3 October 2007

If you can see, you are responsible

I have seen my share of collisions and excessive contact in ultimate over the years.

Most of my time out of action has been from injuries sustained in collisions.

I believe you should avoid unnecessary contact in ultimate. In many cases it is a foul. In the other cases, it still probably puts people at risk of injury.

One example is a dump cutting up the line for the disc, while a poaching defender from upfield comes in for an intercept. The dump usually cannot see the defender, while the defender usually can see the dump. I feel the defender has more responsibility to avoid contact here. Personal experience: as a dump, I have been slammed in the back by a defender who I never saw, as I was looking at the disc. They claimed they got the disc first, so all was ok. Also, I have been the poaching defender and bailed on bids because I couldn't get past the dump without a collision.

Another example is a player running past the thrower from behind. If the thrower suddenly pivots sideways, there can be a collision. All players should keep a safe margin between themselves and the thrower as they run past from behind.

Parinella, veteran of the US scene, multiple title winner, etc, reported this in a recent post:

"Oh, I also took out a pivoter. The lanky opponent had caught a disc near the line and I thought he may have been out, so was thinking about that a little as I jogged downfield with my guy. I think I followed in my guy’s steps, a foot or two outside the pivot foot (but six feet from the thrower’s body), only to be surprised by a rapid pivot back to the forehand side, and I bowled him over. Whoops. I should have been more alert and known that was a possibility. I apologized to the guy on the other team who yelled at me about it, to the thrower, and again later to the thrower, and now to the unwashed masses."

So a highly esteemed player publicly apologises for creating a collision. He felt responsible because he was sighted, and the other guys wasn't. Kudos to Parinella here.

My general principle is that if you can see the possibility of a collision, you have a responsibility to avoid it.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree! I witnessed one at practice last week for my college open team. My teammate passes to the middle of field, I'm on the side. Guy catches it, tries to throw to me, but it is D'ed. The first thrower then proceeds to run straight into the guy who got the D. His shoulder gets hurt.

    The guy who got the D was looking at the disc and the ground. The guy who threw and then was running up field should have seen. Perhaps he was affected by being drunk?? Of course he was.