Defending the player when disc is in the air

  • July 5, 2017 at 3:24 pm #1472
    Marah Neal

    Hi Reuben,

    We had an incident the other day where a defender was completely “playing the player” when a long throw was put up. The offense was mostly stationary waiting for the disc to come down. Meanwhile the defender ran at the offender and jumped with her hands in the air to attempt a block without knowing where the disc was. As the offender reached forward to try catch the disc the two players’ arms contacted, which prevented the offense catching the disc.
    1) Is the defender considered to be “making a play on the disc” despite not knowing where it was at the time she jumped?
    2) The offender didn’t say that the defender has initiated contact so as both players were moving at the time, would it be considered offsetting fouls? Is there any preference shown to the player who can see the disc?
    3) Could it be considered dangerous play for the defender to make that bid without being aware of the disc’s position? The offender could have stepped forward to catch the disc sooner had the defense not been running toward her at full speed.

    July 6, 2017 at 4:40 am #1476
    Rueben Berg

    Hi Marah

    1. This is the most relevant rule:

    12.7.1. However when the disc is in the air a player may not move in a manner solely to prevent an opponent from taking an unoccupied path to the disc.

    So if the defender was moving with the intention of blocking the disc, even if they didn’t know where the disc is, that is allowed.

    2. If the defender was already moving into the space that the offence player moved into, then it is possibly a foul by the offence.

    3. The key issue here is where was the defender running? If they are running at the offence, then yes, possible dangerous play. If they are running to an unoccupied spot past the offence, then they are entitled to that space, as long as they are not moving in a manner that is reckless (eg not looking where they are going).

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