Disputing a Travel Call

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Situation: Player A (offense) running hard to a disc and catches it and takes as many steps as needed to stop (but for the purpose of the argument, lets say he took 3 steps) with the 3rd step being planted as the pivot foot with his left leg and then lunges to his right and fakes a throw (right handed flick throw. essentially, the 4th step is the lunge with the 3rd step being the pivot foot). Player B (defense) calls travel and claims that Player A took "4 steps" and thus a travel occurred (which is false in the first place under rules XV. B)

It is clear that Player A has not traveled, but due to the call which stopped play, the flow has been disrupted and all previously open passes are now covered. I'm sure Player B isn't calling travel for the purpose of breaking up the flow but is there any way to prevent that from happening? It's not a big deal if it happens every now and then but when it's as frequent as 3 times a game and when it's because their zone is getting broken, it gets really annoying.

And another case, same situation but Player B calls travel since Player A changed directions due to the 4th lunge step outwards according to rule XV.C.1 despite the pivot foot being planted on the third step.


First off, you never get '3 steps' without coming to a stop. You get 2 steps. The throw must
be made before the 3rd ground contact. 3 steps is not before the 3rd contact.

So, it's not clear that the person didn't stop. Remember it isn't just that you have to plant a
pivot, you have to "stop as quickly as possible". You now have to question whether the person
came to a stop before lunging to the side to make the throw.

A player never truly comes to a stop, nor are they expected to freeze their whole body before
throwing. So, there's interpretation needed as to what "stop as quickly as possible" means.
Here's how I interpret it which I think retains all the spirit and intent of the rule.

If you stop all the momentum of your run, you are stopped. Often though, a thrower adds
new momentum as part of their throw. I draw the line as follows. If the player could have
retained the pivot for as long as they wanted, then they stopped, even if they immediately
ran on or lunged as part of a throw. However, if the player could not have retained that pivot,
if sufficient momentum existed where they *had* to continue on, then I don't call that
stopped. Now, there's no easy way for a person to determine this, they have to use their
judgement as a ref, and the other refs have opportunity to disagree.


Let's say though that you're talking about a hypothetical situation where a player does stop,
then lunge, but is called for a travel anyway. You have to understand that that call, even if
it's wrong, is still perfectly valid (unless the person is intentionally cheating).

There's nothing wrong with this. You can briefly explain that you came to a stop before
lunging, so it wasn't a travel, but no discussion beyond that should occur on-field. If it's
happening a lot, you should talk to the other team's captain (on the sideline!) to suggest that
the rules are clarified. If it's happening to you a lot, you may also want to make extra sure
that the calls aren't correct, but we're in the hypothetical realm here stated above where it is
not a travel.

"but due to the call which stopped play, the flow has been disrupted and all previously open
passes are now covered."

Players must reset to where they were when the throw was made (assuming the travel was
called after the throw and play went back to the thrower). You don't ever get to catch up as
part of a call. Feel completely free to insist that players move back to where they were, even
and especially if that leaves somebody open (as they were previously).

Presumably, the person making the call is either misinformed, or they understand the rules and are making what they believe is a valid call based on their perception.

For the former, it's your opportunity to educate about the rules, and for the latter it's the nature of how the game is supposed to be played. Players are supposed to make what they believe are valid calls, and it's not a matter of whether we're more right than them or who wins the argument... rather it's two valid perceptions that are discussed and resolved, which may simply include sending it back or resetting the play.

And as Temple has already mentioned, it's important that all players understand where/when play resets to and especially that relative positioning is as correct as possible. This should help to ensure that someone who was already open remains so. Again it's an opportunity for rule education and understanding.

In essence, it should be a simple reset and replay. Remember that the game is somewhat weighted for the offense and so just be confident that your team will just continue to play the point and score. Unless you make a mistake and turn it over, which is your fault, not the fault of the call... unless the call got into your head... which again is your fault. Just reset and score (again).

I don't consider 3 calls in a game to be a an excessive amount by any stretch. 3 calls of this nature in a single POSSESSION may be more likely to get frustrating, but not 3 out of approx 20 points.