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Ball in motion intentionally deflected.


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Hey,

 

2nd hole today. Par 4. We’re a 3-some playing with other groups ahead of us. There is a 2-some on the tee behind us that are outside agencies, general public, not in our game. 
 

I’m in the fairway waiting to hit my second shot because the group ahead is still putting out. I hear a “crack” behind me telling me the guys behind us are hitting. I see the ball is headed right for me, it bounces twice and rolls. 
 

As it’s rolling toward me, I kick it into the rough. Then I, of course, yell back “WTF?!” Which is common courtesy to let the group behind, and anyone within earshot, know that they are morons. I digress. 
 

Do I take a penalty? I assumed at the time, being they are OA’s to me and my extended group, I wouldn’t take a penalty. 
 

But reading the actual Rule 11.2B says,

 

“ A player gets the general penalty if he or she deliberately deflects or stops ANY ball in motion.”

 

The second bullet point seems to take the edge off of “any” and says it’s the general penalty for stroke play and match play. 
 

I’m assuming, since I wasn’t playing stroke play or match play with the group behind, they were OA’s to my game and my group(s), that the ANY from 11.2B doesn’t apply. 
 

Let me know if I have that right. I was a little shook with the word “ANY”. 
 

Thanks!

Edited by Augster
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I'm very happy to hear that you extended common courtesy to your fellow golfers. We should always aspire to be polite on the course!

 

Your rules question is interesting and I haven't heard this "not part of MY stroke play competition" angle question. But I have asked a  similar question some time back on a match play situation - match on green and players following hit up and player on the green deliberately interferes with that ball in motion - penalty? The ruling: the rule as written (ie rule 11) penalizes the player, but the issue is being reviewed by the Rules of Golf Committee (ie the USGA/R&A rules oversight group). I haven't heard where it got to so I will follow up when I get the chance.

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Yikes.

 

I have trouble seeing how a ball in motion matters unless that ball is in your competition. An FC in stroke play? Obviously one should be penalized. 
 

But in match play? Or on a course with general public? 
 

Now, I can see where the ruling bodies may want to ALWAYS penalize poor behavior, which intentionally deflecting or stopping a ball certainly is. Maybe that is why they put ANY in the Rule. 
 

If that is the case, I’m all for it. BUT the ruling bodies should go all the way to punish intentional poor behavior. 

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1 hour ago, Augster said:

I have trouble seeing how a ball in motion matters unless that ball is in your competition. An FC in stroke play? Obviously one should be penalized. 
 

But in match play? Or on a course with general public? 

 

My personal view is that in stroke play Rule 11.2b is limited to the field of the competition, ie. to protect the field. Same goes for Match Play (the match only, not other matches in the same competition). Anything else would not make any sense to me.

 

However, a Committee might have drafted a Code of Conduct and that gives the Committee the power to penalize players for acts such as described in the OP using Rule 1.2.

 

Edited by Mr. Bean
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10 hours ago, antip said:

but the issue is being reviewed by the Rules of Golf Committee (ie the USGA/R&A rules oversight group). I haven't heard where it got to so I will follow up when I get the chance.

Perhaps it will be answered more clearly in the 2023 Rules.  I know that the USGA will begin holding Rules Workshops on October 21, so presumably the new Rules will have been issued before then.

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6 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

My personal view is that in stroke play Rule 11.2b is limited to the field of the competition, ie. to protect the field. Same goes for Match Play (the match only, not other matches in the same competition). Anything else would not make any sense to me.

 

However, a Committee might have drafted a Code of Conduct and that gives the Committee the power to penalize players for acts such as described in the OP using Rule 1.2.

 


In my situation, there really isn’t a “committee” that applies to myself, and the general public behind me. Our groups are technically their own committees for the purposes of our games that day. 
 

We had 5 groups in our game. If I were to see any of those other player’s balls rolling toward me, and I kick it, absolutely I should be penalized as per 11.2b, as we are all in the same competition. 
 

