What about 1 on 1 pick?

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Let me explain: I'm running just behind my check then for some reason he suddenly stops and unavoidably I plow into him getting knocked down. Seen this many times, but no call can be agreed upon. Almost seems like a pick... but I should think at least a foul... what to do next time??

Definitely not a pick, as you have to be impeded

from chasing your check to call a pick. In the

case you mention, you're not being impeded from

chasing him, quite the opposite, you caught him.

This is pretty simple when you step back. When

you run into somebody's back you've fouled


You were chasing too close to be able to avoid

contact. When your check stopped (which he has

every right to do), you plowed into him.

To avoid this you should either back off a bit, or

better, don't run directly behind him. If you're to

the side a bit, and he stops suddenly, you won't

ram into his back.

The offensive guy has the green light to move around freely without getting run over. If someone plows into him, its a foul.

Here's the rule that I think applies.

XVI. I, 8 b)

When the disc is not in the air, players may not take a position that is unavoidable by a moving opponent when time, distance, and line of sight are taken into account. Contact resulting from a player taking an unavoidable position is a foul on the blocking player.

So you're running and I'm running behind you. You come to a dead stop so that, given the distance I have, I have no choice but to run into you. Your foul.

Yes, but that's not taking into account line of sight. Most people don't run backwards all the way down the field. If I'm watching the disc and the action in front of me and stop suddenly and you plow into me from behind - given line of sight there's no way I could have known you were there. Unless you were breathing REALLY hard.

Best way to avoid that situation is not to run directly behind someone, but pick a parallel line to theirs. That way the worst that will happen is that you run a bit past them (rather than through them).

Coord, that's a pretty terrible interpretation of

that rule.

As Captain O mentioned "line of sight" is in that

rule for a reason. That reason is the case we're

disussing (I can't think of another reason that

"line of sight" would be in that rule).

I would think line of site would be at least what's

going on in the 180° arc in front of you.

If you move to a spot and get hit from behind the

direction you're travelling, it's not your foul.

If I make a cut to my left, and you're running

behind me on my left, and you collide into me,

you're going to hit me on my left side. It's my

foul because I ran right in front of you, and you

would be within my line of site if I was looking

where I was going. Does that make sense? If I

cut left and didn't look left, I wouldnt' have been

able to see you, but then I'm not looking where

I'm going. If I looked where I was going I would

probably have seen you barreling down on me.

Getting hit from behind is always going to be a

foul because you've avoided everybody within

your line of site. And don't you want it that way?

If you're on D you have to be in control, you

have to be able to stop if somebody stops in front

of you.

I would agree that it's not a foul on the offense (although I would be surprised if he didn't know there was defensive player running behind him and that coming to a dead stop might cause some contact), but I also don't think it's necessarily a foul on the D. If there was no effect on the play then it wasn't a foul (the OP didn't say the disc was in the air at the time - that would change things a bit).

If you want to make a case for a "dangerous play" foul, I might not argue with it, but it would depend on the situation. I think in most cases it would be a "Oh, sorry man", slap hands and keep playing.

If someone is running so close behind me that they can't stop or avoid me when I stop, I know they're there - that's reasonable field awareness. And if I know they're there, it's my responsibility to act in a way that will not impede them and ensure that the play is safe, i.e. not coming to an abrupt stop.

If you can honestly say that you didn't know they were there, I guess there's a case to be made. But if your excuse is 'they weren't in my line of sight, which means I can act in any way' that's trying to find advantage around the apparent spirit of the rule.

No way, come on, you expect that you're always

being chased closely, but the defender shouldn't

be directly behind you and so close that they

can't stop, as that's dangerous.

The D should be off to one side a bit so that this

doesn't happen.

I don't know about you but, most poeple's

hearing isn't good enought to tell whether the D

is directly behind you, or behind you and just off

to the side, all while running around in the middle

of a cut with 12 other people on the field.

You're trying to say that if you know you're being

chased. You can't make a hard stop (perhaps to

cut to a new direction afterwards). That's just


I asked earlier, but didn't hear back, when else

do you think "Line of Sight" applies if not in this

very case?

Vlad's right in his suggestion that it's not always

a foul on the D. It is possible (or even likely)

that it wouldn't affect play and is not dangerous,

then just like any of the fouls we discuss, you

don't call it.

However it could certainly affect play, and if

that's the case, you should call it.

If the D decides that running into the O is ok,

because the O shouldn't be playing recklessly by

stopping in the middle of the field, then they can

contest it, but I don't see it that way.

Hopefully most of us don't.

We disagree, apparently me somewhat less angrily than you. What I say is that the rule means that you can't purposely block a player from moving - and if you know they're there and you stop, you're doing that. I thought I addressed your line of sight defence, but I guess not to your satisfaction.

