The growing popularity of the game of disc golf begins with the essential fact that throwing a flying disc with power and accuracy is a marvelous sensation. The constant challenge, the social nature of the game, the good physical and mental conditioning, and the fact that it is inexpensive to begin play are also attractions. Disc golf is a recreational sport for everyone, regardless of age, gender, or ability.
The object of the game is to traverse a course from beginning to end in the fewest number of throws of the disc. Each consecutive throw is made from where the disc came to rest after the last throw. Score is determined by counting the number of throws made on each hole plus penalty throws and then summing all holes. The winner is the player who completes the course with the lowest score.
The course consists of a series of holes laid out so that when the player completes one hole he or she proceeds to the beginning of the next until all the holes have been played. The player is provided with a teeing area from which to begin each hole and a target to complete the hole.
Disc golf courses are normally laid out among wooded areas with diverse terrain to provide natural obstacles to the flight of the disc. These natural obstacles are very much a part of the game and must not be altered by the players in any way to decrease the difficulty of a hole. Disc golf courses are normally 18 holes in length, but there are other combinations as well, including 9-hole, 22-hole, 24-hole and 27-hole courses in existence. Disc golf courses can be found in each of the 50 United States and in Canada, Japan, Mexico, Australia, Iceland, New Zealand, Guam, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Hungary, United Kingdom, Peru, Belgium, Czech Republic, and Taiwan.
Disc golf is a game that expects high standards of etiquette and courtesy. Among the basic considerations of etiquette are such things as concern for spectators and other players and respect for plant life on the course. These rules have been designed to promote fair play for all disc golfers. In using these rules, players shall apply the rule that most directly addresses the situation in question.
If in doubt, players shall consult an official. Applications of the rules to particular situations can be found at: www.pdga.com/rules
RULE: 800 Definitions
Approximate Lie: A lie established by the player’s group in order to resume play: to correct a misplay from out-of-bounds (801.04 B (4)), following the thrower’s election to throw from the previous lie after declaring a lie unplayable (803.06 A), following the thrower’s election to throw from the previous lie after throwing out-of-bounds (803.09 B (1)), following an instance where the thrower’s disc has been thrown and removed by another player (803.10 B), following a lost disc (803.11 B), following a lost marker disc (803.11 D), or following a rain or hazardous conditions delay (804.04 C).
Away Player: The player whose lie is farthest from the hole and who shall throw next.
Casual Water: Bodies of water other than those that have been specifically designated by the director prior to the start of the round as out-of-bounds or those that have been specifically designated by the director prior to the start of the round as not being casual water.
Completion of a Round: The round has been officially completed for all competitors when, in the director’s opinion, the last group on the course has completed their final hole and has had reasonable time to travel from their final hole to tournament headquarters.
Director: The person in charge of the tournament or event. The term “director” may be used to refer to the tournament director or the course director in multi-site tournaments. The Director may designate an official to rule on appeals.
Disc Entrapment Device: A target used to complete the hole, usually consisting of an upper entrapping section of chains, cables, tubes, etc. and a lower entrapping section of a basket or tray.
Drop Zone: An area on the course, as designated by the course designer or director, from which play is resumed after the preceding shot (1) was thrown out-of-bounds, (2) missed a mandatory, or (3) landed in a protected area (governed by 804.01, Special Conditions). The throwing area from within the drop zone shall be clearly marked and played in a manner similar to the marking and playing of a teeing area.
Fairway: The in-bounds path or field over which a player throws while advancing from the teeing area to the hole. Group: The competitors who are assigned to play a round together for the purpose of verifying scores and proper play in accordance with the rules.
Hole: The target that must be reached in order to complete that segment of the course. The term “hole” also refers to the numbered segments of the course that are separate units for scoring.
Holed-Out: A term used to signify completion of a hole. A player has “holed-out” after the removal of the at rest disc from the chains or entrapment area of a disc entrapment device or after striking the marked area of the designated object target.
Lie: The spot on the playing surface upon which the player takes his or her stance in accordance with the rules.
Line of Play: The imaginary line on the playing surface extending from the center of the target through the center of the marker disc and beyond. This line has no thickness; therefore one support point must be directly behind the center of the marker.
Mandatory: An object or objects that the disc must pass in a designated manner on its way to the hole. A mandatory functions to limit the allowable path the disc may take to the hole.
Marker: A term used to indicate either the mini marker disc or the thrown disc at rest, both of which can be used to indicate the lie from which a thrower’s next shot shall be played.
Marker Disc: See Marker.
Mini: See Mini Marker disc.
Mini Marker Disc: A disc used to mark the location of the lie. (See 803.03 marking the lie, and 802.03, size restrictions).
Obstacle: Any feature of the course that may impede any aspect of play.
Official: A person who is authorized to make judgments regarding the proper application of the rules during play.
Out-of-Bounds: An area designated by the director prior to the start of play from which a disc may not be played. The out-of-bounds line extends a plane vertically upward and downward. The out-of-bounds line is itself out-of-bounds. An out-of-bounds disc is not a lost disc.
Par: As determined by the director, the score an expert disc golfer would be expected to make on a given hole. Par means errorless play under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two close range throws to hole-out.
Penalty Throw: A throw added to a player’s score for violating a rule, or for relocation of a lie, as called for by a rule.
Players’ Meeting: A meeting of players with the tournament director or course official prior to a tournament, where players are given instructions about the tournament procedures, courses, and any special conditions which will apply during the tournament.
Playing Surface: The area below where the disc came to rest from which the stance for the next shot is taken. The playing surface is generally the ground but can be any surface deemed suitable for play by the tournament director or course official.
