dangerous play?

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I'm pretty sue this or something similar has been asked before but I can't find it so I'll ask again.

Hypothetical situation:

1) I'm a stupid offensive player about to catch a disc while stationary instead of going to it.
2) At the last second, I notice my check (who is say, twice my size) running at me full speed and looks like he is about to layout D right into me.
3) To avoid breaking any bones, I jump aside, but fail to catch the disc.
4) Turns out, he was about to layout right where I was standing a split second earlier.

---

Can I call dangerous play assuming there was no contact made? What would the consequence be? And would it be different if I WAS moving towards the disc?

Thanks!

In my opinion the dangerous play rule is the most important rule in the book. More important
than the need that a foul only occurs when there is contact. Personal safety is at stake. That
overrides even the rules about cheating, spirit, etc which are there to secure personal
enjoyment.

Dangerous play is dangerous play regardless of whether there's a collision.

If you speed your car through a red light, it is incredibly dangerous behaviour that absolutely
must be stopped, regardless of whether or not you happen to hit somebody.

Whether you are moving or not does not factor into dangerous play. What makes a player's
play dangerous is whether or not they are acting with reckless disregard to safety.

If you had to move in order to avoid a collision, not the case where you merely feared that a
collision was possible, but where a serious collision was very likely, then you should call
Dangerous Play. Such a call would be resolved like any receiving foul would be resolved. If
the other player did not contest (unfortunately very unlikely), then you would get the disc at
the spot of the incident. Contested and it's BTT.

When calling Dangerous Play, I think it's also valuable to stop a bit longer and explain to the
person that it is in no way acceptable to be playing with reckless disregard for safety. They
have to get it, or they shouldn't be playing.

maybe the person layed out where you were standing before because you moved out of that spot? it's very possible that they would have layed out around/to the side of you if you hadn't moved. i haven't seen anyone playing vul that has actually layed out into a stationary person before.

" i haven't seen anyone playing vul that has actually layed out into a stationary person before."

How long have you been playing, and in what divs?

I have seen it far, far too often.

div 1.
6 years.
i guess this is more common in the lower divs then?

el duké,

i hope your not saying that you need to make contact before someone can call 'dangerous play' on you. i only have 2 knees and don't want to give 1 up...

I believe this is an interesting situation.

It really depends on the situation. You have to keep in mind that El Duke has been playing in Division 1 for six years. This really does make a huge difference.

In competitive play where all the players know what they are doing... By that time, all the players who tend to play a little agressive are known to everyone else because of their reputation. Generally, if you are playing at that level you pretty much know what you are doing. Therefore, in this situation it tends to be more benefit of the doubt.

I will give you an example: if I play at a competitive level and I see someone layout towards me, I don't flinch... This is because I know if they are going to layout they have full control of their body. I have seen people who can make a layout D coming from behind you at a extremely sharp angle.

However, at the same time people have to learn through practice... I dunno, its a fine line between recreational and competitive Ultimate I guess.

Let me preface this by saying not everyone involved with drafting the current rules agrees/agreed that contact should be required. However, using "contact-required" wording---which IS the way the rule is worded---makes it explicitly clear and is intended to reduce the risk that someone just decides to jump out of a play 'assuming' that future events (someone coming in WILL collide with them) would have occurred if they had not moved.

I'm not going to get into a lot of examples, but where we have no idea what the outcome of someone approaching may be, we simply cannot just move and claim the play was dangerous. That's completely unfair to the other person you're playing with.

Now, if the person is already airborne towards you, or running at full speed alongside (1 foot from) a stack, or has shown earlier a repeated recklessness... any of which makes a potential future collision much more likely, that's a completely different story, and I'd support stopping play (and of course being fully prepared for a "discussion")... but just because someone is approaching at high speed, a player cannot justifiably move and claim dangerous play.

"just because someone is approaching at high speed, a player cannot justifiably move and
claim dangerous play."

True.

"where we have no idea what the outcome of someone approaching may be, we simply
cannot just move and claim the play was dangerous. "

Also true, but nobody's suggesting you can call dangerous play when you "have no idea what
the outcome" will be.

There are few 100% certainties in life, and you must absolutely give the benefit of the doubt
to the other person. But we as humans are fully capable of identifying scenarios which will
very likely result in serious collisions.

You suggest that you must wait for contact to occur in order to stop play with a dangerous
play call. Then you suggest that if you see something that is very dangerous, but where there
is no contact, that you should stop play and discuss. Well, isn't that contradictory? Where is
the rule that supports that? Should we add another rule to the book, if so, what would you
call that?

I think that you agree that there is no room in the sport for plays which are truly dangerous,
and that in such cases, waiting for contact is a bit like closing the barn doors after the horses
have escaped. Well, shouldn't that be what the Dangerous Play foul is for?

What's better, to have no recourse in the rules to stop play in order to prevent dangerous play
not resulting in contact, or to have a rule which people may misinterpret and cause a
contested dangerous play call? The consequences of the former are that there will be more
dangerous play going uncorrected, while with the latter, there will be more contested calls
when people don't understand the rules. Well, if we're going to start eliminating rules because
they're commonly misinterpreted, we have to slash half the book.

