8 on the line?

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mO By mO

So this has got to be a first: Game is about 3/4 thru, it's like 9-6, other team. We pull to the other team. They pick up and start throwing. About 3 throws in, this guy catches the disc, and he's wide open. I'm thinking to myself: "My team isn't a bad team, why is it that this guy has no check on him?" He proceeds to throw up the line to another person. Then he runs up the line, and the other person throws to him. Now, he's at the brick line. He drops it (throw was turfed). As we all stand there about to transition, about 2 of my players go: HEY! You've got an eighth person on the field!!

Now, my question is: What do you do in a situation like this? We came up with a few arguments.

1. My team contested saying that the disc should be taken back to where the disc first came into contact to this illegal player, and it should be a turn over there (my team's disc).

2. Other team said that it should either be taken back to where the disc first came into contact with the illegal player, and it should be their disc.

3. Other team also said it should be taken down where it was turned over, and it should be our disc.

We argued strongly for point 1 because 1) when the disc comes into contact with an illegal player, it should be considered as if it's going OB (hitting a player on the sideline, for example) and therefore a turnover. 2) It is not the job of the pulling team to be counting the players on the other line. 3) We believed that the other team could count to 7 and not attempt to put 8 players on.

We ended up not bothering to argue ad decided on point 3 instead in order to keep the game underway.

So, my question is: What should we have done?

This is a bit odd. Also, I don't know how a team could argue under any circumstances where

they were in the wrong and they turned it over that it should be their disc.

Though it sounds like the correct outcome was made.

As to why resolutions 1 and 2 were no good, I have to ask one question: Which player was

the illegal player? Only the player you don't check? I don't think you or the other team could

decide which is the 8th player on the field, and the rules certainly are silent on the issue.

I think that you have to resolve this as you would any other violation. Call it immediately

after you notice it and play stops. Resolve the issue (they send a player off), and continue

where the disc is.

If that means the disc was still in possession of the O, then my thoughts are that it's too bad

you didn't call it before you pulled (or signalled readiness). If it's just after the wide open

player gained possession, then I'd say that

this would be a good cause for a BTT to the marked player, as certainly the open player

retaining the disc is not an acceptable outcome to agree on.

Remember, a violation is only a violation when it's called. It ceratinly *is* your responsibility

to count the number of players on the other team, just as much it is their responsibility.

If one team scores a point with 8 and it's not realized right after the point is scored and

acknowledged, personally I think that the point should stand.

A 1 point lesson to pay attention is a good one. How often is it going to happen?

My suggestion would be first off that the non-violating team gets the disc. Then, just as Temple suggests that it's difficult to know which of the 8 players is the illegal one, and considering that the violating team shouldn't get the benefit of deciding which one by looking to see which person to remove to be in the best defensive position, I'd suggest the offense sets up just a if they were returning from a time-out and then the defense sets up on them.

I'd suggest to the offense that they agree because they get the disc. I'd suggest to the defense that they agree because they get to set up on the offense.

I like to think I would have suggested scenario #3 as well, but I'm likely biased in this situation (as it was my team that was offending). I'd agree that since it's a violation, and violations are not retroactive prior to the call (ie: they come into effect at the time they are called), that play should stop where it is and the decision made.

I like Mort's idea that the O and D should set up as after a timeout, because who's to say who the extra player is, but I don't know if I'd agree that the extra man, being ridiculously open, should get to keep that disc. The way I see it, it's as if he'd picked his D and was wide open as a result of a violation (which in essence he was). I'd say back to thrower, extra man off, play on (offending team's disc). Of course, we turfed it, so that didn't end up mattering.

I like this line for some reason: "As we all stand there about to transition"...

Anyway, it sounds like it happened pretty quickly, why start at the beginning of the point (the pull)? That's the best way to make it as though the play never happened, which is kinda what fouls/picks/etc aim for, n'est-ce pas?

mO, if I'm not mistaken, didn't you guys pull to us for that point? As we were playing zone, I'm pretty sure we would have noticed that we had four mids or two deeps (that is, of course, assuming a lot since we didn't notice we had 8 on the line). That said, you guys were playing man, and if pulling, definitely should have noticed the extra man as you would have had to call checks.

Maybe I'm way out to lunch here...


--> should have noticed the extra man as you would have had to call checks <--

I don't think this would really help discover an extra player. If I'm the 7th player on the line picking a check across the field, I don't count across 7 from the left to see who I'm going to check, I count 1 from the right side.