Practice Throw: During a round, the projection of a disc of a distance greater than two meters, or of any distance toward a target, intentional or not, which does not change the player’s lie, either because it did not occur from the teeing area or the lie, or because the player had already thrown competitively from the teeing area or the lie. Throws that are re-thrown in accordance with the rules are not practice throws. Provisional throws made pursuant to 803.01 C and 803.01 D (3) are not practice throws. A player shall receive a penalty for a practice throw in accordance with sections 803.01 B or 804.02 A (2).
Provisional: See Provisional Throw.
Provisional Throw: An extra throw, agreed upon by a player’s group, that is not added to a player’s score if not used in the completion of the hole. Additionally, a set of provisional throws that will be allowed to complete a hole as an alternative to the original play of the hole, when there is a disputed ruling. Only one set of throws will be counted as the player’s score when a final ruling is made.
Putt: Any throw from 10 meters or less as measured from the rear of the marker disc to the base of the hole is considered a putt.
Putt (falling) – Falling Putt: A putt after which a player touches his or her marker disc, or any object beyond the lie, including the playing surface, before having demonstrated full control of balance.
Relief: A change made to the player’s lie or surrounding area, such that an obstacle is removed from the vicinity, or when that is impractical, the lie is relocated away from the obstacle in accordance with section 803.05C. Obstacles may not be moved if any part of the obstacle is between the lie and the hole.
Supporting Point: Any part of a player’s body that is in contact with the playing surface or some other object capable of providing support, at the time of release.
Teeing Area: The area bounded by the edges of a tee pad (if provided); otherwise, the area extending three meters perpendicularly behind the designated tee line.
Throw: The propulsion of a disc that causes it to change its position from the teeing area or the lie.
Thrower: The player who has made, or is about to make, a throw that is the aspect of play being considered by a particular rule.
Two meter rule: Where designated by the director, a one throw penalty for discs that come to rest two meters or higher above the playing surface. The director may declare the two meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, or just for individual obstacles.
Unplayable Lie: A lie from which a player decides that obstacles to stance or throwing motion make it impractical or unsafe to attempt a throw. The lie is relocated with a penalty.
Warning: Where prescribed by a rule, the initial advisement a player is given for violating that rule, making him or her vulnerable to receiving a penalty throw for subsequent violations of that rule within the same round.
RULE: 801 Conduct of Players
RULE: 801.01 Courtesy
A. Players should not throw until they are certain that the thrown disc will not distract another player or potentially injure anyone present. Players should watch the other members of their group throw in order to aid in locating errant throws and to ensure compliance with the rules.
B. Players should take care not to produce any distracting noises or any potential visual distractions for other players who are throwing. Examples of discourteous actions are: shouting, cursing, freestyling, slapping course equipment, throwing out of turn, throwing or kicking golf bags, throwing minis, and advancing on the fairway beyond the away player. Shouting at an appropriate time to warn someone in danger of being struck by a disc is not a violation of courtesy.
C. Refusal to perform an action expected by the rules, such as assisting in the search for a lost disc, moving discs or equipment, or keeping score properly, etc., is a courtesy violation.
D. Players are responsible for the actions of their caddies. Players shall receive warnings and penalties (where applicable) for the actions of their caddies.
E. Littering is a courtesy violation.
F. Courtesy dictates that players who smoke should not allow their smoke to disturb other players. Smokers should extinguish their cigarettes and carry their cigarette butts to a trash can. Disposing of cigarette butts by dropping them on the ground is littering.
G. A player violating a courtesy rule may be warned by any affected player, even if from another group, or by an official, with all players of the group advised of the warning. The player shall be assessed one penalty throw for each subsequent courtesy violation of any type in the same round. Repeated violations of courtesy rules may result in disqualification in accordance with section 804.05.
RULE: 801.02 Order of Play
A. Teeing order on the first teeing area is determined by the order in which the scorecards were filled out or by the order the players were listed or arranged on the scoreboard.
B. Teeing order on all subsequent tees is determined by the scores on the previous hole, with the lowest score throwing first, and so on. If the previous hole was a tie, the scores are to be counted back until the order is resolved.
C. After all the players in the group have teed off, the player farthest from the hole (the away player) throws first. To facilitate flow of play, a player who is not farthest away may play next if the away player consents.
D. During tournament play, no group may play through the group ahead unless the group ahead is required to stand aside in accordance with the rules or as directed by an official.
E. Throwing out of turn shall be considered a courtesy violation. See 801.01G.
RULE: 801.03 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 taken a reasonable time to arrive at the disc and mark the lie; and,
(3) the playing area is clear and free of distractions.
B. A player shall receive a warning for the first excessive time violation if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. The player shall be assessed one penalty throw for each subsequent excessive time violation in the same round if observed by two or more players of the group or an official.
RULE: 801.04 Playing the Stipulated Course
A. It is the responsibility of the player to play the course correctly. Before play begins, players shall attend the players’ meeting and ask about any special conditions that may exist on the course, including extra holes, alternate teeing areas, alternate hole placements, out-of-bounds areas, and mandatories.
B. Specific Types of Misplay and Penalty Procedures for Each:
(1) Wrong Tee: Teeing off from the wrong teeing area. If the misplay is discovered after the player’s throw from the incorrect teeing area, but before a subsequent throw, the player shall re-tee from the correct teeing area and treat the initial throw as a practice throw (one throw added to the player’s score). If the misplay is discovered after a subsequent throw, the player shall proceed to complete the hole and receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
(2) Misplayed Mandatory: Failing to attempt to navigate a mandatory route. If the misplay is discovered after a player’s throw has passed beyond the mandatory on the wrong side, but before a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall be assessed a one-throw penalty and play from the drop zone as stipulated in 803.12 B. If the misplay is discovered after a player’s throw has passed beyond the mandatory on the wrong side, and a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall finish the hole without playing from the drop zone, and receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
(3) Wrong Target: If a player holes out on the wrong target for a given hole, he or she will continue play from a lie directly beneath that target, without penalty. If the player holes out at the wrong target, and believes the hole is completed, and proceeds to play the next hole, a two-throw penalty will be added to that player’s score for misplaying the course.
