Rules – Q&A Forum

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16 thoughts on “Rules – Q&A Forum

    • Coming over later in the year Murray. Materials are all printed. Just have to firm up some dates and I’ll be in touch

  1. There is a section in the rule book about referee errors p62. One of the situations described is when the ref makes an error but the next player is called and plays. In that situation the game continues as if the error did not happen. Often, in social play with no ref, players have suddenly noted that even though white plays ball 2, red thinks it is ball one’s turn. How do people resolve this problem and try to avoid it happening?

  2. Three questions posed by Barbara and Jim Northcott:

    Question 1 – After the players’ equipment and clothing have been inspected before the start of a game, the weather suddenly deteriorates during the game and it starts to rain. Is the game forfeited if the players then wear wet weather clothing that doesn’t match?

    Question 2 – Equipment was inspected by the referees prior to the game commencing. During the game a stick breaks and the player does not have a stick that has been inspected. What does the player do?

    Question 3 – A referee who is positioned in the stroking direction mistakenly stops, on the inner field, a ball that looks as though it will be entering the outer field. Is this an in-ball? If a player does this what happens?

  3. Q1 Although the WGU are to be fully observed most of the time, referees have a duty of care where commonsense on behalf of the referee would need to prevail. At the 2019 nationals we clarified what would happen in a situation like this and stated that players could don rain protection gear provided they still observed the 10 second rule for their individual play

    Q2 Uses another player’s stick which has been inspected.

    Q3 Page 63 17(iii) explains it all. Basically it stay where it is unless the ref makes a judgement that it was going out. In this case the ball is placed as an outball where the ref judged it would have become and out ball.

  4. A couple of sparking foul questions:

    1. After a successful spark, as the foot is removed from the stroker’s ball, the ball “wobbles” in place but does not move to a new position on the field. Is this a foul?

    2. After touching a ball, the stroker’s ball stops very close to another ball that has not been touched. The stroker sets the touched ball and completes a spark. The stroker’s ball moves under foot, but does not come out from under the foot, and strikes the untouched ball causing it to move. The stroker does not touch the untouched ball with either the foot or stick. What should the referee do?

    • My thoughts:

      The answer to question 1 is clear. The ball must move out from under the foot to be a foul (Article 16, Clause 4, 1 (2)). A wobble in place is not moving out from under the foot, there is no foul.

      Also, the rules specifically allow a movement under the foot. See Article 16, clause 2, Part 6. This reads
      “The following actions are proper plays: … the stroker’s ball moves underneath his/her foot.”

      Question 1 is clear – there is no foul, there is no action for the referee to take.

      Question 2 is much harder.
      There is no foul in question 2. The unclear bit is what to do in response.

      As noted above, the ball moving under the sparking foot is a proper play. However, we must bear in mind the next section of the rule, Article 16, Clause 2 6 (i) . This reads

      “When the stroker’s ball moves underneath his/her foot, and if this movement affects a play such as passing a gate, finishing, or making a Touch, the referee shall place the stroker’s ball back in it’s original position.”

      This rule is not utilised often. It is designed so that the stroker can’t gain advantage by rolling their ball slightly one way or the other during a spark. This matters mostly in tight spaces where the angle change can mean a lot. For example,the difference between a gate touch being available and not. While technically any change in position of a ball changes the subsequent shot, that is often immaterial. Being 6 metres or 5.99 metres from the next target doesn’t matter. But a couple of centimetres making a gate touch possible is clearly impacting the game.

      I would argue the spirit of this rule suggests that the answer to question 2 is that both the stroker’s ball and the previously untouched ball should be replaced back in their original positions. The stroker may then play their next shot.

      However, a literal reading of the rules suggests that the movement of the ball under the foot is a proper play. (16.2.6). And 11.1.1 says “all movements of balls as a result of proper plays are are valid moves”.

