Stationary contact foul?

111 posts / 0 new
Last post

"My point is/was much the same as Art's, that there are many instances when holding that

arm out is a foul on the blocker and as such it's not something we should recommend or even

purport to say is ok according to the rules"


I disagree strongly with that statement. I challenge you to offer us a common scenario where

arms out leads to a foul. I've seen lots of people box out and block people's paths with arms

and commit no foul.


Suggesting that putting your arms out legally will *inevitably result* in you making another

foul (which is your argument) is silly.


"because some dope is going to come along read all your insistent posts and then ram his

arm into someones gut and think it's allowed"


That's just a foolish statement. Everybody is in violent agreement that if you strike somebody

with your arm it's your foul. I think we're coming to be on the same page now that if you

stick your arm out legally and it gets hit it's not your foul (what argument against that is

there?).


The point is that if you stick your arms out (in an avoidable position and not when you're

solely blocking), and somebody runs into it, you're not fouling anybody. You absolutely have

the right to restrict the opposition in that manner.


Every time in this thread I've said you can put your arms out to block people, I've qualified

the statement with the two necessary qualifiers (not unavoidable, and you're not solely

blocking the person when the disc is in the air).


If somebody sees my repeated, insistent interpretation, and follows it, they'll be playing

within the rules, and you'll call foul on them incorrectly.

The problem is that several people have been making very general statements to the effect

of:


'The other player has a right to that position on the field. You are NOT entitled to prohibit

them from being there simply because you don't want him to be. It's not where you are.'


Which reads as you're *never* allowed to prevent somebody from going somewhere (the

context is by using your arms) *any* time.


or...


'there are many instances when holding that arm out is a foul on the blocker and as such it's

not something we should recommend or even purport to say is ok according to the rules'


Which reads that using your arms to block so often leads to a completely different foul that

even *suggesting* that using your arms to block is allowed is wrong.


These statements have nothing to do with the OP, they are very definitive, very general,

have no basis in the rules, and are very, very wrong.


I'd agree all night and day if the statements said:


'Yes you can use your arms to block somebody (providing you don't hit them and providing

you're not solely blocking), but if you strike them with your arm, it's a foul (like anytime

striking somebody is a foul).'


You may even convince me that often a box out results in a foul, but you'll never get me to

agree that using your arms is *always* a foul on the blocker, or should never even be

*suggested* as being alright.


My only definitive statement, which is mutually exclusive with the above quoted statements,

which I've been repeatedly championing, and which I challenge anybody

to prove incorrect, is:


"So long as you break no rules, using your arms to block somebody's path is perfectly legal

play."

Wow temple, that's pretty profound...



So long as you break no rules, you're playing legally.



I'm glad we agree.

It seems so simple when I put it that way doesn't it! However your argument has been to the

contrary.


You and others have said repeatedly that you're not allowed to play a certain way, and given

no rule that's being broken (except failed attempts to cite a rule that doesn't apply). How do

you fit fact in with your last post?


Show me a rule that says you can't stick your arms out to block somebody *ever*...


Or, explain to me that the rules should be changed as there's an imbalance in the sport...


Or, give a somewhat rational argument against even *suggesting* that sticking your arms out

to block somebody is *ever* ok, as it so often leads to a foul as to be indistinguishable from

a foul situation.


--


Basically defend, retract, or qualify the following statement (made in direct response to me

saying that somebody can stick their arms out to block somebody, so long as it's not in an

unavoidable position and not while solely blocking the player):


"The other player has a right to that position on the field. You are NOT entitled to prohibit

them from being there simply because you don't want him to be. It's not where you are."

The reason I'm continuing with this thread is that I still don't feel that everybody will answer

the following question the same way:


--


"Can a player use their arms to prevent another player from going in a certain direction, if

they don't put those arms in an unavoidable position, so long as they're also going for the

disc (if the disc is in the air)?"


--


If you answer an unqualified "No", you're incorrect, period. You can qualify your statement

like so, which would be accurate, but wouldn't be answering the question: "No, not if they

then swing their arm into the other player's face."


The best answer is "Yes, providing there's nothing else ocuring that is not mentioned in the

question."


"Yes" isn't 100% accurate, in the same way that answering "Yes" to a rule question is never

100% accurate, you always have to qualify (usually implicitly, but apparently not in this

thread) it with something like "in the bounds of the

details of the question" or some such.

"I've seen lots of people box out and block people's paths with arms and commit no foul."


According to your interpretation of the rule... And I do mean interpretation - I am still not convinced that you can't treat movements of your arm separately from those of you general movement in regards to a blocking foul. Any discussion of this point is an interpretation of the phrase 'A player may not move in a manner solely'. I still contend that this could very easily mean that you can treat the movement of arms to be separate from the general movement of the player. That said I'm not convinced of my interpretation either - it's too grey of a definition to be able to be adamant about it.


'Suggesting that putting your arms out legally will *inevitably result* in you making another foul (which is your argument) is silly.'


No one ever said 'inevitably result' except you... I have repeatedly said that it would happen _often_ enough to be something we shouldn't recommend as a default scenario. I'd suggest the default scenario should be the inverse of yours - ie. _Don't_ use your arms to block out unless you are sure it won't create a blocking, contact or receiving foul. I know it sounds very similar but the difference is immense in application. I also think my default aligns more closely with the general rule of all players avoiding contact at all times than yours.


