PDGA Official Rules of Disc Golf
The following are the official rules of disc golf that are followed in tournament play. These rules are maintained and modified by the Professional Disc Golf Association, (PDGA). The PDGA is the official overseeing body of the sport of disc golf. Please visit the PDGA website to get the most recent official rules as they are periodically updated. In addition the PDGA website provides a wealth of information and resources for the sport of disc golf. PDGA.com
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Approximate Lie: A lie established by the player’s group in order to resume play: to correct a misplay from out-of-bounds (801.04 B (4)), following the thrower’s election to throw from the previous lie after declaring an optional rethrow (803.06 A), following the thrower’s election to throw from the previous lie after throwing out-of-bounds (803.09 B (1)), following an instance where the thrower’s disc has been thrown and removed by another player (803.10 B), following a lost disc (803.11 B), following a lost marker disc (803.11 D), or following a rain or hazardous conditions delay (Competition Manual 1.7 C).
Away Player: The player whose lie is farthest from the hole and who shall throw next.
Basket Target: A disc-catching device designed to clearly determine completion of a hole. A basket target generally consists of a tray, chains, chain support, and pole.
Casual Water: Bodies of water other than those that have been specifically designated by the director prior to the start of the round as out-of-bounds or those that have been specifically designated by the director prior to the start of the round as not being casual water.
Chains: A deflection assembly which is designed to deflect a thrown disc down into the tray component of a basket target.
Chain Support: The structure from which the chains are suspended; a deflector support which often forms the top of a basket target.
Completion of a Round: The round has been officially completed for all competitors when, in the director’s opinion, the last group on the course has completed their final hole and has had reasonable time to travel from their final hole to tournament headquarters.
Director: The person in charge of the tournament or event. The term director may be used to refer to the tournament director or the course director in multi-site tournaments. The Director may designate an official to rule on appeals.
Drop Zone: An area on the course, as designated by the course designer or director, from which play is resumed after the preceding shot (1) was thrown out-of-bounds, (2) missed a mandatory, or (3) was declared lost, or (4) landed in a protected area (governed by 804.01, Special Conditions). The throwing area from within the drop zone shall be clearly marked and played in a manner similar to the marking and playing of a teeing area.
Fairway: The in-bounds path or field over which a player throws while advancing from the teeing area to the hole.
Group: The competitors who are assigned to play a round together for the purpose of verifying scores and proper play in accordance with the rules.
Hole: The target that must be reached in order to complete that segment of the course. The term hole also refers to the numbered segments of the course that are separate units for scoring.
Holed-Out: A term used to signify completion of a hole. See 803.13, Holing Out.
Lie: The spot on the playing surface upon which the player takes his or her stance in accordance with the rules.
Line of Play: The imaginary line on the playing surface extending from the center of the target through the center of the marker disc and beyond. This line has no thickness; therefore one support point must be directly behind the center of the marker.
Mandatory: An object or objects that the disc must pass in a designated manner on its way to the hole. A mandatory functions to limit the allowable path the disc may take to the hole.
Marker: A term used to indicate either the mini marker disc or the thrown disc at rest, both of which can be used to indicate the lie from which a thrower’s next shot shall be played.
Marker Disc: See Marker.
Mini: See Mini Marker disc.
Mini Marker Disc: A disc used to mark the location of the lie. (See 803.03 marking the lie, and 802.03, size restrictions).
Obstacle: Any feature of the course that may impede any aspect of play.
Official: A person who is authorized to make judgments regarding the proper application of the rules during play.
Out-of-Bounds: An area designated by the director prior to the start of play from which a disc may not be played. The out-of-bounds line extends a plane vertically upward and downward. The out-of-bounds line is itself out-of-bounds. An out-of-bounds disc is not a lost disc.
Par: As determined by the director, the score an expert disc golfer would be expected to make on a given hole. Par means errorless play under ordinary weather conditions, allowing two close range throws to hole-out.
Penalty Throw: A throw added to a player’s score for violating a rule, or for relocation of a lie, as called for by a rule.
Players’ Meeting: A meeting of players with the tournament director or course official prior to a tournament, where players are given instructions about the tournament procedures, courses, and any special conditions which will apply during the tournament.
Playing Surface: A surface, generally the ground, which is capable of supporting the player and from which a stance may reasonably be taken. In cases where it is unclear whether a surface is the playing surface, the decision shall be made by the tournament director or a course official.
Pole: A central pipe or post which supports the other components of a basket target.
Practice Throw: During a round, the projection of a disc of a distance greater than two meters, or of any distance toward a target, intentional or not, which does not change the player’s lie, either because it did not occur from the teeing area or the lie, or because the player had already thrown competitively from the teeing area or the lie. Throws that are re-thrown in accordance with the rules are not practice throws. Provisional throws made pursuant to 803.01 C and 803.01 D (3) are not practice throws. A player shall receive a penalty for a practice throw in accordance with sections 803.01 B or Competition Manual 1.5 B (1).