      Arguably this suggests that the stroker’s ball should be moved back, but the other ball should not. Compare this with Q41 in the FAQ book. There, a movement of a ball previously resting against a gate is deemed valid if the stroker’s sparking shot moves the gate and therefore the ball.

      If I were refereeing, I would move both balls back to their original positions. That is clearly the intent of the rules. But that’s just my view.

        • In the first situation (from a match at the Nationals), we followed the advice above.

          In the second situation we followed the arguably route above, and both balls were left in their finishing positions. The movement in the stroker’s ball did not affect a critical LaPlaya and so there was no reason to move it. In the rare case where the referee would need to move the stroker’s ball back (eg 2013 NSW state final where a ball moved away from the gate 3 leg) Iwould argue that the events are independent. The untouched ball is a valid move and so should stay where it finishes. The stroker’s ball is the one affecting play and should be moved back. Thanks for the analysis Philip.

      • After further discussions with Gilon, i now realise the above is mistaken.

        It is a ball touch foul during sparking.

  5. For Q1, I agree with Phillip.

    For Q2, this resembles the scenario in Q163 of the Q+A. It is a ball touch foul in the course of sparking. As in your scenario the spark is complete, the stroker’s ball becomes an outball. The ‘accidentally touched ball’ returns to its original position.

    I understand it is a ball touch foul as the stroker’s ball is touching another ball for a reason other than permitted in the game rules. I think part of the problem might be the English translation of the original Japanese rules. In some rules ‘touch’ is used as the verb, In others, ‘comes into contact’ is used.

    • I’ve just read Q163 of the FAQ and Gilon is right. Q163 clearly designates this as a ball-touch foul.

      Interestingly enough, I can’t find any mention of this sort of foul in the ball-touch section of the rule book… but as Gilon says, this may be a translation issue. My Japanese isn’t good enough to easily look this up, but the Japanese do have active and passive verbs – maybe that’s what’s going here. “Touch” is quite an active verb in English, it may not be in Japanese…

      • I remembered I had an old Japanese version of the rules in my drawer…..

        The Japanese verb used in the ball-touch foul section is sawaREru, not sawaru. Both verbs are translated in English as “touch”. But further investigation suggests that sawareru is a much gentler and occasionally abstract word, that can mean things like “brush against” or even “touch upon in conversation”.

        Notably, Japanese has a word for touching something physically and physically only. That verb is sawaru. That is NOT the verb used in the ball-touch foul section. They use the much more abstract sawareru. Hence maybe “ball-touch foul” should be read more as “ball-influence foul” or “ball-affecting foul” in English.

  6. I agree with Gilon. It is definitely a ball touch foul under sparking conditions. Clause 4.2(3) says – If a sparking foul takes place after a successful spark, and before the foot is moved away from the stroker’s ball: (i) A ball that has moved as the result of a sparking foul is returned to the position it was in before it moved. (ii) The strokers ball becomes an out-ball from the position where it stopped after the Touch.
    This is why I am a great fan of the Q & A Book as it often makes clear something which might not be so clear in the Rules Book

  7. Thanks to all for the excellent discussion. I confess that I haven’t really believed the “lost in translation” reading of the rules before, but Q163 really highlights this as an issue.
    The rules at 18.1.1 define a ball touch foul as “a stroker” touching a ball other than in accordance with the game rules. In Q163 it is movement of a ball under the stroker’s foot that causes the offence not the stroker. Contrast this with Q161, where a stroker’s possessions (glasses) cause a ball to move, resulting in an invalid move (which is clear from the rules).
    I must admit i don’t really understand why Q163 is a ball touch foul other than Philip’s explanation above.

    But, to the point, in the scenario posed, it is the action of the stroker striking the stroker’s ball (a proper play) that causes the untouched ball to be touched and move rather than movement of the stroker’s foot as in Q163. This takes me back to 11.1.1 “Aside from invalid moves, all movements of balls as a result of a proper play by a stroker shall be valid.”
    Does this make any difference to your answers?

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