Hello VUL Rules Gurus,
We are well overdue for a rules update, so there are a couple of common rules I'd like to bring up. This email will address 'Dangerous Plays' and a rule that isn't in the official rules, 'too many players'.
First, I'd like to remind you that you can forward these emails to your teams. But if you are not excited about spamming your team with 'fine details' about the rules, please bring up the subjects I cover in the huddle before your games start. Some members of your team might like to know the details or have questions.
The rules state 'It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible.' The 11th edition rules also state that there is incidental contact caused by players converging into the same space that may not be a foul. However, the following rule (XVI.H.4) supersedes every other rule as specifically stated in the rule itself.
'Reckless disregard for the safety of fellow players or other dangerously aggressive behavior (such as significantly colliding into a stationary opponent), regardless of whether or when the disc arrives or when contact occurs is considered dangerous play and is treated as a foul. This rule is not superseded by any other rule.'
What this means is that any player may call foul if they believe they are being put in danger of injury by another player. That means that if two players are converging on the disc, and one of them hurls themselves in the air recklessly to get the disc, causing the other player to stop in fear of being injured, it's a foul. It is subject to the same foul/contest resolution rules. ie the player can agree their play was dangerous or disagree, but they must respect their opponents opinion that they were in danger.
Also keep in mind that the VUL is about enjoying Ultimate. No single play is worth risking an injury to your friends.
Too many players:
This is one that keeps popping up on the rules forum, possibly because there is no treatment of it in the USAU rules or VUL additions. In 7v7 a point should not start unless each team has the right number on the line, and there is no subbing during the point. But in 5v5-sub-on-the-fly rules, sometimes a little sloppy subbing can result in one team having too many players. Let me state what I think the treatment is:
If a team has more than 5 players on at any time during play, the call is 'violation'. Any player may make the call, play should stop and the player numbers should be corrected. If the extra player has benefitted the offense, it should be an immediate turnover.
If a turnover occurs and it is discovered that the defending team achieved the turnover with too many players, the disc should revert to the thrower, the player numbers should be corrected and play is resumed.
If the offensive team scores a point and it is discovered they had too many players, it should be a turnover at the last thrower, the player numbers should be corrected before resuming.
Turnovers for having too many players might seem harsh, but it's an incentive to maintain a proper subbing procedure. High five as you sub! Hopefully, this is one that won't come up too often.
Until next time,