(4) Out-Of-Bounds Play: Playing an out-of-bounds disc as if it were in-bounds. If the misplay is discovered after the throw from out-of-bounds, but before a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall throw from the correct lie and treat the throw from out-of-bounds as a practice throw (one throw added to the player’s score). If the misplay is discovered after a subsequent throw, the player shall proceed to complete the hole and receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
(5) Non-Sequential Play: Skipping a hole or playing the holes in the wrong order. If the misplay is discovered after an initial throw has been made but before a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall re-tee from the correct teeing area and count the initial throw as a practice throw (one throw added to the player’s score). If the misplay is discovered after a subsequent throw has been made, the hole being played shall be completed. Immediately thereafter, the player shall proceed to play the course in its proper order from the point where the misplay began. Regardless of the number of holes skipped, or played in the wrong order, a total of two penalty throws shall be added to the player’s score for the misplay infraction. The score earned from any completed hole(s) shall stand. Any completed hole(s) shall not be replayed.
C. In instances where the misplay rules affect players within a group differently, the group shall remain together while a hole is being completed by some of the group to verify scoring and rules compliance.
D. In instances where a misplay is discovered after the pertinent hole or holes have been completed (holed out), the misplay shall not be replayed and the player shall receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
E. In instances where a misplay is discovered after the player has turned in his or her scorecard, the misplay shall not be replayed and the player shall receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
F. A player who deliberately misplays the course to gain competitive advantage has violated 804.05 A (3) and shall be penalized in accordance with this section.
RULE: 802 Equipment
RULE: 802.01 Discs Used in Play
A. Discs used in play must meet all of the conditions set forth in the Official PDGA Technical Standards Do*****ent. See section 805 B for disc technical standards.
B. A disc which is cracked or perforated is illegal. See sections 802.01 D, E and F. A disc which is cracked during a round may be carried by the player, but not used, for the balance of the tournament. The player must immediately declare his intention to carry the newly cracked or broken disc to the group or be subject to penalty under 802.01 E.
C. Players may not make post-production modification of discs which alter their original flight characteristics. This rule does not forbid inevitable wear and tear from usage during play or the moderate sanding of discs to smooth molding imperfections or scrape marks. Discs excessively sanded or painted with a material of detectable thickness are illegal. See sections 802.01 D, E and F.
D. Discs must be specifically approved by the director if questioned by another player or an official, but in no case shall the disc be approved if it violates any of the above specifications. Any specifically non-approved disc (per the director) shall be considered illegal, and the player shall be penalized in accordance with 802.01 E.
E. A player who carries an illegal disc during play shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning, if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. A player who repeatedly throws an illegal disc during the round may be subject to disqualification in accordance with 804.05 A (3).
F. All discs used in play, except mini marker discs, must be uniquely marked in ink or pigment-based marking which has no detectable thickness. A player shall receive a warning for the first instance of throwing an unmarked disc if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. After the warning has been given, each subsequent throw by the player with an unmarked disc shall incur one penalty throw if observed by two or more players of the group or an official.
RULE: 802.02 Mini Marker Discs
A. Mini marker discs shall be used to mark a player’s lie as required by these rules. Mini marker discs must have a diameter of between 7 and 15 centimeters and a height not exceeding 3 centimeters.
RULE: 802.03 Targets
A. Targets used to complete the hole may not violate any of the conditions set forth in the official PDGA Technical Standards Do*****ent. See sections 803.13 B and C for criteria to hole out for targets..
RULE: 802.04 Artificial Devices
A. During a round, a player shall not use any artificial device that may assist in making a throw, except those devices that reduce or control abrasion to the skin (such as gloves, tape, bandages, gauze, etc.) and medical items (such as knee and ankle braces, etc.). Items used to prevent slipping on the teeing surface are also allowed. A player is specifically prohibited from using any artificial device that changes the position of the disc in the player’s hand or artificially lengthens any of the player’s throwing levers (fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder, etc.). The use of devices which assist in determining distances over 10 meters, such as range finders and GPS devices are prohibited. Measuring devices such as a tape measure may be carried and used to determine distances 10 meters and less for the purpose of rules enforcement.
B. A player shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning, if, during any portion of a round, he or she is observed by two players or an official to be using or carrying an artificial device that is determined by the director to violate section 802.04 A. A player who uses an artificial device after it has been determined by the director to be in violation of 802.04 A has also violated 804.05 A (3) and shall be penalized accordingly.
RULE: 803 Rules of Play
RULE: 803.01 General
A. Description of the Game. The game of disc golf consists of throwing a flying disc from the teeing area to a target by a throw or successive throws. Players shall play the course as they find it and play the disc where it lies unless allowed otherwise by the Rules. The competitor who plays the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest throws plus penalty throws is the winner.
B. Practice Throws. A player who throws a practice throw or an extra throw with any disc any time after the start of his or her round and prior to his or her finishing the last hole of the round (except for throws that must be re-thrown in accordance with the rules, provisional throws made pursuant to 803.01 C and 803.01 D (3), or throws during a suspension or postponement of play) shall receive one penalty throw. The practice throw or extra throw must be observed by any two players or an official.
C.Provisional Throws. Provisional throws are extra throws that are not added to a player’s score if they are not ultimately used in completion of the hole. The use of provisional throws is encouraged in all situations where there is a question regarding a thrower’s lie and a provisional would speed play or when the thrower questions the group’s or official’s ruling. The unused throws shall not be added to the thrower’s score nor treated as practice throws if the player announces that such additional throws are made as provisional throws prior to taking them. Provisional throws are appropriate in the following cir*****stances:
(1) To save time: A player may declare a provisional throw any time (a) the status of a disc cannot immediately be determined, and (b) the majority of the group agrees that playing a provisional throw may save time, and (c) the original throw may be out of bounds, lost, or have missed a mandatory. When proceeding under this type of provisional the thrower shall complete the hole from whichever of the two throws is deemed by the group or an official as the appropriate lie according to the rules.