No one, the offence or the defence, has the freedon to move in whatever way they want on an ultimate field, and safely and responsibly still comes first.

So I say again - if you're aware that someone is chasing behind you and you stop, you creating a dnagerous situation and also blocking, both of which are fouls.

Sorry if I sounded angry, I wasn't, just wanted to

make sure it's clear. The tone of my writing may

be argumentative (that's what this is isn't it?),

but not angry.

You seem to be saying that when this rule says

"line of sight" it means "sphere of awareness"

that's fair enough, and probably a good way to

interpret it.

You also seem to be saying that it is the O's

responsibility to know when the D is trailing

immediately behind them, and so close that by

stopping, a collision is unavoidable. Or maybe

you're suggesting that if you're being chased

somewhat closely, you are not allowed to stop

suddenly at all, because of the risk that the D

might be directly behind you and extremely close.

Finally, you seem to say that the D has no

responsibility to avoid the situtation where they

are running behind somebody so closely that if

they stop in the process of a cut, they will collide

with that person.

I think that's a fair summation of your points, but

please correct me if I'm wrong.

Now I ask you, which is better:

Having the O be responsible for what collisions

may happen from behind when they stop, by

disallowing them from stopping suddenly as part

of a cut (or other reason like falling down).

Having the D be responsible for what collisions

may happen, by requiring them to run in such a

way that if the O were to stop suddenly as part of

a cut (or other reason like falling down), they do

not collide with


My view of common sense seems to put the onus

on avoiding collision with the person who's

chasing. Like being rear-ended in your car, the

person behind should have to maintain a safe



Think about how this rule applies to more than

just a sudden stop.

Imagine the situation where the O is being chased

very closely by the D. The O jumps up for the

disc, and so does the D. The O, instead of landing

on his feet and running it out, lands on the

ground and tumbles. Next the D lands on top of

the O.

Can you see how this is a very similar situation.

If the O had landed on his feet and run it out,

there probably wouldn't have been a serious

collision. The D doesn't think that the O will stop

dead, any more than he would think that a cutter

would stop dead in front of him. However in this

case the O does stop dead (this time it happens

to be accidental instead of intentional for what

that's worth).

Wouldn't it seem like it would be a foul on the D

in this case? Doesn't it seem dangerous for the D

to jump directly behind the O that jumps, even if

they're both travelling at the same speed/


Sorry to write such a novel, but I do feel strongly

that it's dangerous for a D to run in such a way

that he cannot avoid a collision if the O were to

stop short or even trip.

And I just don't see it as a question of O and D, but of who has the ability to create - or avoid - the contact. Remember, the question was about someone who stopped dead in front of the defender who was chasing them, leaving the D no time to avoid contact (I've seen this where the D avoided the contact by basically bailing, hurting themselves in the outcome). I don't think that it's reasonable for the D to expect that the person he/she is chasing will stop dead in his/her tracks. And, if the person being chased knows there's someone right behind them, they're repsonsible for any actions they take that would cause contact. Everyone has to make choices that will avoid contact, especailly hard contact, at any cost, and coming to a dead stop in front of pursuit isn't doing that. I stand by the opinion that it's Blocking.

I've never heard of anyone be criticzed for chasing too clsoe behind their check. Of course, I'm old, it's rarely an issue for me.

The way I see it (in relative terms, of course), neither of them were moving and the O player suddenly jumped back into the D player. Clearly a foul on the O.



Splitting hairs people...just passing by...

I think it's both of their responsibilities. People don't just stop immediately, and if they did then I think coord would have a better point. The D was following too closely to react to the situation and thus D created the dangerous situation.

O is also responsible that GIVEN that dangerous situation to avoid the run in, but no matter what D would definitely have enough time to veer to the side or something. I can't imagine a situation where the runner in front can stop suddenly enough that a runner behind could possibly be close enough that they can't change directions enough to not hit them.

I would think it is most likely D's foul.

The only situation where O would be in fault is if they were making a hard cut, and then stopped for no reason, when the disc and other people were not around.

If O is stopping quickly to avoid a collision in front of them, or is stopping after catching the pass, the person following should have anticipated this and avoided a collision. To argue otherwise, means you think an O who sees an enevitible collision with people in front, can't legally stop to avoid that collision.

In practice, though, people running fast can not just stop on a dime. The times I have seen a collision from behind is usually someone sprinting to close on his/her lost check (or poaching) and being unable to stop when reaching the slower cutter. I think that is very dangerous D play, personally.

Ok, so here's where I think things stand. We've

got the following possible scenarios for when

somebody is chasing somebody else very closely

and directly behind, (let's say O and D, but it

doesn't have to be).

