Foot Blocks

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#1

Clarification, and sorry if this has already been brought up in past posts...

Foot blocks, in the VUL, is a violation within 3 metres of the thrower...

1. marker within 3 metres...violation
2. defender within 3 metres...violation?
3. disc is released and player 10 metres from the thrower footblocks it...violation?
4. disc is released and defender footblocks with 3 metres of receiver...violation?

which is true or false?

Well, the wording is such:

"Footblocks are not allowed. If a footblock is attempted (successfully or not) by a marker within 3 meters of the thrower, the thrower can call a foul."

I don't particularly like that it says "foul" (I think that "violation" as you say, would marry it to the rest of the 11th Ed. more nicely), but there you have it.

Only #1 (marker footblocks within 3m of thrower) is true.

#2 is an infraction only if you have reason to believe that the defender is in fact marking the thrower as well (double-teaming, if there is already a defender). A deliberately executed footblock attempt (as opposed to an accidental one) by a defender within 3m is a good sign that the defender is marking.

Rob By Rob

"A deliberately executed footblock attempt (as opposed to an accidental one) by a defender within 3m is a good sign that the defender is marking."

You're assuming here a double-team, correct? In which case the double-team itself could be called. But if a receiver is in the mix as well (say in a "crashing the cup" situation), it seems to me that a second defender could enter the 3m range, use a footblock to prevent the reception to the receiver that they are covering, and still be within the rules as worded. No?

I'm not necessarily assuming a double-team, because it was not made clear whether there was an extant marker in addition to the defender in question. Rather, I'm suggesting that a defender within 3m of the thrower's pivot who is responding to the thrower's movements with his feet is not merely running by and is probably marking the thrower in that time.

If there is a marker in addition to the defender in question, then this also satisfies the criteria for a double-team:

"2. Double-team: If a defensive player other than the marker is within three meters of any pivot of the thrower without also being within three meters of and guarding (II.G) another offensive player, it is a double team. However, merely running across this area is not a double team."

But double-teaming is just a marking violation and not a violation or foul. The thrower may not care about the double-team itself, but may care a great deal about the footblock, particularly if he wants to get the disc back!

"It seems to me that a second defender could enter the 3m range, use a footblock to prevent the reception to the receiver that they are covering, and still be within the rules as worded. No?"

However unlikely, it is conceivable that a passing defender covering a receiver may block a throw to his receiver with his foot at no peril to the thrower which is why I use limited language above. However, as you can see from the double-team rule, although a defender can enter the 3m perimeter to follow a receiver, he must be "guarding" (II.G) the receiver. Executing a footblock in fewer than 3m of space is a good sign (not damning, but strong evidence nevertheless) that he is actually guarding the thrower instead of the receiver (to say nothing of the chance that he is probably endangering the thrower in precisely the manner that the rule is meant to prevent).

After all, how often do you put a foot in front of a receiver's hand? It's much more common and tempting to put a foot in the way of a thrower's throw, which is the real distinction this rule is meant to enforce.

Chances are, you'll instinctively know an illegal footblock when you see one. The truly marginal cases will occur in 1/100 occasions.

The purpose of the VUL rule is to avoid injury. That could be caused by anyone attempting a footblock close to the thrower, not just the primary marker. How about this for a modified version of the rule:

"Footblocks are not allowed. If a footblock is attempted (successfully or not) by a marker or other defender within 3 meters of the thrower, the thrower can call a violation. "

I think that's a good idea, Craig.

Rob By Rob

Yeah, Craig - that was the blurry area I was talking about. That change would do the trick.

Sounds like a good change. I suspect this is the way almost everyone would play it anyway, but writing it out is good for us rule nerds.

This occured during a game this summer. Im marking the thrower, thrower is right-handed
fakes flick pivots over to backhand and releases the disc into my leg. I had moved with the
thrower in the attempt to use my position to prevent a break. The thrower called violation
or foul, but I did not move my leg in a blocking motion - I simply stepped to follow the
pivot. I did mention this but they felt intentional or not, it was a foul. What is the correct
play/call?

Getting hit in the leg by a frisbee is different from hitting a frisbee with your leg. The footblock rule was meant to prevent the latter; not to require markers to dodge throws. So the "correct" call would be to declare it a turnover and to play on.

The application of the rule is meant to be exercised like the distinction between a hockey goal scored by a deflection off of someone's skate versus a goal scored by a kick inside the crease.

thanks everyone!

This is what happened in the game...

Scenerio:
throw was made..it was a very low throw.
defender about 10-15 metres away from the thrower, tried to intercept the disc from the intended receiver, but because the disc was really low, he was able to D with his leg/foot. offense called footblock violation.

So, according to the rephrased rule, footblocks are only intended for the thrower only. Once the disc is release, as long as you are more than 3 metres away from the thrower you can foot block it...do i have that correct?

just to add to the above, who can call that violation?

Huh. I'm suddenly realizing how much of a jargon word "footblock" is.

If it's not performed on a thrower, I wouldn't even call it a "footblock" -- I'd have called it a D. I'll chat with Craig about a throwing in a definition for good measure, maybe.

So, yeah, a defender kicking the disc is fine. A defender kicking the disc within 3m of the thrower is a violation, which the thrower may call. Just try not kick anyone else either, but that's common sense.

It's interesting the way a rule and what the rule was meant to achieve can start to diverge.

As Craig pointed out, the rule against footblocks is a way of saying "Don't kick someone's hand." Getting cleated on the followthrough from a huck used to be quite common and that's what we are attempting to prevent. It has nothing to do with the frisbee hitting someone's leg. Someone claiming a low disc hitting the leg of someone upfield is misunderstood the rule and more importantly missed the point.