RE: Retroactive Fouls

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Question :
How long does the defence have to call a foul?

Situation :
Offence puts a poorly thrown high disc into the end zone

Defender and offensive player are nearby and track towards the perceived area the disc will become catchable (defender disc side and offensive player behind)

Defender slows (possibly boxes out) offensive player runs around the defender to be disc side. In doing this contact is made with the defender ( initiated by the offensive player) offensive player believes the contact is incidental and offers no foul, defender doesn’t call foul.

Offensive player slows (possible boxes out) and sets up for jump. Defender sets up to bid for the disc.

Offensive players realises the disc is not coming down, doesn’t jump and prepares to run back to where he came from to make a late bid for disc ( and buy a pair of glasses on the way home)

Defensive player makes a strong bid for the disc, doesn’t get it and lands on top of the offensive player.

Offensive player call foul – claiming you jumped into my air space and landed on me ( hence stopping me making a late bid on the disc)

Defensive player states – you fouled me first when you bumped me (running around me) this caused me to have to jump over you. (Paraphrased)

I’m the offensive player – I didn’t offer the foul because foul on the bump because I felt it didn’t affect either of our bids on the disc, hence we both had time to adjust. ( bared out by the fact the defender had time to put in a very good bid on the disc)

I felt when the defender doesn’t call for a foul either and makes a strong bid on the disc, that means I agree with you and I’m playing on.

What do you think?

Cheers guys

First, it is not the responsibility of a player to "offer" a foul unless it's an etiquette issue, usually if the other player may not be aware of his rights. In the middle of an active play is not the moment in any case, and the fact that nobody "offered" anything does not imply anything.

As for timing, a foul must be called as soon as it is recognized. In the case described there is no excuse for the D player moving such that the collision was inevitable. His recourse for being bumped is not to call a belated foul when he realized that his recovery didn't work, but to call one when he gets fouled. Note that the reason that the foul call was inappropriate is not that he subsequently made a bid, but that the call didn't come right away.

I usually offer a foul to an opponent when I feel I’ve fouled them in particular to newer players who aren’t as aware of the rules the same applies for catching a down disc or catch the disc OB etc.

I didn’t feel anything was wrong with what defender did until the delayed foul call on the bump as reaction to my foul call.

He could have called foul immediately after I bumped him and I would not have contested it ( i presume that means he gets the disc)

So if a foul it not called/claimed immediately its null & void?

If I had not been landed on, whether I would have run down the disc in time I don’t honestly know because I was facing the wrong way.

How should that play have been restarted?


"Offering" a foul isn't prohibited, it's just not required. Indeed, you certainly can do so, and if
the other player is unaware or less knowledgeable it is preferred.

It is not explicitly said that a delayed call is null and void, but referring to XVI.A it appears
that a player is violating the rules by delaying:

XVI.A: An infraction may only be called by a player on the infracted team who recognizes
that it has occurred, unless specified differently elsewhere. The player must immediately call
violation or the name of the specific infraction loudly.

If he had called the violation immediately, he would not have immediately taken possession -
the continuation rule would apply, meaning that the play would be completed. If you didn't
contest then it would be a TO, but if you didn't agree that it was a foul the play would go
back to the thrower.

If there are offsetting infractions (such as was the case, or if he had called it immediately
and then you called a foul for being landed on) the disc would simply go back to the thrower,
regardless of contests.

Good explanation.

We sent the disc back. But something just felt wrong with doing that.

I agree with what you say but it sounds as if the rules are a little fuzzy on that point.

To crudely paraphrase - call the foul or you don’t get it, but finish making the bid on the disc anyway.


gridlock: "We sent the disc back. But something just felt wrong with doing that."

It very well could have been an unjust resolution. However, try to see BTT as the key
component of our sport. Without it, ultimate couldn't work.

Whether or not BTT is the most just resolution in any situation, it very likely is the best
resolution. That's worth reiterating. BTT is almost always the best resolution, better than
'what should have happened'.

I think that if you (general, not just you, gridlock) keep that in mind, you'll be less likely to
see BTT as an unpleasant resolution when there are offsetting calls or a contest. It helps to
make you more willing to accept calls/contests against you without having a sense of
'unspiritedness' or any other sense that the game isn't as enjoyable.

Yeah, on any given play, BTT may not be the most just outcome, but short of referees (or
observers) there's no possible way to resolve such a case without an exceeding amount of
bickering or unpleasantness.

Personally, I'd rather ultimate be an unrefereed sport which allows people to be 'wrong' and
gain advantage through that, than ultimate be refereed and players push the bounds of what's
allowed (not to mention abusing the officials, etc). I see that in other sports I play and it's

Sounds like a wise answer but to prevent me from feeling any simpler you better tell me what BTT stands for?

just wondered what the rule/general practice in this situation was?



BTT = Back To Thrower.

Without the Do-Over, you can't play non-refereed ulty. Every BTT should be a mini celebration
of the entire ethos behind our sport. Sounds corny, but that's how I choose to look at it, and it
really works to make the games more enjoyable.