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I think you should consider 803.07(C).  I have never really known what the rule authors meant by "consciously" in that rule, but you weren't unconcious or in a fugue state, presumably. 

But don't quit playing league over a stupid mistake, especially if that player does not think it affected his score any.  Most leagues play by relaxed PDGA rules anyway. 

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Yeah, I'm not going to quit playing.

The whole thing about "conscious" might refer to intent. If it was a mistake and you didn't realize what you were doing (which is pretty much what happened to me at the end of a long hot round), then I'm not sure if that interpretation would apply. Not sure if intent is inferred in this case. Also, nobody observed me picking up the disc. If they had they probably would have just yelled at me and told me to put it back.

Also, doubles rules are a bit harder to come by since the rules are really written to apply to singles play. In any event he did get his birdie from the lie that he played. So there was no interference with that disc.

I do hope that my friend shows up for Sunday's doubles as I will have a cold adult beverage waiting for him. Then he can also call me as many names as he wants and hopefully we will all have a good laugh.

Chuck Kennedy, you are welcome to chime in with any of your words of wisdom for this strange situation.

I believe this is where a variant of the Lost Disc rule comes into play 803.11C related to doubles. Imagine if the doubles format was Tough or Worst Shot where the Cali player had to use their worst drive. The second disc would have been lost and the Cali player would have to rethrow with penalty. Then, the Cali player's disc was found to have been picked up by you. The Cali player gets a 2-shot penalty removed. Then, as Bruce indicates, you get a 2-throw penalty for Interference. When we did the Rules School article on Interference, the only time a player does not get the penalty for "conscious" interference upon touching another player's disc in play is when they deflect a flying disc so they or others are not hit by it (i.e. reflexive interference). So, even though the Cali player didn't have to use his second disc that was "lost" potentially resulting in a penalty, you picked up his disc in play creating the lost disc.

Just wanted to point out a minor detail in the story that I haven't seen anyone else mention. I was playing doubles this week as a 3some, myself, my partner, and the other guy was Cali. And I always thought Cali gets 2 shots per lie, but when I was playing the Cali only got to use his second shot once per hole. Kentucky is what you call someone who can shoot 2 shots from the same lie. So if these rules are universal, the guy shouldn't be shooting twice on each lie anyway, and the entire story would have been avoided!

Cali can be played either way. If the player pays one entry fee, he gets one extra throw per hole. If he pays two entry fees as in this story, he gets two throws per lie. The TD decides whether the player is allowed to pay two entry fees but most do not allow that option unless the Cali player is middle of the pack ratingwise among the people playing.

Our group of players is pretty good and everyone is really close to be on the same level of playing ability. Some days our group can exceed 12 or more players, and when it gets above 5, we random flip and play doubles. We have played odd man out using the Cali rule since I can remember, and I hate it. Most of the courses we play are long, so there really is an advantage to having 2 shots per lie for the doubles guys, but the odd man out gets screwed. I guess because I am such a whiner they allow me, if I'm the odd man out, to flip one more time to see if I play Cali rules that day or if I get 2 shots per lie.


If I get 2 shots per lie, I usually win, but it's still competetive. If I am stuck under Cali rules for the round, it's a guaranteed loss. I don't know of another cool sounding format to refer to for the guys to sound off on.

However Chuck, you are in fact omitting one key fact here as it relates to that rule, that in order for a penalty to be called the  interference needs to be observed by two members of the group. It indeed was not and in fact was only discovered after the round and payouts had already been made. In any case there was no affecting the eventual scores since the player whose disc went "missing" did make his birdie putt on that hole. The only thing that was lost was about five minutes of time for searching for a disc that was in fact in my bag.

In any case, the eventual outcome was indeed correct and there was no penalty assessed (which is also the correct outcome for this particular case).

According to your story, the event was not officially over since you stated they were still completing their playoff when you discovered it and went to return the disc. In the case where a lost disc would affect the scores, your revelation that you had the disc would have been a de facto recognition of the Interference penalty by the TD (official). I'm saying your penalty should have been the same regardless of the fact it didn't affect the scores, simply due to the format, not the reality of the interference.

I'm sorry Chuck, but there is no provision for any penalty after the fact in the rules. Are you saying that we should create new and different rules for this occasion only? And also the playoff was only for second and third places (only second got money back). Furthermore, my partner had already left with his winnings.

Even a de facto recognition of interference after the fact is simply not covered by that rule. The interference must be observed according to the rules.

Please take a look at 804.03G(1).

If this is not upheld, then players would simply be able to take player's discs during a round as long as they're not seen and return them after the round with no penalty.

I'm still having a bit of a hard time with the whole "being observed" thing as the rule is currently written. Would being observed refer to occurring at the time of the violation or could it also mean being observed after the fact. That is not totally clear here.

Indeed this is an interesting case and maybe the rules need to be more specific about such an instance.

In our case also we are just playing league so there is no TD per se. All that I do is take money and that is about it (besides calling the street as OB). We are pretty much an informal tournament in the end. I do understand the need for clear and concise rules in a PDGA tournament.

Also, unfortunately it seems that there would no penalty for taking a fellow competitor's disc and returning it after the tournament has completed and all awards have been given out. I could see some sort of PDGA reprimand if that happened but no penalty for that particular tournament. But then you could ask why a player would even bother to return a disc if he went to all of the trouble to steal another player's disc during a tournament. Of course, we are just getting into hypotheticals here and none of this really applies to what happened in my case.

I believe the only penalties that cannot be assessed at any time until the event is over are the ones involving a time limit like 3 seconds for foot fault, 30 seconds for making the next throw  or 3 minutes for lost disc.

I would agree, but the rules specifically state that for this particular penalty to be assessed it has to be observed. That is where I would have a problem with assessing it at a later time. TD did not observe it, players did not observe it and it was not assessed. And of course we don't really have a TD.

If you are concerned about this particular rule and the possibility of someone stealing others disc on purpose then maybe the rules need to be more specific. Otherwise why is the "being observed" part of it in there. My interpretation   (which I know you have a hard time with) is that if it is not observed then there can be no penalty. If the whole being observed thing refers to an admission of guilt after the fact then that would change things, but I don't see that in the rules at the moment.

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