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Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 11:13AM
Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?

If your disc lands in a tree 15 feet up and the 2 meter OB rule does not apply, can you climb the tree and throw from there? Assume that in the player's proposed tree stance no supporting point would be closer to the target than the disc, a supporting point would be in the line of play and that the tree is in bounds.

On non-tee shots you have to have a supporting point in contact with the "lie" and that must be on the playing surface. So I think the answer is "yes" only if trees are playing surfaces. The rules include a definition of "playing surface" but I still can't tell if trees are playing surfaces.

800.02 Playing Surface
A surface, generally the ground, which is capable of supporting the player and from which a stance can reasonably be taken. A playing surface may exist above or below another playing surface. In cases where it is unclear whether a surface is a playing surface, the decision shall be made by the Director or an official.

Does every TD need to cover whether or not trees are playing surfaces?

Opinions and authorities requested. Thanks.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 11:24AM
I would have to say yes. If you can throw from a boulder, then why not a tree?
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 11:29AM
rule says a playing surface may exist above or below another playing surface...seems to me that if a player is attempting to play from 15 feet up in a tree and if there was any wind at all it would be hard to get a true lie..depending on the direction of the wind. If I was asked as an offical to make a call on this in an event, I would ask the player to play from the below surface directly under or as close to under as possible with no penalty stoke involved.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 11:39AM
I like the boulder analogy.

No doubt the player does not have to play from up in the tree, but what if he wants to because it's a better route to the target?
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 11:46AM
then I make sure he /she has signed a wavier of liability and tell them to go for it
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 12:05PM
If not declared in the players meeting and an official is not handy, is the clarity of the tree as a playing surface a group decision?
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 02:56PM
There is a more specific rule:

"803.08 Disc Above Or Below the Playing Surface:
A. If a disc comes to rest above the playing surface in a tree or other obstacle on the course, its lie shall be marked on the playing surface directly below it. If the point directly below the disc above the playing surface is an out-of-bounds area, the disc shall be declared out-of-bounds and marked and penalized in accordance with 803.09. If the playing surface directly below the disc is inside a tree or other solid obstacle, the lie shall be marked on the line of play immediately behind the tree or other solid obstacle."

(Emphasis Supplied)
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 05:03PM
The course near Eureka, CA has a 12 ft elevated tee pad on a giant redwood tree stump. That's an extreme exception for allowing a throw from a "tree." A playing surface is seen as a surface suitable or designed for a person to walk on. That's why standing on a boulder up to a certain size and shape could be a playing surface. However, a player could also use solid object relief (802.03E) and mark behind a boulder that was too small, big or oddly shaped to stand on.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 09:19PM
Jazzcaster, I agree what you quoted is more specific but something is amiss here. 803.08 and 803.09 are not in my copy of the 2013 rule book. Maybe mine is defective. Maybe you quoted from an old rule book. What you quoted is in my 2011 rule book. Maybe the SN plays by the old book. Anybody know which PDGA rule book the SN goes by? The 2013 PDGA rule book reads quite different on this topic. Check me on this please.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 09:21PM
don't throw into a tree....problem solved!

___________________________________________________________________________
Keith "Sunshine" B.
Rumble in Ragley, version 1.0
15 November 2014
Field limited to 90 players
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Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 10:19PM
Keith I'm just glad you haven't accused all of my silly rules questions of being the problem ... yet.

I agree you can play behind the boulder, and you can play behind the tree too. I did not find "walk" in the 2013 rule book. I think they changed all this to accommodate bridges as playing surfaces, but I think they left the door open for trees too. It's a TD call as I read it.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 24, 2013 10:50PM
What defines a "stance"?
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 07:35AM
I think this is where you would come into an issue with this situation.

804.03 Interference
C. A thrown disc at rest that has been moved shall be replaced to its approximate position (see 802.02.E). A marker disc at rest that has been moved shall be replaced to mark the approximate lie (see 802.03.F).

802.03 Marking the Lie
F. A marker disc that is moved prior to the ensuing throw shall be replaced to its original position to mark the approximate lie.
G. A player shall receive a warning for the first violation of a marking rule. One penalty throw shall be assessed for each subsequent violation of any marking rule during the round.

I could also see some people using:

804.01 Excessive Time
A. A maximum of 30 seconds is allowed to each player to make a throw after (1) The previous player has thrown; and,
(2) The player has had a reasonable amount of time to arrive at the disc; and, (3) The playing area is clear and free of distractions. B. A player shall receive a warning for the first excessive time violation. The player shall be assessed one penalty throw for each subsequent excessive time violation in the same round.

