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Can someone please explain to me in what circumstance this is a good addition to a tournament?
so the quibbling is over the arbitrary designation of 2 meters as the rule?
I can understand that...in other words, why not penalize for being 0.5 meters off the playing surface?
personally I think there should be a penalty for a disc stuck in a tree and I think making that penalty begin at a height that is above what a typical person could reach is a good place to start...
the logic has to be height off the ground and to establish that some arbitrary height must be established...no way around that...what I don't want to see, and what the 2-meter rule serves to temper, is golfers throwing high into a tree that sits right above the pin and having their disc get stuck 40-50 feet directly over the pin and NOT getting a penalty for that...
if you get your disc stuck in a tree over a certain height (height to be established by the ruling body by whatever criteria they determine) you should get a penalty for that...
Disc golfers have different experiences. I have NEVER seen a disc stuck over 2 meters high near the basket, and I've played and seen an awful lot of disc golf. I'm sure it happens on courses somewhere. But I've seen plenty of discs stuck in trees away from the green.
There are other solutions to penalize someone purposely throwing into trees over the basket, if that's what you want to do, other than apply the rule broadly to the other 99% of discs stuck in trees.
Why shouldn't you get a penalty for laying up under the basket rather than going for the chains on every throw? It's a strategy choice. If the designer doesn't want shots over the top to be allowed then design it so it's not a feasible shot from the tee or have some risk involved that's consistent and not lucky like the 2-meter penalty.
For example, mark an OB area on the ground that's 30-40 feet away from the pin that any throw might reach whether the throw comes from a low height down the fairway or over the top. Each route has similar risk/reward in terms of the overall accuracy of the throw but it's possible the straight route becomes more predictable than over the top due to pinball dispersion leading to more OB. If the disc ends up in the tree over the OB area, the shot is OB no matter what height and you don't need a measuring stick.
Ok, at least "not on the playing surface" is an argument I hadn't thought of. Not a convincing one, though. Perhaps the 2-meter threshhold was where most people could easily reach and remove a disc, as opposed to standing under a tree hurling stones at it.
Penalties for out-of-bounds make sense, to keep people from throwing truly out of bounds (busy highway, neighbor's yard, etc.) or into places where the disc can't be played (deep water), and have since been used by designers to heighten the strategy. I just don't see a similar rationale for stuck-in-tree, unless someone's planted cedar trees in places to strategically catch discs.
if you think about it, a 2-meter rule actually encourages skillful play...if you don't want to get a tree penalty, DON'T THROW YOUR DISC INTO A TREE...this is exactly the same as, if you don't want to get an OB penalty, don't throw your disc out of bounds...
now, if we want to eliminate luck, and say this is all about skill, then instances I've seen in which somebody has thrown a disc OB, and the disc hit something OB (like a moving vehicle, which I have seen happen more than once) and bounced back in bounds, saving them a penalty, we should actually be giving them a penalty in this case b/c only by "luck" did they end up in bounds in those situations...their skill on that particular shot left much to be desired...same thing if somebody shanks a drive well off target, hits a tree hard, and ricochets to end up parked by the basket...it wasn't "skill" that put them there in that case it was "luck" but should we take that shot away b/c we want to eliminate the luck element as much as possible?
actually, chuck, it depends on the tree...there is one tree on my home course w/ a basket sometimes positioned behind it...in my 5 years of playing there I have seen 2 discs get stuck in that tree...if you throw a disc and it gets stuck in that tree, bad luck...other trees catch discs all the time...if you drop through one of those trees, good luck to you...the penalty, however, is entirely consistent...if you get stuck in a tree above 2-meters, it's a penalty, all the time...that's as consistent as it gets...
if you throw into a tree, any tree, on purpose or on accident, you, as the thrower, are bringing the element of "luck" more into play than you would otherwise, b/c once your disc goes into the tree you can't control whether it falls to the ground or gets stuck...don't blame the trees for being inconsistent b/c they don't catch every disc...blame the throwers who throw their discs into the trees...when you throw your disc into a tree, and it gets stuck higher than 2-meters, you deserve a penalty for either taking a risky shot and throwing it in there on purpose or for making a bad shot and throwing it in there on accident...
Flying thru and around trees and other obstacles are as much a part of the game as the variety of ground cover a disc might encounter upon landing, skipping and rolling. They are no more or less special nor should be more special as obstacles in the game than anything else. The 2-meter rule simply adds a fluky penalty element that is unnecessary to the penalty of hitting any vertical obstacle that's part of the game. And to add salt in the wound, the height is arbitrarily set at 2 meters. Bad game structure all the way around.
As I pointed out before, there are certain trees like cedars where a more fair 2m penalty might make sense because they have a high rate of catching discs. If they are located off the fairway where the shot is already off line, I'm okay with a 2 meter penalty. But frankly, my preference would be to make every shot trapped by the cedars a penalty if the disc is not touching the playing surface. No magic line at 2 meters. Then, a bad throw in that direction gets penalized more like throwing OB. That rule tweak would require a waiver from the PDGA.