Dodger: "I have repeatedly said that it would happen _often_ enough to be something we
shouldn't recommend as a default scenario"

Dodger: "that there are many instances when holding that arm out is a foul on the blocker
and as such it's not something we should recommend or even purport to say is ok according
to the rule"

"even purport to say is ok" is so much different form "recommend as a default scenario", and
you know it. That first quote is pretty definitive. It says we shouldn't say it's ok. And without
an "unless" that means we shouldn't *ever* say it's ok.

I'd be wholeheartedly behind your saying something like:

'Don't use your arms unless you're not taking unavoidable position, not blocking, and not
swinging your arm into somebody.'

Instead of:

'You can use your arms so long as you don't take an unavoidable position, don't commit a
blocking foul, and don't swing your arm into somebody.'

I think either is absolutely fine, but who's arguing semantics now?

"I know it sounds very similar but the difference is immense in application. I also think my
default aligns more closely with the general rule of all players avoiding contact at all times
than yours."

Please explain the difference in application of those two lines, I can't see it.

Also, please explain to me how one person running into another persons arms which they can
avoid, but therefore *choose* to hit (because they weren't put in an unavoidable position),
somehow, someway can be construed as the contactee somehow violating the 'avoid contact'
principle?

Remember, if the arms are not in an unavoidable position, the other player *must* avoid
them. Assuming arms in an unavoidable position (which is all we're talking about in this
entire thread), then any contact is not the fault of the arms.

I'm absolutely pro leaving you to your own interpretation and me using mine. Since it's never come for me in a game, I'm sure the 1 or 2 potential BTT'ers that may occur in my life over this will be a small price to pay.


So I softened my position a little from not say its ok to set as default....it shows some flexibility on my part and an evolution of my thinking over time.


re: don't do something unless you are sure you aren't going to yadayadayada vs. go ahead and do something but when you do be careful that you don't yadayadayada.............these are very different. The first puts a stronger onus on you to ensure you aren't going to do yadayadayada...It's exclusive instead of inclusive.


That said your statements are pretty much the same as mine and you said either would be fine...sounds like we agree. Now we'll get Art booing us.


"Also, please explain to me how one person running into another persons arms which they can avoid, but therefore *choose* to hit (because they weren't put in an unavoidable position), somehow, someway can be construed as the contactee somehow violating the 'avoid contact' principle? "

First, no one is saying someone will purposefully run through anothers arm just because it is there - ie. we presume no one is purposfully breaking the rules (ie. cheating). Second, unavoidable is, as has already been agreed in other threads, a very grey area of discussion as me at 220lbs can't avoid some of the stuff the scrawny types can. Even then my envisioning of the original post has both people working a single spot on the field where the disc will come down. Most of the time both people are looking up and not at each other and/or where their arms are thus by 'line of site' an arm put up to block a person out could be construed as unavoidable.


The problem is that according to Temples _interpretation_ you end up with a situation where tripping your opponent is completely legitimate, as long as you were playing the disc it's OK (or according to Temple, really good Defence)! In fact, you don't even have to be playing the disc, you just put your leg out, leave it there, and if the opponent COULD avoid it, and trips over it, that's too bad for them.



Reminds me of a child who when told to stop hitting his sister just puts his fist next to her head and calls her name. "Hey, she hit my fist with her face!"

"In fact, you don't even have to be playing the disc, you just put your leg out, leave it there,

and if the opponent COULD avoid it, and trips over it, that's too bad for them."


Don't be so obtuse. Use some common sense man!


Let's examine your statement. Player A has their leg sticking out. It's out long enough that

Player

B *can* avoid it, it's *avoidable*. Any time Player A has moved it, it was put in an avoidable

place. Player B then *chooses* to run into that leg.


That's the definition of avoidable, you *can* avoid it, but *choose* not to (for whatever

reason).*


How should that be a foul on the person that got run into? Also, I'm assuming your scenario

isn't describing a play where Player A is *solely* playing the player while the disc is in the

air, because then I'd have to laugh and point to the 73 times above where that's clearly

stated as forbidden.


Your final example is a perfect example of somebody, a bratty brother, putting his fist in an

unavoidable position.


--


* It's generally agreed that "unavoidable" means reasonably unavoidable. One is not expected

to do a miraculous acrobatic maneuver that might only avoid the contact 5% of the time. Use

common sense.

Repost for Dugly, please answer it:


<repost>


The reason I'm continuing with this thread is that I still don't feel that everybody will answer

the following question the same way:

--


"Can a player use their arms to prevent another player from going in a certain direction, if

they don't put those arms in an unavoidable position, so long as they're also going for the

disc (if the disc is in the air)?"


--


If you answer an unqualified "No", you're incorrect, period. You can qualify your statement

like so, which would be accurate, but wouldn't be answering the question: "No, not if they

then swing their arm into the other player's face."


The best answer is "Yes, providing there's nothing else ocuring that is not mentioned in the

question."


"Yes" isn't 100% accurate, in the same way that answering "Yes" to a rule question is never

100% accurate, you always have to qualify (usually implicitly, but apparently not in this

thread) it with something like "in the bounds of the details of the question" or some such.


</repost>

Since people can't agree then I would say that there must be a certain amount of ambiguity in the

rules.


Since basketball has a much greater case history regarding managing contact in a non-contact

sport, I would use it as an example and define "position" in the rules for all cases. In basketball,

when you have good position, you can block out. This means that your feet can't be much wider

than shoulder width and your arms may not be extended. You may, however, have your arms out

but bent 90 degrees at the elbows (which essentially matches the width of your feet).


Simliarly, if you are guarding the low post and some big gronk is backing in on you, you can place

your forearm across his back as part of your positioning (note the word "place" and not "cold-

cock"). As soon as you put a hand on him, wether your arm is extended or not, then it's a foul.


