Delay of Game

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So, last night a situation occurred in a game where I invoked the Delay of Game rule. Unfortunately, the player I had invoked it on did not know the rule and claimed I was invoking the Pre-Stall countdown incorrectly. I probably came off as a bit of a jerk and tried to resolve the situation after the point, and he disagreed but said that he'd look up the rule.

O player is standing over the disc after a TO waiting for his team to run through.
D: "Pick it up."
O: "I don't have to."
D: "Delay of game"
O: "I have 10 seconds"
D: "1... 2... Disc IN"
O: "I have 10 seconds."
D: "Stalling 1... 2..."
O: Picks up disc
D: "3...4...5.."
O: Throws disc.

So, the only reason I'm here is: how do you invoke a rule that the other player doesn't know? He legitimately believed that I was misapplying the rule and thought I was a jerk. I can't stop the play to tell him the rule as I'm not the thrower. He didn't stop play to discuss and just played through it, but probably didn't like me.

Thoughts on how to address situations like this? I don't like being a jerk, but I also wanted him to put the disc in according to the rules.


I've recently had cause to check rules regarding the Delay of Game call (XIII.A.3 - 5), and I can tell you that you were applying it incorrectly.  O did indeed have 10 seconds to put the disc into play, so following D's "delay of game" call, D should be counting down from *10* before "Disc in, stalling 1..."  [The pre-stalll is 20 if the disc is not in the playing field proper.]

As to your actual question though, how about just call Freeze (albeit not a call as per the rules), and after the discussion, remind everyone to return to where they were at the moment the freeze was called?

nep By nep

Womble, Zaven is correct. The 10 second rule applies to an offensive player moving towards the disc (i.e. offense has only 10 seconds to get to the disc and pick it up, if it's on the playing field proper).

If you are AT the disc, rule XIX.b takes effect -- which says you can't delay the game.  If you do, then then rule XIII.A.5 kicks in: you only get two seconds before stall count can start, once you've started to delay and the defense has warned you. This is usually standing over the disc, but can also apply if you walk towards the disc, and then walk away.

In real life, this means: handlers can walk nice and slow to the disc to give their team a breather, but once they get there, if there's a defender within 3 meters, they have to pick it up and start play. 

So, that's the rules.  But in rec league, in this situation, I'd also call a "rules time out" or "Freeze" -- the other team obviously is in no hurry :) and you can take a second to explain the rules as you know them, and come to agreement.  If you want justification for that: XIX.D Ettiquette says if a dispute arises on the field, play stops and restarts when the matter is resolved; XIX.E says you should stop and explain infractions if someone is ignorant of the rules; and XIX.G says players are expected to make every effort to avoid violating the rules, which I think sure includes taking a moment to learn them. :)

So, when the offensive player said "I have 10 seconds" to your delay of game -- that's the dispute beginning, and you could have paused to resolve it immediately instead of just starting to count.


Don't necessarily expect everyone to stop moving if you call "freeze." As it's not a call in ultimate (unless it's coming from an Observer), you aren't likely to get a great deal of compliance. Zaven also made the astute observation that he is not able to stop the play (not being the thrower), so your best bet is to either carry on (as Zaven did) and put the onus on the thrower to stop play, or try to engage the thrower into stopping play to have the discussion, and then relaying that to the rest of the field. That said, I'd agree with nep that once there's a disagreement about how the pre-stall/delay of game should be applied ("I have 10 seconds"), that seems like enough to stop play to me.

I stand corrected, thanks nep. And apologies to Zaven for the wrong answer.

The incident I had checked up when Delay of Game was called - or more accurately, when I was "pre-stalled" -  involved me walking (not even "nice and slow"!) to pick up the disc in the endzone we were attacking (where the defender and I were both under the mistaken impression that I had 10 seconds to bring it into play).

I'm happy to learn that the XIII.A.5 allows the defender to give a 2 - rather than 10 - second warning when someone's standing over the disc.  However, I would suggest that Zaven's 2 second count in the original exchange above "1... 2... Disc IN" would be less confusingly rendered as "2... 1... Disc IN"

nep By nep


Yeah, I like the countdown approach better than a count up as well.  Sometimes I say "T minus 10, 9, 8, 7..."

The rules actually only specifically require the player to say:

Delay of game (required only if it's after a timeout, at which point they have 20 seconds)
20 seconds (where you start if they have 20 seconds for it being out of bounds or a time out)
10 seconds (at the 10 second mark, or where you start if it's in bounds)
5 seconds (when they have 5 seconds left)
Disc In
Stalling 1,2,3


Delay of Game (when they're at the disc)
Disc In
Stalling 1, 2, 3...

but it's common to say 2... 1... because, you know, spirit.

(**I edited this later for pinpoint accuracy)

Thanks for the comments everyone.

I think next time I'll say something like "Well - I think there's a dispute here, do you want to stop the game to clarify the rules?"

Also, yes, "2...1... Disc In" would be better.

I suggest that the marker in this case absolutely *can* stop play. 

XIX.D. If a dispute arises on the field, play stops and is restarted with a check when the matter is resolved.

This sounds like a *dispute* to me:

D: "Pick it up."
O: "I don't have to."
D: "Delay of game"
O: "I have 10 seconds"
D: "1... 2... Disc IN"
O: "I have 10 seconds."

So, announce that you're stopping play, and play will immediately stop, and players will not be able to move until restarted. 

That's one option.

The other option in this case, is to just do what you know is right, and wait for the thrower to either announce a fast count or violation, and then deal with it.


Also, for clarity, the 10- and 20-second turnover is *not* a "delay of game" rule, it is a "pre-stall" rule. The *only* delay of game rule is the 2-second rule for unnecessarily delaying putting the disc into play.