Rule of the week – Who can make an ‘out’ call?

This week’s rule of the week isn’t definitive, because I’m not sure what the answer is. But a discussion came up at the halfwit about who has authority to make an ‘in’ call and an ‘out’ call. I’ll quote the rules, give the two different interpretations I’m aware of (there maybe more) and then open it up for discussion.

Scenario: Player A catches an uncontested disc and reckons he landed “inbounds”. Player B, an opponent who was not involved in the play, reckons she has best perspective on Player A and thinks he landed out.

In Tassie, it’s always been assumed and played that the player with the disc has the final call. Let’s see what the rules say:

1.10. Rules should be interpreted by the players directly involved in the play, or by players, who had the best perspective on the play. Non-players, apart from the captain, should refrain from getting involved. However for calls relating to “out-of-bounds” and 3 “down”, players may seek the perspective of non-players to assist them to make the appropriate call.

And there’s also this relevant rule:

13.2. If it is unclear whether a turnover occurred, the player(s) with the best perspective quickly makes the call. If either team disagrees they may call “contest” and:
13.2.1. the disc is returned to the thrower; and
13.2.2. any stall count restarts at maximum nine (9).

And from the interpretations document there’s this:

11.6 What to call when in or out (11.5)

What

A player catches the disc in such a way that it is unclear if the catch was in or out. Scenarios:
1. An opponent calls “out” and the player agrees
2. An opponent calls “out” but another player with good perspective disagrees. There is no agreement.
3. An opponent calls “out” but another player with good perspective disagrees and provides additional information that convinces the opponent that the player was not out.
4. An opponent calls “travel” because they believe the player caught the disc in bounds but momentum has taken them out of bounds and they have not returned in bounds.

Result

1. This is a turnover
2. The disc is returned to the previous thrower
3. The catch is deemed to be in and play resumes after a check
4. The opponent pauses any stall count and points to the spot where the pivot should be established. The thrower establishes their pivot in the correct spot as quickly as possible and the stall count may resume.

Why

Rule 13.2 applies in Scenario 1 and 2: it was unclear if a turnover occurred and the opponent made “the call” (note that the rules do not specifically state what the call must be, but “out” is very appropriate).

Situation 3 is a loose interpretation of rule 13.2: the player can have the impression that the opponent made the call without all relevant information (e.g. “I caught the disc with my right foot still in the air”) and thus claim best perspective on that aspect. If the opponent accepts that information and that information clearly indicates that it was not a turnover, returning the disc to the previous thrower is obviously not a good solution (this follows from rule 1.2).

Note that situations like 3 could lead to long discussions and those should be avoided at all cost. If it is clear that the opponent does not accept the extra information, the player should simply call “contest” and return the disc to the previous thrower.

Extra

Returning the disc to the previous thrower is almost always the best solution.

“Check feet” is a not a call and this call does not stop play. Players should either call “Out” or “Travel” if they believe a player is out of bounds. If a player has no perspective, they should leave it up to players with perspective (possibly only the catcher) to make a call. If no-one has any information about a player being in or out, the receiver gets benefit of the doubt and play continues.

Interpretation 1 states that since Player B thinks they have best perspective on the play, she may make an “out” call. If Player A thinks he was in then he disagrees with Player B’s call, (this is scenario 2 in the interpretations) then due to rule 13.2 the disc should go back to the thrower.

Interpretation 2 (the Tasmanian interpretation) reads that if Player A caught the disc, saw the cones/lines and is confident that he landed in, he has the final say in the matter since he is a) The only player involved in the play AND b) The player with the best perspective. Rule 1.10 can be read as: if Player A was the only player involved in the play and had the best perspective, he is the only one who can make a call. Player B may think that he landed out (and she may say so) but in the end the final decision lies with Player A. If he thinks he’s in, the call should be “play on”.

So, what do you think? If player A catches it and is sure he’s in, but Player B reckons he was out, should the disc go back or should Player A get the benefit of doubt? Please comment below if you have an opinion. There might be a third interpretation, or I might have missed some of the relevant rules. It’s quite likely there’s something somewhere that might change this that I haven’t quoted, see what you can dig up!

About Joe Boyer

Father, Husband, Teacher, Nerd, TUA President.