Change the rule to be more clear/detailed if necessary, but I want a rule which prevents
Dangerous Play, not just Dangerous Collisions. Dangerous Play ultimately will lead to
Dangerous Collisions, the way to avoid Dangerous Collisions is not to call foul after they
happen, it's to stop Dangerous Play. It's like having a law against Crashing Under the
Influence, but not Driving Under the Influence, ie: dumb.

Okay. I can agree with that Temple.

Now, going back to the conversation we had on another forum about 'check feet' call. Where should be the line drawn so that the game is playable.

I just feel if this rule is taken too seriously it would change the game quite a bit. I dunno... There is a decent debate in my head. I would like to hear what you think.

"I just feel if this rule is taken too seriously it would change the game quite a bit. I dunno...
There is a decent debate in my head. I would like to hear what you think."

Are you talking about the 'check feet' issue or the Dangerous Play interpretation? Either way,
I don't see the tie between the two issues or what 'taking a rule too seriously' means.

Assuming you're talking about Dangerous Play, I'm still not sure what your concern is. To me,
every rule should be 'taken seriously'. If your concern is that the rule will be misinterpreted
and called when the criteria for Dangerous Play are not meant, then that's not a case where
the rule is taken too seriously, rather it's misapplied.

Personally, I think the current Dangerous Play rule is worded well enough to be clear that it's
not possible collisions that make a dangerous play. It's a subjective call, and obviously people
are going to have different interpretations of what "reckless endangerment" is, but that's
where rules education and the good old "contest" comes in.

I don't think that there's currently a problem where there are too many Dangerous Play calls
made. If anything too many Dangerous Plays and even Dangerous Collisions are going
unrecognized for being Dangerous beyond simply a foul where applicable.

-->You suggest that you must wait for contact to occur in order to stop play with a dangerous play call. Then you suggest that if you see something that is very dangerous, but where there is no contact, that you should stop play and discuss. Well, isn't that contradictory? Where is the rule that supports that? Should we add another rule to the book, if so, what would you call that? <--

What I meant was... According to the wording of the rule, contact is required for the call. However, I personally feel that when upcoming contact is a foregone conclusion (i.e., person airborne directly towards you and mere inches away), that play should be stopped regardless. If they want to call it a dangerous play foul, or a violation in accordance with one of the other rules (e.g., I.B or XVII.B), regardless of whether others agree with the validity of that call, something should be called anyway, and then deal with the discussion and contests afterwards.

Yes, I understood that exactly.

It sounds like you're saying Dangerous Play can only be called after Dangerous Contact, but if
you see Dangerous Play, "something should be called" perhaps even Dangerous Play.

To me that seems a rather toothless argument in suggesting Dangerous Play can't be called
after Dangerous Play, only after Dangerous Play has lead to Dangerous Contact.

I don't even buy the argument that the strict literal interpretation of the rule as written
requires that contact occurs. Yes it suggests it, but it does not literally state such. Logic does
not support the conclusion that if A = B regardless of when C occurs, then A != B if C does
not occur. What logic dictates is that A = B. If there is no clause stating that A = B is
contingent on C, and only a clause explicitly stating that A = B is not contingent on an aspect
of C, then there is no logically supportable link between C and A = B.

That may have been the intent of some of the SRC, but as above it's silly to have that
interpretation while still suggesting 'some kind of call' should be made when there is
Dangerous Play with no Dangerous Contact.

"If there is no clause stating that A = B is contingent on C. . . ."

I think of II.E as being that missing clause.

"I think of II.E as being that missing clause."

II.E describes (generally) what a foul is. However that does not apply to the more specific
Dangerous Play rule.

Built into the Dangerous Play rule is wording which explains how it's an exceptional case that
"is treated as a foul". The term "is treated as a foul" not only suggests that by itself the
scenario may not be considered a foul, but it explicitly overrides all other considerations of
what is required before treating this scenario as a foul.

The rule states that if the criteria within the rule are met, it "is treated as a foul". The
specificity of this rule wins out, but it goes one further in saying that "This rule is not
superseded by any other rule". In assessing Dangerous Play, one need look nowhere other
than XVI.H.4. That rule is contingent upon no other rule, and no other rule can supersede it.

The rule itself does not require contact. Therefore, if you see Dangerous Play (even without
contact) it is a valid Foul call.

Granted, there is language that suggests that interpretation, but also some language that seems to suggest the contrary, as well. That is, the rule does seem to make pains to distinguish the conditions "whether or when" from "when," as you know. I have spent many idle moments reflecting on the meaning of "when contact occurs" (since it may <i>never</i> occur, of course).

Noting that there appears to be a deliberate distinction from "whether it occurs," and reminded of the definition of a foul (II.E), I come to think of the rule as requiring contact to be invoked as a foul. In the above example, I would personally invoke a violation call (probably of rule XVII, although other rules freuently also apply) if contact was narrowly avoided. I'd then apply the Continuation Rule to determine the resolution of the incident.

I agree, though, that this rule could stand to be rephrased, one way or another, since I feel there is a seed of doubt in both interpretations.