Provisional: See Provisional Throw.
Provisional Throw: An extra throw, agreed upon by a player’s group, that is not added to a player’s score if not used in the completion of the hole. Additionally, a set of provisional throws that will be allowed to complete a hole as an alternative to the original play of the hole, when there is a disputed ruling. Only one set of throws will be counted as the player’s score when a final ruling is made.
Putt: Any throw from 10 meters or less as measured from the rear of the marker disc to the base of the hole is considered a putt.
Putt (falling) “ Falling Putt: A putt after which a player touches his or her marker disc, or any object beyond the lie, including the playing surface, before having demonstrated full control of balance.
Relief: A change made to the player’s lie or surrounding area, such that an obstacle is removed from the vicinity, or when that is impractical, the lie is relocated away from the obstacle in accordance with section 803.05C.
Supporting Point: Any part of a player’s body that is in contact with the playing surface or some other object capable of providing support, at the time of release.
Teeing Area: The area bounded by the edges of a tee pad (if provided); otherwise, the area extending three meters perpendicularly behind the designated tee line.
Throw: The propulsion of a disc that causes it to change its position from the teeing area or the lie.
Thrower: The player who has made, or is about to make, a throw that is the aspect of play being considered by a particular rule.
Tray: A shallow open-topped receptacle into which the disc may fall or be thrown. Also known as “basket”, and one component of a basket target.
Two meter rule: Where designated by the director, a one throw penalty for discs that come to rest two meters or higher above the playing surface. The director may declare the two meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, or just for individual obstacles.
Warning: Where prescribed by a rule, the initial advisement a player is given for violating that rule, making him or her vulnerable to receiving a penalty throw for subsequent violations of that rule within the same round.
Conduct of Players
A. Players should not throw until they are certain that the thrown disc will not distract another player or potentially injure anyone present. Players should watch the other members of their group throw in order to aid in locating errant throws and to ensure compliance with the rules.
B. Players should take care not to produce any distracting noises or any potential visual distractions for other players who are throwing. Examples of discourteous actions are: shouting, cursing, freestyling, slapping course equipment, throwing out of turn, throwing or kicking golf bags, throwing minis, and advancing on the fairway beyond the away player. Shouting at an appropriate time to warn someone in danger of being struck by a disc is not a violation of courtesy.
C. Refusal to perform an action expected by the rules, such as assisting in the search for a lost disc, moving discs or equipment, or keeping score properly, etc., is a courtesy violation.
D. Littering is a courtesy violation.
E. Courtesy dictates that players who smoke should not allow their smoke to disturb other players. Smokers should extinguish their cigarettes and carry their cigarette butts to a trash can. Disposing of cigarette butts by dropping them on the ground is littering.
F. A player violating a courtesy rule may be warned by any affected player, even if from another group, or by an official, with all players of the group advised of the warning. The player shall be assessed one penalty throw for each subsequent courtesy violation of any type in the same round. Repeated violations of courtesy rules may result in disqualification in accordance with Section 3.3 of the Competition Manual.
Order of Play
A. Teeing order on the first teeing area is determined by the order in which the scorecards were filled out or by the order the players were listed or arranged on the scoreboard.
B. Teeing order on all subsequent tees is determined by the scores on the previous hole, with the lowest score throwing first, and so on. If the previous hole was a tie, the scores are to be counted back until the order is resolved.
C. After all the players in the group have teed off, the player farthest from the hole (the away player) throws first. To facilitate flow of play, a player who is not farthest away may play next if the away player consents.
D. During tournament play, no group may play through the group ahead unless the group ahead is required to stand aside in accordance with the rules or as directed by an official.
E. Throwing out of turn shall be considered a courtesy violation. See 801.01F.
A. A maximum of 30 seconds is allowed to each player to make a throw after:
- The previous player has thrown; and,
- The player has taken a reasonable time to arrive at the disc and mark the lie; and,
- The playing area is clear and free of distractions.
B. A player shall receive a warning for the first excessive time violation if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. The player shall be assessed one penalty throw for each subsequent excessive time violation in the same round if observed by two or more players of the group or an official.
Playing the Stipulated Course
A. It is the responsibility of the player to play the coursecorrectly. Before play begins, players shall attend the players’meeting and ask about any special conditions that may exist on thecourse, including extra holes, alternate teeing areas, alternate holeplacements, out-of-bounds areas, and mandatories.
