A while back someone asked a question about a ball moving. Before I get into the question, let's look at a definition. The Rules defines the situation as follows:
Move or Moved:
A ball is deemed to have “moved’’ if it leaves its position and comes to rest in any other place.
Many of us have probably lightly touched a ball with our clubhead and had the ball rock a bit. I believe the USGA uses the term "oscillate" to describing the slight wiggle. As long as the ball does not move from its spot and merely oscillates, the ball is not considered to have been moved and there is no penalty (Decision 18/2).
So now the question. A player finds his ball in some pine needles. He attempts to pull a needle away from the ball. The ball rotates as the pine needle is removed but remains in the original spot. In removing the pine needle did the player move his ball, incur a one stroke penalty and now must replace it? Or is he in the clear because the ball remained in the same spot, although rotated from its original orientation?
I asked the USGA about this and received a response. I would like to see whether everyone's thinking follows the USGA's logic.