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incidental contact

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incidental contact

Postby Wartank » Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:48 am

The concept of incidental contact is busted. In any competitive game, there is always going to be some amount of contact that could potentially affect the play. Perhaps it's impossible to do so, but currently there is nothing really defined about the allowable amount or allowable situations for NON-incidental contact except the amorphous unspoken agreement amongst competitors about how much physical contact is enough or too much.

not sure why i wrote this. comments?
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Postby GregS » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:59 am

I don't know how you could possibly define every situation, especially keeping in mind that the level of contact that's deemed acceptable varies by the level you're playing at. It's imperfect, yes, but in a self-refereed sport you are naturally going to have to rely on each individual to determine whether they felt their ability to make a play on the disc was impaired by the contact.

I think the real problems are that (a) too many people don't know what the rule really says, especially those that think that incidental and accidental are synonymous and (b) too many people abuse the rule by calling marginal things for the advantage they gain by doing so.
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Postby josephkrengel » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:52 am

I find a good rule of thumb is quite simply that if the contact had a significant ability on a player's ability to complete a play, then the contact is non-incidental. Perhaps the problem is that people don't really know what the word incidental means. Non-incidental contact is by its very nature not "incidental", and there is no 'allowable' amount; it is just up to the players on the field to police that behaviour.

At the same time, just because contact is incidental doesn't mean that it is legal; the rules are pretty clear about dangerous plays, and the kinds of contact that is allowed and is not. Take for example my game a week ago, where the opposing player (who was new, and presumably none-too-bright) would grab me and push-off strongly to start his cuts. Now, these grabs didn't effect the play (they often took place when play was stalled and the guy almost never caught the disk) so you could make the argument that there was no foul committed. However, the very first sentence of the rules states quite clearly:

Description: Ultimate is a non-contact disc sport played by two teams of seven players.

The meaning of non-contact is pretty clear to me: you can't use physical contact to gain an advantage. The rule defines what contact is legal, and everything else is not.
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Postby jed » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:03 pm

"XVI - H. Fouls (II.E): It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible ."

There you have it. :roll:
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Postby ultimusprime » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:39 pm

Such actions as taunting opposing players, dangerous aggression, belligerent intimidation, intentional infractions, or other 'win-at-all-costs' behavior are contrary to the Spirit of the Game and must be avoided by all players."

Excerpts from the Official Rules of Ultimate: 11th Edition
Section 1. Introduction, item B.
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Postby Wartank » Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:56 pm

first of all, greg, you're right. just because i'm annoyed doesn't mean that the rules have to account for every possibility. that said....

to respond to all the rest of you, two people will always go for the disc as a first priority, and avoid physical contact as a second (or distant nth) priority. if you lived by this rule, then offence could call a foul on every play where there was any contact on them at all (as we all know, there is a lot of contact that could affect the play but doesn't get called). even worse, the defence could just as easily call a foul, and if contested, it goes back to offence? that makes no sense.

as a second comment. i don't think that you should ever have observers in a high level ultimate game who have never played at (or at least near) that level.
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Postby GwaiLo » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:07 pm

I propose Bubble-Ulti...

Image

wait...then how would one catch the disc?

Hmmm....more thought required. Stay tuned.
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Postby jed » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:17 pm

GwaiLo wrote:I propose Bubble-Ulti...

wait...then how would one catch the disc?


But isn't that secondary to avoiding contact anyway? I think you're on to something.
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Postby taylor.martin » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:17 pm

I think Warren's original point (or at least my reading of his comment) was spot on: the concept of non-contact ("XVI - H. Fouls (II.E): It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible .") is outdated in a competitive game. The game simply isn't played in this way. UPA level teams manage to play aggressively and safely while allowing a good deal of contact.
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Postby josephkrengel » Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:39 pm

I don't see the mystery here. The players police themselves, and as such the game will take on the tone and tenor of the people playing it. The law says that you can only drive XXX km/h; but the police (ideally) enforce that law fairly in a way that allows for good traffic flow and safety. The principle remains the same; try to avoid contact as much as the game in question allows, and any contact which is used to gain an advantage is against the spirit (if not letter) of the rules.
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Postby GregS » Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:36 pm

josephkrengel wrote:I find a good rule of thumb is quite simply that if the contact had a significant ability on a player's ability to complete a play, then the contact is non-incidental.

That's not a "rule of thumb", it's exactly the rule (apart from the word "significant", and assuming you meant "effect" in place of the first "ability").
Jed wrote:"XVI - H. Fouls (II.E): It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible ."

There you have it. :roll:

However, XVI.H.3.b says "Some amount of incidental contact before, during, or immediately after the attempt often is unavoidable and is not a foul."
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Postby Wartank » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:51 pm

the difference is that we don't have police to enforce it -- to be the ones to draw the dividing line at any given time. we have observers, but they have to guess at the temper of the game. and observers aren't always around...and like i said below, they have to be familiar with what gets called or not called at a given level. And if you leave it up to the players, different interpretations will mean that some players are going to be able to use the calls to their advantage.

@greg, that second quote is meaningless because they define incidental contact as contact that doesn't affect the play. so why do you have to specifically allow it?
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