But the guys behind my group are their own entity. I don’t even know if they are a “competition” or a couple of guys just out whacking it around, not keeping score, and just chilling on a course for a few hours. 
 

The use of “ANY”, to me, must mean the ROG is penalizing boorish behavior. We all know we shouldn’t intentionally deflect a ball, regardless whether that ball is part of your competition, or someone else’s on the course. 
 

But it would be nice if it was clarified. 

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15 minutes ago, Augster said:

The use of “ANY”, to me, must mean the ROG is penalizing boorish behavior. We all know we shouldn’t intentionally deflect a ball, regardless whether that ball is part of your competition, or someone else’s on the course. 

 

Assuming that would be true there should be many other penalty clauses, such as penalty for deliberately lifting another player's ball and throwing it into a pond. Or deliberately stepping on another player's ball ruining the good lie in the rough. And so on.

 

Deflecting another player's ball when that player is not part of your competition is rotten behavior but has no effect on your field. Thus the penalty for ANY such bad behavior not affecting your field should IMO come via Rule 1.2b. The current wording of R11.2b may be a relict nobody had noted to change.

 

19 minutes ago, Augster said:

But it would be nice if it was clarified. 

 

Indeed.

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Because it was not the player's own ball or the ball of an opponent or the ball of another player in stroke play, I don't think there would be any penalty under Rule 11 as part b states-

b. When Penalty Applies to a Player

  • A player gets the general penalty if he or she deliberately deflects or stops any ball in motion.

  • This is true whether it is the player’s own ball or a ball played by an opponent or by another player in stroke play.

 

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3 hours ago, Dpavs said:

Because it was not the player's own ball or the ball of an opponent or the ball of another player in stroke play, I don't think there would be any penalty under Rule 11 as part b states-

b. When Penalty Applies to a Player

  • A player gets the general penalty if he or she deliberately deflects or stops any ball in motion.

  • This is true whether it is the player’s own ball or a ball played by an opponent or by another player in stroke play.

 

 

Not that I disagree with you but the last sentence does not overrule that the other player in stroke play might be a player playing on the same course but not part of the same competition s/he would still be "another player". But like you I assume the other player needs to be one of the same competition.

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2 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

Not that I disagree with you but the last sentence does not overrule that the other player in stroke play might be a player playing on the same course but not part of the same competition s/he would still be "another player". But like you I assume the other player needs to be one of the same competition.

Agreed that its not entirely specific in that regards but it is probably a very reasonable assumption that the terminology "in stroke play" means someone you, as a player, are competing against during a stroke play event/tournament.

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C'mon folks. "Stroke play" is a type of competition. The Rules for stroke play apply to that competition. While these players may be in competitions, by the OP's account, they are not in the same competition.

 

The original miscreant is merely an outside influence, much like a drunken spectator or my out-of-control dog on the golf course. 

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=3&subrulenum=3

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=definitions&subrulenum=66

 

ps Where is Sawgrass when we need him? 😢

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Knowledge of the Rules is part of the applied skill set which a player must use to play competitive golf.

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17 minutes ago, sui generis said:

C'mon folks. "Stroke play" is a type of competition. The Rules for stroke play apply to that competition. While these players may be in competitions, by the OP's account, they are not in the same competition.

 

The original miscreant is merely an outside influence, much like a drunken spectator or my out-of-control dog on the golf course. 

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=rule&rulenum=3&subrulenum=3

 

https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/rules/rules-2019/rules-of-golf/rules-and-interpretations.html#!ruletype=fr&section=definitions&subrulenum=66

 

ps Where is Sawgrass when we need him? 😢

 

So we all seem to agree that in order Rule 11.2b to be applicable in stroke play the players need to be playing in the same competition.

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2 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

So we all seem to agree that in order Rule 11.2b to be applicable in stroke play the players need to be playing in the same competition.