B. Specific Types of Misplay and Penalty Procedures for Each:
- Wrong Tee: Teeing off from the wrong teeing area. If the misplay is discovered after the player’s throw from the incorrect teeing area, but before a subsequent throw, the player shall re-tee from the correct teeing area and treat the initial throw as a practice throw (one throw added to the player’s score). If the misplay is discovered after a subsequent throw, the player shall proceed to complete the hole and receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
- Misplayed Mandatory: Failing to attempt to navigate a mandatory route. If the misplay is discovered after a player’s throw has passed beyond the mandatory on the wrong side, but before a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall be assessed a one-throw penalty and play from the drop zone as stipulated in 803.12 B. If the misplay is discovered after a player’s throw has passed beyond the mandatory on the wrong side, and a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall finish the hole without playing from the drop zone, and receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
- Wrong Target: If a player holes out on the wrong target for a given hole, he or she will continue play from a lie directly beneath that target, without penalty. If the player holes out at the wrong target, and believes the hole is completed, and proceeds to play the next hole, a two-throw penalty will be added to that player’s score for misplaying the course.
- Out-Of-Bounds Play: Playing an out-of-bounds disc as if it were in-bounds. If the misplay is discovered after the throw from out-of-bounds, but before a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall throw from the correct lie and treat the throw from out-of-bounds as a practice throw (one throw added to the player’s score). If the misplay is discovered after a subsequent throw, the player shall proceed to complete the hole and receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
- Non-Sequential Play: Skipping a hole or playing the holes in the wrong order. If the misplay is discovered after an initial throw has been made but before a subsequent throw has been made, the player shall re-tee from the correct teeing area and count the initial throw as a practice throw (one throw added to the player’s score). If the misplay is discovered after a subsequent throw has been made, the hole being played shall be completed. Immediately thereafter, the player shall proceed to play the course in its proper order from the point where the misplay began. Regardless of the number of holes skipped, or played in the wrong order, a total of two penalty throws shall be added to the player’s score for the misplay infraction. The score earned from any completed hole(s) shall stand. Any completed hole(s) shall not be replayed.
C. In instances where the misplay rules affect players within agroup differently, the group shall remain together while a hole isbeing completed by some of the group to verify scoring and rulescompliance.
D. In instances where a misplay is discovered after thepertinent hole or holes have been completed (holed out), the misplayshall not be replayed and the player shall receive a two-throw penaltyfor the misplay.
E. In instances where a misplay is discovered after the playerhas turned in his or her scorecard, the misplay shall not be replayedand the player shall receive a two-throw penalty for the misplay.
F. A player who deliberately misplays the course to gain competitive advantage has violated section 3.3 of the competition manual and shall be penalizedin accordance with this section.
Discs Used in Play
A. Discs used in play must meet all of the conditions set forth in the Official PDGA Technical Standards Document. See section 805 B for disc technical standards.
B. A disc which is cracked or perforated is illegal. See sections 802.01 D, E and F. A disc which is cracked during a round may be carried by the player, but not used, for the balance of the tournament. The player must immediately declare his intention to carry the newly cracked or broken disc to the group or be subject to penalty under 802.01 E.
C. Players may not make post-production modification of discs which alter their original flight characteristics. This rule does not forbid inevitable wear and tear from usage during play or the moderate sanding of discs to smooth molding imperfections or scrape marks. Discs excessively sanded or painted with a material of detectable thickness are illegal. See sections 802.01 D, E and F.
D. Discs must be specifically approved by the director if questioned by another player or an official, but in no case shall the disc be approved if it violates any of the above specifications. Any specifically non-approved disc (per the director) shall be considered illegal, and the player shall be penalized in accordance with 802.01 E.
E. A player who carries an illegal disc during play shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning, if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. A player who repeatedly throws an illegal disc during the round may be subject to disqualification in accordance with Section 3.3 of the PDGA Competition Manual.
F. All discs used in play, except mini marker discs, must be uniquely marked in ink or pigment-based marking which has no detectable thickness. A player shall receive a warning for the first instance of throwing an unmarked disc if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. After the warning has been given, each subsequent throw by the player with an unmarked disc shall incur one penalty throw if observed by two or more players of the group or an official.
Mini Marker Discs
A. Mini marker discs shall be used to mark a player’s lie as required by these rules. Mini marker discs must have a diameter of between 7 and 15 centimeters and a height not exceeding 3 centimeters.
A. Targets used to complete the hole may not violate any of the conditions set forth in the official PDGA Technical Standards Document. See sections 803.13 B and C for criteria to hole out for targets.
A. During a round, a player shall not use any artificial device that may assist in making a
throw, except those devices that reduce or control abrasion to the skin (such as gloves, tape,
bandages, gauze, etc.) and medical items (such as knee and ankle braces, etc.). Items used to prevent slipping on the teeing surface are also allowed. A player is specifically prohibited from using any artificial device that changes the position of the disc in the player’s hand or artificially lengthens any of the player’s throwing levers (fingers, wrist, arm, shoulder, etc.). The use of devices which assist in determining distances over 10 meters , such as range finders and GPS devices are prohibited. Measuring devices such as a tape measure may be carried and used to determine distances 10 meters and less for the purpose of rules enforcement.
B. A player shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning, if, during any portion of a round, he or she is observed by two players or an official to be using or carrying an artificial device that is determined by the director to violate section 802.04 A. A player who uses an artificial device after it has been determined by the director to be in violation of 802.04 A has also violated Section 3.3 of the Competition Manual and shall be penalized accordingly.
