Injury and the continuation rule

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When an injury occurs, the time-out is retroactive to when the injury occurs. We had an example in our game last night where this rule really doesn't make sense.

D player lays out, but misses the bid and injures himself. His check (now with the disc) then throws the disc away. The rule states that the disc would go back to that player, despite the injury, if anything, being to his advantage. He wasn't in the process of throwing when the injury happened, so the second part of VI.C.2 doesn't apply.

Normal continuation rules on picks, fouls, travels, etc. say that if you committed an infraction and then threw the disc away, it remains a turnover. Why have it this way with an injury? I get that injuries are serious business and need to be treated as such, but it seems silly for the player to get the disc back on an injury that did not affect the throw. The only rationale I could see would be that the O receiver had stopped due to the injury, but the O player should not be calling an injury anyway (and never stop on a pick call!).


Yes, at first glance, the resolution appears counterintuitive in the context of the Continuation Rule. One day, if officials become commonplace, those officials would probably decide when play stops and how play should resume.

However, in a game without officials, injury rules need to be uncomplicated. They need to be stupidly black-and-white uncomplicated.

We do not want there to be any hesitation about whether play should continue or not. We do not want people prospectively thinking about opportunities or threats that exist if play continues or still counts. We do not want -- like in a pick call -- a receiver fretting about chasing down and catching a throw made after an injury call because otherwise the turnover will still count. We don't want the defense charging after him. We DO want those receivers and defenders letting the disc drift away.

For every infraction call in the book, the correct course of action is to keep playing until the thrower stops the play (or turns it over). For an injury, the desirable course of action is just to stop playing, period.

So that's why the rule is written the way it is -- to altogether avoid the temptation or need to play on in case of an injury. Sometimes, that leads to a totally ludicrous-looking resolution, but it's a worthwhile trade.

Most of the time, that rule makes sense. Sometimes it doesn't, as atanarjuat explained. If both teams feel that way (and I have seen this sort of thing happen), the team that retained the disc has the option of intentionally turning it over.

Sorry for coming late to the party, but I haven't visited in quite some
time. Apparently.

Let me throw a few hypothetical situations out, all having to do with a
disc thrown away immediately after an injury...

(1) Disc is thrown away because the intended receiver ignored the disc
in the air and instead was moving with concern towards the injured
player while pulling his first aid kit out of his back pocket.

(2) Disc is thrown away because the receiver's defender continued to
play hard to get the D without regard for an injured player being on the

(3) Disc is thrown away because of thrower error which likely would have
happened anyway regardless of the injury.

We absolutely WANT situation #1 to occur - and so should not penalize
for that action.

We absolutely DO NOT WANT situation #2 to occur - and so should
attempt to get play to stop as immediately as possible, with consistent

And so #3 ends up being a negative fallout to the situation, but in
helping to ensure that #1 happens and #2 does not, it's a very
acceptable resolution.

Fair enough.

So with that in mind, would it be reasonable to consider that any player on the field may call "injury?" If I'm not mistaken, as it currently is written, only players on the injured player's team may stop play in that manner. It certainly has flow-of-play/advantage ramifications (eg: O player appears injured but does not want to call it yet because a score is imminent; by D player calling injury, that negates the score), but that seems somewhat in line with what you've outlined above.

It wouldn't be unreasonable, but is that really how you want to play?

I wouldn't want the other team calling an injury on my behalf. And I wouldn't want to be in the awkward position of trying to decide whether to call an injury on behalf of the other team.

It opens up even more uncomfortable questions of etiquette.

But you see the contradiction I'm trying to point out?

If the purpose of the injury-related rules is to stop play immediately
because of the possible seriousness of an injury (and thus not have the
continuation rule apply), then why do we stipulate that only half of the
people on the field can stop the play?

I agree, it opens up potential etiquette problems, one of which I
mentioned above, but I'm just thinking that consistency might be a good
thing here.

Well, I don't see a contradiction. I see an argument taken toward its logical extreme, but I don't feel inclined to go there.

I think the current arrangement is safe enough already, and it sidesteps questions of fairness and additional rewrites to avoid weird scenarios of opponents basically ejecting each other from games or players "contesting" injury calls. Having opponents being able to call "injury" on players who did not want to stop play potentially injects fresh ambiguities and doubts into the minds of the receivers and defenders who may start wondering if they SHOULD keep playing, just because they don't know who called what or what the outcome of an angry dispute might be.

All that is simplified if the injured team is the one that gets to call "injury" -- and you know, 7 people with that power is a pretty safe number. I wouldn't feel much safer knowing that 14 people could call "injury."