My understanding is this is precisely the issue the RBs were intending to consider further, starting from the point that the penalties apply as a consequence of the named action - not who they were done to. So I'm interested to get an update rather than assume I know the answer.

Edited by antip
typo
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14 minutes ago, antip said:

My understanding is this is precisely the issue the RBs were intending to consider further, starting from the point that the penalties apply as a consequence of the named action - not who they were done to. So I'm interested to get an update rather than assume I know the answer.

 

And here we come to what Colin wrote earlier:

 

2 hours ago, Colin L said:

I reckon that if we have to make assumptions about what a rule means, the drafting is flawed.

 

I have the understanding that penalties are divided into four categories:

- hitting your ball into a place from you need to free yourself with a penalty (eg. R17, 18, 19)

- behaving in a manner contrary to the spirit of the game

- doing something against the Rules that would give you a potential advantage (eg. R8, 9, 14)

- doing something that puts your opponent / another player in a disadvantage creating an advantage to you as part of the field / match

 

R11.2b seems to fall in the last category. In order to create both disadvantage and advantage you need to be competing against the other player/s. It is possible that RBs end up seeing the breach belonging to the second category but as I wrote before that would be a bit illogical.

 

Let us hope we will get an answer to this from the RBs.

Edited by Mr. Bean
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  • 3 weeks later...

I got an update from the USGA today on this. 
 

According to the email I got, 11.2B, and the ROG in general, applies equally to competitions and general play. As I understand their ruling, 11.2B is there to punish a player who intentionally deflects any ball in motion that was played by any player on the course. It’s a penalty for inappropriate/boorish behavior. We all know we aren’t supposed to intentionally deflect a ball in motion.

 

Their ruling is certainly good enough for me.  At the time, I felt I should have taken the penalty, and now I know I should have. 
 

I guess it’s why they wrote “deflects or stops ANY ball in motion”. 
 

Good enough for me. 

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48 minutes ago, Augster said:

I got an update from the USGA today on this. 
 

According to the email I got, 11.2B, and the ROG in general, applies equally to competitions and general play. As I understand their ruling, 11.2B is there to punish a player who intentionally deflects any ball in motion that was played by any player on the course. It’s a penalty for inappropriate/boorish behavior. We all know we aren’t supposed to intentionally deflect a ball in motion.

 

Their ruling is certainly good enough for me.  At the time, I felt I should have taken the penalty, and now I know I should have. 
 

I guess it’s why they wrote “deflects or stops ANY ball in motion”. 
 

Good enough for me. 

To be clear on the scope of your question and answer - were you only raising stroke play or did you touch on match play as well?

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1 hour ago, antip said:

To be clear on the scope of your question and answer - were you only raising stroke play or did you touch on match play as well?

 

As USGA has taken the stand on penalizing a player stopping ANY ball it must apply to MP as well.

 

To be honest I do not understand the ruling. " Inappropriate/poorish behavior" can be dealt with via R1.2b, why mess it up by including other Rules? Equally one should be penalized for deliberately lifting ANY player's ball at rest in stroke play as per R9.6 but there is no such sanction. However, there is a sanction in Match Play and for a valid reason.

 

Well, just have to live with it. Next time someone from a group behind shoots their ball at my heels I will wait until it has stopped and only then hit it into a pond, that way I do not get a General Penalty.

 

Edited by Mr. Bean
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2 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

As USGA has taken the stand on penalizing a player stopping ANY ball it must apply to MP as well.

 

To be honest I do not understand the ruling. " Inappropriate/poorish behavior" can be dealt with via R1.2b, why mess it up by including other Rules? Equally one should be penalized for deliberately lifting ANY player's ball at rest in stroke play as per R9.6 but there is no such sanction. However, there is a sanction in Match Play and for a valid reason.

 

Well, just have to live with it. Next time someone from a group behind shoots their ball at my heels I will wait until it has stopped and only then hit it into a pond, that way I do not get a General Penalty.

 

The issue is I have a different written answer on match play, so I'm reluctant to assume they have changed the match play answer if Augster didn't raise it.