Rules of Play
A. Description of the Game. The game of disc golf consists of throwing a flying disc from the teeing area to a target by a throw or successive throws. Players shall play the course as they find it and play the disc where it lies unless allowed otherwise by the Rules. The competitor who plays the stipulated round or rounds in the fewest throws plus penalty throws is the winner.
B. Practice Throws. A player who throws a practice throw or an extra throw with any disc any time after the
start of his or her round and prior to his or her finishing the last hole of the round (except
for throws that must be re-thrown in accordance with the rules, provisional throws made
pursuant to 803.01 C and 803.01 D (3), or throws during a suspension or postponement of play) shall receive
one penalty throw. The practice throw or extra throw must be observed by any two players or an
C. Provisional Throws. Provisional throws are extra throws that are not added to a player’s score if they are not ultimately used in completion of the hole. The use of provisional throws is encouraged in all situations where there is a question regarding a thrower’s lie and a provisional would speed play or when the thrower questions the group’s or official’s ruling. The unused throws shall not be added to the thrower’s score nor treated as practice throws if the player announces that such additional throws are made as provisional throws prior to taking them. A provisional throw may not be subsequently declared to be an optional rethrow. Provisional throws are appropriate in the following circumstances:
(1) To save time: A player may declare a provisional throw any time (a) the status of a disc cannot immediately be determined, and (b) the majority of the group agrees that playing a provisional throw may save time, and (c) the original throw may be out of bounds, lost, or have missed a mandatory. When proceeding under this type of provisional the thrower shall complete the hole from whichever of the two throws is deemed by the group or an official as the appropriate lie according to the rules.
(2) To appeal the group’s or an official’s ruling: A set of provisional throws may be taken to complete a hole pursuant to 803.01 D
(3) when the player disagrees with the majority group decision and an official is not readily available, or if the player wishes to appeal the decision of an official. The scores from both sets of throws shall be recorded. The proper ruling and score are then determined by the director at the end of the round.
(1) When a group cannot reach a majority decision regarding a ruling, the benefit of the doubt
shall be given to the thrower. However, any player may seek the ruling of an official, and the
official’s ruling shall supersede the group’s ruling. Any player desiring an appeal of the
group’s decision shall promptly and clearly express that desire to the group.
(2) If an official is readily available, the group shall stand aside to seek the official’s
ruling, allowing other groups to play through.
(3) If an official is not readily available, the group shall proceed in one of two ways. The group may reach a majority decision with the benefit of the doubt going to the thrower, and continue play. Alternatively, if the thrower does not wish to continue play under the group’s majority decision, the thrower may declare a provisional per 803.01 C. The use of provisional throws is encouraged in all situations where the thrower questions the group’s or official’s ruling.
(4) A player may seek an appeal of an official’s ruling to the director.
If the director is readily available, the appeal shall be heard directly. The group shall stand aside awaiting the ruling on appeal. If the director is not readily available, the group shall continue playing under the
official’s ruling. The appeal shall be made as soon as practical. The decision of the director shall be final.
(5) Where a group’s or official’s decision is overturned on appeal, the official or director
may, in the interest of fairness, allow the thrower’s score to remain the same or adjust the thrower’s score to reflect the correct interpretation of the rules. Only in a case where a replay is the most fair solution, at the discretion of the director , shall a hole or holes be replayed.
E . Warnings. A player shall not receive a warning for a rules violation unless the rule specifically
provides for a warning. Warnings do not carry over from one round to the next round or to a
F . Rule of Fairness. If any point in dispute is not covered by the rules, the decision shall be made in
accordance with fairness. Often a logical extension of the closest existing rule or the
principles embodied in these rules will provide guidance for determining fairness.
A. Play shall begin on each hole with the player throwing from within the teeing area. When the
disc is released, at least one of the player’s supporting points must be in contact with the
surface of the teeing area, and all the player’s supporting points must be within the teeing
area. If a tee pad is provided, all supporting points must be on the pad at the time of
release, unless the director has specified a modified teeing area for safety reasons. If no tee
pad is provided, all supporting points at the time of release must be within an area
encompassed by the front line of the teeing area and two lines perpendicular to and extending
back three meters from each end of the front line. The front line of the teeing area includes the outside edges of the two tee markers. Running up from behind the teeing area
before the disc is released is permitted. Following through in front of the teeing area is
permitted provided there is no supporting point contact outside the teeing area when the disc
B. Any supporting point contact outside the teeing area at the time of release constitutes a
stance violation and shall be handled in accordance with sections 803.04 F, G and H.
Marking the Lie
A. After each throw, the thrown disc must be left where it came to rest until the lie is established by the placing of a marker. This can be done by placing a mini marker disc on the playing surface between the hole and the disc, directly in line with the hole, on the line of play, touching the thrown disc. A player may instead choose, without touching or repositioning the thrown disc, to use the thrown disc as the marker. The marker may not be moved until the throw is released. A marker inadvertently moved prior to the throw shall be returned to its correct location.
