Boxing Out as a Defender 12.7 vs 12.6, 12.8, 12.9

  • July 31, 2016 at 6:14 pm #1155
    Rainer Apfelsaft

    Dear rules experts,

    even after consulting our national rules committee I’m not 100% sure on that matter and I’m therefore looking forward to some clarification.

    Let’s assume the following situation:
    A disc is flying towards the endzone(outside-in curve) with a defender already being there and an offender going there who will be eventually going for the disc. The defender is reading the disc first and is positioning himself in a way that the offender has no straight line to the point where the disc is going to be catchable. The offender is under the disc with the disc curving towards a spot behind him. The offender is looking towards the disc and is walking backwards and jumping backwards and as a result contact with the defender occurs. A foul call is made by the offence claiming that the defender was not making a play for the disc.

    1.1) If a foul was called, it would NOT have been a “Blocking Foul” , right?
    Because the offender would have been able to avoid contact, with the defender taking the position early and the offender moving backwards slowly.

    17.8.1. A Blocking Foul occurs when a player takes a position that a moving opponent
    will be unable to avoid and contact results.[/spoiler]

    1.2) What would the correct call (if any) be in that situation? )(from the perspective of the offence assuming that the defender did not make a play for the disc)?

    I assume that it is a violation of rule 12.7.

    12.7. When a player is making a play on the disc, an opposing player may not move to intentionally impede that player’s movements, unless they are also making a play on the disc.
    Interpretations 12.4 Making a play on the disc (12.9)
    Note A player can be deemed to be “making a play on the disc” (Rule 12.9) when the disc
    is in the air and they are attempting to make contact with the disc in anyway i.e. to
    catch it or block it.
    When making a play at a disc, players need to insure that they will not cause non
    incidental contact with another player (neither their stationary position, nor their
    expected position based on their established speed and direction), before, during or
    after the attempt at the disc.
    Non incidental contact is any contact that is either dangerous in nature or affects the
    outcome of a play, regardless of whether the contact occurred after possession was
    A breach affects the play if the outcome of the specific play may have been
    meaningfully different had the breach not occurred – eg if the player would not have
    been able to intercept the pass without causing significant contact with their

    Now to the questions that are most relevant to me:
    2.) Let’s assume the defender could have gotten the disc, but after the offender jumped into him and missed the disc, he decided that he could let the disc just hit the floor. As such he did not make an attempt to contact the disc. Did he therefore breach rule 12.7?

    2.1) I want to understand what “intentially impeding that player’s movements” means. I always thought rule 12.7 was meant to treat a situation where 3 players go for the disc and one is slowing down his opponent, so that his teammate can make an easy play on the disc (as stated in Interpretation 12.2). I would assume that “intentially impede that player’s movements” means moving in a half circle so that the opponent could not get around you.
    Could you clarify what the quoted phrase means and if that would be too situation dependend if taking a position so that the defender has to get around you (as described in the example above) would be a breach of 12.7?
    [spoiler]Interpretations 12.2 Player positioning (12.7)
    Extra If Player A is not making a play at the disc, but is instead allowing a teammate to
    make a play at the disc, Player A may not move to impede an opponent. However if
    Player A is stationary, or moving in a consistent manner, this is not a violation, even
    if that impedes an opponent.[/spoiler]
    2.2) If the defender breached the rules with not going for the disc: Would his behaviour been legal if he layed out for the disc after the disc went above his and the offenders head?

    3.) [Point 4 is closely connected to this] Now let’s assume the defender had absolutely no chance of getting to the disc after he positioned himself only to take the space away from the offender who would have outjumped him easily in an honest jumping duel. Now that we know what “intentionally impeding a player’s movement” means: Did he breach 12.7 in this case?

    4.) In this situation not only did the defender box out his opponent, but the offender initiated contact with the defender. 12.6 and 12.8 both entitle the defender to taking any position as long as he does not initiate contact as a result. 12.9 even states that the offender must avoid non-incidental contact when making a play for the disc.
    4.1) How do those rules interact with 12.7? Which rule does take priority?
    4.2) Do you have to always go for the disc as a defender due to rule 12.7? Or is boxing out as a defender allowed (even if you do not go for the disc OR even if you have no chance at the disc from the position your taking) as long as you are ” stationary, or moving in a consistent manner” (Interpretations 12.2)? (since as a defender it doesn’t matter if you touch the disc as long as the disc falls to the ground)
    [spoiler]12.6. A player in an established position is entitled to remain in that position and should not be contacted by an opposing player.
    12.7. When a player is making a play on the disc, an opposing player may not move to
    intentionally impede that player’s movements, [u]unless they are also making a play on the
    12.8. Every player is entitled to occupy any position on the field not occupied by any opposing player, provided that they do not initiate contact in taking such a position.
    12.9. All players must attempt to avoid contact with other players, and there is no situation where a player may justify initiating contact. “Making a play for the disc” is not a valid excuse for initiating contact with other players.

    I know this was a lot of text, but I am really thankful for any clarification – even if my questions will be answered just partially.

    August 1, 2016 at 10:07 am #1156
    Rueben Berg

    Good questions.

    If the defender is already in an established position, then 12.7 does not apply, so the defence could just stand there and not make any play for the disc.

    If the defender is moving on purpose to make it so that the offence cannot get around them, then the defender needs to be making an attempt to get the disc.

    Hope that helps.

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