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1 hour ago, antip said:

The issue is I have a different written answer on match play, so I'm reluctant to assume they have changed the match play answer if Augster didn't raise it.

 

Oh my, things are getting complicated once again...

 

Why would the ruling be different for MP if the sole purpose of the Rule is to penalize a player for poor behaviour? Which brings us back to my own opinion on the ruling USGA has given to Augster...

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5 hours ago, Augster said:

I got an update from the USGA today on this. 
 

According to the email I got, 11.2B, and the ROG in general, applies equally to competitions and general play. As I understand their ruling, 11.2B is there to punish a player who intentionally deflects any ball in motion that was played by any player on the course. It’s a penalty for inappropriate/boorish behavior. We all know we aren’t supposed to intentionally deflect a ball in motion.

 

Their ruling is certainly good enough for me.  At the time, I felt I should have taken the penalty, and now I know I should have. 
 

I guess it’s why they wrote “deflects or stops ANY ball in motion”. 
 

Good enough for me. 

 

Would you care to quote the question you sent to USGA?

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 I can't see any reason for 3.2d(4) not applying.  The opponent should be allowed to ignore the breach.

 

As an afterthought, the chances are that both of them would be entirely ignorant of the possibility of the rule applying to a ball from another game. Also, the ways in which match play rules differ from stroke play are mostly, if not always, to do with a match being a unique event involving only the players in that match and having no impact on anyone else, there being no "field" to protect.   

 

 

Edited by Colin L
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18 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

Oh my, things are getting complicated once again...

 

Why would the ruling be different for MP if the sole purpose of the Rule is to penalize a player for poor behaviour? Which brings us back to my own opinion on the ruling USGA has given to Augster...

Let me clarify, the difference I was referring to was not that the answer (penalty) was in conflict with what Augster has advised, but that they had previously indicated that further review was occurring so it is a watch this space issue.

I have now received a further update, confirming that, even though there are contrasting internal views on the issues here, they are now responding on this issue that the penalties apply per the literal wording of the rule (which identifies no Exceptions). Despite this, they are still thinking of this as an issue that is not entirely settled (these cases do happen)- and the continuing internal questioning is more robust in the match play case.

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21 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

 

Would you care to quote the question you sent to USGA?

It is basically what I wrote in my first post. 
 

“Hello,

 

I have a question about the word “ANY” in 11.2b.

 

I’m playing our 2nd hole. I am in the last group of our competition. Stroke play. The group behind us is a 2-some of general public golfers. They are an outside agency to me and my group, as are we to them. In other words, we are not competing with the group behind.

 

I’m standing in the fairway waiting for the green to clear when I hear a ball hit behind us. The golfer in the group behind us hit into our group. The ball bounces twice and then rolls right at me. In anger, while the ball is in motion, I kick his ball into the rough.

 

At the time, I assumed there wasn’t a penalty as the group behind us isn’t in our competition. Later, I checked the rule 11.2b and read:

“A player gets the general penalty if he or she deliberately deflects or stops ANY ball in motion.
• This is true whether it is the player’s own ball or a ball played by an opponent or by another player in stroke play.”

 

Do I take the general penalty?

 

The rule says ANY ball in motion. The next part clarifies that the general penalty applies whether the ball is my own, or an opponent’s ball.

Because the group behind was not in our competition, they were outside agencies, I don’t believe I should have to take the penalty.

 

What is the ruling?

 

Also, I think the language should be cleaned up and drop the word “ANY” to avoid confusion in the future.

 

Thanks for your time.”

 

And I’ll paraphrase the first response.


“The ROG for stroke play apply the same for competitions and general play. 11.2B applies to this situation, and would apply even if neither you, nor the group behind, were in a competition. Deliberately deflecting another player’s ball in motion isn’t considered to be playing in the spirit of the game.”

 

I have asked a follow-up about match play. I imagine it’ll be the same.

 

 

 

 

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