B. A player is only required to mark the lie with a mini marker disc when repositioning the lie under the rules. This includes the following rules: out-of-bounds, disc above or below the playing surface, lost disc, optional rethrow, relocated for relief, interference, or repositioning the lie within 1 meter of the out-of-bounds line.
C. If the thrown disc comes to rest in-bounds but within one meter of an out-of-bounds line, the lie may be relocated to any point on a one-meter line that extends perpendicularly from the nearest point on the out-of-bounds line, and passes through the center of the thrown disc. This holds true even if the direction takes the lie closer to the hole. See the following sections for other considerations in marking a thrown disc:
(1) Relocated for relief – 803.05 B, C
(2) Interference – 803.07 A, B
(3) Above or below the playing surface – 803.08 A, B
(4) Out-of-Bounds – 803.09 B
(5) Lost Disc- 803.11 B
D. The Rule of Verticality: The out-of-bounds line represents a vertical plane. Where a
player’s lie is marked from a particular point within one meter of the out-of-bounds line pursuant to the rules, the one-meter relief may be taken from the particular point upward or downward along the vertical plane.
E. If the thrown disc breaks and comes to rest in more than one piece, the largest piece, as agreed to by a majority of the group or an official, is deemed to be the thrown disc.
F. A disc thrown in water shall be deemed to be at rest once it is floating or is moving only by the action of the water or the wind on the water.
G. A player shall receive a warning for the first violation of a marking rule if observed by two or more players of the group or an official. One penalty throw shall be assessed for each
subsequent violation of any marking rule during the round if observed by two or more players of the group or an official.
Stance, Subsequent to Teeing Off
A. When the disc is released, a player must:
(1) Have at least one supporting point that is in contact with the playing surface on the line
of play and within 30 centimeters directly behind the marker disc (except as specified in
803.04 E); and,
(2) have no supporting point contact with the marker disc or any object closer to the hole than the rear edge of the marker disc; and,
(3) have all of his or her supporting points in-bounds.
B. Stepping past the marker disc is permitted after the disc is released, except when
putting within 10 meters.
C. Any throw from within 10 meters or less, as measured from the rear of the marker disc
to the base of the hole, is considered a putt. A follow-through after a putt that causes the
thrower to make any supporting point contact closer to the hole than the rear edge of the
marker disc constitutes a falling putt and is considered a stance violation . The player must demonstrate full
control of balance before advancing toward the hole.
D. A player must choose the stance that will result in the least movement of any part of any
obstacle that is a permanent or integral part of the course.
E. If a large solid obstacle prevents a player from taking a legal stance within 30 centimeters
directly behind the marker disc, the player shall take his or her stance immediately
behind that obstacle on the line of play. The player must comply with all the provisions of
803.04 A other than being within 30 centimeters directly behind the marker disc.
F. A stance violation must be clearly called within three seconds after the infraction to be
valid. The call may be made by any member of the group or an official. When the call is made by
a member of the group, it must subsequently be confirmed by another member of the group. A
player shall receive a warning for the first violation of a stance rule in the round.
Subsequent violations of a stance rule in the same round shall incur a one-throw penalty.
G. Any throw that involves a validly called and seconded stance violation may not be used by the thrower. Re-throws must be taken from the original lie, prior to subsequent play by others in the group.
H. The player may not retrieve the originally thrown disc prior to the re-throw, except in the
case of a putt from within 10 meters. Where a disc is retrieved in violation of this rule, a
one throw penalty shall be imposed without a warning.
Obstacles and Relief
A. Obstacles to a Stance or Throwing Motion: With the exception of casual obstacles to a stance as described in 803.05 B, a player is not allowed to move any obstacle on the course. No relief is granted from park equipment (such as signs, trash cans, picnic tables, etc), which is considered part of the course. A player is allowed to request that other people remove themselves and/or their belongings from the player’s stance or line of play. A player must choose the stance which results in the least movement of any obstacle. Once a legal stance is taken, the player may not move an obstacle in any way in order to make room for a throwing motion. It is legal for a player’s throwing motion to cause incidental movement of an obstacle.
B. Casual Obstacles to a Stance: A player may obtain relief only from the following obstacles that are in the stance or run-up area: casual water, loose leaves or debris, broken branches no longer connected to a tree, motor vehicles, harmful insects or animals, players’ equipment, people, or any item or area specifically designated by the director before the round. The player must first attempt to remove the obstacle. If it is impractical to move the obstacle, the player’s lie may be relocated to the nearest lie which is no closer to the hole, is on the line of play, and is not more than five meters from the original lie, as agreed to by a majority of the group or an official (unless greater casual relief is announced by the director).