But excessive time could be argued that the player needs reasonable amount of time to climb the tree.

More importantly is the safety issue, most parks have liability insurance for no fault of your own injuries to cover law suits, I think if you climb a tree and fall out of that tree you may be reasonable to cover your medical expenses and could even be subject to fines and banishment from that park.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 08:14AM
Yep, old rulebook. But I think the ket to the "playing surface" definition is the phrase "generally the ground" along with the word "reasonably." I suggest that it is unreasonable to climb a tree and attempt to take a stance therein and that the "playing surface" should be considered to be the ground in the event that you find your disc in a tree.

But "reasonable" and "reasonably" are always going to be problematic when it comes to disc golf and rules interpretations.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 09:59AM
SuperSheaps Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What defines a "stance"?


Exactly Sheaps. I think it is a PDGA rule book. I just don't know which one. I have a 2006 a 2011 and a 2013, and maybe some others. I know at least some of them define stance in one way or another. The SN adopted at least one of them days after the PDGA made the 2013 book effective. I admit it was presumptuous of me to think the 2013 book applies to SN events this weekend. I'm not saying it's some kind of crises but it is not clear which PDGA rule book the SN adopted. If the word changes matter the stance definitions just changed. I'd rather learn what book applies before I mince any more of those words though.
Dex
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 12:39PM
If one climbs said tree


then that player putts, and falls backwards, landing on ground


is that a Falling Putt?

Thanks

Dex
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 01:06PM
No...you can fall backwards...just not forward...i guess if he landed in front of his lie it would be a foot fault and they would have to putt again.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 01:17PM
What would happen if the disc fell as you were climbing? There is a great chance that this would happen given that one of your feet have to be a certain distance behind your lie. or if you were to climb up and and the branch breaks. Would this result in a retee because the lie is impossible to play?

Also, if you lose your disc on the 3rd throw and you have already picked up your lie, do the rules state that you have to retee or go back to the place you last thrown? I have seen this issue multiple times and played it different ways because we were unsure.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 03:02PM
dustin morris Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What would happen if the disc fell as you were
> climbing? There is a great chance that this would
> happen given that one of your feet have to be a
> certain distance behind your lie. or if you were
> to climb up and and the branch breaks. Would this
> result in a retee because the lie is impossible to
> play?
>
> Also, if you lose your disc on the 3rd throw and
> you have already picked up your lie, do the rules
> state that you have to retee or go back to the
> place you last thrown? I have seen this issue
> multiple times and played it different ways
> because we were unsure.



Per the 2013 book, if a branch breaks it's a 2 stroke penalty. Assuming you were ever allowed to throw from a tree, you could let the group decide an approximate lie (your choice between) in the tree or on the ground like a sane player would do.

Lost disc lie is always the lie you threw from that you lost the disc with. Don't forget to count the stroke for the lost-disc throw and the 1 stroke penalty. Remember though a disc determined to be OB is not a lost disc, even if you never see it again.
Anonymous User
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 08:07PM
Discjazz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
>
> If your disc lands in a tree 15 feet up and the 2
> meter OB rule does not apply, can you climb the
> tree and throw from there? Assume that in the
> player's proposed tree stance no supporting point
> would be closer to the target than the disc, a
> supporting point would be in the line of play and
> that the tree is in bounds.
>
> On non-tee shots you have to have a supporting
> point in contact with the "lie" and that must be
> on the playing surface. So I think the answer is
> "yes" only if trees are playing surfaces. The
> rules include a definition of "playing surface"
> but I still can't tell if trees are playing
> surfaces.
>
> 800.02 Playing Surface
> A surface, generally the ground, which is capable
> of supporting the player and from which a stance
> can reasonably be taken. A playing surface may
> exist above or below another playing surface. In
> cases where it is unclear whether a surface is a
> playing surface, the decision shall be made by the
> Director or an official.
>
> Does every TD need to cover whether or not trees
> are playing surfaces?
>
> Opinions and authorities requested. Thanks.



The rules on the subject of throwing from an obstacle are open to wild interpretations; in fact Mr. Kennedy has even granted you one of his wild interpretations of throwing from an obstacle. However, he hasn't really answered your question yes or no, has he?

Mr. Jazz, your question(s) are about several things, but I believe the most important thing to discuss in regards to your original post is the characteristics of the playing surface.