(2) To appeal the group’s or an official’s ruling: A set of provisional throws may be taken to complete a hole pursuant to 803.01 D
(3) when the player disagrees with the majority group decision and an official is not readily available, or if the player wishes to appeal the decision of an official. The scores from both sets of throws shall be recorded. The proper ruling and score are then determined by the director at the end of the round.
(1) When a group cannot reach a majority decision regarding a ruling, the benefit of the doubt shall be given to the thrower. However, any player may seek the ruling of an official, and the official’s ruling shall supersede the group’s ruling. Any player desiring an appeal of the group’s decision shall promptly and clearly express that desire to the group.
(2) If an official is readily available, the group shall stand aside to seek the official’s ruling, allowing other groups to play through.
(3) If an official is not readily available, the group shall proceed in one of two ways. The group may reach a majority decision with the benefit of the doubt going to the thrower, and continue play. Alternatively, if the thrower does not wish to continue play under the group’s majority decision, the thrower may declare a provisional per 803.01 C. The use of provisional throws is encouraged in all situations where the thrower questions the group’s or official’s ruling.
(4) A player may seek an appeal of an official’s ruling to the director. If the director is readily available, the appeal shall be heard directly. The group shall stand aside awaiting the ruling on appeal. If the director is not readily available, the group shall continue playing under the official’s ruling. The appeal shall be made as soon as practical. The decision of the director shall be final
(5) Where a group’s or official’s decision is overturned on appeal, the official or director may, in the interest of fairness, allow the thrower’s score to remain the same or adjust the thrower’s score to reflect the correct interpretation of the rules. Only in a case where a replay is the most fair solution, at the discretion of the director, shall a hole or holes be replayed.
E. Warnings. A player shall not receive a warning for a rules violation unless the rule specifically provides for a warning. Warnings do not carry over from one round to the next round or to a playoff.
F. Rule of Fairness. If any point in dispute is not covered by the rules, the decision shall be made in accordance with fairness. Often a logical extension of the closest existing rule or the principles embodied in these rules will provide guidance for determining fairness..
RULE: 803.02 Teeing Off
A. Play shall begin on each hole with the player throwing from within the teeing area. When the disc is released, at least one of the player’s supporting points must be in contact with the surface of the teeing area, and all the player’s supporting points must be within the teeing area. If a tee pad is provided, all supporting points must be on the pad at the time of release, unless the director has specified a modified teeing area for safety reasons. If no tee pad is provided, all supporting points at the time of release must be within an area encompassed by the front line of the teeing area and two lines perpendicular to and extending back three meters from each end of the front line. The front line of the teeing area includes the outside edges of the two tee markers. Running up from behind the teeing area before the disc is released is permitted. Following through in front of the teeing area is permitted provided there is no supporting point contact outside the teeing area when the disc is released
B. Any supporting point contact outside the teeing area at the time of release constitutes a stance violation and shall be handled in accordance with sections 803.04 F, G and H.
RULE: 803.03 Marking the Lie
A. After each throw, the thrown disc must be left where it came to rest until the lie is established by the placing of a marker. This can be done by placing a mini marker disc on the playing surface between the hole and the disc, directly in line with the hole, on the line of play, touching the thrown disc. A player may instead choose, without touching or repositioning the thrown disc, to use the thrown disc as the marker. The marker may not be moved until the throw is released. A marker inadvertently moved prior to the throw shall be returned to its correct location
B. A player is only required to mark the lie with a mini marker disc when repositioning the lie under the rules. This includes the following rules: out-of-bounds, disc above the playing surface, lost disc, unplayable lie, relocated for relief, interference, or repositioning the lie within one meter of the out-of-bounds line.
C. If the thrown disc comes to rest in-bounds but within one meter of an out-of-bounds line, the lie may be relocated to any point on a one-meter line that extends perpendicularly from the nearest point on the out-of-bounds line, and passes through the center of the thrown disc. This holds true even if the direction takes the lie closer to the hole. See the following sections for other considerations in marking a thrown disc:
(1) Relocated for relief – 803.05 C (2)
(2) Interference – 803.07 A, B
(3) Above the playing surface – 803.08 A
(4) Out-of-bounds – 803.09 B
(5) Lost – 803.11 B
D. The Rule of Verticality: The out-of-bounds line represents a vertical plane. Where a player’s lie is marked from a particular point within one meter of the out-of-bounds line pursuant to the rules, the one-meter relief may be taken from the particular point upward or downward along the vertical plane.
E. If the thrown disc breaks and comes to rest in more than one piece, the largest piece, as agreed to by a majority of the group or an official, is deemed to be the thrown disc.
F. A disc thrown in water shall be deemed to be at rest once it is floating or is moving only by the action of the water or the wind on the water.
G. A player shall receive a warning for the first violation of a marking rule if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. One penalty throw shall be assessed for each subsequent violation of any marking rule during the round if observed by two or more players of the group or an official.
RULE: 803.04 Stance, Subsequent to Teeing Off
A. When the disc is released, a player must:
(1) Have at least one supporting point that is in contact with the playing surface on the line of play and within 30 centimeters directly behind the marker disc (except as specified in 803.04 E); and,
(2) have no supporting point contact with the marker disc or any object closer to the hole than the rear edge of the marker disc; and,
(3) have all of his or her supporting points in-bounds.
B. Stepping past the marker disc is permitted after the disc is released, except when putting within 10 meters.
C. Any throw from within 10 meters or less, as measured from the rear of the marker disc to the base of the hole, is considered a putt. A follow-through after a putt that causes the thrower to make any supporting point contact closer to the hole than the rear edge of the marker disc constitutes a falling putt and is considered a stance violation . The player must demonstrate full control of balance before advancing toward the hole.