What *should* notice the player on the line is when our own team is checking to see if we have enough on the line in order to yell at the sideline to wake up and send another player out. Or counting total players across to see if they are ready to play, which normally includes whether they only have 6 and are still waiting for another player from the sideline.

But regardless of how we *should* or *definitely should* notice the extra player, it didn't happen in this case. It isn't an infallable system.

...especially if Mort's counting.

What if the eighth player was hiding behind someone else... Therefore, the eight person is invisible! I am actually a little serious... Once and a while I can only count to six, until the extra person becomes visible again.

If it was a mistake. I would be fine with that. However, if a team does this on purpose and scores a point. I think it would be unfair. Therefore, I would almost suggest that it would have to be a turnover and the team should not get the point.

Then again, I think either of the situation incidental or on purpose is very unlikely...

Whats your thoughts?

There's no rule that can stop cheating.

Solution: don't play with them.

mO By mO

Well, it goes to Mort's point. When I count checks, I never count six over, but 1 from the right. If I remember right, that person was near the middle, and we just called line across so that we could get the point underway.

I think if it was a point, then we would have hugely contested it. But, since it was caught prior to a point being scored, we didn't argue the point thing. However, what we were arguing was that it should have been taken back to where the illegal person first came into contact with it, and a turnover should have resulted.

In regards to "who's the illegal player?" that is also a good point. We just assumed that the person without a check was the illegal player. That's a bad assumption on our part. I think it should have been the last person to step onto the line, that person should have been considered the illegal player.

But I still think that it should be up to that team to count their line, not the other team. Usually we count if they are short players and ready to go. If the other team has a hand up, that means they are ready to go.......

"But I still think that it should be up to that team to count their line, not the other team. Usually

we count if they are short players and ready to go. If the other team has a hand up, that means

they are ready to go......."

And call double teams against themselves? What about picks, fouls, travels, and all the other


There's 14 referees any of whom could call the too-many-players, arguably it was your teams

responsibility more than the others....

i think the rules should definitely cover this.

this is not an unlikely event (and i'm quite sure this happens several times a year throughout the ultimate universe). every serious sport has special rules for how to treat "extra" players on the field, and ultimate should be no different.

if only someone on the SRC was reading this thread......

... where *are* those SRC hoodlums when you need them?!!???

ps - as to my opinion of what that rule should be, I think it should penalize the offending team (much like it does in games like football, hockey, baseball, basketball, etc etc.)

ie - it should be an automatic turnover at the spot of the disc prior to the last completed throw (ie, if a throw is made and received, and then too-many-players is called, it should go back to the spot of throw and be a turn-over). if the final throw is a score, and too-many-players is called, it still goes back to thrower and is a turnover there. buuuuuut, if too-many-players is not called until the subsequent pull, then the score should stand (this is consistent with baseballs batting-out-of-order rule, which has the charm of shaming the team that doesnt notice).

but yeah, that's just me talking... any hard rule in the rulebook is what we really need for this situation.

I quite like that suggestion TMS.

Were you planning to get involved in the discussion over on Google about the 11th? If so, this would be a good suggestion to throw over there.

do you have the link to the discussion?

nevermind, found it.

I am a little disappointed by the response to my suggestion that a rule be created... basically the response is "we don't need a rule because this doesn't happen, and it would make the rules too long"

link below.

mO By mO

no, i think that a rule should be created. if it's happened here, it's prolly happened somewhere else as well...

There is a rule:

VIII.B.4) The pull may be made only after the thrower and a player on the receiving team

raise a hand to signal that team's readiness to begin play. Each team must have a minimum

of two players and a maximum of seven players in order to signal readiness.

The resolution to violating that rule is the same as violating any other rule where specific

action is not described. This was described above: when the violation is called, play stops, the

situation that caused the violation is resolved (player is sent off in this case), and play starts.

If the violation caused the O to catch the disc, then it goes BTT.

Pretty simple.

If you want to make a special outcome to this scenario, well ok, but I think it's completely


However, if you want to explicitly spell out the resolution of all of these rules, then the rules

will need to be a whole lot longer (and redundant).

I don't think it's "Pretty simple." Is it a T.O. then? Is it not? What if they scored and then started playing the following point without anyone noticing? What if no one's sure when the 8th player got on the field? every person i've asked on this has given a completely different "Pretty simple." answer.

By not specifying the resolution, it's a blank spot for sure... one which the loudest player on the field will take advantage of.

How is it pretty simple? Did you read the sentences before that?