I understand your point, but I'm not convinced.

You're not suggesting that the rule literally requires contact, but that it should be inferred
from its meaning because of the use of "when contact occurs".

Well, if we're talking speculation, think about the following. If II.E is required, why have this
rule at all? What does this rule add at all? If you infer that the action must meet all the
requirements of a regular foul, then this rule is completely redundant.

If you're speculating on why they said "when" and not "whether", how do you explain "treated
as a foul". That line itself essentially says 'this isn't normally a foul, but it is to be treated as
such'. I can't see how that can fit with the viewpoint that 'the action must meet all the
criteria of a foul, even if that makes the rule redundant'.

If you accept that the rule indicates that it wouldn't normally be a foul, then the rest of your
interpretation falls apart. Do you accept that the rule says that?

Since we're speculating, I suggest that the "when contact occurs" is meant specifically in
relation to the disc arriving. There's nothing to back that up, but I can't guess any other
meaning to why the timing of contact would be at all relevant. It's not even really a criteria
in a regular foul. Affecting continued play doesn't necessarily hinge on timing of contact,
timing is only on aspect in determining if continued play is affected.

--

Now, the semantics argument I was putting forward is by far secondary to the points I made
earlier. I was just pointing out that, common sense aside, if you follow literally the wording of
the rule, there is no contact required. Of course one cannot blindly follow the semantics of the
rules. One must look at the semantics, the intent, and the general desire for how the game
should be played. I can find no arguments on any of those grounds that suggest that contact
must be required to meet dangerous play.

The only argument I've seen that contact must be required is on the grounds that if contact is
not required *and people misinterpret the rule*, then there could be spurious Dangerous Plays
called. That's not a valid grounds for interpretation of a rule in my book.

To avoid unsupported Dangerous Play calls made when people misinterpret the rule, the
argument requiring contact puts forth that it is OK to play dangerously, so long as you don't
touch anybody. I don't buy that, I think that we need a rule outlawing Dangerous Play, and
also that we already have a rule outlawing Dangerous Play.

"To avoid unsupported Dangerous Play calls made when people misinterpret the rule, the argument requiring contact puts forth that it is OK to play dangerously, so long as you don't touch anybody. I don't buy that, I think that we need a rule outlawing Dangerous Play, and also that we already have a rule outlawing Dangerous Play."

Okay. I can agree with this to some extent.

I believe the issue is what should we define as 'Dangerous Play'. The definition will probably vary from each level of play. The reason I state this is because I believe the definition of 'Dangerous Play' should become more individualized to the specific person because of his/her skill.

At high competitive level of play turnovers rarely happen unless another factor affects the play. This play can be affected in many ways: a great D, pressure from another player, and other factors. At the same time, some of these factors, definately can be seen as 'Dangerous Play'.

Temple. You have asked me:
"Are you talking about the 'check feet' issue or the Dangerous Play interpretation? Either way, I don't see the tie between the two issues or what 'taking a rule too seriously' means."

This is what I mean. I didn't explain it because I didn't want to embarrass myself. However, I figured I might be wrong or I might be right, either way, if I don't make a comment I will never learn from it.

If I didn't mis-interpret what the message you tried to convey in the 'check feet' message. I believe that if the definition of 'Dangerous Play' was taken 'too seriously' competitive play would have very little growth or... would be drastically changed... My mind hasn't come up of a way that extremely safe and highly competitive play can coexist. I feel the same that if 'Dangerous Play' was taken too seriously it too may destroy the game in another sense...

Tell me what you guys think.

I believe there is another side of the coin that is missed.

I might be an optimist... However, I believe all Ultimate players, who have played for a year, play this game not to intentionally hurt other players. Spirit of the Game. Those who do not are well known and have a reputation as Dangerous Players.

If the previous comments are true. All players will enter into a situation that they feel they are safe; however, other may not preceive it as that. There are two choices that one can make. Do you trust the other player... Or do you make an adjustment and make the call.

I believe the last statement is where the heart lies for the 'Dangerous Play' call.

1. Do you give the benefit of the doubt for the player who made the play and see what the outcome is or...

2. Make the 'Dangerous Play' call.

I personally, believe in the judgement of other players and my choice is generally the first of the two. I also believe that option two has its place but should be used sparingly, only if no other option is there.

* There is one more important statement I believe is quite important. In all situation, mistakes are made because of a bad judgement call. It is part of the game no matter how good you are. Ultimate is not a 'safe' sport by no means. In other words, people get hurt in Ultimate, sometimes not because of 'dangerous play' but by bad judgement.

I believe there is a difference between the two. Dangerous play is where one makes a judgement 'knowing' that someone can be potentially hurt. The other is just coincidental.

Example: I see a disc, I jump for the disc and another player reads it and layout for the disc. The player who laid out for the disc hits me while I am landing. I don't see it anyone's fault it is just two choices were made and I got hurt.

Scire, your two posts, and most of your reasoning within them lead me to believe that you
simply misinterpret the Dangerous Play rule.

It certainly sounds as if you're confusing play that may seem dangerous with "Dangerous
Play" as defined in the rules. There is a wide interpretation of what could make a dangerous
play, actually there's a certain level of risk or 'danger' in every play, but there is a much
more narrow definition of what makes a Dangerous Play.

