In ball golf, if you can play a ball out of water, it is legal. In disc golf, if you can make a legal stance behind the disc and your standing in the water, is this legal? If the pond is not marked as O.B.?
Precedents in course design have always defined a pond and/or a lake as an out-of-bounds area...if the disc is completely surrounded by water...your out...plus according to the current rules, a stance may not be made from an OB area. because you can't stand OB your relief goes perpendicular from the OB line whether or not it's closer to the hole or not.
However, a provision is made in the rules for special conditions allowing a TD/course designer to somewhat define what could be considered OB or casual...if a TD stated a pond is casual...you have the option of standing in the water directly behind the marker or disc ...or relocating back away from the hole on the line of play. No free relief forward from the lie in the event of casual water.
Once again illBay urnsBay is correct. The Rules of disc golf do not define which areas are Out-of-Bounds. OB areas are defined by the Tournament Director (in a tourney).
In a non-tournament round, the only rules which exist are those rules the players agree upon. So players in a casual round may simply agree which areas are OB or defer to whatever may be posted on any signs (those signs not yet torn down by other casual players) or local customs.
Typically large. permanent bodies of water are viewed as OB, while areas of temporary flooding (mud puddles) are not. Most of the time roads, sidewalks, pavilions, parking lots, adjacent sports fields, buildings and the like are considered OB. Often the OB decision of a particular area is determined with a safety consideration in mind.
One of the most important bits of information given at a Players Meeting prior to a tournament is a listing of the OB areas. Mere logic, common sense, history or custom is an inadequate guide to understanding which spots are OB because the TD may choose to ignore logic, common sense, history and custom in making the decision. Sometimes a sidewalk itself is OB but over and beyond the same sidewalk is not. Sometimes standing water in the middle of the fairway is OB. Sometimes a disc suspended in one tree (over 2 meters) is OB while a disc in the tree right next to it is not. Sometimes a yellow rope is strung down the middle of the fairway and an artificial OB area is created, but not necessarily for every division.
The problem arises when OB areas are not decided before the round by TD's or when those areas are not clearly defined. Logically, any area which is not previously declared OB in In-Bounds. But I have witnessed OB on the fly decisions. I have also seen OB by custom and implication decisions (ya know, last year in a different tournament, Joe-Bob's disc went over there and he was called OB, so you are too).
This is where I tentatively disagree with Bill and Mark....(I'm out on limb here because I'm not going to the rule book for this...as of yet)
I honestly doubt there is too many courses designed around ponds, a lake, a river, creeks and/or streams...whereas landing in them would not be considered OB. It's a given....as part of the course design....part of the challenge.
However in casual rounds your group can play with whatever rules you guys decide upon.....hey look course record!!!
So now I have looked at the rules...803.09. 803.03, and definitions and technically Bill and Mark are correct in the sense that nothing specifically designates a body of water as OB...unless designated by the director.
However I stand firm on the point that using the language in rules to argue a lie in the water...specifically a true pond or lake(not a puddle)is not OB is circumventing the intended design of the hole in which the pond/lake/river/creek/stream may come into play.
I honestly doubt that in any group of players/cohorts I may travel with to an uncharted course...will give the call any other way then OB.
In ball golf, there are always white or red stakes marking a line on the sides of a lot of fairways to mark hazard areas. White stakes are always OB. Red stakes mark a "hazard" where you can hit your ball from where it lies with no penalty. (You just can't touch your club to the ground to not build up your lie behind the ball) I have never played a course where an existing body of water was anything else but white staked and OB. If there is flooding or puddles, it is Casual Relief, where you can pull the ball out and drop no closer to the hole and play off a better lie. The Van De Velde fiasco in the British Open a while ago demonstrates both these conditions. He had a two stroke lead into the final hole, hits his drive into a creek that isn't OB, and was dry when he got there, the tide comes in and he dicks around thinking of what to do that the ball gets submerged by the incoming tide. D'oh! He then messes up two shots in that creek trying to hit out of water that he lost the lead. Double D'oh! He had to play from that lie because it wasn't marked OB.
Disc golf courses don't have this consistency, so local rules or tournament conditions are the determining factors. A painted line or string on a disc golf course is usually an OB line.
It's tough to maintain a painted line or string on most disc golf courses. I think most (apparently not all) of us who have played for some time will always assume a water hazard that comes into play on a course is intended to play as OB...whether or not it's clearly marked anywhere on the course signage.