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Roxie
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:05 pm    Post subject: Falling Putt Reply with quote

Ok putting this out there for debate(friendly). Lately I've been warned of my puttin style to be... well illegal. Basically, I think after my follow thru, my back foot is in the air, but I use this foot to step over my lie after my disc has come to a rest. This has been described to me as a Falling Putt. Essentially I should put that foot back on the ground behind the disc, before proceeding.

The PDGA definition of a falling putt is this:
"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.


Can I not demonstrate full control of balance on one foot?
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Splash
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope. The other foot coming down to rest behind your lie completes your throw, and demonstrates balance. What you described above was a classic description of a falling putt.
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Roxie
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Says you. What is the definition of a completed throw and demonstrating balance. What if I touched my finger on my nose while on one foot. You know like a sobriety test. Doesn't that demonstrate balance?
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r'n'r outlaw
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was told something similar. After my disc has landed in the basket (or not), my foot follows through. Though I do not put my foot down before the throw is completed, I just considered it a follow-through. But I was told that this was illegal and that i should work on it because it could cause me problems in tournaments if i keep doing it.

Why is the position of your foot so important after the disc has landed? The disc is thrown so whether my foot is down or not, it has ne oeffect on the disc.

Just thought I'd ask.
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burjwahzeh
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll offer the following from the PDGA Q&A section:
Quote:
The rules do not require that you maintain your balance while putting. You can have a grand mal seizure as long as you don't step ahead of your lie. At the time you decide to step ahead of your lie is when you have to demonstrate balance. This is simply to prove that you are not committing a falling putt, such that you would not be able to stop yourself from falling forward due to the motion of your putt.


People like to quote this rule:
Quote:
803.04 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.


The problem is, how do you demonstrate balance? I would argue that touching your nose is an excellent demonstration of balance, but I could touch my nose while falling forward too, and you would never claim that I had balance. There is nothing in the rules that says you must step backwards.
However this is the rule that you should pay attention to:
Quote:
803.04 B. Stepping past the marker disc is permitted after the disc is released, except when putting within 10 meters.


In view of this, when read in combination with 803.04C and with the oh-so-colourful FAQ interpretation quoted above, the term balance in 803.04C appears to imply forward motion. This is a spirit of the law interpretation, since the letter of the law provides no guidance. You could fall over sideways, not have any balance at all, but as long as you don't put anything closer to the basket you are considered to have made a legal putt.

Enter the physics of momentum, and you'll see what balance is defining so poorly here.
When your centre of mass stops moving forward, you have displayed balance. You have reached the tipping point. Mathematically, you've marginally made it. Technically, you could do this with one foot in the air, but why stop there? No one should strive to be a marginal player.
When your centre of mass not only stops moving forward, but moves backwards, you have incontrovertably demonstrated balance. There is no arguement. When this happens, physics demands that you put your foot back.

Get in the habit of stepping backwards after a putt, (while holding your nose if you like) and the controversy goes away. Don's warning is worthwhile noting. As soon as you get in the habit of one foot in the air, you're going to get sloppy one day when it counts.

Aside: this is another ambiguity in the wording of the rules, but it really isn't so bad. It is the rigid interpretation of some of these rules that doesn't always sit well with me.

Remember, the rules are ment to be fair. Best practices (like stepping backwards after a putt) take all loosie goosie interpretation out of the rules. Making up rules isn't fair either.


Last edited by burjwahzeh on Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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burjwahzeh
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. Carl, I was playing on your card and recall the shot.

This is how it went down:

1) You putt, keeping your foot in the air.
2) You stopped and waited for the disc to hit the target, which it did.
3) With your foot still in the air, you bent over and picked up your marker disc.
4) On returning upright, you swung your back foot forward and walked towards the pole, never having placed it on the ground behind the marker.

I argue that you were legal in this regard, because of #2 above. Your forward momentum stopped, and that was clear to me. However, I was able to note this only because I was standing behind and to the side of you (like any courteous golfer would), and I was paying attention to your balance (it was not me that made the call, BTW), instead of what most players will follow, which is the flight of the disc. Where you DIDN'T display balance was in picking up your marker! Had you not stepped forward, at this point you would have fallen forward.
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Roxie
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know nobody called me on it, it was more of a friendly reminder.

OK now I'll play Devils Advocate. Your description of my putt was this:

1) You putt, keeping your foot in the air.
2) You stopped and waited for the disc to hit the target, which it did.

- By stopping and waiting does this not demonstrate balance. The disc is at full stop. Then I move on to step 3.

3) With your foot still in the air, you bent over and picked up your marker disc.
4) On returning upright, you swung your back foot forward and walked towards the pole, never having placed it on the ground behind the marker.