Dangerous Play is "reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other dangerously
aggressive behavior". Dangerous Play is Dangerous Play at all levels of play.

--

"I believe there is a difference between the two. Dangerous play is where one makes a
judgement 'knowing' that someone can be potentially hurt. The other is just coincidental."

Example: I see a disc, I jump for the disc and another player reads it and layout for the disc.
The player who laid out for the disc hits me while I am landing. I don't see it anyone's fault it
is just two choices were made and I got hurt."

That's just not correct. In fact I think that this shows a serious flaw in your idea of the
essence of our non-contact sport. Dangerous Play is not limited to actions done intentionally.
Not by a long shot.

Laying out with no awareness of what is in your path, or what is going to be in your path is
Dangerous Play. There's no arguing that. Whether or not you actually collide with somebody,
each time you lay out without knowing the path will be clear (assuming nobody changes their
direction after you leap), you're acting with "reckless disregard for the safety of fellow
players".

You honestly think that there's no fault in two people having a serious collision?! That's just
insane. There's certainly somebody at fault, often it's both people's fault.

Scire, there are two fundamental objectives for every ultimate player and their order is
paramount: 1) Avoid everybody. 2) Get the disc. If you or anybody has that order mixed up,
you are unsafe, and likely making Dangerous Plays.

"If you're speculating on why they said "when" and not "whether", how do you explain "treated as a foul". That line itself essentially says 'this isn't normally a foul, but it is to be treated as such'. I can't see how that can fit with the viewpoint that 'the action must meet all the criteria of a foul, even if that makes the rule redundant'."

Well, let's look at the example given in the rule, for instance ("significantly colliding with an opponent"). In many circumstances, this rule would be redundant for that example, since a collision (notably, not a 'near-collision') may already fall under various types of foul call. But still, there are circumstances where one might argue it does not constitute a foul -- perhaps it occurred whilst two opponents were 'simultaneously vying for unoccupied space' (H.2), for example.

So, I see this rule as a specific affirmation that particularly reckless or dangerously aggressive plays (still resulting in contact), always constitute a foul, regardless of the circumstances or state of play. It cannot be superseded by rules such as H.2.

The trouble with the "treated as a foul" statement is that it hints that this rule is different from ordinary fouls in some sense, but it's maddeningly unspecific. Is it treated as a foul just because rules such as H.2 are now discounted? Is it treated as a foul because contact is no longer required? And if that's the case, why does the rule mention "when contact occurs" at all? It would be perfectly clear that Temple is right if the rule made no mention of contact ("whether or when the disc arrives" would be sufficient by itself).

Peri Kurshan says this much on the UPA Rules blog:

"The dangerous play is the whole play, not just the contact that results from the play. The dangerous play itself is treated as a foul, not just the contact (which often is a foul by itself...). So it is a foul the moment the dangerous play starts (sort of retroactively). "

Frustratingly, there is room to interpret this two ways, still. But again, Peri seems to assume there will be contact in a dangerous play foul.

Okay. I value these opinions. Thank you.

"So, I see this rule as a specific affirmation that particularly reckless or dangerously
aggressive plays (still resulting in contact), always constitute a foul, regardless of the
circumstances or state of play. It cannot be superseded by rules such as H.2."

You're trying to find a case where Dangerous Contact wouldn't necessarily be a 'normal foul'.
Your scenario is well reasoned, but I don't think your interpretation of H.2 is right. H.2 does
not preclude any other foul conditions from resulting in a foul, the fact that two players are
both going for the same space does not preclude a foul from occurring. The best way to
explain this is by example.

Example 1: Two players running next to each other, bump into each other while both going
for the same space. The bump is the only contact. H.2 applies, no foul.

Example 2: Two players running next to each other, bump into each other while both going
for the same space. Player A trips Player B. H.2 applies in that the bump is not a foul, but
the trip is a foul.

Example 3: Two players running next to each other, bump into each other while both going
for the same space. Player A reaches out for the disc, Player B reaches out for the disc, but
knocks Player A's arm away. Again H.2 applies in that the bump is not a foul, but the arm
contact is a foul.

As you can see, H.2 is very specific in that the scenario where two players go for the same
spot is not *by itself* a foul (without H.2, it would be a foul on each person). H.2 does not
state that when two players go for the same spot, there can be no foul.

Further to that, I find it difficult to imagine Dangerous Contact where the two players are
adjacent to each other, but that's really irrelevant to the applicability of H.2.

--

"The trouble with the "treated as a foul" statement is that it hints that this rule is different
from ordinary fouls in some sense, but it's maddeningly unspecific. Is it treated as a foul just
because rules such as H.2 are now discounted? Is it treated as a foul because contact is no
longer required? And if that's the case, why does the rule mention "when contact occurs" at
all? It would be perfectly clear that Temple is right if the rule made no mention of contact
("whether or when the disc arrives" would be sufficient by itself)."

