Thursday, June 21

Rules Again

Quick Thoughts on "Ideal Rules" as inspired by a conversation on rsd.

Note that these are not fully thought out, just the concepts that I feel could alter the game slightly for the better, barring some glaring oversight.

Line Calls:
Active 3rd Party
Up/Down: Active 3rd Party
Travels: Active 3rd Party
Stalls: Active 3rd Party, consider 8 second stall-count
Fouls/Violations: Players still make calls. If the call is not contested? Follow the current rules. If a foul is contested? Go immediately to the observer who makes a ruling in X seconds. I don't know what an appropriate time is, but 20 seconds seems completely reasonable. The observer should be able to quickly get the opinion of the other observer(s) and ask quick, direct questions of the players and take their answers into consideration, if necessary.
Double Teams: Don't exist. Why would they in the first place, really?
Contact on the Mark: Fouls on the mark are treated much like 11th ed. "disc space" rules. Fouls called on the marker = drop two counts. If the foul occurred before the throw, play on and drop 2. If the foul was in progress at the time of the foul, and the throw is complete, play on. If the foul was in progress at the time of the foul and the throw is incomplete, the disc reverts to the thrower. If the foul occurred after the throw, the thrower is wasting his breath. The Thrower may call "Violation" for any contact to stop play. Perhaps a new word for this type of foul to avoid confusion. I know it sounds dumb, but "Touch" seems obvious and brief. The you can reserve "Foul" to indicate the stoppage of play instead of necessitating the use of the word "Violation."
Disc Space: Nonexistent, but contact rules on the mark still apply.

Maybe we'll make a wholly watchable sport of this yet.
20 min explosive strength
15 min stretching


Bill Mill said...

oh man, would this sport be better.

Anyway, the one that I would change is the "contact on the mark" rule. I think that, in a 3rd party system, contact on the mark has to be a stoppage, just like a basketball reach-in foul.

It can still be player initiated, but the player needs a way to signal the foul nonverbally; imagine 10,000 fans going wild watching an ultimate game. The ref is supposed to hear the foul call and drop two counts?

Nope, the player should stop playing and raise his fist to indicate foul.

Which brings me to my one addition: all fouls need a consistent signal so that the fans know what the crap is going on, and it needs to be called without hesitation. I think it should be the same as a brick - fist raised in the air.

But really, we're quibbling at this point. Your rules would be a huge improvement.

Bill Mill said...

Reading it over, maybe contact on the mark should be a 3rd party initiated call as well.

We're gonna have a ref/observer staring at the thrower and marker anyway, why not have him call fouls on the mark?

dusty.rhodes said...

See, I'm really torn on marker fouls. I think the best deterrent is a free throw. I think one of the worst deterrents is a stoppage of play. It actually gives players incentive to cheat. If you want them not to cheat, stop making it so tempting.

Perhaps the solution is to have the players call fouls as they currently do and then have the 3rdparty correctly apply the interpretation rule based on his perspective of both the foul and the play on the field.

One thing that I love about ultimate is that there are more people watching for fouls and the like because players can make calls. There is no "hiding in the blind spot of the ref" because of it. This is a great aspect of self-officiating. If we can balance the use of 14 pairs of eyes on the field (as well as the senses of touch of all of these players) with the perspective and impartiality of a 3rd party, we may be on to something.

My general thought regarding ultimate's officials (observers/whatever) is that if two parties can agree, that person is unnecessary. If the cannot agree (foul/contest) then a neutral party should arbitrate. They are also in much better position to make calls that have no grey area like up/down, in/out, travel/not travel, stall/nostall. There is nothing to debate about any of them, but I'm positive that the person watching the game and specifically paying attention to those things will have a more accurate perception than players in the game. I don't fucking know if I caught that disc before it hit the ground. I was trying really hard to catch it, not trying really hard to catch it AND make sure I put my head in a position such that I had best perspective.

I'm not even sure if that made sense. It is ridiculously cold in my office and my brain may be frozen. I love it.

The Pulse said...

I think that if you remove double teams, then you can't also remove disc space. I think that could get ugly, especially at lower levels of play.

dusty.rhodes said...

Which other game does not let you double team? How would it be ugly?

I'm just not sure that we shouldn't expect players to throw throw/around/over double teams.

I do understand your concern, I just don't know how much of a concern it need be.

Jackson said...

Other games may let you double team, but you're also allowed to move while being double teamed. In ultimate, we are allowed to double team a receiver, and that receiver is allowed to move. Since the thrower is not allowed to move, but the defenders doing the double teaming are, I think that it could become too difficult to throw (with the absence of disc space). I'm imagining three or four guys closely surrounding the thrower, leaving him only over the top throws. With any wind, I think this strategy is too easy for the defense.

In picking between the two rule changes (double team and disc space) I would say do away with disc space and keep double teams illegal.

dusty.rhodes said...

Good point for moving vs not moving. That is exactly the sort of thing that I overlook. I think You've convinced me...

I would propose then that the double-team line be more like 5-6 feet instead of 3 meters. While we can't move, the disc can certainly move in interesting enough ways that it shouldn't be a difficult enough defensive maneuver to counter.

shubbard said...

How about this for fouls on a thrower:

the mark must move 10 yards away from thrower in a direction of the throwers choosing.

this is similar to your free throw idea.

perhaps this penalty could be for fouls under stall 2 thus detering the hack to prevent hucks off swings or handler cuts.

the current system where defenders only gain from fouling throwers looking to huck quickly (as the stall reset is insignificant compared to flow) is pretty dumb