Contesting for the sake of getting the disc back

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I'm seeing this trend a lot lately, and I'm hoping they are just isolated incidents and not changing the culture of ultimate.

Offensive player (new to the game) catches the disc near the end zone just before the goal line, defender clearly calls "not in" as they had the best perspective. Player who caught the disc attempts pass to teammate, disc hits the turf. Offensive player (experienced player) from halfway down the field tells teammate that they were in (had no perspective to make such call), and says "just contest anyways it so we get the disc back". The offensive team did not want to resolve the call by sorting out what actually happened, just to "contest it" to avoid a turnover.

Really? Just contest it anyways? 
In a self-refereed sport, the foul/contest system is crucial to ensure the integrity of the game, but for an experienced player to command a newer player on their team to "contest" for the sake of getting the disc back seems horribly wrong. I hope this isn't a common occurrence (I'm a 13 year veteran of the VUL), but I've only started seeing this lately. 


Well, since it's not your point, I won't go into detail about how the offense misapplied the rules.  But going by the book, their strategy is nonsense.

Yes, that's a pretty irresponsible thing to say.

Part of the issue *is* how the offence misapplied the rules. A more solid understanding of the rules would have probably avoided the situation altogether. I guess my main concern is seeing a new generation of ultimate players who have all been taught to "contest everything" and ignore the rules, because you'll always get the disc back. 

From how you've written it, I don't know that a more solid understanding of the rules is the issue here. It sounds to me like the experienced player has a solid understanding, and is using that understanding to manipulate the ruleset to their advantage.

That's me using a lot of words to spell "cheating."

Well, you see what I'm getting at.  You can only "contest" infraction calls; there was no infraction and no infraction call here.  The offense could potentially regain the disc if they force a dispute (XVI.D) but there's no reason why it should come to that, because best perspective should rule on whether the disc was caught in the endzone, the person who is articulating an opposing view is not even in a position to claim best perspective, and XI.C prescribes a turnover even then.


Playing devil's advocate, I want to point out that the "experienced player" may genuinely believe in his perspective.  And he may consider returning the disc to his teammate to be a fair and sportsmanlike compromise between a goal and a turnover.  When he dismissively says, "contest, so we get it back anyways," that may be his way of saying, "we deserve a goal, but it's fine, let's just take it back to the thrower and play on."


I think it's still a tremendously irresponsible thing to say, especially as someone others look to as an example of how to apply the rules, but let's give him the benefit of the doubt on the "cheating" brand.

"Player who caught the disc attempts pass to teammate, disc hits the turf."
Surely that act (acknowledgement to play on, and thereafter playing on) makes a contest call obsolete? (Or maybe it matters if the disc wasn't checked in following the discussion - if D saying "not in" counts as a break in play.) I don't know the rule off-hand but a turnover seems like the logical conclusion to this play.

Rule XI.C specifically addresses this scenario, Womble. In brief, the act of throwing the disc doesn't matter to the resolution.  The only thing that matters is whether the players agree or disagree on whether the disc was caught in the endzone before the throw.  Following the rules, since there was disagreement on whether the player had scored, the result SHOULD have been a turnover.  But the "experienced player" clearly did not know this rule (among others).


  1. If a player scores according to XI.A, but then unknowingly throws another pass, a goal is awarded to that player, regardless of the outcome of the pass. However, if it is unclear if the player scored according to XI.A (i.e., there is no agreement on the player who hadbest perspective, and there are opposing view points on the play), the result of the pass stands.

Like @atanarjuat said, rule XI.C specifically addresses it.

The player throwing it by the endzone is the player acknowledging they didn't score it. Thus the continuation throw should stand.