D. A player must choose the stance that will result in the least movement of any part of any obstacle that is a permanent or integral part of the course.
E. If a large solid obstacle prevents a player from taking a legal stance within 30 centimeters directly behind the marker disc, the player shall take his or her stance immediately behind that obstacle on the line of play. The player must comply with all the provisions of 803.04 A other than being within 30 centimeters directly behind the marker disc.
F. A stance violation must be clearly called within three seconds after the infraction to be valid. The call may be made by any member of the group or an official. When the call is made by a member of the group, it must subsequently be confirmed by another member of the group. A player shall receive a warning for the first violation of a stance rule in the round. Subsequent violations of a stance rule in the same round shall incur a one-throw penalty.
G. Any throw that involves a validly called and seconded stance violation may not be used by the thrower. Re-throws must be taken from the original lie, prior to subsequent play by others in the group.
H. The player may not retrieve the originally thrown disc prior to the re-throw, except in the case of a putt from within 10 meters. Where a disc is retrieved in violation of this rule, a one throw penalty shall be imposed without a warning.
RULE: 803.05 Obstacles and Relief
A. Obstacles to a Stance or Throwing Motion: Players must choose a stance which results in the least movement of any part of any obstacle except as allowed for casual obstacles by 803.05 C. No relief is granted from park equipment (such as signs, trash cans, picnic tables, etc.) as they are considered part of the course. Once a legal stance is taken, a player may not move an obstacle (or hold it back or bend it) in order to make room for a throwing motion. It is legal for a player’s throwing motion to make incidental movement of an obstacle.
B. Obstacles Between the Lie and Hole: A player may not move, alter, bend, break, or hold back any part of any obstacle, including casual obstacles, between the lie and the hole, with one exception: A player may move obstacles between the lie and the hole that became a factor during the round, such as spectators, players’ equipment, open gates, or branches that fell during the round. Where it is not known if an obstacle has become a factor during a round, it shall not be moved. It is legal for a player’s throwing motion to make incidental movement of an obstacle.
C. Casual Obstacles: A player may obtain relief only from the following obstacles: casual water, loose leaves or debris, broken branches no longer connected to a tree, motor vehicles, harmful insects or animals, players’ equipment, spectators, or any item or area specifically designated by the director before the round. Obstacles may not be moved if any part of the obstacle is between the lie and the hole. The type of relief a player may obtain is based on the location of the obstacle and is limited as follows:
(1) Casual obstacles between the lie and the hole: A player may move obstacles which became a factor during the round as described by 803.05 B.
(2) Casual obstacles to stance or throwing motion: The player must first attempt to remove the obstacle unless a portion of the obstacle is also between the lie and the hole. If it is impractical to move the obstacle, or if a portion of the obstacle is also between the lie and the hole, the player’s lie may be relocated to the nearest lie which is no closer to the hole, is on the line of play, and is not more than five meters from the original lie, as agreed to by a majority of the group or an official (unless greater casual relief is announced by the director). Alternatively, the player may declare an unplayable lie and proceed in accordance with 803.06.
(3) Casual obstacles to a run-up: The player may move the obstacle provided no part of the obstacle is between the lie and the hole. No other relief is provided.
D. In situations where it is unclear if an object may be moved or other relief obtained, it shall be determined by a majority of the group or an official.
E. A player shall receive one penalty throw, without a warning, for violation of an obstacle or relief rule.
F. A player who purposely damages anything on the course shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning, if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. The player may also be disqualified from the tournament, in accordance with section 804.05 A (2).
RULE: 803.06 Unplayable Lie
A. A player may declare his or her lie to be an unplayable lie. The player is the sole judge as to whether the lie is unplayable. The unplayable lie may be relocated to a new lie that is: (1) No closer to the hole, on the line of play and within five meters of the unplayable lie; or (2) The previous lie as evidenced by the marker disc or, if the marker disc has been moved, from an approximate lie as agreed to by the majority of the group or an official. The original throw plus one penalty throw are counted in the player’s score.
RULE: 803.07 Interference
A. A thrown disc that hits another player, spectator, or animal shall be played where it comes to rest. A thrown disc that is intentionally deflected or was caught and moved shall be marked as close as possible to the point of contact, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. Alternatively, for intentional interference only, the thrower has the option of taking a re-throw. Players shall not stand or leave their equipment where interference with the flight or path of a disc could easily occur. The away player may require other players to mark their lies or move their equipment before making a throw if the player believes that either could interfere with his or her throw.
B. If a disc at rest on the playing surface or supported by the target is moved, the disc shall be replaced as close as possible to its original location, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. If a marker disc is moved, the marker disc shall be replaced as close as possible to its original location, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. (If the two meter penalty is in effect, see also 803.08 C and D for movement of a disc above the playing surface.)
C. Any player who consciously alters the course of a thrown disc, or consciously moves or obscures another player’s thrown disc at rest or a marker disc, other than by the action of a competitively thrown disc or in the process of identification, shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning, if observed by any two players or an official.
RULE: 803.08 Disc Above 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. The director may designate a one throw penalty for discs that come to rest two meters or higher above the playing surface. The director may declare the two meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, or just for individual obstacles. (Sections B through D are only used if the two meter penalty is in effect.)
B.If a disc has come to rest above two meters, as measured from the lowest point of the disc to the playing surface directly below it, the player shall be assessed a one-throw penalty. This penalty applies only if the disc is above in-bounds. The player shall proceed from a lie marked in accordance with 803.08 A.
C. No penalty shall be incurred if the disc falls, unassisted by a player or spectator, to a position less than two meters above the playing surface before the thrower arrives at the disc. The thrower may not delay in order to allow the position of the disc to improve.
