Interpretation of Verticality

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There was a disagreement over a foul last night

that I think may be due to a change in wording of

the verticality rule:

From V9 rules ( The

Principle of Verticality: All players have the right

to the space immediately above them. Thus, a

player cannot prevent an opponent from making

an attempt on a pass by placing his/her arms

above an opponent. Should contact occur, the

player restricting the vertical area is responsible.

From V10 Rules (VUL): The Principle of

Verticality: All players have the right to the space

immediately above them. Thus, a player cannot

prevent an opponent from making an attempt on

a pass by reaching over an opponent. Should

contact occur before the outcome of the play is

determined, it is a foul on the player restricting

the vertical space.

Note the subtle difference about the timing of


Last night I was going after one of those #%*!

high arcing passes in the endzone with my check

behind me. I jumped straight up where I thought

the disc would come down but my opponent

knocked the disc away and then landed on my

head with his elbow. I called a foul and he firmly

contested, saying that the disc was knocked away

before contact was made and coming down on me

was incidental.

I really think this new wording for Verticality is

going to encourage the aggressive D that is

constantly being discussed here. I would like to

see rewording here again to clarify that a player

can't jump into another player's space. Maybe a

reference to the appropriate Positioning rule

(XVII.C) would be good enough.

Well, you're both right, er and wrong.

It sounds to me like he didn't restrict your

attempt to jump, so there's definitely no Vertical

Space foul (he's right, you're wrong).

But regardless of where the disc is, when

somebody lands on your head with an elbow,

that's more than incidental contact, thats a foul.

(he's wrong, you're right).

Now did it affect the play? It sounds like it didn't,

as he had already knocked the disc away before

the contact occured.

To be strictly technical, his foul could be a

dangerous play. Had he not jumped in such a way

that would cause him to land on your head, he

may not have D'd the disc, and therefore it did

affect the play.

I wouldn't suggest that you'd have to justify your

foul with that detailed a rule interpretation in this

case though.

But I would think that you'd definitely call a foul,

and if he contests it should go back to thrower.

First, if the person drops the hammer on your head, I think its a foul.

Second, I think there is a rule that says that a player has the right, when he jumps, to a landing zone.

Third, aggressive D is a good thing. It shouldn't be discouraged. When people run around full tilt on a small field, chasing a single object, collisions happen. We all get hit in ultimate, and we all commit fouls. Your situation sucked because the person who hit you in the head didn't have the good sense to call his own foul, or the decency to contest politely - but getting whacked by a jerk doesn't call for a rule change... ignore that sh!t and move on.

PS: I'm sure you know this, and were only

quoting the 9th ed to draw attention to the new

wording, but of course what the 9th ed says is not

relevant to deciding the propper way to play.

For my above reasons (the fact that the 10th ed

is chock full of rules prohibiting that kind of

dangerous play), I don't think the subtle rule

change will lead to more aggressive D.

Oh popper, aggressive D isn't a good thing. Not

the way MB's describing it.

XVI.I.4) Dangerous, aggressive behavior, or

reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players

or harmful endangerment is always a foul. This

rule is not superseded by any other rule.

Competitive, safe D is more than welcome,

aggressive (as defined above and in the rules) is


Dangerous play shouldn't ever be ignored. Sure

I'm a big strong guy, and can take my licks like

the rest (I guess the same goes for you), but I've

got to work tomorrow, and I don't want to get

beat up more than I have to.

Plus what happens when that same guy lands on

a player half our size?

No, dangerous play has to be addressed by

anybody on the field, either team.


I think I came across a little too harsh on my

opponent. He certainly didn't mean to hit me and

I don't think it was blatant enough to call

dangerous play - he just jumped into my space

after making the D. I wasn't upset until he

claimed it was irrelevant that I took an to elbow

to the top of the head - simply because he

touched the disc first. That's not cool.

I only mentioned the rule suggestion because the

current wording did seem to leave a loophole in

my situation. No biggie.

Thanks for helping me sort it out.


The fact that someone took an elbow in the noggin doesn't necessarily mean that:

1. There was any disregard for anyone's safety.

2. It was reckless.

3. It was intentional.

It is the nature of playing a sport. If you fear aggressiveness and you must avoid it at all costs, I suggest meditation. Describe the way Furious plays defense: would you call it "passive"? How about "tentative"? No, I'm not comparing myself to the best in the world... I'm describing the type of play that I think a lot of players aspire to.

Yawn. Ok I'll bite.

As I mentioned no less than twice in my post,

definition of aggressiveness is varied.

Though probably the most important rule in

ultimate clearly disallows "dangerous, aggressive

behavior, or reckless disregard", your

interpretation of aggressive may be different

from what the rule is disallowing.

If you think playing compettitive, hard, but safe

D is aggressive, that's fine, but that's your

interpretation of the word, not the definition.

Aggression is defined like so:

1 : a forceful action or procedure (as an

unprovoked attack) especially when intended to

dominate or master

2 : the practice of making attacks or

encroachments; especially : unprovoked violation

by one country of the territorial integrity of


3 : hostile, injurious, or destructive behavior or

outlook especially when caused by frustration


Playing with aggression as defined above is

wrong, regardless of whether the collision that

occurs because of it is minor or severe. This is

part of ultimate's basic tennants.

I.B) Spirit of the Game: Highly competitive play

is encouraged, but never at the expense of

mutual respect among players, adherence to the

agreed upon rules of the game, or the basic joy

of play. Protection of these vital elements serves

to eliminate adverse conduct from the Ultimate

field. Such actions as taunting of opposing

players, dangerous aggression, belligerent

intimidation, intentional fouling, or other "win-at-

all-costs" behavior are contrary to the spirit of

the game and must be avoided by all players.

I know I come off with a definite and terse tone so here are a few thoughts to temper my last post with:

I'm not suggesting that it's ok to throw your body around with no regard for others.

I don't want to encourage recklessness. I think you should take the utmost care to NOT hit eachother. That is an assumption I operate from - a foundational tenet of Ulti itself.

Within the sphere of taking great pains to not hit anyone - I think you can be aggressive - and I think no matter how hard we all try, people are going to get hit unintentionally.

Well, it sounds like we're in agreement.

I only semmantically disagree with your use of

the word aggressiveness. Hopefully nobody reads

your post and assumes that it's ok to play with

their definition of the word aggressiveness, which

isn't as true to ulti as yours is.


You're right - I'll concede that I actually give "aggressiveness" a positive connotation in the context of sport - and in the parlance of Ulti, the way I use it is counter to the accepted definition. I'll stick to the jargon - aggressive = bad