Forget for a minute who's fault it will be, just

think of the likelyhood that one of these may

happen, and the impact if it does:

1) O stops extremely short (but not dead, there

are no inertia cancelling cleats) for no aparent

reason (other than perhaps a cut), D clobbers O.

2) O stops up or slows drastically to avoid

another player, D clobbers O.

3) O trips or falls, D runs over O.

Now look at these scenarios if the D is keeping a

safe distance by not running immediately behind

the O, they're running very close, but parallel,

just off to the side:

1) O stops extremely short (but not dead, there

are no inertia cancelling cleats) for no aparent

reason (other than perhaps a cut), D runs past,

perhaps glances off O.

2) O stops up or slows drastically to avoid

another player, D runs past, perhaps glances of


3) O trips or falls, D runs past, perhaps glances

off O.

Now these 3 scenarios will all happen (wether or

not they should).

Which way do you want to play?

#1: The way that if the O is smashed from

behind, it is their foul? This will encourage the O

to not make short stops, but can't prevent the

other two scenarios.

#2: The way that if the O is smashed from

behind, it is the D's foul? This will encourage the

D to keep a safe distance (by running off to the

side a touch, thus eliminating the need to stop

dead if the O does). This will reduce the

likelyhood of injury in all the scenarios above.

I chose option #2.

What you''re saying, regardless of how many

scenarios you invent, is that the onus is on one

player to make a safe play more than

another's, simply because one is playing O and

the other is playing D, and I disagree. And so,

as far as I've been able to read, does the 10th

edition (note that the aforementioned section

on blocking pointedly does not specify either

offense or defense).

That said, this horse is dead. I, personally, am

going to continue ot make a point of not

stoppping suddenly when someone is chasing

close behind, even if it's you and you're willing

to take responsibility when you smassh into

me. It just doesn't seem safe.

I specifically mentioned that we're going to use O

and D as an example, knowing that it doesn't

matter, this is because usually the D will be

chasing the O, but to ease everybody's minds we

can have the person in front be "A" and the

person chasing be "B".

I'm not so sure that this is a dead horse. By my

count 5 people weighed in on it being Player B's

fouls, while 2 poeople weighed in on it being

Player A's foul. There were others that seemed to

think it was neither/both fouls.

Let me explain that I agree with your only point

which is that Player A should not intentionally

stop in front of anybody if they suspect a collision

is likely, that's dangerous play. And I agree that

it's everybody's responsibility to make it safe. (I

disagree on how to avoid that situation, as I see

it, Player B is adding risk of collision by chasing

that close, regardless of whether Player A stops


So how do you address the other two scenarios?

Are they fanciful, do they seem unlikely to ever


How can we avoid collisions in those cases? Sure

you can prevent Player A from making a hard

stop if they are being chased by Player B, but

what if they have to, because somebody (Player

C) runs in front of them?

This isn't exactly an unlikely scenario, I'm not

inventing it (I wasn't the first to bring it up in this

thread even), it happens all the time.

Is it just incidental contact if Person A has to stop

to avoid Person C, and Person B smashes into

them? Or is it a foul on Person C, who stepped in

front of Person A (Even though A could avoid the

colision with C, but not with B).

So, I haven't heard one good reason on why

Player B should be allowed to chase so closely

that they don't have time to react to Player A

slowing/stoping, other than "Player A shouldn't do


My response is that, yes Player A shouldn't do

that (if they know they D is directly behind them,

which I think isn't so likely), but sometimes it's

out of their hands.

Now which way is safest, while maintaining the

integrity of the sport? Most agree that Player B

should not follow so close that they cannot react

to Player A changing thier speed.

I think everyone can agree that if you're chasing your check, picking a line parallel to theirs rather than running directly behind them will avoid almost all these situations, result in fewer injuries, and will have the added bonus of reducing forum posts on this topic. :)

OK. Dead to me. We're well past 'back to


Ultimately, I think this kind of situation has to be

evaluated play by play. And it happened to me

this Tuesday (Div 6) but it's not the first time by


I was on D following my check closely and he

most puposefully and suddendly stopped in his

tracks. I believe it was to ensure that his

teammate stayed open to receive a disk.

However, I can't remember if the disk was in the

air at the time or not. But I do know if we

continued our course, we would have run through

the passing lane that eventually saw the disk.

I barely missed running over my check, and was

so stunned at this action that I did not even

consider to call a block at the time (too busy

trying not to run right past him!). However, the

thought came across my mind later.

In my particular case I'd have to side with Jeff's

reasoning. That he knew exactly what he was

doing (pretty much impossible to accidentally just

stop in your tracks and stand like a statue in the

middle of the field) and performed an unsafe

manoevre in order to prevent me from being in a

position to attempt a knockdown. Why should

that not be a foul just because he's on O?