If you go up for a lay-up and hold off the defender with your off hand, then offensive foul.


The bottom line, if you touch someone with your hand (including hand-check by the point guard

which they've cracked down on recently) then it's your foul.


As for David's case, perhaps you can always simply go back to "player initiating contact is guilty".

It's most likely incidental but if not, then if David's arm started out extended and bent as it

absorbed the blow, then no foul (unless defender has run him over). If David's arm starts bent and

ends up extending away from his body with great velocity such that the defender is left sprawled on

the ground, his foul. Laugh you may but that is exactly what happened in our league game last

week except that it was TWO hands extending violently away from his body into the small of the

back of the opponent. The perpetrator (okay, I'm showing my bias) argued no foul as he was

simply defending his position (and by his reasoning not initiating contact) and the throw went back.


Peter

First - there's no defending position in ultimate - either you have it or you don't and if someone invades it, then it is a foul - you can't hold someone off of your position - you can validly take a position with your arms extended to various degrees and if you aren't initiating contact then you own that position - I'd argue that call vociferously on the field for 1 minute then BTT if they disagree - then drag out the rulebook after the game so the numbskull doesn't think it's a valid call....



Second - holding up basketball as a good example of how to officiate a non-contact sport.....uhh no. First it's a referreed sport so it's all about getting away with stuff and then they cut a very fine line on blocking - not the line we want in ultimate. Second, their blocking rule is all about getting there first and makes no allowance for line of sight, time and speed such that the other player can avoid the position taken by the other player. Also, the very structure of the game requires these changes - attacking a single 3ft wide point vs. a 40 ft by 25 ft zone is a significant difference. And finally - I'd rather have a light hand touch on my back that is there just to establish presence than a stiff forearm/elbow.

The rules aren't ambiguous.


Please cite a rule that supports the position that you can't use your arms (in the way discussed,

ie: not solely to block while disc is in the air, and not in an unavoidable position, and not

marker/thrower)...


There is none. There isn't any ambiguity. I do think that a note could be added to the

"Definitions" section that says:


"These definitions only apply where the term being defined is used."


That sounds frightfully

obvious, but believe it or not that one distinction is the crux of the disagreement.

Good point, Craig. I agree something should be added/changed so that people stop saying, "that doesn't meet the 'legitimate position' definition, so what you're doing isn't legal". Now whether the players agree that our change is good or not... well, we'll find out through feedback.

Well Temple, here's one rule that supports the idea that you can't use your arm to block a player: XVI.I.1



"It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible."



First I'll note that this rule is important enough that it is repeated at XVII.A.


If you stick your arm out KNOWING that it's going to contact someone, even if that person has the ability to move out of the way. You are intentionally violating this rule. Even if that person could have moved out of the way, while you're watching that person come in, and they don't move out of the way, it's now your responsibility to move your arm out of the way.


Now in a scenario where someone knows your arm is there, and could easily move around, you might be able to argue that they have a larger onus to divert course, but you're still cheating if you don't try to move your arm. If they can't see your arm, say they are backing up, and you straight-arm them for protection, then you're also at fault. (Sure they shouldn't back up without knowing what's behind them, I'd put up my arm to protect myself also)


Another rule that supports the idea that you shouldn't hold up your arm to prevent someone from taking an adjacent place:


"Spirit of the Game: Ultimate relies upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility for fair play on the player. 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.E. If you play like a jerk, then don't play.


This second quoted rule is right at the beginning of the rules. I feel it's more important than any argument you want to have about what's a legitimate position, or what constitutes blocking.




Sigh.


1) If I stick my arm out and the other person *can* avoid it. The only way they are going to

contact it is if they *choose* to hit me (or if they're not looking). Assuming that nobody will

cheat, not only am I not

"KNOWING" that the person is going to hit me, I can safely assume to be "KNOWING" that

the person will avoid it.


That rule does not apply to an arm sticking out in avoidable position (which is all that is being

discussed).


If you're saying that you should move out of the way when you know a collision is imminent.

ABSOLUTELY! Then call foul/violation on the other person for not avoiding collision! However,

this has nothing to do with using your arm or not, and doesn't apply to the discussion.


A reverse straight-arm (where somebody runs into your arm) to the back of somebody is

always be avoided. Exactly the same as a reverse shoulder/hip/body check (where

somebody runs into you) is always to be avoided. This is pointless to the discussion.


Suggesting that your arm had no right to be there in the first place is incorrect. Your arm has

the exact same rights as the rest of your body, except where specifically overridden (which in

the case being discussed, it is not).


2) Give me a break. You call playing by the rules unsportsmanlike, and playing by made up

rules sportsmanlike?


Pray tell, do you call a foul every time you get boxed by somebody using your arms? They

have better position to the disc than you, and are playing by the rules, and you call foul

because, despite having worse position, you had more right to the disc than them? That

sounds like cheating.


--


All you're accomplishing is confusing people on what the rules state. People are reading this

thread and thinking there's ambiguity or uncertainty in the rules. There isn't.


Whether you like it or not, the rules state you can use your arms to prevent somebody from

taking a position (with the exceptions repeatedly mentioned: avoidability, not solely blocking

while the disc is in the air, non-marker/thrower, etc). Don't argue that the rules

support your viewpoint, they don't.


Argue that the rules should be changed.


Or...


Please mention one rule that states you can't use your arms as described (avoidable, not

solely blocking

while the disc is in the air, non-marker/thrower, etc). You didn't, and you

can't.

