I feel that, at the moment, the rules do not give a fair outcome in some situations regarding marking infractions.
At the moment, according to how the rules are written, it is possible for a thrower to be handblocked by someone who was (knowingly or unknowingly) double teaming the thrower and who was outside of the thrower's vision (e.g. behind the thrower). In this situation, where a rule has clearly been broken, the thrower will only get the disc back if the Captains agree.
To break this down in rules terms - 184.108.40.206. "Double Team" – a defensive player other than the marker is within three (3) metres
of the thrower's pivot point without also guarding another offensive player. However,
merely running across this area is not a double team Guarding A defender is guarding an offensive player when they are within three meters
of that offensive player and are reacting to that offensive player
Therefore, a player who is behind the thrower, or simply outside of their vision could be double teaming them without the thrower realising. While it is now possible for any offensive player to call a double team, a large number of players on the pitch will not be able to see the infraction (because they are moving), or may not feel they have a good enough perspective to make the call.
18.1.6. If the thrower calls a marking infraction, or a marking violation, and also attempts a pass
before, during or after the call, the call has no consequences (unless 220.127.116.11 applies) and if
the pass is incomplete, then the turnover stands.
Then if the thrower is handblocked (footblocked/whatever) by the double-teaming defender, according to 18.1.6 the thrower is then unable to call a marking infraction or marking violation with any consequence.
Nor would it be a foul as there is no contact: 17.6. Defensive Throwing (Marking) Fouls:
17.6.1. A Defensive Throwing Foul occurs when:
18.104.22.168. A defensive player is illegally positioned (Section 18.1), and there is non-minor contact between the illegally positioned defensive player and the thrower; or
22.214.171.124. A defensive player initiates non-minor contact with the thrower, or there is nonminor contact resulting from the thrower and the defender both vying for the same unoccupied position, prior to the release.
126.96.36.199. If a Defensive Throwing Foul occurs prior to the thrower releasing the disc and not
during the throwing motion, the thrower may choose to call a contact infraction, by
calling “Contact”. After a contact infraction that is not contested, play does not stop
and the marker must resume the stall count at one (1).
In this situation, the thrower's only method of getting the disc back seems to be through rule 1.2.1: 1.2.1. If there is a deliberate or egregious breach of the rules or Spirit of the Game, the captains
should discuss this and determine an appropriate outcome, even if that outcome is not in
accordance with a specific rule
However, this assumes that the thrower's mind will jump to this area of the rules, rather than the rules around marking infractions.
It also assumes that both Captains will immediately understand the issue without necessarily having seen the incident, and thus not unnecessarily delay the game.
It also assumes that the Captains will agree that the double-teaming was a deliberate breach of the rules, which in this case could centre around the interpretation of the word "deliberate" in the sentence. If the double-teaming defender is not intending to break the rules, would all Captains agree that the double-teaming was a deliberate breach of the rules?
I do not feel that this provides a good enough outcome. Given the general spirit of the rules, that breaches of the rules shouldn't be rewarded if avoidable, and that, where there are disagreements, play will restart at a point where everyone agrees no rules were broken, the lack of clarity in this area of the rules seems like an oversight.
I propose that either:
18.1.6 is altered
or 188.8.131.52 is written into the rules (made up the wording below, but will obviously need refinement if the rules committee agrees with the addendum): 18.1.6. If the thrower calls a marking infraction, or a marking violation, and also attempts a pass
before, during or after the call, the call has no consequences (unless 184.108.40.206 or 220.127.116.11 applies) and if
the pass is incomplete, then the turnover stands (unless 18.104.22.168 applies).
22.214.171.124. If the thrower did not have the time, or information, to call a marking infraction before attempting a pass, where the pass has resulted in a turnover, the disc should be returned to the thrower, and stall count restarted with a deduction of count applied according to the infraction
or the infraction is considered a foul (another attempt at writing a rule below): 126.96.36.199.A defensive player is illegally positioned (Section 18.1), and causes a turnover with their infraction, where the thrower did not have the time, or information, to call a marking infraction before attempting a pass
As you can see the attempts at writing a rule include other marking infractions, not just double-teaming. I feel that double-teaming is the clearest place where these rules will be applied, but it feels fair to apply the ruling across all marking infractions.
If you feel that the scenario listed above is not a common enough occurrence to have it's own rule, I think that is fair. However, at the highest level of play, as turnovers are so important in the outcome of a match, this feels like an important rule to add. It also feels a hugely unfair outcome if players agree that a marking infraction occurred, but that the turnover should stand, which I feel is a likely outcome when this happens currently.
P.S. If you do add a rule on this - as my nickname is "Bear", the new rule could affectionately be referred to as "the Bear clause"
Can I ask why you are (seemingly) averse to resolving this issue with it's own rule? (This is a genuine question - I'm not trying to be righteous!)
I completely understand if there is a general aim to keep the rules uncluttered, and therefore a simple preface rule - as 1.2.1 seems to be - would do the job.
In that respect, however, do you foresee issues with the rule in the way that I suggested above? In my mind the most contentious issue will be around the wording of the sentence: 'deliberate' not necessarily conveying the intended message to all readers of the rules in my mind.
I assume that first part of the rule: "If there is a deliberate or egregious breach of the rules or Spirit of the Game" is trying to make clear that where a player has gained an unfair advantage in some specific scenario not totally covered by the rules, the captains should agree to work the situation out themselves in good faith, and in the same way the rules do (going back to a point where everyone agrees no unfair advantage has been gained).
Though I don't think the wording of the rule is vague, I do feel that, based on the wording, a player/captain who was trying to be spirited/trying to closely follow the rule may inadvertently decide that the break of the rules was not deliberate, and therefore not covered by this rule.
I would suggest more explicitness in the rule to make clear that this should cover instances where a player may have unintentionally broken the rules and gained an unfair advantage.
For example: If a deliberate action is taken (by a team or player) that breaks the rules...
As before, this is just my attempt, I'm sure it could be clarified to cover all intended uses.
I'm sure all of the explanation of all of this will end up in the annotated version of the rules, but I feel like it shouldn't be necessary for a regular player to read the annotations in order to understand what is exactly meant by the rule.
In the general vein of this comment, may I also ask how it is decided that a rule has been written in a way such that its intent and meaning is fully understood by almost all of the WFDF player base? Do you just make changes based on feedback?