D. If the two-meter status of a disc is uncertain, either a majority of the group or an official shall make the determination. If the thrower moves the disc before determination has been made, the disc shall be considered above two meters and the thrower shall proceed in accordance with 803.08 A and B. If a player other than the thrower moves the disc before a determination has been made, the disc shall be considered below two meters and the interference rule shall be applied as it relates to the thrower and the player. See sections 803.07 B and C.
RULE: 803.09 Out-of-Bounds
A. A disc shall be considered out-of-bounds only when it comes to rest and it is clearly and completely surrounded by the out-of-bounds area. A disc thrown in water shall be deemed to be at rest once it is floating or is moving only by the action of the water or the wind on the water. See section 803.03 F. The out-of-bounds line itself is considered out-of-bounds. In order to consider the disc as out-of-bounds, there must be reasonable evidence that the disc came to rest within the out-of-bounds area. In the absence of such evidence, the disc will be considered lost and the player will proceed according to rule 803.11B.
B. A player whose disc is considered out-of-bounds shall receive one penalty throw. The player may elect to play the next shot from:
(1) The previous lie as evidenced by the marker disc or, if the marker disc has been moved from an approximate lie, as agreed to by the majority of the group or an official; or (2) A lie that is up to one meter away from and perpendicular to the point where the disc last crossed into out-of-bounds, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. This holds true even if the direction takes the lie closer to the hole; or
(3) Within the designated Drop Zone, if provided. These options may be limited by the tournament director as a special condition (see 804.01).
C. The Rule of Verticality. The out-of-bounds line represents a vertical plane. Where a player’s lie is marked from a particular point within one meter of the out-of-bounds line pursuant to the rules, the one-meter relief may be taken from the particular point upward or downward along the vertical plane.
D. If the in-bounds status of a disc is uncertain, either a majority of the group or an official shall make the determination. If the thrower moves the disc before a determination has been made, the disc shall be considered out-of-bounds, and he or she shall proceed in accordance with 803.09 B counting all throws made prior to the determination of the in-bounds status of the original lie. If a player other than the thrower moves the disc before a determination has been made, the disc shall be considered in-bounds, and play for the thrower and the mover of the disc shall proceed under the rules of interference, 803.07 B and C.
RULE: 803.10 Throwing From Another Player’s Lie
A. A player who has thrown from another player’s lie shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning. The offending player shall complete the hole as if the other player’s lie were his or her own. No throws shall be replayed.
B. The player whose lie was played by the offending player shall be given an approximate lie as close to the original lie as possible, as determined by the offending player, a majority of his or her group, or an official. See section 803.11 C if the disc has been declared lost.
RULE: 803.11 Lost Disc
A. A disc shall be declared lost if the player cannot locate it within three minutes after arriving at the spot where it was last seen by the group or an official. Two players or an official must note when the timing of three minutes begins. All players of the group must, upon request, assist in searching for the disc for the full three minutes before the disc is declared lost. The disc is considered lost immediately upon the expiration of the three minute time limit.
B. A player whose disc is declared lost shall receive one penalty throw. If the throw was made from the tee, the player will re-tee for the next shot. If not made from the tee, the group will determine the approximate lie from which the throw was made, and the player will throw again from that lie. In all cases the original throw plus one penalty throw shall be counted in the player’s score
C. If it is discovered prior to the completion of the tournament, that a player’s disc that was declared lost had been removed or taken, then the player shall have two throws removed from his or her score.
D. A marker disc that is lost shall be replaced in its approximate lie as agreed to by a majority of the group or an official with no penalty.
RULE: 803.12 Mandatories
A. A mandatory restricts the path the disc may take to the target. A disc must pass the correct side of the mandatory before the hole is completed. Once the disc has completely passed the mandatory line on the correct side (even if it subsequently re-crosses the line), the mandatory is to be ignored for the remainder of play on that hole.
(1) The mandatory line is the line marked by the director or course designer to indicate when a disc has passed or missed the mandatory.
(2) If no line is marked, the mandatory line is defined as a straight line through the mandatory, perpendicular to the line from the tee to the mandatory.
(3) In the case of a double mandatory when no line is marked, the mandatory line is the straight line connecting the two mandatories, and extends beyond them in both directions.
B. A throw is considered to have missed the mandatory if it passes the incorrect side of the mandatory line from the direction of the tee, and comes to rest lying completely beyond that line.
C. A disc that has missed the mandatory results in a one-throw penalty and the next throw shall be made from the drop zone, as designated for that mandatory. In cases where the drop zone is not designated, the lie is marked within five meters of the mandatory object and one meter behind the mandatory line which extends from the correct side of the mandatory.
D. When marking the lie, if the line of play does not pass the correct side of the mandatory, then the mandatory itself shall be considered the hole for the application of all rules regarding stance, markers, obstacles, and relief. For the purposes of taking a legal stance, the mandatory object which has not yet been passed, and is nearest the tee, will be considered to be the hole.
E. A throw that misses a mandatory shall be penalized and the lie marked according to the mandatory rule (803.12). It will not be further penalized for any other reason, such as out-of-bounds or above two meters.
RULE: 803.13 Holing Out
A. A player who fails to play any hole or fails to hole out on any hole during the round may be disqualified, at the discretion of the director, using the following guidelines:
(1) Holes missed due to late arrival may be scored and penalized according to section 804.02.
(2) Inadvertently failing to hole out (as determined by a majority of the group or an official) shall result in 2 penalty throws being added to the number of throws plus penalty throws already taken on the hole. The hole shall then be considered completed.
(3) Intentionally failing to hole out (emergency, injury, plane flight, etc.) constitutes withdrawal from competition. The player shall be withdrawn from competition and officially listed as “Did Not Finish” on the scorecard and in the event results.