"when the violation is called, play stops, the situation that caused the violation is resolved

(player is sent off in this case), and play starts. If the violation caused the O to catch the

disc, then it goes BTT."

It's pretty simple.

It doesn't matter when the team had 8 players (like it doesn't matter when a player has

dangerous equipment, or any other rule that doesn't have a *more* specific outcome than the

above described), it's when you notice it that matters.

There's no TO. This shouldn't need to be said, but... if the rules don't state something, then

it's not a rule. If there's no rule that says there should be a turnover in XYZ situation, then

there's no turnover...

For scoring you look at the general rules for scoring. If there's no call (any call) immediately

(reasonably) after the acknowledgement of a point, then it stands.

Just because every person you asked gave you a different answer, doesn't mean that you

have to paste the quoted section above to the end of every rule that doesn't have it currently.

Here's the general line of thought for figuring out what to do in less frequent infractions:


Hey that's not allowed, there's a rule that says that can't happen "Violation!"

Hmm, what do the rules say to do when that happens. Hmm, nothing specific, ok, they have

to stop doing that for play to restart.

Yeah, but they only caught that pass because of the violation, that guy was wide open

because they have 8 players. That play doesn't stand it goes back to thrower.


Pretty simple.

With any kind of a call, whether a foul or a violation, there's no way to apply it before the time of the call. There's no way to watch Player 1 throw to Player 2, see player 2 throw it to the endzone for a point, and then to belatedly call 'Travel' on Player 1. A call is intended to be done at that exact time.

If the opposition might have had eight players on the field last point, if it wasn't called then, there's no way now, after the pull, to nullify the point they scored a minute or two ago.

So, by the book, it is correct to call 'Violation!' when you see the 8th player and to stop the play. And, by the book, the resolution would be to send the disc back to thrower for a do-over.

I suppose some teams, realizing their mistake, might agree with you that the whole point be re-played (all the way back to the pull). But there is nothing in the rules that would call for a turn-over when the violation is called...

so the point would stand?

i guess i'm trying to nail down a phantom rule right now...

Would The Point Stand?

(Is that your hypothetical point a couple of posts ago?) If the next pull has already sailed into the air, or even if the two teams are on their respective goal lines to start the play, then YES I think the point would stand. You'd have to catch the 8 players on the field during the point, or as the point has just been scored, to call a Violation.

Jon By Jon

TMS, keep in mind that there are no penalties in ultimate. That's why it wouldn't be a turnover. We just try to recreate what would have happened if the violation hadn't occured.

If anything, there should be a penalty for not noticing that the other team has had 8 people the

whole point. :)

There is. It's the being-at-a-significant-disadvantage penalty.

Hey, that's right, maybe we don't need another rule afterall...

I don't know...I think the rules are too short. I don't like being able to read a sport's entire ruleset in one sitting.

" If the next pull has already sailed into the air, or even if the two teams are on their respective goal lines to start the play, then YES I think the point would stand. You'd have to catch the 8 players on the field during the point, or as the point has just been scored, to call a Violation. "

This is officially the fifth reasonable interpretation I've gotten... No wonder there were arguments on the field.

Yes, this is reasonable. and it's correct to boot.

Any call, whether a foul or a violation, has to be done when it occurs. There's nothing to be done retroactively. We don't have the advantage of pausing for 90 seconds to review the tape and then to say, "Upon further review..."

The call has to be made when the incident occurs.

Yeah, it may be the fifth interpretation, but it matches what I've been saying. The

different interpretations you may have heard have been pulled out of the asses of people that

haven't digested the

rules as thoroughly as Art and I have.

It's no different than if the goal is thrown from OB, but the thrower is not called OB or for travelling (depending on why it's thrown from OB [see note 1 below] ). Once the point is over, it's way too late for the OB/travel call.

[note 1 - however, "check feet" would definitely have cleared that up]

Thank you for keeping the shit well disturbed while I'm (still!) away and distracted from my

regular pursuits, Mort.

heh... well, I must say I have my hands fairly full over on the forum discussing the 11th. Only 6 days and there's almost 60 threads with over 450 messages... there's a whole 'nother coop full of shit being disturbed over there. It's all warmed up and waiting for you to roll around in Craig!

mO By mO

Mort you count?!??! That...scares me slightly.....obviously they keep you busy over at your workplace eh?!

Heh, I'm so rarely accused of counting... normally it's "oh him, don't even bother, he doesn't count"...

Actually, as one of the managers of that forum, we get quickstats. I may be an 'accountant', but that certainly doesn't mean I *can*. Which of course brings us back to my first comments :) .