a new pick discussion

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The 10th edition of the UPA rules has this to say about picks:



1. No offensive player may move in such a manner to cause a defensive player guarding a receiver to be obstructed by another player. Obstruction may be the result of contact with, or the need to avoid, the offending player. To do so while the obstructed defensive player is within three meters of the receiver is a pick."


Are these statements true?:

(1) Offense cannot call a pick.

(2) A defensive player can call a pick when he is "obstructed by another player" when this player is also on defense.

(3) A defensive player can call a pick on a motionless offensive player

(4) A defensive player cannot call a pick if his check is greater than 3 meters away.

These seem pretty clear from what the rules say, but I'd like to be sure. Any comments....just quote the (#). Thanks for reading.

I would agree. I would also add to the discussion that it is my understanding that a defensive player CANNOT call a pick if they are poaching and not playing their check - so if their check takes off, the defensive player who is poaching can't call a pick if people get in the way when they decide to go after their check.

1, 2, and 3, definitely "true"

#4 ... "not necessarily true" ... but only because of the way you've worded it. I think you meant to say:

"A defensive player cannot call a pick if his check *was* greater than 3 meters away *at the time of the pick*." (my additional/changed words in "*"s)

In which case, it's also "true".

Remember that it will take at least some reaction time, and if you're picked, your offensive mate will very likely have exceeded the 3 meter distance by the time you get the words "pick" out of your mouth... but I'm pretty sure this is what you meant to say.

It's also worth mentioning that if you make the pick call, you only get to catch up the distance lost due to the pick situation. For example, if you're 8ft away from your check before you get picked, you can't then go stand right next to them as a result of the pick call - you'd have to start the same 8ft away once the disc is checked in.

so calling a pick so that EVERYONE gets to catch up to their pick is just part of the VUL's "spirit"

so calling a pick so that EVERYONE gets to catch up to their check is just part of the VUL's "spirit" ?

If by spirit you mean ignorance of the rule, and

general apathy to play by them, then yes.

So long as everybody's happy playing this way,

go for it. However, chances are some on the

other team are not happy about it, and are letting

it go, so as to not seem unspirited.

Never a bad idea to follow the rules...

Thanks for the clarifications.

Anyone have an idea why the UPA changed the rules so that only defense can calls picks?

The 9th edition of the rules:

"3. Picks.

A. No player may establish a position, or move in such a manner, so as to obstruct the movement of any player on the opposing team; to do so is a pick."

It seems as though previously both offense and defense could call a pick.

I think the quick answer (i.e., I haven't spent a long time thinking about this) is because the "offensive pick" is really dealt with now in the "blocking" rules, which the offense can call.

Is there any recommendations for how to deal with a pick that has been called that is.....well....not a pick? (Other than, of course, (calmly) explaining the rules on the sideline.)

As far as I know one cannot contest a pick, but if offense calls a pick, and they make an incomplete pass, ignorant players will want the disk to go back to the thrower....

I know this is one of those "what if...." questions, but I think I can see it happening, and I always find it difficult to deal with people who "know" the rules, but actually don't know the rules.

Three things here:

One, for Kieran, the rules state that when a foul or violation is called, all players must maintain their relative distance. If each of the 'O' players reminds the 'D' players to keep that distance and not mark up, then the problem goes away.

Two, a pick call made in error can certainly be contested or reversed. Even at Worlds level games, I have seen the defensive team agree that the player 'picked' was more than 10 ft away, and the catch has been allowed to stand. It just requires cool heads, and yes David, some discussion.

Three -- ignorant players or not, any time a dispute cannot easily be settled on the field, the disc should go back for a do-over. And that leaves you on the sidelines with the other team (or their captain) reviewing the rules.

(3) A defensive player can call a pick on a motionless offensive player

I think someone said this was true, but by definition it can't be - the rule says 'no offensive player may move in such a manner...." if they are motionless, then how are you being picked ....if you're within 3m and their not moving, no pick by them is possible.