I agree completely that the rule is ambiguous, and that it can be much better worded. And as
to the UPA rules blog's further ambiguity, it might Of note is that the SRC was itself split on
whether or not Dangerous Contact must occur before Dangerous Play can be called.

Let's forget the literal interpretation of the rule, and the speculative interpretation of the rule
(both valid tools in determining how the rules should be applied), and let's focus on how the
ultimate community wants the game to be played.

With minimal hubris, I feel safe in speaking for the ultimate majority in saying that nearly
every player wants to outlaw truly dangerous play, even if no contact occurs. They also want
to make sure that a rule outlawing dangerous play is not used when the play is not truly
dangerous.

In such a situation, the solution isn't to allow dangerous play, the solution is to make clear
the criteria of when Dangerous Play can be called. Like every rule there will be disagreements
and misinterpretations, but measure the cost of those against allowing dangerous play.

--

I'll put forth a scenario which will help visualize the discussion.

Player A is standing still, the disc is thrown to them. Player B is running perpendicular to the
throw, is trying to intercept the pass, and doesn't see Player A. Player B lays out at full speed
directly at Player A. Serious collision is *certain* if Player A does nothing. Player A sees that
serious collision is imminent and just barely steps out of the way. No contact occurs. Player B
intercepts the pass.

What's the call? If you believe that contact is required in order to call Dangerous Play, then
there is no valid call that the rules support. Any other call that can be suggested can be shot
down for the *exact same reasons* that are used to suggest Dangerous Play call cannot be
called.

I have to ask, if *truly* dangerous play is not to be allowed, which rule should be called when
it happens?

"What's the call? If you believe that contact is required in order to call Dangerous Play, then
there is no valid call that the rules support. Any other call that can be suggested can be shot
down for the *exact same reasons* that are used to suggest Dangerous Play call cannot be
called."

For argument's sake, couldn't player A call a violation of rule XVII in that situation? Albeit unintentionally, player B laid out into a space to which he was not entitled.

I believe that is an excellent point: "Albeit unintentionally, player B laid out into a 'space to which he was not entitled.'"

Dangerous Play. I believe in order to make the call one must show that the individual is in the other players entitled space (That is the direct path in a straight line). Wait. Also the three feet straight above them. I am a little fuzzy on this one, does it also mean disc space, oro is that just while marking?

What do you guys think?

"For argument's sake, couldn't player A call a violation of rule XVII in that situation? Albeit
unintentionally, player B laid out into a space to which he was not entitled."

No. neither XVII.A nor XVII.B apply, because the criteria for the rules are not met. You can
infer from that that that the player in the example was not entitled to the spot on the field to
which they jumped, but there are no rules which disallow taking a spot that you are not
entitled to. There are rules that disallow contact resulting from such behaviour.

What XVII means is that you are not guilty of a foul, even though you initiate the contact,
providing you meet either XVII.A or XVII.B.

Think about it, if you interpret XVII the way you did, then *all* narrowly avoided contact
would be a violation, not just the Dangerous Plays.

--

"Dangerous Play. I believe in order to make the call one must show that the individual is in
the other players entitled space (That is the direct path in a straight line). Wait. Also the
three feet straight above them. I am a little fuzzy on this one, does it also mean disc space,
oro is that just while marking?"

You're still going down the wrong path of Dangerous Play. You're adding criteria to whether or
not it can be called that just don't exist in the rules. Forgetting for a moment whether contact
is required, dangerous play is "reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other
dangerously aggressive behavior".

Concerning yourself with time/space/direct paths/etc is incorrect. While that stuff matters for
some fouls, that's not what the Dangerous Play rule is concerned with. The rule is
intentionally broad, but also very specific in its criteria.

I find it very counterintuitive that you would be 'allowed' to do something you're 'not entitled' to do.

XVII.A says player A is entitled to be where he is. XVII.B says player B would be entitled to lay out only provided that certain criteria are met ('provided that the landing spot, and the direct path between the takeoff and landing spots, were not already occupied at the time of take-off'). Those criteria are not met, so I would think that laying out anyway be in violation of the rule.

"I find it very counterintuitive that you would be 'allowed' to do something you're 'not
entitled' to do."

I think you missed it. It's not that you're allowed to do something you're not entitled to do,
rather you're allowed to take space that you're not explicitly entitled to, providing you don't
break any other rules. If you disagree with that, follow your interpretation along and you'll
see that there will be a great many times in a game that somebody takes a space they may
not be entitled to, but no contact results. Suggesting that these are all Violations would be a
nightmare.

"XVII.A says player A is entitled to be where he is. XVII.B says player B would be entitled to
lay out only provided that certain criteria are met ('provided that the landing spot, and the
direct path between the takeoff and landing spots, were not already occupied at the time of
take-off'). Those criteria are not met, so I would think that laying out anyway be in violation
of the rule."

No, the rule isn't violated, it's just that the criteria are not met that the player is entitled to
that space. This rule isn't ordering or forbidding an action, it's a rule explicitly allowing an
action which in some cases you wouldn't have permission to do.

Remember, you don't need a rule which allows you to do anything in ultimate. You just have
to avoid doing anything you're not allowed to do. The few cases where permission to do
something is explicitly given are when there are times when that action might be forbidden by
other rules.