C. Optional Relief: A player may declare that he or she is taking optional relief. The lie may then be relocated to a new lie that is no closer to the hole, and on the line of play. The original throw plus one penalty throw are counted in the player’s score.
D. In situations where it is unclear if an object may be moved or other relief obtained, it shall be determined by a majority of the group or an official.
E. A player shall receive one penalty throw, without a warning, for violation of an obstacle or relief rule.
F. A player who purposely damages anything on the course shall receive two penalty throws, without a warning, if observed by two or more players of the group or an
official. The player may also be disqualified from the tournament, in accordance with Section 3.3 of the Competition Manual.
At any time, a player may elect to rethrow from the previous lie as evidenced by the marker disc or, if the marker disc has been moved, from an approximate lie as agreed to by the majority of the group or an official. The original throw plus one penalty throw are counted in the player’s score.
A. A thrown disc that hits another player, spectator, or animal shall be played where it comes
to rest. A thrown disc that is intentionally deflected or was caught and moved shall be marked
as close as possible to the point of contact, as determined by a majority of the group or an
official. Alternatively, for intentional interference only, the thrower has the option of taking a re-throw. Players shall not stand or leave their equipment where interference with the flight
or path of a disc could easily occur. The away player may require other players to mark their
lies or move their equipment before making a throw if the player believes that either could
interfere with his or her throw.
B. If a disc at rest on the playing surface or supported by the target is moved, the disc shall be replaced as close as possible to its original location, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. If a marker disc is moved, the marker disc shall be replaced as close as possible to its original location, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. (If the two meter penalty is in effect See also 803.08 D and E for movement of a disc above the playing surface.)
C. Any player who consciously alters the course of a thrown disc, or consciously moves or
obscures another player’s thrown disc at rest or a marker disc, other than by the action of a
competitively thrown disc or in the process of identification, shall receive two penalty
throws, without a warning, if observed by any two players or an official.
Disc Above or Below the Playing Surface
A. If a disc comes to rest above the playing surface in a tree or other object on the course, its lie shall be marked on the playing surface directly below it. If the point directly below the disc above the playing surface is an out-of-bounds area, the disc shall be declared out-of-bounds and marked and penalized in accordance with 803.09. If the playing surface directly below the disc is inside a tree or other solid obstacle, the lie shall be marked on the line of play immediately behind the tree or other solid obstacle. The director may designate a one throw penalty for discs that come to rest two meters or higher above the playing surface. The director may declare the two meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, or just for individual objects.
B. If a disc comes to rest below the playing surface, its lie shall be marked on the playing
surface directly above it. If the point directly above the disc is an out-of-bounds area, the
disc shall be declared out-of-bounds and marked an penalized in accordance with 803.09. If the playing surface directly above the disc is inside a solid obstacle, the lie shall be marked on the line of play immediately behind the solid obstacle.
(Sections C through E are only used if the two meter penalty is in effect.)
C. If a disc has come to rest above two meters, as measured from the lowest point of the disc to the playing surface directly below it, the player shall be assessed a one-throw penalty. This penalty applies only if the disc is above in-bounds. The player shall proceed from a lie marked in accordance with 803.08 A.
D. No penalty shall be incurred if the disc falls, unassisted by a player or spectator, to a position less than two meters above the playing surface before the thrower arrives at the disc. The thrower may not delay in order to allow the position of the disc to improve.
E. If the two-meter status of a disc is uncertain, either a majority of the group or an official shall make the determination. If the thrower moves the disc before determination has been made, the disc shall be considered above two meters and the thrower shall proceed in accordance with 803.08 A and C. If a player other than the thrower moves the disc before a determination has been made, the disc shall be considered below two meters and the interference rule shall be applied as it relates to the thrower and the player. See sections 803.07 B and C.
A. A disc shall be considered out-of-bounds only when it comes to rest and it is clearly and
completely surrounded by the out-of-bounds area. A disc thrown in water shall be deemed to be
at rest once it is floating or is moving only by the action of the water or the wind on the
water. See section 803.03 F. The out-of-bounds line itself is considered out-of –bounds. In order to
consider the disc as out-of bounds, there must be reasonable evidence that the disc came to rest within the out-of-bounds area. In the absence of such evidence, the disc will be considered lost and the player will proceed according to rule 803.11B.
B. A player whose disc is considered out-of-bounds shall receive one penalty throw. The player may elect to play the next shot from:
(1) The previous lie as evidenced by the marker disc or, if the marker disc has been moved from an approximate lie, as agreed to by the majority of the group or an official; or (2) A lie that is up to one meter away from and perpendicular to the point where the disc last crossed into out-of-bounds, as determined by a majority of the group or an official. This holds true even if the direction takes the
lie closer to the hole; or (3) Within the designated Drop Zone, if provided. These options may be limited by the tournament director as a special condition (see 804.01).
C. The Rule of Verticality. The out-of-bounds line represents a vertical plane. Where a player’s
lie is marked from a particular point within one meter of the out-of-bounds line pursuant to
the rules, the one-meter relief may be taken from the particular point upward or downward along
the vertical plane.
