Hucking through a cup

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Is there a rule that prevents a handler from hucking the
disk as hard as they can through a cup (hoping it gets
through)? People have been injured (lost teeth, etc.)
through this type of action, but I'm not sure there is
anything preventing it.

No.

This is a sport with a fast flying frisbee. Being nearby or even in the direct path of a disc
which is thrown very fast is part of the game. Playing the sport of Ultimate carries risk of
injury from a variety of mechanisms, this is only one.

Hucking the disc as hard as one can is a useful play in Ultimate. It's true that sometimes the
thrower has a 1000 yard stare and doesn't see the defender that may be ready to D it (or who
may simply be in the way), but that doesn't make the play inherently reckless or otherwise
meet any criteria of Dangerous Play.

Trying to throw hard though the cup (while often a poor decision) or just past a defender is a
perfectly acceptable component of the sport.

Trying to throw hard directly at a player is a different story. I'd suggest this is incredibly
unlikely though. Seeing as this tactic would result in a Turn Over anyway, even if this was
against the rules (which it's not) there's really nothing that a Call would do in this situation.

If, in the exceedingly unlikely event, somebody is purposefully head-hunting, your best
recourse is probably to not play with them.

This came up earlier in the summer: if the disc hits one member of the cup's hand and the thrower's intention was hucking the disc through the cup to a receiver would it be considered bad spirit?

Your scenario sounds like a routine block of a difficult throw, Alex. What concerns you?

A teammate hit someone's hand pretty hard (needed a sub and iced hand) while trying to get a disc deep and was subsequently yelled at by a player for 'headhunting', intentionally making dangerous throws and 'having bad spirit'. he even threatened to retaliate and 'knock someone's teeth out'. apparently we were the ones playing unspirited. it was mildly amusing to be honest but i was just wondering what others thought. .

Well, only the thrower can know for sure if he was "headhunting" (I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds vicious) and intentionally endangering people. If he insists that he wasn't (why would he deny it if the intent was to intimidate?) then he probably just made a bad throw.

Hopefully, he'll try throws with better success rates in the future, and it won't even be an issue.

Hucking through a cup is legal but it's usually a bad strategy because the thrower could have two people defending them: one applying the force and the other- the top of the cup- directly upfield from them. Unless the cup is tired and loose and there's a good match up deep it's pretty risky.

I disagree that the rules completely support hucking a disc full-force through a cup, especially at head level.

Two rules that could apply:
- 1.B. SOTG clause ("mutual respect among competitors" for one)
- XVI.H.4 - Dangerous play. While I believe this was written for body contact fouls, I can think of numerous ways to be inappropriately dangerous with the disc.

And even if you don't think those rules apply, I would find it hard to fault someone for being upset if a disc was thrown full-force near their head from 10' away. The rules may not explicitly disallow that specific action, but I can't see how that is respectful at all, and isn't that the key underpinning of this sport? It's OK to lose teeth, when the thrower could easily have made a different choice? It's one thing to have an accidental collision; it's quite another to make a choice where there is a clear risk of fairly significant injury. This is supposed to be a fun and safe recreational sport, not a cranked up version of guts.

Merlin: "I disagree that the rules completely support hucking a disc full-force through a cup,
especially at head level."

You're wrong.

The rules forbid reckless behaviour. One can certainly huck through a cup recklessly, but by no
means is hucking through the cup *necessarily* reckless in and of itself. Under no reasonable
interpretation could throwing at a hole in the cup be considered reckless endangerment. It's part
of the sport. Intentionally throwing at or extremely close to another's head would be a different
story, but I don't think any of us are arguing that are we?

Hucking through the cup is no different from crashing through the cup, or cutting near another
player, or laying out.

The rules allow these potentially dangerous behaviours if done in a non-reckless way.
Sometimes, even when this is done legally, accidents still happen. This is a sport, potentially
dangerous behaviour is part of the sport. What the rules forbid is any of those actions which are
done with reckless disregard for safety.

--

Merlin: "And even if you don't think those rules apply, I would find it hard to fault someone for
being upset if a disc was thrown full-force near their head from 10' away. The rules may not
explicitly disallow that specific action, but I can't see how that is respectful at all, and isn't that
the key underpinning of this sport?"

Doing that sort of action in a non-reckless manner is part of the sport, which every player is
there to play. The only way to guarantee safety is to not play. Suggesting that such behaviour
is disrespectful is missing some of the fundamental aspect of sports.

--

Merlin: "This is supposed to be a fun and safe recreational sport, not a cranked up version of
guts."

Yet, even aside from hucking through a cup, injuries abound in ultimate. Risk of injury is a part
of sport. This sport carries risk, often injuries are accidental. Almost always they could have
been avoided if somebody were to have 'made a different decision'.

I once knocked a guy's tooth out with a throw. I threw it relatively hard to my teammate, the
defender was behind him a little ways. My teammate reached for the disc, tipped it, but wasn't
able to catch it. The defender caught it in his kisser and knocked a tooth out. He felt bad, my
teammate felt bad, I felt bad (years later and I can still hear the disc-tooth impact). There was
any number of choices the three of us could have made which would have prevented that injury,
but none of us showed any trace of disrespect for each other during the play. We were all
playing a sport and we knew the risks.