Situation that has occured twice in the last 3 weeks, and is rather frustrating. I am wondering what I can do differently, as I don't feel I am a dangerous player by any means, but the opposition on one specific team feels differently.

I'm tall, fast, and play strong agressive D. I am very aware of my surroundings and always do everything I can to avoid contact. Now in these recent games, I have been accused of being dangerous as I have come "close" (i.e. around 2 feet away) to their women when making D blocks. Never making contact with them, always aware of where they are and how they are moving with respect to me, and knocking the disc away cleanly without violating any rules (to my knowledge). They see this as "scary" (large, fast person running in their direction), and think I am playing "dangerously". I would like to think they could give the benefit of the doubt that I am not going to bulldoze them over, but no luck.

They informed me that previously, they had issues with other teams running into their women. This was never once an issue with my team.

What can I do differently, besides just not make any effort to go for the disc at all?

Tub, I can think of two suggestions.

One is to talk to the women in question while making your play --"Don't worry, I see you. I'm playing the disc..." that sort of thing might help.

The other is to go over to the other team on the sideline and tell them in person what you've posted here.

There are a lot of tall, athletic guys out there who are very aware of body position and jump through hoops to avoid contact. Good luck!

<aside/warning: the post contains no rule clarifications what-so-ever>

Tubster:
Once run over (and 4 months of physio later): twice shy. "Dangerous play" is a tough one to judge. Maybe you are super aware. Maybe the people around you are staying away from you. How would one really know?

For what it's worth: In my 10 years of playing, I've seen lots of dangerous players, and don't remember any that thought they were playing dangerous. Once saw a guy take out two team-mates, and then bump the receiver to made a D. He was outraged when the other captain brought it up with his captain.

Maybe 'being perceived as being dangerous' is reason enough to change one's behaviour. After all, we're all here to have some fun and be able to go back to work in the morning. Besides, if the team is constantly jacking throws into dangerous situations, do you really need to get all those D's to beat them? If so, then perhaps the win is meaningless.

If you really want to play challenging, competitive ultimate, consider trying out for a touring team.

<end aside>

Well, I didn't see the actual plays, but the behaviour you describe is called Ultimate. It is not
dangerous play.

I wouldn't recommend you change your play. You and your opponents are playing a sport, and
you are in no way expected to play down to support somebody else's abilities or comfort level
(so long as you're playing safely and within the rules).

I think it is the height of poor spirit to accuse somebody of dangerous play or to ask them to
not play so well near some of their teammates (again, while you're playing safely and within
the rules). It is in no way acceptable to expect other players to not play their best because
one of your players is frightened of acceptable behaviour.

Also, asking somebody to recognize that there is a girl and to not go for the disc is not only
unfair and unspirited, but it's also largely pointless. It's only going to work for the people who
don't play dangerously! The dangerous players are the ones that don't look, they'll never see
that there's anybody there, let alone their gender.

--

Now, the real unfortunate bit in this scenario is that some members of their team are now
'once bitten, twice shy' (likely more than once bitten). I certainly cannot blame them for not
wanting to give the benefit of the doubt, because they've been burned so many times.
They're in a tough spot now, where there's no ideal solution.

However the benefit of the doubt must always be given. It is not an acceptable solution to
ask the other team to stop making plays which are safe, or to make DP calls on such plays.
Each player has to make a choice. Either you choose to play ultimate, in which case you
choose to allow all behaviour which is safe and within the rules, or you have to choose to not
play ultimate. It's absolutely shitty if you have to choose to not play ultimate, because there
are some people you play against that are playing dangerously.

There are things that their team can do to help the situation. The first thing is a practical
solution: Do not throw swilly passes to people covered by taller checks. There's a reason
they're called "Hospital" throws. That avoids some dangerous situations, but it doesn't serve
to lessen Dangerous Play of the people around them. The next thing their team should to is to
learn what real Dangerous Play is, and to act to eliminate that. Eliminating safe play, or
scolding players after they've already had a Dangerous Collision is not going to prevent
Dangerous Play.

--

I think these sorts of problem arise from the fact that Dangerous Play is systemic within our
League (in all divisions). Fortunately Dangerous Collisions are somewhat rare, with some
more in the lower divs. However, as you can see from the disagreements within this thread
itself, because we as a League are willing to allow Dangerous Play, and only call it out when
there is a significant Dangerous Collision, then we are doing nothing to head the problem off
and stop Dangerous Play.

See my contemporaneous thread I'm going to create: "Disc Blind or: 'I was going for the
disc.' as an Indicator of Dangerous Play".

--

Tubster, I'd recommend that you talk to the team in question. Have them understand that
benefit of the doubt must always be given, no matter how many times they've been burned.
Highlight the fact that you sympathize with their teammate, but that they need to go after
the real problem, not the safe players. Chances are that won't work, but ultimately you're
just going to have to take the unfair slings and arrows, and let them roll off your back.

If you're sure that the players in question are just plain gun-shy, then there's not much you can do. The mere state of being unintentionally "scary" is neither a violation, nor a foul.