<repost>


The reason I'm continuing with this thread is that I still don't feel that everybody will answer

the following question the same way: --


"Can a player use their arms to prevent another player from going in a certain direction, if

they don't put those arms in an unavoidable position, so long as they're also going for the

disc (if the disc is in the air)?"


--


If you answer an unqualified "No", you're incorrect, period. You can qualify your statement

like so, which would be accurate, but wouldn't be answering the question: "No, not if they

then swing their arm into the other player's face."


The best answer is "Yes, providing there's nothing else ocuring that is not mentioned in the

question."


"Yes" isn't 100% accurate, in the same way that answering "Yes" to a rule question is never

100% accurate, you always have to qualify (usually implicitly, but apparently not in this

thread) it with something like "in the bounds of the details of the question" or some such.


</repost>

Hey Craig... you can't repost a repost... that's like refrying refried beans... that's like using a condom a second time.


Unless you're reposting to get message number 69, which is okay... except that you shouldn't even be using that condom the first time.


At least change the tags to 'rerepost'.


:)


All kidding around of course.


... well, except for the using a condom twice part, cuz you should never kid around about something like that. At least turn it around if you must.


And with that, I think I should leave.

I think someone should send this post to Mort's wife. mO, I'm looking at you.

Temple, you're so misleading that it's almost humorous. It makes me glad to know that people are willing to give their time and efforts to this sport. The fact that I disagree with you doesn't make me wrong just because I disagree. I pointed out some perfectly valid rules that support my assertion that under MANY circumstances you can't just put your arm into an "avoidable position" and have a hope to be playing within the rules.


I agree there are many many factors in play. You seem to be fond of restating a rule and saying "You're wrong if you don't think this is the rule". Sure man, whatever you want. The rules are the rules. The individual scenario's in which they are applied are more important. Far more often than not there are differeing viewpoints of the actual events surrounding the rules, so much so that your hypothetical whiteroom is useless.


I think it's a terrible disservice to the sport to state things like you do. You have the mis-guided impression that just because you can interpret the rules to support your thesis that this makes it spirited play.


You didn't manage to refute my use of the rules to support the thesis that under many interpretations of these scenario's that you're completely wrong. You wanted rules, I quoted rules. You can't refute them, so you're wrong.



I'm only continuing as you say, in order ensure people don't think that your interpretation of the rules is the ONLY interpretation. Probably given a very clear description of a specific event we'd make the same calls in the same scenario's, but does that mean you're right about this? Nope. Does that mean you're more spirited than I am, or vice versa? Nope.


You have one opinion, and yes, you're not arguing about a fact, you're arguing about your opinion. If you straightarm me in a game, I'm calling a foul, since you don't like it, contest. That'll simply be the end of the game.

I'm think I'm having a hard time keeping up here... sounds a lot like my typical game, actually. :)


I think I'm confused in my interpretation of what's being said. Because what I think I'm hearing are suggestions that one person needs to move out of the way because someone else is "coming through" regardless of whether the first person is 'entitled' to be where they are and doing what they are. That just *can't* be what the intended meaning is... because if that were true, I could get the D almost every time because the O would have to move out of the way.


Is this *really* just down to discussing the "straightarm"? If so that's a lot of verbiage to discuss that... which I think means a lot coming from *me*.


Someone sticks their arm out and I run into it... if I ran into it because it came out at the last instant and I couldn't avoid it, foul on the armed one... if I saw it out and decided to keep going and run 'through' or into it, I can't see that's anything other than a foul on me.


Isn't it that simple?

Mort, I agree that those two descriptions are that simple, yes. But I think we'd all agree that most situations don't match those parameters very well.


I've conceded that your arm is part of your position, but the way in which Temple states it there is no room for any fault on the part of the straight armer in any scenario short of basically punching someone (which I suppose he equates to running in to them)


The disservice that he does to the game is that it promotes using the rules as an advantage (even if it can be strictly interpreted to be legitimate). As well as promoting dangerous play. While it's terrific to know the rules, it's more important to encourage sportsmanship (sportswomanship too) and safety. I feel that Temple encourages the opposite.


Like I said, I'm sure under 99.9% of circumstances we'd all call fouls the same way.

Dugly,


Don't get me wrong I was the one arguing this point of not putting forward the idea that you can use your arms carte blanche in positioning. But that was based upon 'real life' situations and people likely always being in motion not just a strict reading of the rules.


When Temple says the rules aren't ambiguous he is 100% absolutely correct. They aren't abmiguous, the rules are very clear in how to deal with blocking and positioning. The only argument you have relates to all players avoiding contact. The argument falls apart when you look at the verbage around 'legitimate position' and it notes that avoidable takes into account time and distance (old rules used line of sight, speed etc...if I remember correctly)


If I take a position - including my arms which I know you can see(or should be able to see if you are paying any attention to the other players on the field) and which at the speed you are traveling you can avoid then by definition this is avoidable and is a valid position. If I take a position you can't see or adjust too in time to avoid contact then the foul is on me, if I don't avoid the contact.


You can't pull out the rule that all players must avoid contact and hold it higher than all other rules - the rule right after that counters your argument succinctly


see XVII.B Every player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by an opposing player, unless specifically over-ridden elsewhere, provided that no personal contact is caused in taking such a position.


I am entitled to my position - if you come barrelling through me or my arms why in any way shape or form is it my responsibiliy to move out of your way when you are capable of avoiding the contact? Note this all presumes I am not moving solely to be in your way as has been said at least 75 times already in the thread.

