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Old 01-02-2019, 11:15 AM
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Default PDGA rules exam Question that has me stumped.

Question from the PDGA rules exam:
Player N throws a drive that lands in the woods close to an out-of-bounds (OB) line. He goes over, marks his lie and quickly throws before anyone in his group can verify that his disc was in-bounds. How should the group proceed?

I answered A They should give Player N the benefit of the doubt and play on.

The correct answer was "Player N's lie is considered to be OB, for which he receives a one-throw penalty, and they play on."

I can't work out where in the rules this is talked about. What am I missing that goes above benefit of the doubt to the player?
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:22 AM
JC17393 JC17393 is offline
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First, you're mis-using the notion of "benefit of the doubt to the player". That really only applies when a ruling can't be reached by the group. Like if his disc were perilously close to the OB line and the group can't come to a decision (say it's split 2-2 in a foursome) whether any part of it might be in-bounds, then the "benefit of the doubt" would be to call the player in. (801.03.A: "When a group cannot reach a majority decision regarding a ruling, the ruling is based on the interpretation that is most beneficial to the thrower.")

Second, it's in the OB rule itself (806.02.H): "If the thrower moves the disc before a determination regarding its out-of-bounds status has been made, the disc is considered to be out-of-bounds."

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Old 01-02-2019, 11:33 AM
araytx araytx is offline
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Exactly what JC stated.

The expression "benefit of the doubt goes to the player" is what I believe to be the single most mis-applied rule in disc golf. "Benefit to the player" is only to be applied when the group has a ruling to make and the group CANNOT come to a consensus. [e.g. 4-man group, disc sitting on an OB line, the first two players call it OB, the third player calls it inbounds, and you the thrower, of course say inbounds. 2-2, no consensus, benefit goes to you, the thrower). It DOES NOT apply to things you don't see, things you don't want to get in the middle of, things you don't want to decide, or even things you're not sure of -- MOST OFTEN it applies to judgment calls, not rules. The players in the group make their rulings, then you apply whatever rule is appropriate.

In the situation in the OP, if the player has not allowed sufficient time for the group to confirm his call, then it's on him. Just as JC stated, he's OB by rule (not by position of the disc). In this scenario, all he would have to do is get one other player on his four-man group to confirm it was inbounds before marking and throwing, then he'd be good.

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Old 01-02-2019, 11:51 AM
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The wording of the question seems slightly off.

Benefit of the doubt is a basis of rules in general. We go into the round with the expectation that players are doing things correctly not with an expectation of cheating (I understand that isn't written in the rules, maybe it should be) . If the disc was only seen to be close to OB unless there were any suspicions from the group that it was OB, benefit of the doubt is surely that it's good?


It sometimes seems like Disc Golf rules have been written with cheating in mind rather than just to create a level playing field this questions wording requires an expectation of cheating to be read as requiring a penalty.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by araytx View Post

In the situation in the OP, if the player has not allowed sufficient time for the group to confirm his call, then it's on him. Just as JC stated, he's OB by rule (not by position of the disc). In this scenario, all he would have to do is get one other player on his four-man group to confirm it was inbounds before marking and throwing, then he'd be good.
If you were close to an OB line you wouldn't even think of asking the group first. If your disc was touching an OB line you probably would if it was a borderline call you definitely would.

Close could be 10 meters away. the wording is to loose. Unless we are asking for every lie to be confirmed by the group before throwing.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:14 PM
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I'm not sure there needs to be specifics in terms of the definition of "close". The question implies that the disc in question flew toward and potentially landed in or near an OB area, but no one in the group (including the thrower) is sure where exactly it ended up. Then the thrower rushed ahead, marked and threw from a lie before anyone else can verify the status of the disc (kinda suspicious behavior even if you trust the player).

The purpose of the test is to examine your knowledge/understanding of the rules, not the morality of the rules and their enforcement. This question quite clearly is targeting knowledge/understanding of 806.02.H. I think you're only going to "benefit of the doubt" because you forgot or were unaware of the rule the question is testing for.

One of the underpinnings of the entire rule book and enforcement of the rules is that all rulings are made by the group, not by individuals (until you get to the tournament official/TD level). Therefore no player should be making a ruling such as in-bounds/out-of-bounds without input from some portion of, if not the entire, group. Just because some in-bounds/out-of-bounds rulings are made implicitly due to circumstance doesn't mean that the spirit of the rules are forgotten. If there's no OB at all, then it's easy to assume that a disc played in the manner of Player N is in-bounds and group verification is implicit. But since there's OB, there should be group verification of a disc's position no matter where on the fairway it may land.

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Old 01-02-2019, 12:16 PM
araytx araytx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhatton1 View Post
If you were close to an OB line you wouldn't even think of asking the group first. If your disc was touching an OB line you probably would if it was a borderline call you definitely would.

Close could be 10 meters away. the wording is to loose. Unless we are asking for every lie to be confirmed by the group before throwing.
R H --

In most typical situations yes, like the ones you seem to be talking about, I agree with what you're saying. If I'm at a course like Fountain Hills at the Memorial or some open hole with a clearly marked OB line, no problem with marking it and moving on. Everyone can see it's in even if they are 20m away. But this OP's situation was not typical. He was in the woods close to an OB line, which is very likely hard to verify even from 5 meters, depending on the thickness of said woods. That's why in that specific situation he'd need to get someone to verify he's inbounds before proceeding. At the very least what I do is say out loud something like, "phew, that was close but I'm inbounds. Anyone want to verify or do you trust me?" Boom. done and meets the rules.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rhatton1 View Post
The wording of the question seems slightly off.

Benefit of the doubt is a basis of rules in general. We go into the round with the expectation that players are doing things correctly not with an expectation of cheating (I understand that isn't written in the rules, maybe it should be) . If the disc was only seen to be close to OB unless there were any suspicions from the group that it was OB, benefit of the doubt is surely that it's good?


It sometimes seems like Disc Golf rules have been written with cheating in mind rather than just to create a level playing field this questions wording requires an expectation of cheating to be read as requiring a penalty.
And that's why it is the most mis-applied rule in disc golf. Please find ANY justification of that assertion ANYWHERE in the rules. Sounds like many people's belief but it has nothing to do with the "assumption" that they are cheating. Rules are there simply to be sure everyone is playing the same game.

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Last edited by araytx; 01-02-2019 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:23 PM
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I wish people knew this rule. Every time my disc is straddling the line and the rest of the card are 50 meters away, I get looks like I've grown a third arm when I ask someone to do me a favor and come take a gander at my disc's lie so that someone else has seen that it's in bounds.

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Old 01-02-2019, 01:24 PM
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I think what gets me, and I'd never really seen in it H before is that it puts the default position of all discs as OB until agreed by the group that they're not. JC makes a very good point about the object of the rules question though.
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Old 01-02-2019, 01:41 PM
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Sound like an ambiguously-worded question. The ambiguity is whether "close to an out-of-bounds (OB) line" necessarily triggers a need for the group needs to make a "determination regarding its out-of-bounds status". There are certainly circumstances where a disc could be close to an OB line but clearly in bounds.

It would be interesting to see the statistics on how test-takers answered this question. Ambiguously-worded test questions often do a poor job of assessing knowledge and should be thrown out. A quick internet search turned up this:

"An easy measure for item fit is to use correlation of the items score with the average score (across all items). Items with a low correlation (<0.2) indicate guesswork and items with a negative correlation are more likely to be answered by students with low versus high ability and should be dismissed . . ."
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