Obstruction of play by a non-player

  • April 7, 2016 at 11:59 am #1053
    Apurva Kothari

    A non-player touches (catches or knocks down) the disc within 3m of the sideline, affecting the ability of the receiver to catch the disc and it’s a dropped catch.
    (For now, let’s say the non-player may have been 3m away when the disc was thrown, but came into the 3m buffer zone later).

    The rule says:
    2.7 The immediate surroundings of the playing field shall be kept clear of movable objects. If play is obstructed by non-players or objects within three (3) metres of the perimeter line, any obstructed player or thrower in possession may call “Violation”.

    My take is that the receiver can call a violation as the play was obstructed by a non-player within 3m.
    However, I think the “convention” is that only the thrower can call Violation for sideline obstruction before the throw – which I think is incorrect.

    Violation or turnover?


    April 7, 2016 at 12:46 pm #1054
    Benji Heywood

    I’ve always believed this to be a turnover.

    Play was obstructed; a ‘Player’ was not.

    It would not make sense for the rules to specify a ‘thrower in possession‘ unless the intent was to require the call before the throw is made. And the bit about a Player being obstructed is for example if it’s unsafe to make a bid (perhaps even inside the pitch) because you’ll land on some idiot in a chair on the sideline.

    April 7, 2016 at 1:40 pm #1055
    Apurva Kothari

    I’ve believed this to be a turnover too, though I’m questioning that now as it definitely doesn’t seem fair and does not “simulate what would most likely have occurred had there been no breach”.

    Could be that that there was no obstruction at the time of the throw so handler didn’t call it; or worse, the non-player was on the opposite team (bad spirit or unintentional obstruction, but still worse than a spectator affecting play).

    Rules “decision diagram” would be something like this:
    Play obstructed – yes.
    Within 3m – yes.
    Then, the obstructed player can call Violation.

    Thanks for the response, Benji, – still trying to see if there’s a convention we all follow here which isn’t in line with the rules.

    April 7, 2016 at 2:56 pm #1056
    Benji Heywood

    I think the rules are reasonably clear actually; the question you’re raising is whether they should be changed to allow them to match the principle of ‘what should have happened’ a little better.

    That’s a valid question – but I suspect the reason against it is chiefly the level of complication it might introduce. I wasn’t involved in the discussions when that rule was written – Flo or Rueben could add more perhaps.

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