Dugly, I don't want to try to defend Temple, he's happy to do that without help (and he certainly doesn't need me messing up his logic)... although when I read what he's written, I just don't see that he's 'wrong' or doing the 'disservice' that you see. However, I also have discussed various scenarios at length with him, and played at least a few points with and against him, so when I see his words, I also know what he's 'trying' to say. I guess what I'm trying to say is that because I know him and how he thinks, it's very possible that this understanding is clouding me from interpreting 'correctly' exactly what he's writing... which is one explanation of why I don't see what you see.


So, having said all that, I'm probably best to just let you two continue as you will (or not)... and neither of you need me butting in. I'm also going to go out on a limb and suggest that someone who doesn't understand 'proper and appropriate' play isn't going to make it this far in the thread... or if they do, because the both of you are so strong in your conviction, they'll understand it'd be a bad thing to blindly take one side, and so will do other things [e.g., talk to others, post questions here, or heaven-forbid actually read the rules :) ] and make their own decision. So again, I don't think I need to hang around.


I'll say this though... I really think a lot of this 'misunderstanding' (excuse my use of the word) of each other's point of view is that we're just using words, and not doing this in person where we can actually 'show' what we mean and such.


Like you said, I'm also sure that we'd be calling fouls the same way (differing perspectives what happened notwithstanding).

Dugly,

When I write 8 paragraphs, it's to avoid being ambiguous or incomplete. Though I realize
people have a tendency to skim and that may be confusing for them.

My last points in small sentences (also exactly what the rules state):

1) The responsibility to avoid contact has nothing to do with using your arms or not. Thus
using it as an argument against the right to use an arm is pointless.

2) Your arms have equal rights to space as the rest of your body, except when using them to
prevent the thrower from pivoting, or in determining if somebody hitting your arms is guilty
of harmful endangerment.

hoo boy. I read to post #57 and now that my head is officially spinning, I'm now willing to open the proverbial can o' worms.

I am the primary bail cut. As I'm making my cut up the line, my mark sticks their arm out in front of me. I cannot classify this arm as being "unavoidable". I choose to run through the arm(s), in order to make my cut. The disc is not in the air yet, as I'm in the process of getting open for it.

Could they call foul on me?

I think the pertinent piece from upthread is this: "if you stick your arm out legally and it gets hit it's not your foul....if you stick your arms out (in an avoidable position and not when you're solely blocking), and somebody runs into it, you're not fouling anybody. You absolutely have the right to restrict the opposition in that manner."

So I SUSPECT the answer is YES, they could call a foul on me.

But isn't that bad? And by "bad" I mean a sh*tty way to play defense - e.g. I'm faster than you, so you stick your arms out in front of me to "draw a foul"? Or, perhaps it's just "good" defense and I should be less stubborn in my offense and change my cut so as to avoid their arms.

A part of me wants to tell this person that running with outstretched arms is dumb and just slows their running speed; but then, if they can take advantage of this, and stop me from making up the line cuts...why would they stop doing it?

hope that made sense...

m

Sounds like "good" D to me, though how effective one can be with their arms outstretched is always debatable.

As far as them being able to call a foul on you, to me that should probably depend on if it affected play or not. If you hit her arm and she goes spinning, I could see it, but if it's just a love tap, then it probably wouldn't affect the play.

Of course, if they have to use that kind of defence to contain you, it might affect the play in so much as it's their only way of playing D.

YourMom: "I choose to run through the arm(s), in order to make my cut."

Are we talking about Ultimate here, and not some other sport?

Purposefully running through somebody's arms, when it's avoidable, is always wrong.

It's usually a foul too. If you get past them because you ran through their arms, that will
often affect play.

In ultimate, you can prevent a person from cutting in a direction by using your body, including
extended arms and legs (so long as you don't do it unavoidably, of course). If you don't like
that, there's not much recourse.

As IN suggested, and as many people who think ultimate is backward for allowing this seem
to forget, it should be fairly easy to beat to the disc a person who has their arms sticking out.

There just isn't an imbalance in the game due to allowing people to use their arms. It doesn't
all of a sudden reduce scoring in any appreciable manner, so I don't understand why people
want to make running through somebody's arms a foul on the contacted.

Now I can think of a great number of reasons why you don't want to allow players running
through anothers' arms, not the least of which is hyperextended elbows, the basic ethos that
ultimate is a non-contact sport, etc.

I have always hated this particular question. However, it is a perennial one, and oft-asked.

All the pertinent rules have already been listed in previous posts, so I will not repeat them.

It is my opinion, however, that there are ways to run past or through an outstretched arm without inflicting non-incidental contact on the owner of the arm. Frankly, those of us who know how to execute this manoeuvre have done so and will probably continue to do so without ever hearing a foul call or even a violation call.

Further, it is very easy to overstep the line between merely occupying a legal position and actively committing a blocking foul (or general foul) through the use of one's arms, and although I have had few occasions to do so, I will readily call a foul against someone whom I determine has crossed that boundary.

atanarjuat: "It is my opinion, however, that there are ways to run past or through an
outstretched arm without inflicting non-incidental contact on the owner of the arm. Frankly,
those of us who know how to execute this manoeuvre have done so and will probably continue
to do so without ever hearing a foul call or even a violation call."

I think you do a disservice to ultimate in the VUL when you say such things. That's a heavy
reproach, but let me explain.

