A reminder that these blogs in no way should be seen as an alternative to reading the rules yourself! https://www.pdga.com/rules/official-rules-disc-golf
We touched on courtesy at the end of the last tester. Courtesy and respect (for players, officials, the course and surrounds, etc) go hand-in-hand. The rules (812 Courtesy) list a number of some broad and some specific do’s and don’t’s… please read and understand them.
Q: A rival of mine likes to play head games, for example by telling me my score for the round, that he thinks I will make or miss a putt, etc. Can I call a courtesy violation on him?
A: Maybe. Though being a jerk isn’t explicitly listed as a courtesy violation, any action that is “distracting or unsportsmanlike” can be penalized. You will need to decide if the player’s behaviour is bad enough to call. Short of that, it is something you, your group, and/or other players will have to work out with them. If the behaviour is bad enough, or there’s a pattern of it for that player, you can notify the TD and/or the PDGA Disciplinary Committee.
‘Maybe’ becomes ‘certainly’ if you have declared at some time prior that you don’t want to know scores or that this is a competitive round, not a fun/social, trash-talking round that you’d maybe have with the individual at times. So, it is up to you, and will help your round, to quietly but sincerely point out anything that others do that might annoy/distract you, and likewise it’s up to you to listen carefully to another player saying what might distract/annoy them. Consider such advice as your first warning.
There is certainly a place for social, maybe zany rounds with divergence from the rules, but make sure that everyone is on the same page before you start.
Some examples of distractions that you may not have thought/been aware of:
- Players on adjacent fairways:
- Wait until they’ve thrown before moving if you’re close or have been asked to stay still. A player anywhere can call a courtesy violation
- Many targets are near the following tees. Be conscious that your approach shot could distract someone teeing off
- We’ve had it drummed in to not throw if someone can be hit, but in competition you should not throw if your disc could land near, and distract, another player
- Be especially careful if you have bright clothing, that you could distract a player some distance away
- Players must watch the other members of the group throw in order to ensure rules compliance and to help find discs (812 Courtesy B.2)
Respect for officials is paramount – it’s otherwise like offending an umpire in other sports, and can result in disqualification or worse. Generally, if a TD makes a determination on an appeal, accept it graciously and move on. TD events reports record unacceptable player behaviour, and can be referred to in future events, and can potentially be acted upon by ruling bodies, including PDGA.