B. Disc Entrapment Devices: In order to hole out, the thrower must release the disc and it must come to rest supported by the chains or within one of the entrapment sections. This includes a disc wedged into or hanging from the lower entrapment section but excludes a disc resting on top of, or hanging outside of, the upper entrapment section. The disc must also remain within the chains or entrapment sections until removed.
C. Object Targets: In order to hole out, the thrower must release the disc and it must strike the marked target area on the object as specified by the director.
RULE: 804 Tournament Procedures
RULE: 804.01 Special Conditions
A. Rules governing special conditions that may exist on the course shall be clearly defined and disseminated to all players prior to the start of the tournament. All special conditions shall be covered in the players’ meeting. Each player is responsible for adhering to all points covered in the players’ meeting.
B. The drop zone may be utilized in special conditions. The director must announce prior to the tournament how it is to be used and if a penalty throw is to be assessed. If no penalty is announced prior to the tournament, none will be assessed for use of the drop zone in special conditions.
C. The two meter rule may be utilized in special conditions. The director must announce prior to the tournament how it is to be used and if a penalty throw is to be assessed. If no penalty is announced prior to the tournament, none will be assessed when a disc comes to rest two meters or higher above the playing surface. The director may declare the two meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, or just for individual obstacles.
D. No rules may be stipulated which conflict with the PDGA Rules of Play, unless approved by the Competition Director of the PDGA.
RULE: 804.02 Beginning Play
A. Shotgun Starts (rounds where several groups start simultaneously): At a scheduled time, scorecard(s) shall be distributed to the player listed first on each hole. After the cards have been distributed, groups shall be given adequate time to reach their assigned teeing areas. A loud noisemaker, such as an air horn, shall be used to indicate that there are two minutes remaining until tee off. This signal shall be a series of short blasts. At this time, players are to end practice and all practice shots and move promptly to their teeing areas. A throw by a player between the two minute signal and the start of the round shall receive a warning if observed by two or more players or an official. After being warned, subsequent throws by the player during this period, if observed by two or more players or an official, shall result in one penalty throw added to the player’s score, regardless of the number of throws. An extended blast of the noisemaker begins the round and signals the scorekeepers to call the throwing orders. If a player is not present to throw when it is his or her turn, the scorekeeper shall allow 30 seconds. If the player has not thrown after the 30 seconds has elapsed, a score of par plus four is to be entered for that hole. This procedure continues on any subsequent holes for which a player is absent. No holes shall be replayed. If a complete round is missed, or if a player does not finish a round, the player may, at the discretion of the director, be disqualified.
B. Staggered Starts (rounds where groups start one after another on a certain hole): The player shall start at the time announced by the director. Players may practice until their group prepares to tee off provided their practice does not distract players on the course. If a player is not present to throw when it is his or her turn, the scorekeeper shall allow 30 seconds. If the player has not thrown by then, a score of par plus four is to be entered for that hole. This procedure continues on any subsequent tee offs for which a player is absent. No holes shall be replayed. If a complete round is missed, or if a player does not finish a round, the player may, at the discretion of the director, be disqualified.
RULE: 804.03 Scoring
A.The player listed first on the scorecard(s) bears primary responsibility for picking up the group’s scorecard(s), although any player may deliver it (them) to the first player. Players in the group shall rotate the scorekeeping responsibility proportionally, unless a player or a scorekeeper volunteers to keep score more and this is acceptable to all members of the group.
B. After each hole is completed, the scorekeeper shall call out each player’s name. The called player shall answer with the score in a manner that is clear to all players of the group and the scorekeeper. The scorekeeper shall record that score and read it back, in a manner that is clear to all players of the group. If there is any disagreement about the score a player reports, the group must review the hole and attempt to arrive at the correct score. If the group cannot reach consensus on the player’s score, they shall consult 803.01 D.
C.The scorekeeper shall record the score for each player on each hole as the total number of throws, including penalty throws. The round total shall also be recorded as the total number of throws, including penalty throws. The use of anything else (including the lack of a score) represents an incorrect hole or total score and is subject to penalty as described in 804.03.G(2).
D. Warnings and penalty throws given to a player for rules infractions shall be noted on the scorecard.
E. At the end of the round, each player shall sign his or her scorecard indicating that he or she attests to the accuracy of the score on each hole and the total score. If all the players of the group agree that a hole score was recorded in error, the score may be changed prior to the scorecard being turned in. Players whose scorecards are turned in unsigned accept responsibility for the scores reported.
F. All players are responsible for returning their scorecards within 25 minutes after the completion of a round. Failure to do so shall result in the assessment of two penalty throws, without a warning, to each player listed on the late scorecard.
G. After the scorecard is turned in, the total score as recorded shall stand with no appeal, except for the following cir*****stances:
(1) Penalty throws may be assessed at whatever time the infraction is discovered until the director declares the tournament officially over or all awards have been distributed.
(2) If it is determined that the total score was incorrectly recorded, either by an error on a hole score or by an error in totaling the hole scores, including omission of the total score, the director shall add two penalty throws to the correct total score. These penalty throws are not added when the TD (or an official designated by the TD, such as a course director) corrects a player’s score for other infractions determined after this player had turned in an otherwise correct scorecard.
(3) Late Scorecard. See 804.03 F.
RULE: 804.04 Rain or Hazardous Conditions
A. If, in the opinion of the director, excessive rain or hazardous conditions exist that make it impractical or dangerous to continue play, the tournament shall be suspended. The signal to suspend play shall be the same as the signal to start
B. Players shall immediately stop play and mark the lie of each member of the group. A natural object is sufficient to mark the approximate lie from which the player shall resume play. Players shall then return to the first teeing area, clubhouse, or area designated by the director.
C. Players shall resume play from their approximate lies as established when the round was halted. The approximate lie is determined by a majority of the group.
D. The director may allow players to take a break while waiting for weather to improve, but may require players to return each hour on the hour or at a time assigned by the director until play resumes or until the round is postponed.
