Brodie Smith's Rules Mistake

denny ritner

Eagle Member
Gold level trusted reviewer
Joined
Apr 27, 2008
So, Kristin's rules mistake merits Caddygate and then Brodie's receives crickets?

It's likely that Brodie's "rookie error" didn't change his score, but we'll never know.

What's particularly troubling to me is not that he made a mistake, but that Ricky incorrectly advised him. Top that off with the live pro tour commentators and the Jomez crew all missing it and it makes me wonder just how fluidly the rules are being applied across all levels of sanctioning.

The details: on hole 4 of the final round of the DDO Brodie threw OB. He then properly took his one meter relief from the fence. He was then advised by Ricky to go back as far as he wanted. Ricky was attempting to invoke the "Optional Relief" rule which allows additional relief on the line of play at no additional penalty beyond the one OB penalty.

Unfortunately, Brodie did NOT stay on his LOP when he took his relief and reset his lie. Brodie moved parallel to the fence. If he had properly moved along his LOP, he would have moved straight into the OB fence. Practically speaking, the OR was not a viable option under those circumstances.

Clearly Brodie wanted to move backwards so he could chip a baby sidearm instead of throwing a touching turnover putter shot.

None of this is intended to throw shade on Brodie. It is to emphasize that, while the PDGA has been steps to educate players at all levels of the rules, there is still room for improvement. I'd argue for more infrequent rule changes and ongoing efforts to educate and clarify.
 
I watched that. Although not discussed, Hebenheimer came over to check his line, so no crickets harmed.

Note, he only moved back between 3 and 6 feet. The LOP was close to parallel with the fence.

Final comment, this bears zero resemblance to what happened with KT.

Edit: final, final—I agree with your last paragraph. Brodie seemed at best unsure of the rule. Additionally he might have been able to justify 2 meters off the fence if it is pointy on top or has a strand of barb wire, but couldn’t see that on camera.
 
Last edited:
I saw that too, and was like, ‘wait a minute’ until Hebenheimer verified. If two card mates (3 including Brodie) say it’s ok, is there still a penalty enforced?
 
There is a frame where you can see his lie and the basket and the fence. You can see that the line from the target to his 1-meter-in mini is basically parallel to the fence. Another player actually looked down the line to verify his placement. It looked to me like all players on the card did the rule correctly.

(Also, chain link fences are not barb wire fences, even if the top is pointy.)
 
I think "caddygate" and this are two very different animals. I too thought the line of play was pretty close to parallel with the fence and Brody did seek council of his cardmates. I thought this was done correctly, with attention given to the rules.

KT was simply ignorant of a rule or did not care. KT's cardmates were simply ignorant of a rule or did not care. Outside notification of rules is going to be a thing, moving forward. It IS going to happen and outside of banning phones from competitors, it cannot be stopped. Obviously in today's world, with most physically, emotionally and intellectually incapable of going without a phone for more than 49 seconds, this is not an option.

Disc golf rules are and will continue to be convoluted and intricate. Much like it's cousin golf, the field of play dictates that every situation presents new information, for interpretation. A tennis court (for example) has lines and a very limited field of play, rules are far less circumstantial. Currently, I don't think the rules are most of the problem, it is players, unwilling, uneducated or indifferent to those rules that present the problems. Children are NOT allowed inside the ropes and honestly never should be there. Kristin should never have had her there, her cardmates should have never allowed it from the start and officials should have stepped in immediately. If all of this failed, someone should have notified the officials and it should have been immediately remedied. It is a safety issue. Again, ignorance or indifference is the root of this problem.
 
There is a frame where you can see his lie and the basket and the fence. You can see that the line from the target to his 1-meter-in mini is basically parallel to the fence. Another player actually looked down the line to verify his placement. It looked to me like all players on the card did the rule correctly.

(Also, chain link fences are not barb wire fences, even if the top is pointy.)
Taking relief on a line that is "parallel to the fence" is NOT on the LOP, unless the basket is one meter from the fence, which it is not in this case and would almost never be.
 
Taking relief on a line that is "parallel to the fence" is NOT on the LOP, unless the basket is one meter from the fence, which it is not in this case and would almost never be.

Or if the fence changes direction.

1f92f.png
 
Taking relief on a line that is "parallel to the fence" is NOT on the LOP, unless the basket is one meter from the fence, which it is not in this case and would almost never be.

That is correct.

But...

In this case the fence bends away from the target just forward of the point the caddie jumped over it. It doesn't show on the map, but it is clear from the drone shots.

