MODS will be releasing a series of news stories over the next few months to help explain the changes to the rules of Ultimate which have been adopted by the World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) and Ultimate Canada (UC). The monthly stories are here to help understand the new rules and will be vetted by Operations Director Corey Draper and Manitoba's top Observer, Josh Drury.
In the new rules, the Contact call has been added to the main rules, opposed to being an amendment as the call has been for the last few years.
The purpose of the Contact Call was to give the thrower an additional option when it came to dealing with physical contact from their marker. Calling a foul in these situations stopped the play which wasn’t always in the offense's best interest. Below is the full wording of the rules.
17 - Violations and Fouls
I. Fouls (3.C): It is the responsibility of all players to avoid contact in every way possible.
4. Some fouls carry some extra provisions, as listed below.
a. Throwing Fouls:
6. If non-incidental contact occurs between the thrower and marker such that the thrower could call a throwing foul on the marker, the thrower may instead choose to call "contact." Play does not stop and the marker resumes the stall count at "one." Other than resetting the stall count, the "contact" call is resolved in the same manner as a marking violation (15.B). The marker may contest the "contact" call by calling "violation," which stops play. If the thrower calls "contact" after beginning the throwing motion and subsequently releases the disc, it is treated as if the thrower called "foul."
This is very much like a disc space call but with some added teeth (count dropping to one). The reality is in the competitive Ultimate game that intentional fouls by the marker on the thrower were a tactic that was used far too often. Remember that you need to still have the disc in your hand to call Contact. This is also an important reason why the marker (defender) should always practice good disc space in their marking style. Giving the proper space and respecting the marking rules will help to reduce the chances of a Contact Call being made against you. Something as simple as touching the disc while it is in the throwers hands is enough to draw the Contact Call. Back off the mark that tiny bit and you’ll avoid this call against you.
We look forward to several rules updates between now and the start of the next season. Please remember there is no better way to learn the rules then to read them. Also please be patient as educating our player base is going to take some time and not everyone will be confident with the new changes. Every team should do their best to become as familiar as possible with the changes.