E. The director may postpone the incomplete portion of the round for a later date if, in the director’s opinion, the conditions will not improve or if darkness will fall prior to the projected finish time.
F. Partial round scores shall be carried forward to the completion of the round whenever the round is resumed.
G. A player who stops playing before a signal to stop has been given shall receive two penalty throws if, in the opinion of the director, the player stopped playing prematurely.
RULE: 804.05 Disqualification and Suspension
A. A player shall be disqualified by the director for meeting any of the necessary conditions of disqualification as set forth in the rules, or for any of the following:
(1) Unsportsmanlike conduct, such as; loud cursing, throwing things in anger (other than discs in play), or overt rudeness to anyone present
(2) Willful and overt destruction or abuse of plant life, course hardware, or any other property considered part of the disc golf course or the park.
(3) Cheating: a willful attempt to cir*****vent the rules of play.
(4) Activities which are in violation of the law or park regulation or disc golf course rule, including the illegal consumption of drugs or alcohol. Directors are granted the discretion to disqualify a player based on the severity of the offending conduct. An official warning of disqualification may be issued by a director where appropriate.
B. Disqualified players shall forfeit any prize money and shall not receive a refund of entry fees.
C. A player in violation of any section under 804.05 A is also subject to suspension from the PDGA Tour. Suspension from the PDGA Tour may only be assigned by the PDGA Commissioner. A player may appeal his or her suspension to the PDGA Board of Directors. The determination to suspend, and the length of the suspension, shall be based on the severity of the action and the extent to which the player may have committed repeated violations.
RULE: 804.06 Grouping and Sectioning
A. Professional and Amateur players should not be grouped together, and all players from different divisions shall be segregated from each other during play as much as practicable.
B. All players within a division should be randomly grouped for the first round and grouped by *****ulative score for each round thereafter.
C. Groups shall not be less than three players, except under extenuating cir*****stances, as deemed necessary by the director, to promote fairness. In cases where fewer than three players are required to play together, an official is required to accompany the group and may play as long as this does not interfere with the competing players.
D. When there are more entrants than can play together in one round, the field of competitors may be split into sections or pools.
E. If conditions differentially affect play among sections, the director may consider using a sectioning procedure for cut and advancement. Under this procedure, a proportionate number of advancing players are taken from each section by score and the scores are not carried forward.
RULE: 804.07 Ties
A. Between rounds when the groups are being reset, tied positions shall be broken. The player with the lowest score in the most recent round shall have the highest ranking when the scorecards/positions are reset. In the event of low score ties, the ties shall be broken by the director through any consistently applied manner.
B. Final ties for first place must be broken by sudden death play. Sudden death play shall begin with hole number one unless a different hole is designated by the director prior to the start of the tournament. Final ties for other ranks shall be officially recorded as ties. Prize money distribution to tied players (other than for first place) shall be determined by adding the total money allocated to the number of positions represented by the tied players and dividing that by the number of players tied. Trophy distribution for ties may be determined by sudden death play or by any related disc golf skill event determined by the director.
RULE: 804.08 Classification of Players
A. PDGA divisional classifications are determined by the PDGA Board and the PDGA Competition Director. They are published each year in the PDGA membership/renewal forms and are posted online at: www.pdga.com/members.php
RULE: 804.09 Officials
A. To be eligible to serve as an official, an individual must be a current PDGA member and have demonstrated knowledge of the rules by passing the PDGA Official’s Exam. Upon significant changes to the Rules of Play, the PDGA Board of Directors may require officials to pass an updated Official’s Exam to retain certification as an official.
B. Directors are required to pass the Official’s Exam
C. Each official must pass the PDGA Officials Exam, and must carry a copy of the rules. D. Non-playing certified officials may actively make rulings during any tournament play that they witness. If an official competes in a tournament, he or she may not officiate for any ruling within his or her own division. The official’s ruling supersedes the ruling of the group, but an appeal may be made to the tournament director. The director may empower non-certified officials to act as spotters for a specific purpose. The ruling of such a spotter supersedes the ruling of the group.
RULE: 805 Measurement Cross Reference and Equipment Technical Standards
A. All measurements listed in the rules are given in metric units. The following English System equivalents are to be used when no metric measuring device is available. Under no cir*****stances shall players or officials use independent conversion calculations.
Metric System English System
10 meters 32 feet 10 inches
5 meters 16 feet 5 inches
3 meters 9 feet 10 inches
2 meters 6 feet 6 inches
1 meter 3 feet 3 inches
30 centimeters 11 and 3/4 inches
15 centimeters 5 and 7/8 inches
7 centimeters 2 and 3/4 inches
3 centimeters 1.18 inches
B.The guidelines for golf discs are set forth in the PDGA Technical Standards Do*****ent. To be legal in PDGA competition, a disc must:
(1) have a saucer-like configuration with a flight plate unbroken by perforations and an inner rim depth which exceeds five percent of the outside disc diameter. The flight plate is defined as the upper (or dorsal) section of the disc;
(2) be made of solid, non-magnetic plastic material, without any inflatable components;
(3) not be less than 21 cm in outside disc diameter, nor exceed 40 cm in outside disc diameter;
(4) not exceed 8.3 g per cm in outside disc diameter;
(5) not exceed a maximum weight of 200 g;
(6) be essentially as produced, without any post-production modifications which affect the weight or flight characteristics;
(7) be of a production-type disc available commercially to the public in numbers of at least 1500 in the case of a new mold or 500 in the case of a renamed disc out of a previously approved mold;
(8) present no unreasonable and no unusual danger to players or spectators;
(9) have a rim configuration rating of 26.0 or greater;
(10) pass the leading edge radius test with a 1/16” (1.6 mm) radius gauge
(11) have a flexibility rating no greater than 27 lb. (12.25 kg); and
(12) have been certified for competition by the PDGA Technical Standards Committee.
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