That's a freak accident, but we've all seen people throw directly at the defense, or flub a throw
which goes wild, or sometimes for somebody to loose awareness of where the disc is and almost
take it in the head. All part of the sport.

Players hucking and not being aware of where the defenders are is part of our sport. It's not
good Offense, but it's part of the sport. Ultimate involves a hard plastic disc which is often
thrown very fast, often very close to other players. If that doesn't fit a person's idea of
recreation, then they shouldn't play. They don't have the right to suggest that people should
change the sport to suit them. That definitely shows a lack of respect.

"I would find it hard to fault someone for being upset if a disc was thrown full-force near their head from 10' away."

I wouldn't.

They put themselves directly in the way of potential hucks, and are actually hoping that the disc pass close enough to them so they can knock it down. They should not be surprised, or angry, at anyone that happens to actually try to throw by them, when they placed themselves in the way for the express purpose of trying to prevent an action that they know the thrower wants to take. You prefer not to get hit in the face, sure, but YOU PUT YOURSELF IN THE WAY OF THE THROW. Don't cry if one accidentally hits you.

It's completely ridiculous to basically say "I am playing a defense where I stand right in front of you trying to block your throws and if you try to throw it by me I'm going to call a violation!"

It would be a different story if they are trying to hit you, but they aren't. They are the offense. They want to complete passes. That involves expressly NOT hitting you. They are trying as hard as they can to complete the pass without hitting you. That should be plenty.

I am with Alex on this one.

Another way to think of it is that in Ultimate, we have a rule that prevents double teaming. The reason for that rule is that it makes the game crappy if no one can ever throw the disc. We created the 3 meter rule in order to free up the game.

The cup is a strategy that consciously rides the fine line of this rule. You are not allowed closer than 3 meters because that would make the game crap, but you will stay as close as you can to "double" or "triple" team the thrower legally. As such, you are saying "I'm not covering you, but I am attempting to stop all throws through my space."

Honestly, if you are so close to the thrower that when the throw comes off a) you can't avoid it and b) it hurts/injures, you should *not* be standing that close. The defense must adapt to the offense, not the other way around.

It reminds me of hucking the disc and getting it blocked, and totally obliterating the guy's hand (something I've done a number of times). Would it be ok for him to complain that I threw it too hard? I mean, I certainly did not want to have my disc blocked even though I knew I was throwing it near his hand.

PS - I think that 3 meters is plenty for people with half-decent reflexes to be able to at least duck in time. If you can not, then maybe you should play mid.

themindset: "PS - I think that 3 meters is plenty for people with half-decent reflexes to be
able to at least duck in time. If you can not, then maybe you should play mid."

I'd even add that if you're shying away from the throw, you shouldn't be in the cup. As Alex
illustrated perfectly, your *job* in the cup is to discourage throws by blocking any that come
your way!

If a thrower hits a relatively stationary defender (cupper) in the head, they are being careless. Accidents happen, but some people just aren't as cautious as they should be.

It's pretty hilarious that anyone thinks they could dodge a huck from 3 meters away. I've been hit from about 10 meters, saw the disc the whole way, and still took it in the face. No, my reflexes are not slow. I would be willing to bet that it would take less than a quarter of one second for a strong huck to travel 3 meters. Unless you can anticipate where the throw is going, you aren't going to be able to react in time.

I'm not suggesting people shouldn't huck in tight quarters, but if you don't have good control, I would err on the side of safety.

"It's pretty hilarious that anyone thinks they could dodge a huck from 3 meters away. "

This. Using the data quoted below, a disc would conceivably cover the 3m from thrower to face in about a third of a second or less. In that period of time you would have to figure out and react to a whole bunch of variables such whether or not it's a fake, where the throw is going, which way should I duck or weave to avoid it, etc. Blocking a disc at that range in usually a matter of anticipation rather than reaction. I tried out this reaction time online tester:

http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/XMasTree.html

just to see if my hunch that it's a challenging feat was correct and the best I could manage was a .301 sec reaction time (well-rested, concentrating and with half a cup of coffee. As good as I get. :-) And all I had to do was click a mouse. Chances are I could block a disc coming right at me, but it would be a 50/50 proposition at best.

"As a lower bound on the launch speed, the disc covered 24m in 2.4s - an average ground speed of 10 m/s. Taking into account the wind, the average airspeed was 8.5 m/s : it was known from observation that the disc slowed approximately to a halt before landing, and thus the launch speed was approximately double this."

(link goes to PDF of unpublished research on flight dynamics of a disc from which the above quote was excerpted)

So for the purposes of my argument a disc travels approximately 36 km/h upon release at 10m/s (I was going to guess about 60 kmh... but actually found a use for Wolfram Alpha and had it do the conversions). In reality of course, it's probably traveling faster, as I would assume a disc's top speed is attained immediately upon release and is much faster than the 36 kmh average, and is in fact, double that if I am understanding the above quote correctly ie: "the launch speed was approximately double this." and is actually faster than my original 60 km/h ballpark figure. At the higher speed (60 km/h) you would have .18 seconds to react.

So to join the chorus, huck away, but having said that, the expectation that most anyone could avoid a disc thrown right at them from a distance of 10 feet away seems unreasonable.