disrupt flow, not the repeated 'bad' actions by the marker.

A few other 'clerical' things before moving to more detailed explanations about the marker violations themselves.

First, once the thrower has stopped play by calling "violation", the count comes back in at one if the violation is not contested by the marker. [11th Ref: XIV.A.5.a)(1)] However, if the violation is contested, it comes in at the count last reached plus one, or at 6 if over 5. [11th Ref: XIV.A.5.a)(3)]

This different resumption depending on whether a violation is contested or not is new to the 11th, and applies to any defensive violation. And for consistency, which will help us remember, this is exactly the same as for a foul as well, which is the same as from the 10th.

Second, for a thrower to call the marking violation by name, they need to hold onto the disc. Well, they could call it and then throw, but nothing would happen as a result. Remember that play does not stop on these when called by name. It's as if it wasn't called at all. In other words, if you see a double-team as you're throwing or after the throw's up, don't bother calling "double-team"; a throw-away will still be a turnover.

Additionally, if you call it before you started a throw and then see a good opportunity and throw a pass, but before the marker has reacted, the pass counts and the marker can't claim you need to bring it back because you made this call. The continuation rule doesn't come into it for marker violations called by name; the continuation rule only applies when the call would have stopped play.

Now, if instead, the thrower calls "violation", for a second/subsequent marking violation, then the continuation rule would apply. We'll surely get into the continuation rule soon in a future post, but for now, just understand that if you call this violation and throw, a turnover will stay a turnover, while a completion will come back. So don't throw it after calling "violation"; it's a never-win situation.

And third, as the marker, of course you can contest a "violation" call by the thrower if you believe the infraction did not occur. Additionally, on the thrower's calls of marking violations by name you can also contest these if you believe it did not occur. Essentially, this would fall under the general "dispute that stops play". [11th Refs: XVI.D., XIX.D.] The count would then come in at 'count reached' plus one (or 6 if over 5), just like any other contested defensive violation.

So, let's take all this count/re-count/stop/resume stuff to a fuller example:

"StallingOne... Two... Three... " "fast count" "Two... Three... Four... Five... " "double-team" {pause while double-teamer retreats} "Four... Five... Six... Seven... " "Violation" ... and play stops.

If not contested, the count comes in at "StallingOne". Or if contested, it comes in at "StallingSix" (because we're over 5).

Okay, we get it... so what exactly are the marking violations themselves and how are they different from what we might already know?

Stay tuned, that's coming right up in Part 2.

See you on the field.


Justin said...

I didn't review in detail but thought this was well written.

Mortakai said...

Thanks Justin. Keep comin' back.

Anonymous said...

so a thrower makes a call "by name", and i as the marker think its a bad call - can i just stop play and tell the thrower that i disagree? does the thrower take back the call? would anything change other than play stopping?

if i cannot just stop play, then how wabout this situation: first disc space call is bogus, but the subsequent violation call is correct - could/would i contest the violation?

Jon said...


Check this thread on the 11th newsgroup:

In short, you can stop play for any call that you think is bogus by calling "violation" yourself.

Anonymous said...

If the marker can contest any violation called by name (even the first), and play has to stop then in the following situation it would seem the disc must go back to the thrower for a check:

Thrower calls fast count at a stall below 10, then throws a completion; Marker contests the fast count. (Disc comes back even though it marker would not have reached 10 before the throw got off?).

Is this right?

Precious said...

This is awesome!