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Pick Call and Non-Player Interference

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Pick Call and Non-Player Interference

Postby smash-crunch » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:51 am

A high huck went up from the middle of the field. As it was floating down, people from the next game over decided it would be a good idea to run onto our field to collect their disc. This occured in the endzone.

Offensive player continues after the disc, avoiding the people that trespassed onto the field, and catches it in the endzone. Defensive player cannot avoid the trespassers and calls a pick. The disc was returned to the thrower. I suggested the offensive player that caught it should keep it on the endzone line.

Looking at the Pick rule it says
XVI. I. Picks
A pick occurs whenever an offensive player moves in a manner that causes a defensive player guarding (II.G) an offensive player to be obstructed by another player. Obstruction may result from contact with, or the need to avoid, the obstructing player.

II. N. says
Player: Any of the up to fourteen persons participating in the game at any one time.

It doesn't mention people that wander onto the field.

So what should have happened in this situation? Aside from the trespassing people being more considerate and waiting until the area around their lost disc was clear.
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Re: Pick Call and Non-Player Interference

Postby lwswong » Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:51 am

Really? You would call this? The rules of common sense might dictate that if a player is interfered with by something that is not part of the game, and that it affects the play that both teams would agree that a completed catch was probably an unfair outcome.

In an extreme example, say a marching band decides to march directly through the centre of the field. Are you suggesting that play should continue and that a huck thrown over the marching band and caught by a player whose defender is caught on the opposite side of the band (and clearly obstructed) should count as a completion?

Luckily there appears to be a rule:

III G - If play is obstructed by competitors, coaches, spectators or objects within five meters of the playing field, any obstructed player or thrower in possession may call this violation. Play resumes at the stall count reached plus one, or 9 if over 8.

Being on the playing field is definitely within 5 metres of it, so this would apply.

Also, I have no idea why i picked a marching band as my extreme example. :)
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Postby Edk001 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:32 am

More common than a marching band (which would be cool to see happen) are random people wandering onto the playing field, totally oblivious to the fact that there is a game in progress.

Typically non-ultimate people (public enjoying the park, etc.).

Players running onto the field to retrieve their disc should have known better than to run onto the field where there was an active play in progress.
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Re: Pick Call and Non-Player Interference

Postby GregS » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:53 am

III G - If play is obstructed by competitors, coaches, spectators or objects within five meters of the playing field, any obstructed player or thrower in possession may call this violation. Play resumes at the stall count reached plus one, or 9 if over 8.

I'm not convinced that this rule entirely covers the described situation. Yes, the obstructed player can call the violation, but the disc was in the air so there was no stall count. Also, what does it mean to "resume play" after a stoppage where the disc was in the air? Does the continuation rule apply? I do think that the spirited thing to do is to go back to thrower; I'm just not sure that the rules explicitly support that resolution.
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Postby atanarjuat » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:11 pm

I generally encourage players to call a technical time-out (VI.D) as soon as they recognize a dangerous condition -- of which people/dogs/tumbling umbrellas entering the field are common examples. It is the most applicable and practical rule for the situation at hand, anyone can call it, and you just have to scream "time-out!" (not "dog!" or "old lady!") for people to understand what's happening.

That said, if the disc is already in the air before anyone realizes it, the time-out does not technically take effect until the play is over -- not to worry. You can always call a non-specific "violation" of the rules in addition, and consult the Continuation Rule (XVI.C) to determine how to proceed from there. If pressed for an exact rule, cite I.A if you have to, because there are some things that are so obviously outside the scope of the game that it violates the underlying assumptions of the game.

Don't try to look to the Pick Rule (XVI.I) or the Obstruction Rule (III.G), since they cover very different circumstances. I assure you, there is no specific rule for "crazy and/or unsafe sh%t happens." The closest you get is VI.D.

I have, over the years, experienced many similarly absurd situations, ranging from upset wasp nests, to chihuahua attacks, to old men assaulting me with canes (that one happened in a CUC consolation-final, no less).
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