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When you’re researching any sport, game, or activity, it is wise to look into any violations or penalties that can be made and what the cost of them is.
There are many different facets of disc golf, and penalties are a must-know.
Penalties in disc golf constitute a penalty throw, which is an added throw onto your overall score.
Usually, a warning violation is first given if a player violates certain rules; and a penalty is given on the second violation.
Penalty throws must be verified with other members of the group or an official who is watching the game.
Also, if more than one rule is broken at one time then the amount of penalty throws depends on the violated rule that has the largest amount of penalty throws.
Penalties in Disc Golf
If you take too long to throw, then you will have made a violation.
A player makes this violation if they are present and do not throw within 30 seconds of: the previous player throwing, having a reasonable amount of time to determine the lie of the disc being next in the throwing order, and the playing area is not compromised.
The first violation is given a warning. After the warning, any violations will incur 1 penalty throw.
When you tee off you must have a supporting point (any body part that is being used to support you while you throw) within the tee area at the time you’re releasing.
There is usually a certain amount of space given on each course that roughly equals to 3 meters, you must have your supporting point firmly within this marked area.
If you fail to do so, then you receive a stance violation and immediately incur 1 penalty throw.
Marking your Lie
The lie is where your disc lands once you have thrown it.
You can use a marker disc to place where your lie is or you can leave your disc and remember your lie when you pick it back up to throw.
If you mark your lie in a different area than where you disc dropped, you will receive a warning followed by 2 penalty throws for each subsequent violation.
When you are throwing, you must have 1 supporting point in contact with the lie, no supporting points that are closer to the target than the rear edge of the lie, and all supporting points in-bounds.
If you do not have one of these factors, then you will receive 1 penalty throw.
Moving an obstacle
All players must try their best to not move or hurt any obstacle. You must choose a stance that will not hurt or move anything on the course.
Also, you can not move or hurt any obstacles that may possibly be in the way of your throw.
It is your responsibility to maintain the course as well as you possibly can.
If you purposely move or hurt an obstacle on your course, you get 1 penalty throw.
If you take a stance that hurts or moves an object or obstacle on the course, then you will receive 1 penalty throw.
Relief from obstacles
If an obstacle is too obstructive to be able to make a throw, then you can request relief from the obstacle.
Officials and directors can mark the possible points of relief on the course.
Relief allows you to move to a better area for throwing without giving any advantage to one or another.
Your new stance must be on the line of play, farther away from the target, and at the nearest possible point that provides relief from the obstacle in question.
If there is an obstacle or something that is keeping you from taking a new legal relief stance, then you can take your stance around whatever the object is as long as you are on the line of play.
If you take relief in any other fashion, you will receive 1 penalty throw.
Damages to the course
This rule is self-explanatory. If you damage a part of the course, you will receive 2 penalty throws.
Also, if you purposely damage the course, you may be subject to disqualification in your tournament.
You may also be removed from the course altogether.
If you lose your disc, you have about three minutes to find it. If you do not find your disc, it will be considered lost and you will receive 1 penalty throw.
If you do lose your disc, you will then continue from your previous lie.
A director or an official can declare a drop zone for lost discs.
If you lose your disc, you can request to go to the drop zone at the cost of 2 penalty throws.
Also, if you somehow removed your disc that was declared lost, and a member of the game figures it out, you will receive 2 penalty throws.
Regulated areas in Disc Golf
The Putting Area
The putting area is usually the area within about 10 meters from the target.
After you release your putt, you must have full balance while standing behind the marker before you proceed to the target.
If you do not have full balance, it is considered a stance violation and you receive 1 penalty throw.
Out of Bounds
Out of bounds areas can be decided by an official or the course itself.
If your disc lands out of bounds or is considered lost and you have reason to believe it went in the out of bounds area, then you will receive 1 penalty throw.
You will then throw from your previous lie, an area perpendicular to the place where your disc was last in-bounds, or as close to the area where your disc was last in-bounds as you can manage to lie your disc.
If a drop zone has been designated by either a director or an official for out of bounds discs, then you can choose to take your stance there at the cost of 2 penalty throws.
Hazard areas are also declared by the official or the course itself. This can be anything that is designated by the group, a director, or an official.
Your lie will not be relocated. If your disc falls into a hazard area, you will receive 1 penalty throw.
Failure to Submit Scorecard
When playing disc golf, you are usually a part of a group that is playing against another group.
Everyone is expected to keep their own scorecard which will be tallied by each team and submitted at the end of the game, the player who is listed first on the scorecard is usually responsible for collecting their teams’ cards at the end of the game.
Each team has about thirty minutes to review and submit their scorecards after they have completed the course.
If a member in your group disagrees with their scorecard, the group can deliberate and evaluate the score themselves or seek a director or an official.
Should you fail to return your scorecards, every player on the late scorecard will receive 2 penalty throws.
Figuring out the rules and penalties in a game is no easy task.
And finding and understanding all of the penalties in disc golf is not an exception.
But when listed and understood, the game will become much easier and much more fun!
Whether you are preparing for a tournament or looking to have a casual game, the rules of the game are need-to-know.
Have fun and don’t get too many penalties!