Mr. Jazz, you ask, can the player climb and take a stance? Well, really, if the limb is so massive as to support the player, by the rules, he would actually not only be allowed, he would be required to take that stance on the tree limb since it is the playing surface most directly underneath his lie. Remember, a "playing surface may exist above or below another playing surface."

The rules do not allow a player to move vertically from one playing surface to another (see rule QA2). The penalty for playing from the wrong lie is defined by 803.03.G (one or two strokes depending on when the violation is discovered/called).

Now doesn't that seem like it's not common sense? There must be a way around having to climb into the tree, or get a penalty for an incorrect lie. Well, the definition of playing surface does allow the player to appeal to an official. It can not be a group decision, Mr. Jazz. Only an official or the TD can make a judgment if the limb is a playing surface. If an official or the TD is not available, abide by rule section 805.01 (play provisionals perhaps).

So, is a tree a playing surface? In most cases it is not. Only if the tree is so massive that it is capable of supporting the player's weight is a tree a playing surface. Only an official or the TD can determine if a particular tree is a playing surface.

Your next question was, "Does every TD need to cover whether or not trees are playing surfaces?" No, I don't believe they do. Mr. Jazz, you only play about ten tournaments a year and there are well over 2,000 events each year at which you will not torture the TD with your complicated (but enjoyable nonetheless) and highly improbable scenarios. In the unlikely event of your scenario, the TD may be called upon during the round to decide between playing surface and obstacle, or if provisionals were played, to decide the correct score.

THE RULES ORACLE HAS SPOKEN
Anonymous User
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 08:16PM
Discjazz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I like the boulder analogy.
>
> No doubt the player does not have to play from up
> in the tree, but what if he wants to because it's
> a better route to the target?


I believe I already answered this question but I would like to make clear that if the tree has a branch capable of bearing the weight of the player on the line of play, the player actually is required by the 2013 rules to play from the branch, unless the player appeals and a TD or official allows the player to move to the ground (or next lower playing surface).
Anonymous User
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 08:22PM
Discjazz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If not declared in the players meeting and an
> official is not handy, is the clarity of the tree
> as a playing surface a group decision?


I answered this already but in the interest of clarity:

The decision of whether a tree, boulder, or other object is a playing surface or an obstacle shall be made only by an official.

pDGA Rules Committee, you are allowed to reprint the proceeding sentence with my permission as part of any new edition of your rules.
Anonymous User
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 08:41PM
dustin morris Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What would happen if the disc fell as you were
> climbing?

Mr. Morris, if the disc fell as you were climbing that would be an indication that the tree in question is not a playing surface because it is incapable of supporting the player's weight without moving. Consider, if a disc weighing 180 grams lands in the tree, that weighs 0.396832 pounds. The average player weighs 100 pounds maybe? So what's the ratio there...it tells me that a 100 pound player weighs about 252 times more than a 180 gram disc. That, to me, seems about the chances of a tree being strong enough to be a playing surface. As Mr. Spock might say, the odds are 252 to 1 that if the disc falls, it is not a playing surface.

There is a great chance that this would
> happen given that one of your feet have to be a
> certain distance behind your lie. or if you were
> to climb up and and the branch breaks. Would this
> result in a retee because the lie is impossible to
> play?

No. The lie would be marked on the playing surface below, with no penalty. Hopefully there are no TDs or officials who would not be able to judge whether a tree is an obstacle or a playing surface and the player wouldn't have to climb the tree. Again in the overwhelming majority of cases, the proper lie will be on the ground below the disc hanging in the tree.

>
> Also, if you lose your disc on the 3rd throw and
> you have already picked up your lie, do the rules
> state that you have to retee or go back to the
> place you last thrown? I have seen this issue
> multiple times and played it different ways
> because we were unsure.


If you lose your disc on the third throw, you would go back to the last lie, and not the tee box. See rule 804.05.B.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 09:17PM
I always thought you had to mark your lie before retrieving the disc from the tree..if the disc fell, it would be the same as getting your disc out of the tree before you have marked your lie. Idk of anyone that would want to throw from a tree.
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 25, 2013 09:34PM
Quote
The average player weighs 100 pounds maybe?

Finally, I am above average at something Disc Golf related!
Re: Rules question - Can You Throw From A Tree?
January 28, 2013 02:05PM
I speak for the Trees!...........



not FROM the Trees.....
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