Do the PDGA Rules Even Matter?
Not long ago I made a comment on a reddit post asking about an illegal disc and if anyone has ever been called or called someone on it. A reditor said that they’ve never seen it happen and wasn’t going to call anyone if other more obvious violations like falling putts, foot faults, illegal stances, and time violations aren’t being called.
I responded to that reply by saying that time violations are hard to call with the way the rules is written but after January 1st 2022, it will be much easier. As the rule is written pre-2022 you can pretty much say anything is a distraction and reset your 30 second clock. After January 1st, you get 30 seconds after the area is cleared and almost nothing resets the timer.
I then made the mistake in saying that anytime there is money on the line I will call any rules violation I see. Boy was that a mistake! Apparently wanting to follow the rules means I’m a terrible, horrible person who only wants to or can win by ruining everyone’s round.
I want to be crystal clear for casual rounds. In a casual round I don’t really care how many drives you take or if you foot fault or if you take more than 30 seconds. Its a casual, fun round. If you’re new and you want me to let you know about any rules or potential violations I’ll tell you. But again I’m not going to penalize you for learning in a casual round. Its not that big of a deal
Tournament rounds and money rounds are a different story. I don’t know where this mentality comes from. There are a set of rules for a reason. We all agree before doubles that we are using the PDGA rules and its pretty obvious when you sign up for a PDGA sanctioned event you’ll be following the rules of the PDGA.
As it relates to an illegal disc, that’s pretty hard to call since most violations are going to be weight based. If I see someone with a bunch of stickers on their disc I’ll be nice and let them know they should remove it before they get called for an illegal disc. The only time I would call an illegal disc is if there is a big hole or someone tries to throw an ultra star in a sanctioned round.
Realizing that this is the internet and therefore full of unthinking people I went on to clarify that I’m not filming with a high speed camera to look for fractions of an inch foot faults. What I am calling is the guy who steps past their marker by a foot. The guy who takes a blatant illegal stance. The guy who step putts from 20 feet.
Somehow following the rules makes me or anyone the bad guy. I don’t understand where this comes from. I’ve played sports my entire life and everyone follows the ground rules of the game. You don’t dribble the ball and walk with it; rules violation (traveling). You grab someone’s face mask, intentionally or not; rules violation (face mask). You hit someone in the mouth with a hockey stick; rules violation (high sticking). You step through on a 20’ putt; rules violation.
Maybe the area I play in is a unique region for disc golf. I’ve been called on things and I’ve called other people on things. None of them are ticky tack violations. They have all been obvious violations. If we agree we are playing by a set of rules and someone doesn’t they have an unfair advantage. If you play in a league, tournament, or any other setting for money, where everyone agrees on the rules, I believe you should follow all the rules. We’re human and we make mistakes; that’s why almost all the rules start with a warning before a stroke penalty.