end zone dispute: I'm in, no you ran in!

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I am a captain and wasn't at my game last night, I got this from one of my players:

We're on offence. O player catches the disc near the goal line and calls himself in. D player defending him says he’s not in. They disagree on who had the best perspective and which call is correct.

There is no dispute that a catch was made and no foul was called.

D player’s captain (on the sideline, not playing) claims the rules say that if O player called himself in the endzone and D player disagrees, the disc must go back to the thrower.

I would have thought that the O player would put the disc into play at the spot on the goal line closest to where he caught the disc.

Am I missing something? It wouldn't go back b/c the dispute isn't whether he's in bounds or not (ie turnover if I'm wrong). Your thoughts?

(I'll preface this by saying that it's pretty unlikely that the receiver or his mark will have best perspective. Chances are much better that there was someone else on/near the endzone line with a better angle at it.)

I think technically, any disagreement that can't be resolved goes back to thrower, but really, that's a bad decision for the offence to make. You're much better off grumbling a whole bunch about how you think they made a terrible call (not actually a good idea, but can be fun) and then just agree with them. You'll get the disc at the line instead of having to make the throw again (with a stall count that is already somewhere between 1-6).

As Injured Ninja indicates, this is the rule I imagine the captain in question was citing:

"D. If a dispute arises concerning an infraction or the outcome of a play (e.g., a catch where no one had a good perspective), and the teams cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, play stops, and the disc is returned to the thrower and put into play with a check (VIII.D), with the count reached plus one or at six if over five."

Normally, two teams would resolve the dispute by either declaring a point, or, if in doubt, having the receiver set a pivot point on the endzone line (in accordance with either X.B or XI.B). The latter outcome is quite common.

It's rare (at the very least, I've never seen it before) that the two teams are so stalemated on this issue that they cannot arrive at a satisfactory resolution in a timely manner. I suppose the argument wore on and the D captain wanted the game to get going again.

Out of curiosity, given that the offensive player's possession is not disputed in this case, do you think that he becomes "the thrower" in the rule I've cited above, or does it strictly refer to the thrower of the previous pass?

II.T.5: "An offensive player in possession of, or who has most recently possessed, the disc, is the thrower."

Because that would mean that in the event of a dispute, the disc should stay in the hands of the recipient, regardless.

I was at the game and on the sideline during the play in question.

If I remembered correctly, the throw was a bit of a huck and the O player who made the catch and the D player defending him were the only two players near the goal line.

Since there was no infraction and no dispute as to whether a catch was made, the only dispute was whether the O player was in the end zone or not. In that case, shouldn’t the correct outcome be that the O player retains possession of the disc and puts it into play where the catch was made?

If the rules do say that the disc goes back to the thrower, the O player would be better off agreeing that he’s not in and retain possession of the disc where he caught it (at or near the goal line) rather than have the disc go back to the thrower and thus negating the long catch.

I'm going to change my initial response. Upon further reflection, I think II.T.5 means that the offensive player who caught the disc is now considered "the thrower," since his possession of the disc is unquestioned. So, even in the event of an unresolved dispute, the offensive player in question should keep the disc and check it in at the endzone line.

There's no way the disc should go back to the original thrower. The outcome that is in dispute is not whether he made the catch. but whether he was in the endzone. So the throw and catch doesn't need to be redone. The offense retains possession of the disc, on the goal line, and play restarts with a check.

It sounds to me like we all agree that the "satisfactory resolution" referred to in XVI.D is that the O and D players should agree that the catch was made "not-in", which would put the disc in the hands of the receiver-now-thrower on the line. However, if the O player doesn't like that resolution, then as XVI.D suggests, it should go back to the original thrower... and suggesting that should help them to 'come around' to agreeing that the catch was made not-in.

Thanks for your input. I agree, disc on the line (or wherever he caught it, given our usually wonky lines).

Ed, I don't think that's the conclusion at all. Here's how it plays out:

Option one: defender eventually agrees it's a point.
Option two: receiver eventually agrees he's not in and the disc stays on the line
Option three: no one agrees on anything and the disc goes back.

The whole point is that there is no agreement on the end result so the disc goes back. On a huck
play, it's in the receivers best interest to agree he's not in.

I think it’s important to keep in mind that there were two separate “events” which occurred.

The first event is the throw and catch, which everyone agreed occurred without any foul or infraction and the outcome of which is not in dispute. After this first event, the O player who caught the disc would be the thrower according to II.O.1: “Catching a pass is equivalent to establishing possession of that pass.” and II.T.5: “An offensive player in possession of, or who has most recently possessed, the disc, is the thrower.”

The second event is what the O player did after he caught the disc, the outcome of which is the matter in dispute. According to XVI.D: “If a dispute arises concerning an infraction or the outcome of a play (e.g., a catch where no one had a good perspective), and the teams cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, play stops, and the disc is returned to the thrower and put into play with a check (VIII.D), with the count reached plus one or at six if over five.”

If we accept that the O player who caught the disc becomes the thrower before the occurrence of the second event, and if the players cannot resolve the dispute, then according to XVI.D, the disc is returned to the thrower, which is now the O player who made the catch.

As for the disputed second event, a close analogy I can think of would be a D player making a travel call after a catch, i.e. when an O player catches the disc, slows down then stops and the D player calls travel because the O player did not come to a stop as quickly as possible. If the O player feels that he did come to a stop as quickly as possible and disputes the travel call and the players cannot reach a satisfactory resolution, then according to XVI.D., the disc is returned to the thrower (now O player who made the catch) and put into play. The question of where to put the disc into play may be determined by XVI.C.4.c): “After a travel call, the thrower must return to the location occupied at the time of the infraction.”

This scenario is similar to the one at hand because the O player feels he caught the disc in the end zone while the D player’s claim is either (a) O player caught the disc outside the end zone and ran into the end zone after the catch (i.e. a travel call); or (b) O player caught the disc outside the end zone and remains outside the end zone (i.e. never in). If O player relents, he would retain possession of the disc and put it into play on the goal line closest to the spot where he caught the disc. XI.B: “If after receiving a pass outside the end zone, a player comes to a stop contacting the end zone, that player must carry the disc back to, and put it into play at, the closest spot on the goal line.” If the players cannot resolve the dispute, then according to XVI.D and XVI.C.4.c), the disc is returned to the thrower (now O player who made the catch) and put into play at the location occupied by the thrower at the time of the infraction (i.e. on the goal line closest to the spot where the disc was caught). This is the same outcome as if the O player agreed with the D player’s call.

In any event, I don’t think the rules were drafted with the intent to penalize the O player for maintaining his position by providing for an outcome which is less advantageous than if he abandoned his position and agreed with the defense’s call.