That said, you could again pry for more details to determine what, specifically, they perceive as dangerous about your behaviour. There is, after all, a subtle but physical difference between charging to a point just beside your opponents and charging directly into their bodies. Perhaps they genuinely do not yet see the difference, or perhaps they have had to dodge your momentum before. You could ask for more specific details in the spirit of cooperation.

On another note, I'm curious to see what their offense looks like -- there must also be something going peculiarly wrong if they're consistently sending up hospital passes to their women. A good offense really shouldn't produce this kind of scenario very often. And even a good defender shouldn't be able to regularly close in on someone else's match-up.

achoo: "Maybe 'being perceived as being dangerous' is reason enough to change one's
behaviour. After all, we're all here to have some fun and be able to go back to work in the
morning. Besides, if the team is constantly jacking throws into dangerous situations, do you
really need to get all those D's to beat them? If so, then perhaps the win is meaningless.

If you really want to play challenging, competitive ultimate, consider trying out for a touring
team."

Achoo, no offense, but, while it's practical advice, I think this is terrible advice. What will that
do to lessen Dangerous Play? Nothing. All you're doing is condoning Dangerous Play by
abandoning the problem. If the safe people stop playing their best, safest ultimate in league,
what are we left with? Certainly not a league in which we are more likely to "have some fun
and be able to go back to work in the morning."

(I'll preface this by pointing out that this is all hypothetical - I've no idea what actually hapenned)
Further to what Temple said, if Tubster is "perceived as being dangerous" solely because previous opponents have hit the player doing the perceiving, and not because his play is in any real way dangerous, why should he change his play. By his description he came nowhere closer than 2 feet, which in some circumstances is a large margin of safety.

???
I'm not condoning dangerous play. I'm suggesting one play in a way that is appropriate for those with whom they share their play-time.

I disagree that you are suggesting you play in a way that is "appropriate". Suggesting that
tailoring how you play to the way a particular team wants you to is not necessarily playing
appropriately. Playing safely and within the rules is playing appropriately. Any suggestion
otherwise is plain wrong.

If you allow or even encourage somebody to tell people that safe, fair play is not appropriate
in League, then you're encouraging the notion that League does not require safe, fair play.
That it's the place for playing how your opponent wants. That's hardly appropriate, and that's
hardly a league I want to play in.

Now when there is serious misunderstanding of Dangerous Play which is at the centre of the
disagreement of "appropriateness", and if you encourage somebody to walk away from that
ignorance, then you are definitely doing nothing to prevent real Dangerous Play.

Allowing the team to promulgate their incorrect notion that Dangerous Play = playing hard
near a girl, will only serve to condone other truly Dangerous Play.

Temple: wow. that's taking some liberties with my posts. I wasn't actually suggesting that one tailor their play to what the other team wants. But I guess without that misrepresentation, you don't get to finish the paragraph with the hard line assertion. (Are you interested in a discussion forum or is this forum just some weird forum of competition for you?)

In any case: what I was (perhaps to subtly) suggesting was that a player might try an approach that many competitive/intense players do on a regular basis: "If you are freaking people out, take it down a notch". Clearly, this has nothing to do with the rules.

Wrt: The rules
Although we like to talk in absolutes about what happens in these on-field situations, rarely does everyone involved share the same perspective. Suggesting that every on-field "dangerous play" issue can be reduced down to pure fact - and hence be subject to a simple interpretation wrt the scope and intent of the rules - seems like wishful thinking to me. Not saying we shouldn't try.

Some disagreement is inevitable, but that doesn't mean the discussion need be fruitless. Let's not forget that if, at any time the opposing captains agree to some "non-standard" view of what "dangerous play" is - perhaps to accommodate some who fear injury - then so be it (I.C). Opinions of those on this forum (mine included) be damned.

have a great week-end!

Below are the comments I responded to. I disagreed with each statement. This wasn't based
on pedantic rules-based arguments. I disagreed based on the fundamental spirit of ultimate
which is safe and fair competition. By this long post, I'm not trying to browbeat you and win
an argument, I'm trying to get you to see why *I* think your view is flawed. And at the least
shouldn't be followed by others, as it certainly doesn't help our League. I'd hope that you
would want to provide reasoning for your viewpoint to me and others, or in other way help
us see why my concerns with it aren't founded.

achoo: "If you really want to play challenging, competitive ultimate, consider trying out for a
touring team."

This is especially bothersome. You say this as if League is not the appropriate place for
challenging, competitive, safe, and fair ultimate. Well, that's the League I play in. Each
player is entitled to play to the best of their abilities, so long as they are safe and fair. It
certainly seemed to me that you were suggesting somebody shouldn't do that because of
another's misinterpretation of a rule or past negative history. Is that not what you were
saying?

achoo: "Maybe 'being perceived as being dangerous' is reason enough to change one's
behaviour."
achoo: "I'm suggesting one play in a way that is appropriate for those with whom they share
their play-time."
achoo: "I wasn't actually suggesting that one tailor their play to what the other team wants."

