Cupping and Blocks

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#1

Are players in the cup allowed to block / interfere with a cutter running in?

Scenario:

An offensive player is crashing the cup.
There are two defenders in the cup with their arms extended.

Offensive player runs towards the disc or crashes the cup, in which of these situations does it become a foul, and on who?

a) Defenders are fingers to fingers and offensive player makes contact with their arms while running through
b) Defenders close the gap (almost shoulders to shoulders) and makes its almost impossible for the offensive player to run through (blocked out), and has to change direction and dodge them to go through (no contact is made)
c) Defenders close the gap (almost shoulders to shoulders) and makes its almost impossible for the offensive player to run through, but offensive player powers through anyways, making contact (contact is made)

TIA

a) Almost never constitutes a foul on either party. The cup is entitled to their position, and the player initiating contact with their arms does not impact their ability to play. This becomes a foul if the player initiating contact knocks other players off balance, which generally only occurs in instances of more substantial contact.

Relevant Rules-
II.E Foul: Non-Incidental contact: contact between opposing players (see II.H for a definition of incidental contact). In general, the player initiating the contact has committed the foul.

II.H Incidental contact: Contact between opposing players that does not affect continued play. For example, contact affects continued play if the contact knocks a player off-balance and interferes with his ability to continue cutting or playing defense.

XVII.A Each player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by an opposing player, unless specifically overridden elsewhere, provided that no personal contact is caused in taking such a position.

b) Never a foul on either party, by definition.

Relevant Rules-
II.E Foul: Non-Incidental contact: contact between opposing players (see II.H for a definition of incidental contact). In general, the player initiating the contact has committed the foul.

c) Possible foul on the offense; depends on the extent and outcome of the contact. The description of "powers through anyways" suggests that the cutter had a choice, the resulting contact was avoidable, and that the cutter initiated the contact.

Therefore, if the contact proves non-incidental (the cup players are impaired in their ability to play their positions), then the cutter will have committed a foul. Note, however, that since the cup defenders are trying to be in the cutter's way, and they are accomplishing that, then the standard for *non-incidental* is probably higher than usual.

Relevant Rules-

II.E Foul: Non-Incidental contact: contact between opposing players (see II.H for a definition of incidental contact). In general, the player initiating the contact has committed the foul.

II.H Incidental contact: Contact between opposing players that does not affect continued play. For example, contact affects continued play if the contact knocks a player off-balance and interferes with his ability to continue cutting or playing defense.

XVI.H.3.c.2 A player may not take a position that is unavoidable by a moving opponent when time, distance, and line of sight are considered. Non-incidental contact resulting from taking such a position is a foul on the blocking player.

c) [cont'd] Notwithstanding the original description, if the cutter feels that the cup deliberately closed in front of him at a moment where the resulting contact became unavoidable, and the resulting contact impaired his ability to immediately continue play (e.g., he was knocked back), then the cutter would be justified in asserting a foul call on the cup defenders.

Relevant Rules-
As above.