You could get picked by someone running between you, but then you get into hair splitting on the rule. If you are both stationary, then I would say no pick, but if you are just catching up and then somenoe runs between you then a pick is likley going to arise anyway but more likley to be called by your fellow defender following the player moving through your gap.

There's a couple situations that might apply.

You're on D.

1) You and your check are standing 2.5 meters

apart. An O player comes between you, then a

second later, your check takes off. That's a pick.

Sure they weren't stationary the whole time, but

how's this:

2) You and your check are standing 2.5 meters

apart, an O player comes between you, and a

second later the disc is thrown to your check who

doesn't move. That's a pick.

Anytime you're obstructed from guarding your

check, that's a pick.

Jon By Jon

Of course in situation 1, you're actually calling the pick on your check, not the stationary player.

Temple brings up some good examples that make you go "hmmmm"... okay... that makes *me* go "hmmmm".

Also, would we think of the 2 examples differently if it were a D player that moved in between?

Picks can only be called when the movement of

an O player causes you to be obstructed.

XVI.K.1) No offensive player may move in such a

manner to cause a defensive player guarding a

receiver to be obstructed by another player.

That doesn't mean that the player that's

obstructing you has to be O.

If your O check runs around a stationary D

player, you've been picked.

If another O player runs between you and your

check, and you're obstructed by the D player

chasing them, you've been picked

Both cases were caused by an O player moving in

such a way that causes you to be obstructed (in

the latter case because they used their tail to

obstruct you).

If a D player is not chasing an O, and steps

between you and your check, that's no pick.

(3) A defensive player can call a pick on a motionless offensive player

all the scenarios you concocted resulted from calling a pick caused by a player in motion. The pick calls were not on the player standing still. Yes you can construct the scenario where you and your mark are standing still and a pick can be called, but the pick call is not on the motionless player.....

If the question was can you call a pick when your check is not moving then I would agree with you.....hairsplitting I know but it wasn't my question.

Well, my second scenario was when both O

players are stationary.

2) You and your check are standing 2.5 meters

apart, an O player comes between you, and a

second later the disc is thrown to your check who

doesn't move. That's a pick.

If you're saying that if all the O is completely

stationary, and then you become obstructed, then

I guess that means that no O

player "[moved] in such a manner to cause a

defensive player guarding a receiver to be

obstructed by another player"

But a stationary O can obstruct you from your

check, and you can be obstructed from a

stationary O check. It's even possible (though I

don't know if it's at all plausible) that a

stationary O obstructs you from a stationary O


So long as there was O movement that got you

to that scenario where you became obstructed, I'd

consider that a pick.

Imagine if you're marking your O check on the

force side of a stack. You're both standing still

waiting for the disc to be brought IB. Another O

player stands between you and your check, and

he stops. Next your check runs to the break force


Providing that you were within 3m of your check,

you were picked.

I'm with you Craig. If I can't defend plays from my O partner because there's someone else in my way, that's a pick... and I'm pretty sure that's exactly what you're saying.


Many people have problems with picks seemingly

giving an advantage to the D or restricting the O.

But if you remember why the pick rule is so cut

and dry, it makes it all better.

Picks are there so that the D doesn't have to

charge full speed just past somebody in order to

be effective.

Without the option of calling pick, you're going to

have lots of people zooming just barely around

people, and that's going to lead to collisions.

... and that's also why "YOU ALWAYS CALL THE PICK" ... it's a safety thing, folks.

So you're standing in the stack, almost ten feet away from your mark then another offensive player comes and stands between you and your check and stops. Nobody moves. At this point you haven't called a pick. Time passes then the disc is thrown to your check. Nobody moves. You call a pick????? On who - nobody is moving. By the rule definition they have to move for you to call a pick. The only time you could call a pick is after the second offensive player _moved_ between you and your check.

