Picks called after the throw: Rules help needed

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Thrower leans to her right and flicks the disc deep down the right sideline. Three potential receivers break from the stack in pursuit of the disc. One of the markers covering one of the three receivers calls a pick after the disc is in the air. The disc is not caught because the receivers stopped moving when the pick call was made--the disc was also probably overthrown and uncatchable.


(1) Where does the disc restart and who has it?



T.O. at where the disc is down

A very important thing to take out of your scenario is not to stop when the call is made. The continuation rule applies, so neither offense or defense should stop until the outcome of the throw is determined, be it complete or incomplete.

Note that the disc being down makes every single other thing you wrote irrelevant... (In the context of a pick)

Also note that the receivers stopped moving because of their lack of understanding of the rules, not because of the pick call...

(1) True, receivers shouldn't stop on a pick call if the disc is in play.

(2) I'm unclear what the disc being "down" means... incomplete?

Is concensus then that the disc is turned-over and played FROM WHERE IT LANDED? (Caps added for emphasis)

Down is incomplete, yes.

Generally the disc will never go back to thrower if the call is made when the disc is in the air (or the thrower is in the act of throwing).

One exception (though it's not in the rules, but does follow the basic tennents of the rules) is that if the pick is called after the disc is in the air, and the pick allowed the receiver to get open and catch the disc, it should probably go back to thrower.

As I said, there's no explicit rule which says this, but there should be a rule change in this case.

As the rules stand now, the following would support sending the disc back (as not sending it back in that situation would probably not be satisfactory if the pick lead to the catch):

XVI.C) If a dispute arises concerning a foul, violation, or the outcome of a play (e.g., a catch where no one had a good perspective), and the teams cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, the disc is returned to the thrower and put into play with a check, with the count the same or at six if over five.

It seems then that the rules of ultimate are unclear and inadequate in the case of an uncompleted pass in which a pick was called after the pass was already in the air.

Perhaps something to be addressed or clarified in subsequent versions rules guides.

It's actually pretty clear in the rules.... I don't know how much MORE clear this could be.


1. Cardinal Rule:

Whenever an infringement of the rules or a time out occur, play

is halted and the disc is put back into play at the point of the

last possession before play was stopped. (Note exceptions under

Turnovers (XII-4) and Catching Foul (VI-4).

2. Continuation Rule:

A. Disc In the Air

(1) If a foul, violation, or pick is called while the disc is

in the air, the play is always completed.

(2) If the team which called the foul, violation, or pick gains

possession as a result of that pass (e.g., an incomplete

pass following a traveling violation, or offensive foul), play

continues unhalted. In this situation, players should call

"play on."

(3) If the pass is completed, but the defensive effort on the

pass was affected by the violation (e.g. picks), the pass

does not count and possession reverts back to the thrower.

More than a consensus, it's the rules that an incomplete pass on a pick call is a turnover and is played where it landed. In addition, when the pass is intercepted, the disc is then played from that spot, or nearest inbounds spot, with one exception...

Yerp, it's perfectly clear in most cases. The only ambiguity is a completed pass after a pick which helped the O catch that pass.

Sorry Temple but the post #9 addesses that ambiquity..

(3) If the pass is completed, but the defensive effort on the pass was affected by the violation (e.g. picks), the pass does not count and possession reverts back to the thrower.

Actually, that rule quoted is from the 9th Edition. It "mysteriously" disappeared in the 10th Edition.

However, it wasn't the intention of the UPA to remove that... see this recent post from Lorne on r.s.d.:


The SRC did recognise the mistake already, and will fix it in the next edition/verison/update.

It was not the intention of the SRC to remove the intent/effect of the 9th Edition rule XIX.2.A.3:

"If the pass is completed, but the defensive effort on the pass was affected by the violation (e.g. picks), the pass does not count and possession reverts back to the thrower. "

The game should be played as if that rule were there.



... just trying to spread the word around.

Exactly. Good background on that Mark.

As I said in post 7, it should-oughta be an explicit

rule, but isn't. While there are rules currently in

10th that would support the same outcome, it is

ambiguous from a rule standpoint.

It really shouldn't be from a playing standpoint


Thanks for all the help. This was an "issue" in a recent game of ours, but you've helped clear up what the appropriate outcome should be.

Interestingly, there were several experienced players on both teams, but no one was quite sure what the rule was.