Dangerous wind-up, dangerous play?

16 posts / 0 new
Last post

Just a quick clarification, would a "wild" wind-up before a throw, coupled with a crazy backhand release (i.e. player turns away from mark, spins 180 degrees and throws/hucks the disc as hard as they possibly can) be worthy of a dangerous play call?

It definitely looks dangerous...

Bear in mind that the "dangerous play" call is XVI.H.4, which is a foul call; ergo, it cannot be called without any non-incidental contact. So, the short answer is no, unless this wind-up hits someone. If it's truly necessary to stop play over a player's actions where no contact occurs, there are some other clauses that may apply, but it's not what we call a dangerous play call.

I was not aware that contact was 100% necessary for a dangerous play call.

Rob By Rob

In XVI.H.4: "This rule is not superseded by any other rule."

Does this also apply to its classification as a "foul" that therefore requires contact? i.e. if someone is displaying "Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other dangerously aggressive behavior" that doesn't involve contact, does the fact that it is "dangerously aggressive" supersede the fact that there's no contact?

And if not, is there a rule to cover dangerous play that doesn't involve contact (i.e. if you dodge the punch instead of taking one for the team)?

That's a frequent question, Rob, and so the SRC specifically clarified in the annotated version of the rules that "if no contact occurs, there is no callable dangerous play. Contact need not be severe."

In rare scenarios, it is possible to identify a dangerous behaviour as a violation of another rule. An example might be I.B (Spirit of the Game clause) which covers such examples as dangerous aggression. It is also theoretically possible to call a violation of XVI.H itself ("it is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible"). I consider this a call of rare and last resort, though.

Sometimes actions at first look dangerous only because they are weird and unfamiliar. So, if no damage is done, sometimes you have to ask yourself if the manoeuvre was really dangerous, or if you're just feeling distrustful. After all, a swing that looks as if it would have hurt had it hit you won't necessarily hit you; indeed, such can be said of almost all throws.

I suppose I like to err on the side of caution. Our team called dangerous play in last weeks game and there was no contact. Basically, two guys going for a disc and a 3rd comes flying in--I see him coming and just back off and let the two of them collide. Disc hits the ground. Technically I should have taken the hit for a dangerous play on the chance that had I not backed off I might have not been hit?

Seems odd.

Not being able to call a "dangerous play foul", and not being able to stop play and tell that
player they just did a very dangerous action that easily could have seriously injured
someone are two completely different things.

Just because you can't do the former doesn't mean than you shouldn't do the latter...
Because you absolutely should.

But is it a foul? ie. disc goes back to thrower? Or do I just get to tell him he did something stupid and it's a turnover?

It sounds like I need to actually get hit before it's a foul on the off chance I might have not got hit had I stayed in the mess.

Yeah, but the latter alone doesn't get you the disc back. i.e. there's no consequence to their (allegedly) dangerous actions.

"i.e. there's no consequence to their (allegedly) dangerous actions."

Right, so I do have to get hit before it's dangerous? But when I get hit it's no longer dangerous, it's just a regular foul, so I'm still not clear when something is dangerous--unless it's just me getting to tell them they did something dangerous and they should feel shame?

From what I've seen, the SRC as a whole (not all individually), seem to view the rules only
as they apply to elite level ultimate. Specifically, they are loathe to interpret the rules or
change the rules in any way that might open an avenue for a player at Elite level ultimate
to cheat by interpreting the rule incorrectly (which is pure folly, rules cannot prevent

The dangerous play requiring contact is one good example. Absolutely a player can gain an
advantage by playing dangerously, as the player that lays up to avoid a certain collision
from a dangerous play is disadvantaged by that.

Naturally we wouldn't want people to start calling fouls when they lay up for non-dangerous
play (especially not at the elite level!), but that would be against the rules anyway (a mis-
interpretation of the rules at best, cheating at worst). Not only that, it already happens to
some extent. Of course, the consequence of avoiding that straw man problem is that
everybody else has to make the choice to either lay-up and be safe, allowing the player to
have a disc they only got by playing dangerously, or to take the collision then call a Foul
(itself arguably against the rules, by not avoiding contact).


Another example is the idea of what constitutes affecting the outcome of the play,
specifically the SRC's interpretation that the timing of the contact is paramount in
determination of whether or not the contact affected the outcome.

Take the following two examples where a D lays out into the back of a stationary opponent,
reaches around that opponent and knocks the disc down, the opponent calling Foul, and the
D not contesting.