First, the action you describe is more than likely a foul, but it's agreed to implicitly by high-
level ultimate players as acceptable. Sort of a rubbin's racin' philosophy (see Top Gun II, aka
Days of Thunder). This works well between two players that are on the same page (most
often the case), but it's important to realize *why* it's working. It's working because you
both (all on the field) agree that this Foul, if done safely, won't be called. Understanding that
it is a Foul but won't be called by unanimous, albeit implicit, agreement puts you in a lot
better position when you play against somebody newer or explain the rules to somebody else.

The problem occurs when you play against somebody else, or when you tell somebody else
that it's OK to run through somebody's arm (perhaps on the forum for example). All that
expertise and shared understanding of what is going to be 'acceptable' amongst veteran
players is lost on less experienced players. What they will take away from your advice is that
'it is ok to run through somebody's arms'.

atanarjuat: "Further, it is very easy to overstep the line..."

Likewise it is very easy to cross the line while cutting and get into Pick territory. That speaks
nothing to do with the legality of cutting. Neither do other fouls have relevance on preventing
a cut by using avoidable arm position. Yes, *other* fouls are fouls, this point is irrelevant.

--

It is very important to understand that in Ultimate you are *allowed* to prevent somebody
from cutting by sticking your arms out (avoidably), just as you are allowed to prevent
somebody from throwing by sticking your arms out. Pushing through those arms is no
different from a thrower pushing through the stationary arms of the Marker, it is a Foul.

Please, please, don't confuse people by suggesting it is not a Foul.

As a coach, I have always reinforced to cutters to never let a defender impede your cutting with their arms. I will continue to do so, as it is one of the most valuable lessons in ultimate that I've ever learnt.

When a defender in the cutting lanes is using their arms to prevent a cutter from going in a certain direction, it's very often unclear as to who is initiating the contact and whether or not the contact is avoidable. My mentality will always be "you will not prevent me from getting where I want to go by extending your arms".

This isn't really a problem at lower levels, because I've never met a low level player who sticks out their arm to try to prevent an in-cut.

I should make it clear that I'm not advocating running through anyone's arms who are playing in the cup, I'm specifically talking about 1 on 1 defense in the cutting lanes.

I never suggested "it is not a foul." What I've always hated about this topic is the inevitable confusion and disagreement over what "it" is. I don't want to split hairs over endless gray counterexamples and slightly different circumstances. You're a veteran of these debates, Temple -- you know them all already.

We both know the rules to the letter, and I certainly won't deny the likelihood and abundance of ways running into an arm (or any body part) can cause a foul.

Like you, I wouldn't want beginners to think that clipping an opponent is unilaterally acceptable, either. I would only ask that all parties read the rules and exercise them sensibly.

I say that because my greater fear is that beginners might use their arms inappropriately. My remark, although you consider it irrelevant, evolves from that fear. I don't want to deal with defenders who begin using their arms in creative and dangerous ways under the misguided impression that their movements are strictly "avoidable." The hope to "draw a foul" by making me brush a hand or arm is, in my opinion, the more dangerous of the two temptations.

"I don't want to deal with defenders who begin using their arms in creative and dangerous ways under the misguided impression that their movements are strictly "avoidable." The hope to "draw a foul" by making me brush a hand or arm is, in my opinion, the more dangerous of the two temptations."

Exactly what I was getting at, Atanarjuat. I was coming from a more competitive ulti perspective, but agree it becomes a slippery slope for league, and I think it boils down to intent. Don't stick your arms out in order to "draw a foul". Ultimate isn't basketball.

And I won't run through your arms if they are avoidable. I promise :)

atanarjuat: "I say that because my greater fear is that beginners might use their arms
inappropriately. My remark, although you consider it irrelevant, evolves from that fear. I
don't want to deal with defenders who begin using their arms in creative and dangerous ways
under the misguided impression that their movements are strictly "avoidable.""

But that 'slippery slope' applies equally well to body positioning. The threat that people will
try to draw a foul with their arms is equal to the threat that they would try this cheating
mechanism with their feet, their butt, by simply calling pick, or by abusing any other rule.

atanarjuat: "The hope to "draw a foul" by making me brush a hand or arm is, in my opinion,
the more dangerous of the two temptations."

Contact which affects continued play is a Foul. People looking to abuse that do not need to
use their arms. People looking to abuse that, in fact *don't* generally use extended arms.
Cheaters will cheat regardless of what the rules state.

I think the concern you bring up is equally relevant to *every* action in Ultimate. In that way
it is irrelevant to this particular discussion.

Using your arms to prevent a cut in an avoidable way is legal. Other illegal actions, which
may or may not involve your arms are illegal. That second sentence is redundant to the point
of irrelevancy.

You may think that this rule (which has existed for at least the past decade) opens the game
up to horrible abuses, but that just hasn't proved to be the case anywhere. If it ever were to
become an issue, maybe there'd be a rule change/clarification.

My concern is not that cheaters will cheat. My concern is that people may think that certain actions are legal.

I don't believe you're interested in my concerns, though, Temple. I think you think I'm arguing about something else. I'll leave you to it, then.

It's not that I'm not interested in your concerns, but I just don't see them as realistic.

The rule's been in place for a decade. Has this abuse happened at a rate greater than the abuse
of other rules?

Is the problem you are worried about even a problem?

Temple, "please don't confuse people".

This thread has always been about arms.

m

I'm not sure I follow...

atanarjuat is raising a concern about how the rule that's been in place for a decade will cause
all sorts of problems that haven't actually happened in the past decade.

I pointed out that his concern regarding the use of arms in this case is irrelevant, because
those concerns are already outlawed by other rules. The only way his concern can happen
(remember it hasn't become a problem in the past decade) is if players break rules which are
in place outside of the relevant arm discussion.