D. If the in-bounds status of a disc is uncertain, either a majority of the group or an
official shall make the determination. If the thrower moves the disc before a determination has
been made, the disc shall be considered out-of-bounds, and he or she shall proceed in
accordance with 803.09 B counting all throws made prior to the determination of the in-bounds status of the original lie. If a player other than the thrower moves the disc before a
determination has been made, the disc shall be considered in-bounds, and play for the thrower
and the mover of the disc shall proceed under the rules of interference, 803.07 B and C.
Throwing From Another Player’s Lie
A. A player who has thrown from another player’s lie shall receive two penalty throws, without
a warning. The offending player shall complete the hole as if the other player’s lie were his
or her own. No throws shall be replayed.
B. The player whose lie was played by the offending player shall be given an approximate lie as
close to the original lie as possible, as determined by the offending player, a majority of his
or her group, or an official. See section 803.11 C if the disc has been declared lost.
A. A disc shall be declared lost if the player cannot locate it within three minutes after arriving at the spot where it was last seen by the group or an official. Two players or an official must note when the timing of three minutes begins. All players of the group must, upon request, assist in searching for the disc for the full three minutes before the disc is declared lost. The disc is considered lost immediately upon the expiration of the three minute time limit
B. A player whose disc is declared lost shall receive one penalty throw. If the throw was made from the tee, the player will re-tee for the next shot. If not made from the tee, the group will determine the approximate lie from which the throw was made, and the player will throw again from that lie. The director may designate a drop zone for lost discs on a particular hole. If a drop zone is provided, the player may throw from there instead of the previous lie or the tee. In all cases the original throw plus one penalty throw shall be counted in the player’s score.
C. If it is discovered, prior to the completion of the tournament, that a player’s disc that
was declared lost had been removed or taken, then the player shall have two throws removed from his or her score.
D. A marker disc that is lost shall be replaced in its approximate lie as agreed to by a
majority of the group or an official with no penalty.
A. A mandatory restricts the path the disc may take to the target. A disc must pass to the correct side of the mandatory before the hole is completed. Once the disc has completely passed the mandatory line on the correct side (even if it subsequently re-crosses the line), the mandatory is to be ignored for the remainder of play on that hole.
(1) The mandatory line is the line marked by the director or course designer to indicate when a disc has passed or missed the mandatory.
(2) If no line is marked, the mandatory line is defined as a straight line through the mandatory, perpendicular to the line from the tee to the mandatory.
(3) In the case of a double mandatory when no line is marked, the mandatory line is the straight line connecting the two mandatories, and extends beyond them in both directions.
B. A throw is considered to have missed the mandatory if it passes the incorrect side of the mandatory line from the direction of the tee, and comes to rest lying completely beyond that line.
C. A disc that has missed the mandatory results in a one-throw penalty and the next throw shall be made from the drop zone, as designated for that mandatory. In cases where the drop zone is not designated, the lie is marked within five meters of the mandatory object and one meter behind the mandatory line which extends from the correct side of the mandatory.
D. When marking the lie, if the line of play does not pass to the correct side of the mandatory, then the mandatory itself shall be considered the hole for the application of all rules regarding stance, markers, obstacles, and relief. For the purposes of taking a legal stance, the mandatory object which has not yet been passed, and is nearest the tee, will be considered to be the hole.
E. A throw that misses a mandatory shall be penalized and the lie marked according to the mandatory rule (803.12). It will not be further penalized for any other reason, such as out-of-bounds or above two meters.
A. A player who fails to play any hole or fails to hole out on any hole during the round may be disqualified, at the discretion of the director, using the following guidelines:
(1) Holes missed due to late arrival may be scored and penalized according to section 1.5 B of the Competition Manual.
(2) Inadvertently failing to hole out (as determined by a majority of the group or an official) shall result in 2 penalty throws being added to the number of throws plus penalty throws already taken on the hole. The hole shall then be considered completed.
(3) Intentionally failing to hole out (emergency, injury, plane flight, etc.) constitutes withdrawal from competition. The player shall be withdrawn from competition and officially listed as “Did Not Finish” on the scorecard and in the event results.
B. Disc Entrapment Devices: In order to hole out, the thrower must release the disc
and it must come to rest supported by the chains and/or the inner cylinder (bottom and
inside wall) of the tray. It may be additionally supported by the pole. A disc observed by two
or more players of the group or an official to have entered the target below the top of the
tray or above the bottom of the chain support is not holed out.
C. Object Targets: In order to hole out, the thrower must release the disc and it must strike
the marked target area on the object as specified by the director.
A. Rules governing special conditions that may exist on the course shall be clearly defined and disseminated to all players prior to the start of the tournament. All special conditions shall be covered in the players’ meeting. Each player is responsible for adhering to all points covered in the player’s meeting.