Let me qualify my statements above. No I did

not run over him, however, if I had, I think he

would have fouled me.

Although Dominique... had you been not directly behind, you could've kept on going and gotten your D on the disc. Not saying you were wrong to be where you were (not saying right either...), but just another reason for why it might be a good idea to not follow so closely directly behind.

... and you never know the horse is really dead unless you keep beating it for at least 3 more hours. They've been known to come back alive in less time. :)

Well, hopefully when our future generation's archeologists read this post, they'll be able to get a definative answer to this scenario in "The Early Days of Ultimate". In the short term, it doesn't hurt that people reading this post will know the correct, and safe way to play.

Now, before you start, I think everybody's agreed that if the person in front intentionally stops short in order to cause a collision, then it's definitely their dangerous play foul. The problem is that the person behind shouldn't be that close to begin with, so they're committing a foul to.

I emailed Chris Van Horne, the current Chair of the UPA Standing Rules Committee. He was also chair when the Standing Rules Committee wrote the 10th Ed., including the rule we're discussing.

Here's the reply, followed by the email I sent to him, I beleive it's a fairly unbiased line of questioning to determine the correct interpretation of the rule and the situation.

His response is short and sweet, but rings with common sense:


My interpretation is that this is a foul on the trailing player. If the

player in front can come to a stop, then the player behind should be

able to do so as well.


Temple wrote:

>Hi there,


>I'm looking for an interpretation on the following rule as it applies to a

>certain situation. Hopefully you'll be able to help out. Sorry for a bit of

>a spam, but I believe all of you were involved in creating the 10th ed.

>(assuming these emails are still up to date).


>I have my own opinion, but I'd like to see what you guys think:




>Player A is being chased by Player B. Player A stops suddenly (for whatever

>reason), and Player B collides with Player A.


>The pertinent rule seems to be:


>XVI.I.8.B) When the disc is not in the air, players may not take a position

>that is unavoidable by a moving opponent when time, distance, and line of

>sight are taken into account. Contact resulting from a player taking an

>unavoidable position is a foul on the blocking player.


>Now, is it Player B's foul for running into Player A?


>Is it potentially dangerous play for Player B to be chasing directly behind

>Player A and so close that he cannot avoid collision if Player A were to



>Is it Player A's foul for stopping in such a way as to make Player B's

>contact unavoidable?


>Since Player B is not within Player A's line of sight, does that preclude

>them from committing a blocking foul?


>Does it matter why Player A stopped? Is it different if Player A stops as

>part of a cut, or if they stop to avoid a collision with somebody else.




>Thank you for your time, any help would be greatly appreciated,






I'm going to simply add two ideas to the thread and be done.

1. If you are running directly behind the player then you will never have a good D on any disc thrown in front of him. It is almost impossible to jump around someone from directly behind him. Perhaps over? So running to the side would be a better D.

2. If you are running so close to a person that they are not stopping or cutting because you are so close I'd say that would be a pretty good call for intimidation. The leader is nervous about doing any type of move except straight forward because they are afraid they will cause a foul.

Sometimes you need to stop short (to prevent a Pick, etc) and quick and it is a dangerous play for the person behind you to be so close..same goes for driving all you tailgaters out there! :-)

The rules as written don't really support my opinion, but I honestly feel the rule quoted wasn't written to address this particular situation.

When the cutter heads out, they actually cause the defence to iniatiate the out chase, so IMHO, the arguement that they had no awareness of that moving player, (that player they were trying so hard to shake) doesn't really hold.

Clearly, if one is trying to make one's check think they are going long, one should maybe expect that their check is running hard towards them somewhere close by. I think its a bit sketchy to leave the issue of safety purely up to the "line of sight". In this case, I believe the act of "stopping" could be construed as "initiating" contact.


I'm pretty sure we'll all agree, or at least most of us will, that there is no cut-and-dried answer, but that it depends upon the situation. (I just love it when I ask a question and the answer starts with "it depends".)

At one end of the spectrum, we have a defender moving with her check, and the check's awareness allows him to deke and reverse direction with the defender blowing right by without contact - the non-collision caused by a combination of her relative position and his awareness of where she was.

At the other end of the spectrum, she's following so close, directly behind, at such a great speed that if he does any slowing down whatsoever, she'll plow into his back.

We all probably see that the first example is good play, positioning and awareness; while the second is not. For everything in between, we need to appeal to our reasoning and assessment of the situation. (But then that might be what's getting us all into trouble.)

I started a new thread on a related topic - the box out. Could use some help on that, if you would care to comment.