Double touch: is it a breach of the rules?

  • April 4, 2016 at 12:50 pm #1050

    A thrower attempts a pass, the wind picks it up and pushes the disc well behind the thrower, who chases the disc down and then grabs it. This is clearly a a double touch, see under Section 13 (Turnovers)

    13.1. A turnover transfers possession of the disc from one team to the other and occurs when:
    13.1.1. the disc contacts the ground while it is not in the possession of an offensive player (a “down”);
    13.1.2. the disc is intentionally transferred from one offensive player to another without ever being completely untouched by both players (a “hand-over”);
    13.1.3. the thrower intentionally deflects a pass to themselves off another player (a “deflection”);
    13.1.4. in attempting a pass, the thrower contacts the disc after release prior to the disc being contacted by another player (a “double touch”);
    13.1.5. a pass is caught by a defensive player (an “interception”);
    13.1.6. the disc becomes out-of bounds (an “out-of-bounds”);
    13.1.7. the thrower has not released the disc before the marker first starts to say the word “ten” in the stall count (a “stall-out”);
    13.1.8. there is an uncontested offensive receiving foul; or
    13.1.9. during the pull, the receiving team touches the disc before it contacts the ground, and fails to catch the disc (a “dropped pull”).

    Now, the question is, where does the game restarts? When the thrower attempted the pass, or where he grabbed the disc? The rule say:

    13.7. After a turnover, the turnover location is where:
    13.7.1. the disc has come to a stop or is picked up by an offensive player; or
    13.7.2. the intercepting player stops; or
    13.7.3. the thrower was located, in the case of 13.1.2, 13.1.3, 13.1.4, 13.1.7; or
    13.7.4. the uncontested offensive receiving foul occurred.

    Hence, is looks like it is where the throw was initiated, which is odd because in the other 3 instances the play restarts from the position where the illegal action took place. Hence, restarting the game from where the disc was thrown seems to obey the letter of the rule but possibly not its spirit. What do you think? (this exact situation happened at Paganello this year, so as unlikely at it may seem it CAN happen.)

    Also, since 13.1.4 applies to any touch, and not just a grab, if the thrower touches the disc and then a defender catches it, is it still a turnover? You may save a Callahan in this way, and since a turnover is not a call it cannot be retracted. This seems a more clear cut scenario, and I am starting to think that the double touch could be a useful play in this fringe scenario… but only if it is not against the spirit. The double touch is mentioned only under the “turnovers” section, and it is not a foul or violation, hence is an attempt to double touch a breach of the rules? If that is the case, then applying the generic rule about breaches:

    1.2. It is trusted that no player will intentionally break the rules; thus there are no harsh penalties for breaches, but rather a method for resuming play in a manner which simulates what would most likely have occurred had there been no breach.

    after a double touch the game should restart from the the disc where the disc would have landed if not intercepted by the thrower, and the second touch could be regarded as unspirited…

    April 5, 2016 at 3:09 am #1051
    Rueben Berg

    Hi Gabriel

    The thrower remains as the thrower until the result of the throw has been determined.
    So the turnover location is where they caught the disc.

    Whilst a turnover is not a violation, players must not intentionally break the rules, so I believe the thrower should not try and contact there own pass, even if they are attempting to prevent a goal.

    Hope that helps.


    April 5, 2016 at 4:01 am #1052
    Florian Pfender

    I completely agree with the first part of course.

    The second part I am not so sure. Let’s discuss internally in the rules committee before giving our official statement on this.

    August 11, 2016 at 9:35 pm #1264
    Seamus Murray

    I wonder if you guys came to a conclusion around the 2nd part of Rueben’s advice here?

    Intentionally causing a turnover isn’t against the rules, right?

    Whether that’s a big throw to nobody – for a “Huck & D” type turnover, or a thrower intentionally catching or blocking their own pass, perhaps to prevent a callahan goal as Gabriel had suggested.

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