Case 1) If the D touched the disc a split-second before the contact occurred, the SRC says
that the Foul should not be considered to have affected the outcome of the play, it is a

Case 2) If the D touched the disc a split-second after the contact occurred, the SRC says
that the Foul should be considered to have affected the outcome of the play, Offense's disc.

Yes, the SRC says that "I got the disc first" is an acceptable reason for the D-block standing
(even though it is an uncontested Foul).

In my opinion that's a dumb way to interpret the rule. The crazy layout maneuver that
resulted in the contact was the foul, not just the instant of contact. Absent that layout
maneuver, the D could not have knocked the disc down, ergo it affected the outcome of the
play, regardless of when the disc was touched.


There are quite a number of cases where I've felt this tendency to try to protect the
integrity of elite level play, often at the expense of everybody else. I also see the attempts
as futile, as cheating will occur either way.

Actually, those 2 cases are only valid if it's NOT a dangerous play. I'm not
sure I'd view "lays out into the back of a stationary opponent" as not

And so, the disc would be awarded the disc in both cases. The SRC thinks
exactly the same way you do, that "the crazy layout maneuver that
resulted in the contact was the foul, not just the instant of the contact".
Unless it's not dangerous, but I think you're suggesting it is.



Temple, I can see your broader point - some of the rules may indeed be written with more competitive play in mind - but your example does not fit. Re-read the rule on dangerous play (XVI.H.4):

"Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other dangerously aggressive behavior (such as significantly colliding into a stationary opponent), regardless of whether or when the disc arrives or when contact occurs is considered dangerous play and is treated as a foul . This rule is not superseded by any other rule."

A layout into the back of a stationary player is clearly a dangerous play at any level, that is essentially the exact example used in the rule... also note the clause "regardless of whether or when the disc arrives or when contact occurs" which means your Case 1 and Case 2 are treated the same under this rule.

Actually I was speaking of a non-dangerous play case. I didn't explicitly state it, but I was
talking about dangerous plays before and then mentioned a different example of rules
interpretation, in which I didn't mention dangerous play, rather talking about the outcome of
plays. Sorry for the confusion.

If a non-dangerous layout causing contact is a theoretical impossibility in the reader's eyes,
please substitute your own contact case where the D of the disc *could not have occurred*
without the maneuver that resulted in the Foul.

In the SRC's eyes, for non-dangerous plays, "I got the disc first" means you keep the disc, even
if you foul somebody. In my opinion, that's counter to the fundamental principle of the non-
contact game we play.

The way I see it, if you have to contact someone (significant, not just incidental touchy-feely stuff) to make a play on the disc, that contact affected the play, whether or not the disc's fate was decided before or after the contact.

Couldn't agree more.

However, the SRC categorically disagrees with both of us regarding our interpretation of how
(non-dangerous) contact can affect the outcome of a play.

The official interpretation of the rules of ultimate is that if you "get the disc first", you keep
the disc, even if getting to the disc first requires that you make an uncontested (non
"Dangerous") foul.

I can't fathom why that is. Perhaps Mortakai would elaborate on the rationale?


With both dangerous actions without contact (so not technically Dangerous Play) and non-
Dangerous "I got the disc first" fouls, there is incentive provided to the player committing the
infraction. We are assuming that neither case is intentional (not cheating, just accidental
infractions), but the resolution of such plays still result in an advantage to the team
committing these infractions.

In both cases (A: If you lay-up to prevent a Dangerous Play collision by another player, they
keep the disc, and B: the person that "got the disc first" via initiation of a non-Dangerous
collision keeps the disc.), the player is told that what they did is illegal, but in both cases, if
you follow the rules, they are handed the disc to play on.

That makes no sense to me. These two rules are essential components in deterring contact,
yet the official interpretations of these two rules take quite a bit of the teeth out of the
deterrence. It's hard to imagine players who do commit those type of fouls (accidentally of
course) to learn anything if they keep the disc:

"What you did was illegal and the only reason you got the disc was because you acted illegally,
but we'll resume play exactly as if it wasn't illegal, your disc at stall 0."

The explanation I've heard from various SRC members (not Mortakai) about why these
wouldn't be changed mostly involved the possibility of somebody calling the new rule
incorrectly (when the conditions didn't actually apply) in a college level final game (or the
sort). Bizarre indeed, as just about every rule can be (and often is) misapplied by a cheater at
the elite level.