You seem to have an idea of what appropriate behaviour is and that you should tailor your
play to suit. Would you care to clarify? From your posts I gathered it was 'behaviour that your
opponent was comfortable with' (which I called 'how your opponent wants you to play'). My
responses were based on that assertion, and as above, I think it's bad advice.

achoo: "If you are freaking people out, take it down a notch"

Would you care to give an example of safe and fair behaviour that should be taken down a
notch? Do you mean the type of play we usually see in the competitive Mens ultimate games
(which I'd call neither safe nor fair)?

--

achoo: "Let's not forget that if, at any time the opposing captains agree to some "non-
standard" view of what "dangerous play" is - perhaps to accommodate some who fear injury -
then so be it (I.C)."

I agree 100%, when both teams are in agreement, it is of course acceptable. However, when
one team tells another team that they are being Dangerous and that they must change their
behaviour, when they are in fact playing safely and fairly, that is out of bounds.

--

Finally, the most important point I raised is that by capitulating for the sake of easiness,
nicety, or the sense 'meh it's only League after-all' (I got this feeling from most of what
you've written), you are enabling that team's misplaced notion of what Dangerous Play is,
and that can only lead to trouble for their players and the players they face.

Temple: I'm sorry your taking this to heart so. No offense meant.

For what it's worth:

wrt: "the especially bothersome"
Seems to me league has a wide variety of experiences to offer depending on the team one finds him/herself on. However, IMO, the options are somewhat limited for one wanting a more competitive team experience (ie where everyone on the field shares a similar level of intensity). For whatever reason, at this time there is a plethora of touring teams including one that has open practices and is focused on player development. I just think it might be an attractive option for some competitive types (and maybe not to some others).

wrt: the rest of the stuff
appropriate behaviour: depends on the situation. Based on mutual respect. IMO, respecting the other team includes respecting their opinions about grey-area things like "dangerous play". Those with capitulation anxiety are free to do their own thing of course. :)

wrt: "it's only league"
OK: got me - sort off. I'm one of those neo-hippies that wonders if there shouldn't be more ultimate without the score being kept. Love pick-up!

ok then. happy trails!

My take on this is Temple is being absolutist in claiming "never play dangerously" and achoo is more relativist in claiming "dangerousness depends on the context." And of course, as in most matters of philosophy, the disputants are both right.

Here's a good rule of thumb: play like you play and if someone smaller than you, more experienced or more female than you says you're playing dangerously, believe them and say sorry. If someone larger than you, younger than you or more male than you says it, laugh and heckle them mercilessly. And the lower the stakes, the greater the sincerity in your sorry-saying and savagery of your heckling.

Firstly, I don't think there's any debate on the 'greyness' of Dangerous Play going on. What
we're discussing is play which is accepted to be safe, being declared Dangerous Play by a
person, not basing the call on the recklessness of the play in question, but on past history.
That's not something you can condone. If somebody is afraid of a situation which is deemed
by all reasonable players to be safe, then that's a problem they have to reconcile. The rest of
the sport doesn't have to walk on eggshells around that person.

Now if there's a play for which you can argue there was reckless disregard for the safety of
others, etc, then absolutely there's an argument for Dangerous Play. However the gender of
the player nearby does not make any one play any more reckless than another.

"Here's a good rule of thumb: play like you play and if someone smaller than you, more
experienced or more female than you says you're playing dangerously, believe them and say
sorry."

This part of your philosophy mirrors achoo's. My problem with this is that if you give credence
to this bastardized definition of Dangerous Play, then you're doing a disservice to everybody
who has to play them.

Inherent in the notion that 'you have to play safer near our girls' is the notion that 'you don't
have to play as safely near our guys'. Teams with that interpretation of Dangerous Play are
going to apply their notion to your team in that 'we don't have to play as safely near your
guys'. That is bunk.

I'm comfortable in suggesting that the teams that want you to 'play less intense near our
girls' are the same teams that are playing too intense near other guys (by 'too intense' I
mean more collisions). You have to play equally as safe near every player.

Of course there is almost always higher severity of injury when 200lbs hits an unprepared
100lb person, than when 200lbs hits an unprepared 200lb person, but both scenarios can result
in serious and unacceptable injury. Even 100lbs hitting an unprepared 200lb person is
completely unacceptable.

I'm a big tough guy, I'm not generally going to be afraid of a little contact, but I don't accept
Dangerous Play against me. It doesn't take much to tear apart the knee or shoulder of a guy
my size or to give me a concussion. I've got to work tomorrow too, you play as safe against
me as you'd want me to play against your girl. That is my right as an ultimate player, and
that is the right of every ultimate player.

If you allow and enable the spread of an incomplete idea of what Dangerous Play is, expect
Dangerous Play to be more prevalent. Effectively you're only making things worse by helping
the spread of the problem.

I think the differences of opinion are caused by differences in what we're talking about.

A is talking about how he plays and B is talking about what to say to someone who is playing dangerously.

I myself consciously try to be totally non-dangerous competitively or recreationally, against girls or boys, big people or small. That's the absolutist position. But if someone calls me on a play, how I react will depend on the circumstance. If I'm playing Thursday, Div 2 and a woman says I did something scary, I'll believe her and apologize. But if a Relic at Nationals says the same thing I'll heckle him. That's the relativist position.