That is my point you can only call a pick on a player in motion. The question was whether you can call a pick on a motionless player. You can't. You can only call a pick on a player in motion. BY DEFINITION in the rule. So the answer to his question is no. Read the rule - read the question. The answer has to be no you can't call a pick on a motionless player you can only call a pick on a player who '_moves_ in such a manner to cause ....'you to be obstructed from your check. Can I say that in any other clearer way?

You can call a pick on a player who moves between you and your motionless check. But the pick call is not on the motionless player.

If people are 'zooming' around then picks can be called. If they are 'motionless' then they can't and likely no one will get hurt - I don't think anyone will score except due to continental drift.

Hey, I like semantics as much as the next guy,

well a lot more than the next guy actually, so I'll


And you're right. You cannot call a pick on a

player who never moved. But nobody's suggesting


If you read all of the posts, what we're saying is

true, and is not that you may call a pick on a

player that never moved in such a way as to

cause obstruction.

However you can call a pick on a motionless

player, providing that they moved (past tense) in

such a way that you became obstructed.

Surely you can't say that if a player is stopped,

they are exempt from a pick call resultant from

their previous actions?

Are you suggesting that you have to call pick on a

player before the player stops?

No, you can call a pick on a player who is not

moving (let's call that motionless), provided that

they violated the pick rule which says they must

not move in such a way as to cause you to be


If you're arguing more than just the semantics

(which you don't seem to be very convincing),

perhaps you're arguing that this shouldn't be the


Well, while I agree that perhaps it isn't ideal that

a D player can call a pick a couple seconds after

another O player stands between him and his

stationary O check, as we said before the rule's

there for safety.

Where would you draw the line on when it is a

pick and when it isn't? How long do both players

have to be stationary?

Bah, madness.

I really don't think there is any big issue with how

the pick rule currently stands. It errs on the side

of caution, but it's fair for both teams, and I

don't think our sport is being held back by it

(quite the opposite).

My belief is that the "not moving" clause stands as a barrier to calling pick against member in a stack.

As we all know, when the stack sets up and the force is say north, all the D line up on the North. If one of these D is maybe 8 feet off his mark (most of them will be) then their makr makes a breakforce cut I've invariable seen D calling a pick, while really it's just poaching.

I find that one of the more frustrating scenario's. So you can always bring out the trusty rules book and say "This wasn't a pick, they didn't move, you just took a crappy position"

I honestly believe they should just remove this whole pick rule from the game. I've never seen it work as it should, it only disrupts play to the point of ruining a game (if called excessively). It seems people just call "pick" whenever they're badly burned by the person they're covering. Any game I have every played in where picks were called frequently (usually unjustified because the rule is retarded) has been one of the worst I've played in. Both teams just get frustrated with another and spirit hits the sh*tter.

K By K

XVI.K.2. says "In the event of a pick...the obstructed player must immediately call pick loudly." 'Immediately' suggests that if a guy walks between you and your check, then stops, you can call pick as soon as he's in your way...if you wait idly and 10s later until your check takes off, that's too late.

In many situations (like in a vertical stack) you can see where picks are going to happen. You can either tell the players involved that a pick is about to happen, or reposition yourself so you are no longer obstructed. If your check takes off while you're repositioning, by all means call a pick (even though it's not immediate). That's a rule stretch I can live with, because calling pick was a last resort.

There are simple things that D players can do to avoid picks without compromising their ability to play D. Picks are in the game to prevent dangerous play and injury, but it's not a license to sit back and be lazy.

The semantics are that you aren't calling pick on the right person. Yes you were picked if a person runs between you and your check and obstructs you. But you weren't picked by the motionless player you were picked by the player in motion. Your mark didn't cause the pick but you can still call one.

I am not disputing that a pick occured just that to answer the blanket question that was originally asked, you have to say no. You can then tell them that they can be marking a non-moving player and still be able to call a pick if a moving player obstructs them. I was answering the original question not what it broke down to over multiple posts.