The possibility that players will break rules which are already in place outside of the one being
discussed is not a tenable argument against the rule being discussed. That's especially true
when this hypothetical misunderstanding of the rules which can lead to unwanted actions
hasn't happened in any appreciable way in the past 10 years.

--

The take-away from this discussion should be:

1. Using your arms in an avoidable way to prevent a cut is perfectly legal. **

2. You should never run though a person's arms. It's illegal and dangerous.

** Incredibly Tautologic Caveat: Yes there are other rules in the book. Breaking those other
rules while doing the above legal action would still be illegal.

<crazy theory>

I found this quote from Dan Cogan-Drew's excellent ultimate video
white papers.

<quote>
If there were a "bumper sticker" on the car of every good handler
defender, it would read: Beat Him to the Spot. So much of defending
handlers is about quickness, agility, and anticipation. Handling battles
are won and lost in only a few steps (the same could be said for
defending downfield receivers, but that's another story). When the
handler makes a move up the line or across field, the defender's best
bet at stopping them is to get his/her body to the place where the
handler wants to go before they get there. This is almost inevitably a
more physical way to play than many people are comfortable with, but
it's the most effective way to reduce the number of options the handler
perceives that they have. After one or two collisions, they will likely be
much more hesitant to cut that way again. A collision here is not
necessarily a foul. It could simply be the result of the defender arriving
at the spot first and the offensive player running into the defender.
This does not mean putting a foot or arm out in the way of the
handler, however. It means getting one's entire body to the space such
that the defender has rights to that space first, before the handler
arrives.
</quote>

Clearly not an interpretation of the rules, I see this more as an
accepted wisdom of competitive ultimate in North America. How this
accepted wisdom" came about is a mystery to me, but it maybe a
byproduct of a self-officiated game. Since any stoppage allows the
defence total field awareness (a valuable asset), the offense is much
less willing to call an infraction. Perhaps as a result, infractions go
uncalled to the point where their calls are deemed illegitimate.

</crazy theory>

Personally, I think that you're way, *way* less effective on defense if you try to keep your
arms out. I think there's about *zero* advantage gained by doing this. I'm not very fast, but
I can outrun just about anybody who's got their arms stuck out wide.

The idea that the Offense wouldn't want to call the Foul is a bit backwards. It would be the
Defense that would be able to call the foul in the case where they get their (avoidable of
course) arms run through. One would think that the Defense would gain an advantage with an
increased amount of Offensive Fouls from the O running through the D's arms.

Practically though it's just not the case. Arms out just doesn't work all that well as a tactic,
even if you're trying to 'draw the foul'. The evidence I'm drawing this conclusion upon is the
thousands and thousands of games of competitive ultimate where players will often use any
trick (legal or no) to defend better, yet 'Airplane Defense' remains unused.

I think the fact that it simply isn't effective at just about any level of ultimate speaks more
to it's lack of use than anything else.

I think a much more interesting question to ask is: "Why is this a regular topic of debate?"

There's no problem with the current rule, there's no imbalance in the sport with the current rule,
and this isn't even a common tactic on Defense.

Why do we talk so much about it year after year? Why are people so vehement in their
disapproval of this behaviour which has never really caused any issues?

I can't really guess at answers to these questions.

"atanarjuat is raising a concern about how the rule that's been in place for a decade will cause all sorts of problems that haven't actually happened in the past decade."

That's not what I said (and I have no problem with the rule). I warned that the tactic can backfire, and that someone trying to use their arms legally can wind up fouling the offense instead. I warned that I will call a foul if that is my perception.

I feel that your choice of words repeatedly trivializes my experience and opinion, and honestly, I feel insulted when you do that. I would appreciate it if you made an effort not to treat my concerns as if they were absurd.

You seem pretty resolute in this, Temple, so I doubt that you'll believe me, but yes, it's a problem I have encountered. No, it's not the "Airplane Defense." It's more akin to the "Hug Defense" as it positions to restrain the opponent in a technically avoidable sense. However, most of its practitioners try to keep their arms closer to their bodies to make it less flagrant and to reduce the odds of clotheslining an opponent. In my experience, a good practitioner will straddle the rules to keep himself technically and just barely avoidable at all times in order to restrain his opponent. Sooner or later, even good defenders make a mistake and hit or push the offense though, incurring either a blocking foul or a general foul. I can even name some prominent players who are good at it, and some who are bad at it but try anyway.

In short, I just want to make sure that someone reading the above does not get the naive impression that it's a great idea to use your arms a lot just because it's legal -- if you're not really good at it, you can do something illegal. That's all.

atanarjuat: "My concern is that people may think that certain actions are legal."

You can break no rules by using your arms to prevent a cut. That *other* illegal actions break
rules, and can be done with your arms out wide is irrelevant to the discussion. Nobody is
suggesting that having your arms in an avoidable position completely absolves you of all
fouls, and nobody is naïve enough to think that having their arms in an avoidable position
gives them license to break other rules.

Just because you can combine legal activity with illegal activity, does not make that legal
activity something we should actively discourage. If that were true, we'd have to discourage
cutting, Marking, going for the disc, etc.

--

atanarjuat: "I just want to make sure that someone reading the above does not get the naive
impression that it's a great idea to use your arms a lot just because it's legal -- if you're not
really good at it, you can do something illegal."

See, it's this sentiment which I see as the core of your concern. I also think it's terrible
reasoning. Being slightly less good at using your arms legally does not necessitate that you
will break other rules.