B. The drop zone may be utilized in special conditions. The director must announce prior to the tournament how it is to be used and if a penalty throw is to be assessed. If no penalty is announced prior to the tournament, none will be assessed for use of the drop zone in special conditions.
C. The two meter rule may be utilized in special conditions. The director must announce prior to the tournament how it is to be used and if a penalty throw is to be assessed. If no penalty is announced prior to the tournament, none will be assessed when a disc comes to rest two meters or higher above the playing surface. The director may declare the two meter rule to be in effect for the entire course, or just for individual objects.
D. No rules may be stipulated which conflict with the PDGA Rules of Play, unless approved by the Tour Manager of the PDGA.
Please refer to section 1.5B of the Competition Manual.
A. The player listed first on the scorecard(s) bears primary responsibility for picking up the group’s scorecard(s), although any player may deliver it (them) to the first player. Players in the group shall rotate the scorekeeping responsibility proportionally, unless a player or a scorekeeper volunteers to score keep more and this is acceptable to all members of the group.
B. After each hole is completed, the scorekeeper shall call out each player’s name. The called
player shall answer with the score in a manner that is clear to all players of the group and
the scorekeeper. The scorekeeper shall record that score and read it back, in a manner that is
clear to all players of the group. If there is any disagreement about the score a player
reports, the group must review the hole and attempt to arrive at the correct score. If the
group cannot reach consensus on the player’s score, they shall consult 803.01 D
C. The scorekeeper shall record the score for each player on each hole as the total number of throws, including penalty throws. The round total shall also be recorded as the total number of throws, including penalty throws. The use of anything else (including the lack of a score) represents an incorrect hole or total score and is subject to penalty as described in 804.03.G(2).
D. Warnings and penalty throws given to a player for rules infractions shall be noted on the
E. At the end of the round, each player shall sign his or her scorecard indicating that he or
she attests to the accuracy of the score on each hole and the total score. If all the players
of the group agree that a hole score was recorded in error, the score may be changed prior to
the scorecard being turned in. Players whose scorecards are turned in unsigned accept
responsibility for the scores reported.
F. All players are responsible for returning their scorecards within 25 minutes after the
completion of a round. Failure to do so shall result in the assessment of two penalty throws,
without a warning, to each player listed on the late scorecard.
G. After the scorecard is turned in, the total score as recorded shall stand with no appeal, except for the following circumstances:
(1) Penalty throws may be assessed at whatever time the infraction is discovered until the director declares the tournament officially over or all awards have been distributed.
(2) If it is determined that the total score was incorrectly recorded, either by an error on a hole score or by an error in totaling the hole scores, including omission of the total score, the director
shall add two penalty throws to the correct total score. These penalty throws are not added when the TD (or an official designated by the TD, such as a course director) corrects a player’s score for other infractions determined after this player had turned in an otherwise correct scorecard.
(3) Late Scorecard. See 804.03 F.
Rain or Hazardous Conditions; Disqualification and Suspension; Grouping and Sectioning; Ties; Classification of Players; Officials
Please refer to section 1.11 of the Competition Manual.
Measurement Cross Reference and Equipment Technical Standards
A. All measurements listed in the rules are given in metric units.
The following English System equivalents are to be used when no metric measuring device is available.
Under no circumstances shall players or officials use independent conversion calculations.
| Metric System
|10 meters||32 feet 10 inches|
|5 meters||16 feet 5 inches|
|3 meters||9 feet 10 inches|
|2 meters||6 feet 6 inches|
|1 meter||3 feet 3 inches|
|30 centimeters||11 and 3/4 inches|
|15 centimeters||5 and 7/8 inches|
|7 centimeters||2 and 3/4 inches|
|3 centimeters||1.18 inches|
B. The guidelines for golf discs are set forth in the PDGA Technical Standards Document posted on the PDGA website in the Technical Standards section at:
Specific equipment issues are noted in this Official Rules of Disc Golf in sections 802.01 Discs Used in Play, 802.02 Mini Marker Discs, and 802.03 Targets.
Summary of Rules Changes
Definitions of the basket and its components have been added to the Glossary so that we no longer have to use the phrase “entrapment section”.
The definition of holing out has been tightened up a bit. A putt that sticks in the side of the tray, or hangs outside the tray from one of the nubs, no longer counts.
The hole has been completed once the disc has come to rest, not when the disc is removed.
The “unplayable lie” rule has been reformulated into an “optional rethrow” rule. It is now clear that penalty strokes are not added if the rethrow option is taken, so that double jeopardy is avoided.
The rules for a lie above ground have been changed to include a lie below ground (in a crevice or below a bridge, for example).
The relief rules have been simplified. You can’t move anything unless it’s in your stance. If something is both in your stance and between your lie and the hole, you can move it. You can always ask people to move themselves or their stuff if they are in your way.
The 5-meter relief rule has been extended to anywhere back along the line of play, and moved to the relief section.
A director may designate a drop zone to be used for lost disc on a hole.