So the line to the target was only a couple of degrees off from being parallel to the fence where Brodie was. That created the illusion that they were using a line parallel to the fence.

Starting at 1:17:39 you can hear Jake explaining the rule, both "to the basket" and something like "and you can't take the meter again".

You can see that Brodie's final lie is closer than a meter to the fence. That's a result of moving back along a line that gets closer to the fence the farther back from where he took his meter.

No one used the line parallel to the fence as the line to move back along.
 
I am curious if his caddy trespassed when retrieving the errant shot. Not sure who owns that other property...
 
I hear the bending fence illusion point, but it still appears to me that he was off the LOP, however slight it may have been.

Of course, I wasn't there to look down that line myself, so maybe I saw what I wanted to see. In any case, it could have been a good opportunity for the announcers to site the rule with emphasis on the LOP aspect.
 
It's tough to see on camera because space and time bend around the mass of Brodie's ego. The line of play curves subtly towards his right foot.

This is similar to the effect that makes Nikko appear to take 2 minutes lining up every putt. The observer is stationary in an inertial reference frame, but Nikko's hand is approaching the speed of light by the fifteenth time he wipes it on his pants leg.
 
I hear the bending fence illusion point, but it still appears to me that he was off the LOP, however slight it may have been.

Of course, I wasn't there to look down that line myself, so maybe I saw what I wanted to see. In any case, it could have been a good opportunity for the announcers to site the rule with emphasis on the LOP aspect.

Line of Play is always going to be a difficult call. We aren't using surveying equipment, only eyeballs. Perspective, eyesight issues, etc can change what the LOP looks like. I think things like this will always be a 'close is good enough' type of call.
 
Line of Play is always going to be a difficult call. We aren't using surveying equipment, only eyeballs. Perspective, eyesight issues, etc can change what the LOP looks like. I think things like this will always be a 'close is good enough' type of call.
If a player is taking a penalty, we should be more liberal in marking options in future rules to where a player in Brodie's situation could continue back along an OB fence line as far back as the player wanted to do so before marking. Why not? They got a penalty and are adding more distance which is more challenging even if it's a more open shot. They got a penalty. One stroke penalty should be enough by itself to provide the player a clean look for their next throw.
 
If a player is taking a penalty, we should be more liberal in marking options in future rules to where a player in Brodie's situation could continue back along an OB fence line as far back as the player wanted to do so before marking. Why not? They got a penalty and are adding more distance which is more challenging even if it's a more open shot. They got a penalty. One stroke penalty should be enough by itself to provide the player a clean look for their next throw.
I'm not opposed to that argument, but it gets at why I made the OP. Some players will use your logic and conclude that, they should get greater relief, someday they probably will get greater relief, so we should just go ahead and grant them greater relief.
 
If a player is taking a penalty, we should be more liberal in marking options in future rules to where a player in Brodie's situation could continue back along an OB fence line as far back as the player wanted to do so before marking. Why not? They got a penalty and are adding more distance which is more challenging even if it's a more open shot. They got a penalty. One stroke penalty should be enough by itself to provide the player a clean look for their next throw.

But the rule IS liberal.

803.02 Relief from Obstacles.
D. A player may elect at any time to take optional relief by declaring their intention to the group. The lie may then be relocated by marking a new lie which is farther from the target and is on the line of play. One penalty throw is added to the player's score.

So you can go as far back on the line of play as you want, with one penalty throw EXCEPT

E. No penalty throw is added if optional relief is being taken following a penalty taken for a disc out-of-bounds or above two meters.

Jennifer Allen did this in the Memorial. Brodie did it in the DDO. OB? Okay, come in one meter, take your OB penalty and then take optional relief along the line of play as far back as you want with no additional penalty.
 
https://i.imgur.com/LyBYICm.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/2PfdcGY.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/hQnACsM.jpg
(lie locations are approximate, of course)

A couple of important notes:
- He took a meter off the OB line before taking relief. As others have said, this is legal.
- Smith only took relief backwards by 5 or 8 feet.
- Hebenheimer specifically said "You don't get a meter the second time, though", which is correct.
- Hebenheimer walked behind him, checked out the line, checked out his new lie, and declared it legal.

All of those combine for me to say it looks legal to me. If he had gone farther backwards, like 20' or more, he would have run into the OB line again. However, only moving back 5' or 8' didn't really bring the OB fence back into play.

Judging solely from video, I would have said it looked "close enough to legal" to not complain about. Once Hebenheimer jumped in with his accurate knowledge of the rules and his line-check, I'm confident that it was legal.
 
Last edited:

Latest posts

Top