That's like saying "I hope somebody does not get the naive impression that it's a great idea
to use your hands to get a D-block just because it's legal -- if you're not really good at it,
you can do something illegal, like hacking an arm/hand/face."

That cautionary concern is identical in every way to the one you wrote above except it deals
with blocking throws instead of cuts. It sure looks absurd in the Marker context though doesn't
it?

--

atanarjuat: "Sooner or later, even good defenders make a mistake and hit or push the
offense though, incurring either a blocking foul or a general foul."

Sooner or later, even good Markers make a mistake and hit a held-disc or hand, incurring a
Marking foul.

Does that mean we should discourage people from using their hands to get a D-Block? No, we
tell them what the rules are and expect that they will learn to not break them. This is just
like every other action in ultimate.

--

You keep raising issue with this because it may be associated with *other* illegal behaviour.

That is not relevant to the discussion. If you think I'm trivializing your concern by saying so, I
don't apologize.

Your 'unease' about using arms to prevent cuts is unrelated to legally using one's arms to
prevent cuts. Not only is that concern equally applicable to *every single action* in ultimate,
but in practice, it simply hasn't been a problem.

That you have had one person commit a foul while using their arms to block you does not
make this a serious flaw in the game of ultimate.

"That you have had one person commit a foul while using their arms to block you does not make this a serious flaw in the game of ultimate."

You just misrepresented what I said twice in one sentence.

original poster: "Is it legal to cycle in the middle of a car lane, or do I need to stay to the side?"

answers: "Yes, it's legal to do so."

atanarjuat: "You may want to be careful, though, because in my experience, I've seen cyclists get into dangerous situations/confrontations with car drivers doing that".

temple: "That comment is not relevant to the discussion. Cyclists can get into dangerous situations in many other areas. The fact is that it's legal to cycle in the middle of a lane. Please don't confuse people."

atanarjuat: "What I've always hated about this topic is the inevitable confusion and
disagreement over what "it" is. I don't want to split hairs over endless gray counterexamples
and slightly different circumstances."

Looking back, I think this is the crux of the issue.

You seem to think that it's hard to define what "it" is. It's as if you need to be able to define
an action which is always 100% legal. That's simply not possible for *any* action in ultimate.

In this discussion, "it" is "using your arms to prevent cuts".

You don't have to dream up "endless gray counterexamples" when discussing that, especially
when all those counter-examples are discussion actions beyond simply "it".

We can say definitively that "it" is legal, because there is no rule preventing "it". There are
rules against X, Y and Z, and that means that "it and X", "it and Y", and "it and Z" are
illegal, but that doesn't change the legality of "it" in "itself".

There is nothing inherently illegal in using your arms to prevent cuts. That's not to say that
every action performed while using your arms to prevent cuts is *always* legal, but again,
that applies to every action in our sport, and really shouldn't need to be said. It certainly
doesn't detract from the legality of using your arms to prevent cuts.

--

Remember in order to find out what's 'legal', you have to find rules which apply to that
scenario, rules which can make an action 'illegal'. A legal action is an action which no rule
forbids. Let's look at the current case:

1. (Using your arms to prevent cuts). Not illegal.

2. (Using your arms to prevent cuts) and placing your arms in an unavoidable position.
Illegal.

3. (Using your arms to prevent cuts) and grabbing onto your opponent. Illegal.

4. (Using your arms to prevent cuts) and hitting your opponent in the face. Illegal.

Do you see how the action in parentheses can be swapped out with just about any legal
action in ultimate (or none at all), and none of those 4 statements is changed? Do you see
how it's really pointless to discourage "it" on the grounds that "it" can be paired with illegal
behaviour?

Merlin, your analogy is poor. You know that riding further from the curb than is safe is illegal
right? Your analogy would be better thusly:

--

OP: "Is it legal to cycle on the road?"

answers: "Yes it is legal to do so."

atanarjuat: "Riding on the road is dangerous and should be discouraged, because I've seen
people riding down the middle of the car lane 3m from the curb with no parked cars, which is
illegal. I've also seen people weave in and out of parked cars, and I've seen people who
didn't signal. I don't want to deal with people riding on the road unsafely and illegally, so I
hope people don't read this and get the naive impression that it's ok to ride on the road, if
you don't do it very well, it's illegal."

Temple: "Those other illegal, or discouraged behaviours are not relevant to the discussion on
whether it is legal to ride on the road. Cyclists get into dangerous situations in many other
ways, and each of those should be taught and prevented, but that has no bearing on whether
a cyclist is allowed to ride on the road. We should teach people the correct way to ride on the
road, not warn them off entirely for fear that they won't heed other laws."

--

Do you see the difference?

One method, the method I'm a proponent of, is to teach people what *all* the rules are and
how they should play. I do not recommend teaching people to avoid certain actions just
because it is possible they will heed one rule while ignoring several others.

The other method, that atanarjuat is preaching is not "make sure you know how to do this
right", rather it's "we just shouldn't teach people that this is OK, because they may ignore
other, unrelated rules, and that could cause a handful of problems over a decade".

No, treating players like children is not the solution. It's lazy to teach somebody to 'just don't
do that' rather than to teach them how to do any action while staying within the bounds of
the rules.

--

Laziness:

atanarjuat: "I don't want to deal with defenders who begin using their arms in creative and
dangerous ways under the misguided impression that their movements are strictly
"avoidable.""

Deal with them. It happens extremely rarely where you even have to, but take that
opportunity to call Foul and educate them. It's a more responsible way to teach people than
hoping that someone "does not get the naive impression that it's a great idea to [perform an
action] just because it's legal".

Pages