In reality if I am 9.5 ft away from my check and someone else runs between us just as the disc gets thrown, I am not going to call a pick unless it affected my ability to make a defensive play (the old rule wording). Ie. if its a 10 foot pass there is no way I could cover the 9.5 ft before the disc got to my mark. My bad positioning caused my inability to play D. But if its a huck and the obstructing player delays me taking off to cover the long throw by even a half second, then that is enough for me to call it, but many times you don't know soon enough to make that call 'immediately' and therefore you shouldn't call it.

What pisses me off is the guys that turn around after you call pick and are more than ten feet from them and they whine that you're too far away to call pick. Sorry buddy but the reason I am that far away is because of the pick.

I have a question regarding continuation of play after a pick is called. the other day I was playing, we were in the end zone, i made a cut, my check called pick so I stopped but the thrower had not heard the call and threw the disc to where I theoretically should have been had I continued running, and the disc hit the ground. The other team insisted that it was a turnover because of the continuation rule, but I thought that if the outcome of the throw was affected by the call that it should bo back to the thrower. Could you guys clarify this for me?

It's generally understood and agreed (at least in discussions I've experienced) that the call or people's reactions to it is *not* considered as affecting the outcome. The rules state that play stops when the thrower acknowledges the call or when the outcome of the pass is known. Players should *always* continue to play until one of these two things occur.

Here is another scenerio I am curious about regarding picks.

O and D moving together on a strike downfield (yes within 3 m).

Throw comes, they continue moving together.

O2 then moves between O and D causing D to pull up, D is now unable to make a bid on the disc.

If the movement of O2 is not going for the disc, is this called a pick?


Absolutely it's a pick. It's offensive movement that has caused a D player to be obstructed... pretty much in line with the definition of a pick.

It may additionally be a blocking foul if there's contact caused because O2 moved solely to prevent the D from taking an unoccupied position via an unoccupied path.

Is a pick only if someone prevents you from following your receiver, or can it be if someone prevents a play on a disc? i.e. the offense makes a bad read, so the disc could be intercepted, except for another player in the path - within 3 m of your check, but can't make a play on the disc? Check and disc are at opposite ends of your 3 m bubble.

My understanding of the rules is that this is tough tooty on the D, but just wondering what the other opinions are.


I agree IAC. Assuming blocking rules don't apply, I can't see that it'd be a valid pick either.

It's not clear, but perhaps Ryan was talking about the disc being in the air when the D gets


If that's true, then in that case it would not be a pick (picks don't happen between recievers

when the disc is in the air).

It could be a blocking foul, but only if one of the O players was *solely* preventing the D


getting the disc.

PS: Mort, it's a little unclear whether the rules allow for a pick behind the play when the disc

is in


air. From my interpretation of "players must play the disc not the opponent" it sounds like it

shouldn't be a pick. My common sense says that it should (and that's how I think the game

should and is played). Has the SRC looked into it? A little

more clarity could be in order on whom the blocking fouls rules apply (ie: just recievers going

for the disc).

--> Has the SRC looked into it? <--

Hmm.. good question. We've looked at so much (pretty much everything) although I can't specifically remember this. I'll take a look and bring up whether some additional clarity might be useful in this area.

on edit: it's now on our to-do list... this particular issue wasn't dealt with earlier... thanks for increasing our workload, Craig :) ... we've been looking for a potential scapegoat in case we don't hit our communicated summer release of the draft-for-player-comment, and I think we've now found him ;p

Yes, I was definitely talking about the disc being in the air when the D's movement is blocked, as that is the whole point of my question.

My original scenerio is intended to be read as occuring step by step in time...

Thanks again.

So then it was no pick. The only relevant rule is:

XVI.I.8)Blocking fouls: When the disc is in the air, players must play the disc, not the opponent.

A player may not move in a manner solely to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied

position via an unoccupied path.

Boxing out the other team while trying to go for the disc is good receiving.

Solely boxing out the other team is a blocking foul (common sense and benefit of the doubt to

the blocker is required to interpret "solely").

The word pick has lost all meaning to me...