- Where does it say I have to return my foot to the ground? The rule is open to interpretation and not defined well enough me thinks.
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Don Lane
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of clarity, this thread actually belongs in the

"Disc Golf Rules & Course Safety" folder, which is where it can soon be found...
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Don Lane
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here it is... please continue...
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Brother Andre
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would tend to agree with Paul on this. Since you were able to stop your motion to watch the putt hit the target, I too would argue that you demonstrated balance and it was, therefore, a leagl putt.

On the other hand, if the putt and subsequent step forward seemed to be one unbroken motion, we may have something to discuss.

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burjwahzeh
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roxie wrote:
I know nobody called me on it, it was more of a friendly reminder.

OK now I'll play Devils Advocate. Your description of my putt was this:

1) You putt, keeping your foot in the air.
2) You stopped and waited for the disc to hit the target, which it did.

- By stopping and waiting does this not demonstrate balance. The disc is at full stop. Then I move on to step 3.


Yes, you did demonstrate balance. The motion of the disc has nothing to do with anything.

Roxie wrote:
3) With your foot still in the air, you bent over and picked up your marker disc.
4) On returning upright, you swung your back foot forward and walked towards the pole, never having placed it on the ground behind the marker.

- Where does it say I have to return my foot to the ground? The rule is open to interpretation and not defined well enough me thinks.

It says nowhere that you must return your foot to the ground. It says only that you must demonstrate balance. You did what you needed to, except remove yourself from controversy.
I would say the rule is defined well enough. People's expectations are not well defined, and are outside of the scope of the rules.

Carl: You did nothing wrong. Now all that you have to do is remove the controversy surrounding your style. Put your back foot down to pick up your marker disc, and do a knee bend instead of a back bend. I'm the worst at doing this myself. I should change my routine as well.
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burjwahzeh
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is no different than the bunch of us telling ET that his putting style sucked, and that he was going to get called for it (he does this little twist and jump thing).
I don't know if he's changed or not, but whenever I'm on the same card as him, I watch his feet when he putts. I can't wait to get him on a falling putt, and he's asking for it by maintaining his putting style.
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Roxie
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course I think I only do this during casual play (and I consider IL casual), when my mind is not 100% on my game.
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burjwahzeh
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course! big grin
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OMR
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

best example of falling putts: just watch McCormick! big grin
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Rolly
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I say if you shoot, and your left foot is in the air (as it should be for teqnique) after follow through, you bend over in a controlled manner (foot still off the ground and behind mark), pick up the mini then put your foot on the ground behind your spot (and your right foot), its no foul. Thats usually the way I put, picking up the mini, as the disc hits the chain's and as my left foot hits the ground, all in the same second.
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surge
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was doing this falling putt thing for the longest time before I was made aware of the rule. I never threw my disc while falling, but someone else watching at a different angle might...maybe the whole foot fault, falling putt thing is a little lax in our "friendly games" and that could bite us in the a$$ when we least expect it in a tournament. When putting I still forget to touch down behing the lie sometimes and that is a difficult habit to break...friends don't let friends putt while drunk...something like that big grin
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burjwahzeh
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolly wrote:
I say if you shoot, and your left foot is in the air (as it should be for teqnique) after follow through, you bend over in a controlled manner (foot still off the ground and behind mark), pick up the mini then put your foot on the ground behind your spot (and your right foot), its no foul. Thats usually the way I put, picking up the mini, as the disc hits the chain's and as my left foot hits the ground, all in the same second.

I would say you're okay, but once again, the controversy:
A player that fails to maintain their balance could use this move to "fake" maintaining their balance, and while picking up their disc, they could use their fingers to push the ground and in so doing, return to a balanced position.
You are keeping yourself honest, but let me draw a card-player's analogy for you:
In dealing cards, the easiest way to "cheat" is to deal the bottom card to someone (if it is a good card, to yourself, and if it is a bad card, to someone else). This is seamlessly accomplished if one adopts a "Mechanic's Grip" in holding the deck of cards while dealing (the grip makes it easy to use a finger to slide the bottom card sideways, and coupled with exaggerated arm movement, is difficult for the untrained eye to detect). If I see someone using a mechanics grip, I will watch them like a hawk. If I catch them cheating, I will call them on it. If I feel that they know how to cheat, I will politely ask them to hold the deck differently when they deal. If they clearly aren't a card player, I'll give them a shuffling lesson after the game. The rules don't say that they need to hold the deck differently, but a policy of using best practices when playing any game removes you from any controversy.
Back to the falling putt: You don't need to put your foot down behind you. You've made a legal putt. BUT, you can remove yourself from a bad call, or any controversy by stepping backwards after a putt. Some day, your luck is going to run out and some jerk out there is going to make an issue of it with you.


Last edited by burjwahzeh on Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Splash
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best practice analogies go a long way. Good points, Paul.
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