Obstructing the Cup

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#1

The scenario:
Standard 3-3-1 zone. The disc is with the side handler (one of three back). The cup - consisting of player "A" on the mark, player "B" top, and player "C" on the inner wing - is forcing middle. The side handler (player "H") with the disc dumps it to the middle handler and immediately moves to obstruct player "A" (the former mark) from following the disc. "H" does this in such a way that contact is avoidable, but only if player "A" dramatically alters his (supposed ideal or preferred) path. In effect, H has sealed off one of A's paths (probably his preferred path) to the disc.

Is there a call here or is this clever positioning?

I think the only relevant rules fall under the blocking foul clause (read XVI.H.3.C for details).

Done properly, I don't see anything wrong with it. If he gets into a position first and then occupies it legally, then it's his ground to stand
Moreover, since, as you say, contact is avoidable, and since it would likely be incidental contact if it did occur, I'd say this is legitimate positioning.

Never thought of that situation. Might be one of the very few times the O would want to prevent
the D from going somewhere without it being a pick.

XVI.H.3.C.1 might certainly apply, because from your example, the disc is probably still in the
air:

XVI.H.3.C.1) When the disc is in the air a player may not move in a manner solely to prevent
an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc ...

However, if H's movement is not *solely* to prevent A from going toward the disc, then it's just
good position play.

Does this rule apply to when a zone is running down on a deep pull? I usually obstruct the chase or cup's movement by taking over ideal lines when they run down, to give my handlers more time. Ive had this done to me before, would never call anything because i doubt there would be a gain but, is it applicable?

Well, what's the rule?

"When the disc is in the air". Ok on a pull the disc is in the air, the rule applies so far.
There's
no exception for pulls versus regular throws in this rule.

Next is: "a player may not move in a manner solely to prevent an opponent from taking an
unoccupied path to the disc".

If you're doing anything other than blocking the opponent, then the rule does not apply. If
*all*
that you are doing is blocking the opponent, then you've violated the rule.

Once the disc is no longer in the air, good defense is to move in a way solely to prevent a
player from going where they want to go (providing you're not taking an unavoidable position
of course).

Even with the disc in the air, wouldn't the possibility that the handler is blocking while also setting up her reset position/cut, or otherwise vying for another offensively advantageous position almost always invalidate the "solely" constraint?

Well, very most likely, but not necessarily always.

In almost all cases, players never *solely* block an opponent while the disc is in the air.

Damn, so it is good defense.

poor rabbits running down =(