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Talking to a Competitor About Their Shot Before They Hit


MattM

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2 hours ago, Ruler said:

Why not? After all, if the purpose of a player is to distract other players it very much sounds like misconduct and when repeated could be subjected to a penalty. At least it should be.

The easiest way to get rid of such behavior is to write it down in the Code of Conduct of the competition. Easy to add and easy to implement, Rule 1.2a.

I'd love to see you write up a rule in the Code of Conduct that DQs someone for saying, and I'll quote: "I'm so glad I don't have your shot right now that's such a difficult shot etc."

I exist in what I perceive to be the real world. This is a world where shit like THIS regularly happens:

This is a world in which thing is far more true than it should be:

large.sportsmanship_rules.jpg

DQing someone for conduct for making a few comments…? Good luck with that.

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(edited)

In my mind the Code of Conduct could be written something like this:

'Any less than casual and repeating remarks aimed to distract another player would be considered as misconduct. Such behavior can lead to a penalty.'

A person may be irritating by nature to another person due to human features but any distracting done on purpose does not belong to the golf course, as far as I can see it and there are means in the Rules to stop such behavior.

Besides, the penalty need not be DQ and that is what the Code of Conduct is all about. A player may be penalized with 2 strokes or a loss of hole when a breach described in the Code occurs. Without the Code only DQ is possible and that would be a hard call.

Edited by Ruler
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Just now, Ruler said:

'Any less than casual and repeating remarks aimed to distract another player would be considered as misconduct. Such behavior can lead to a penalty.'

Define distract? 

How do you handle someone who is not good at toning out distractions? Would people be penalized or DQ'd more often when they are around different people? What if someone is offended easily? 

How do you determine if someone is lying about being distracted to get a competitive advantage? Do you leave it up to the rules official to decide if the comment is distracting? If so, then does their opinion of a distraction override someone who was actually distracted? What if the rules official didn't think the person should be distracted by a comment that was clearly distracting? 

4 minutes ago, Ruler said:

A person may be irritating by nature to another person due to human features but any distracting done on purpose does not belong to the golf course, as far as I can see it and there are means in the Rules to stop such behavior.

Define how you tell if it was done or purpose or not? 

You could have a lie in the bunker that is horrendous, like buried in the sand underneath a lip. If I make the comment, "OMG, I never seen such a horrible lie". 

I can see 95% of people not being distracted by the comment. Should I be penalized because 5% of people think it is distracting? 

 

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How do you define a serious misconduct? There are some guidelines but a referee / Committee will have to make a judgement call in any case. It is not easy, especially when one is talking about disqualification.

It is not seldom a referee has to ask a player questions in order to come to a conclusion. One of the questions is 'why did you do that?'. That would be the way to solve this issue as well. Also I believe that when a player is being confronted for their behavior that behavior most often changes. It is not about using a tool but it is all about having the tool.

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2 minutes ago, Ruler said:

It is not seldom a referee has to ask a player questions in order to come to a conclusion. One of the questions is 'why did you do that?'. That would be the way to solve this issue as well. Also I believe that when a player is being confronted for their behavior that behavior most often changes. It is not about using a tool but it is all about having the tool.

Yea, 

So back to my example. You hit a bad shot into a bunker that gets buried right underneath the lip. I say, "OMG, I never seen such a horrible lie". 

You call over the rules official and claim I am trying to distract you. 

The rules official asks me why I said that. 

I tell him that it was just a spontaneous reaction to seeing the horrible lie. 

Should I get a penalty? 

How do you determine if a person is purposely distracting someone? 

Also, talking to someone is inherently distracting. Anything that can draw the attention away from something is by definition distracting. I do not agree that it comes close to misconduct in golf that warrants a penalty or DQ. 

I think you are just adding more subjectivity and complexity to the game when it isn't needed. 

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42 minutes ago, iacas said:

DQing someone for conduct for making a few comments…? Good luck with that.

Appreciate your perspective and depth of experience.

In our club, we have been experimenting with enforcing pace of play. We have also had disruptive player issues. (For example, were able to successfully address a member who insisted that he should be allowed to smoke marijuana during matches!) 

Rule 1.2 allows the committee to incrementally improve tournament atmosphere by addressing spirit of the game issues, including with a code of conduct. IMO, it is worth the effort. 

The OP alleged a willful persistent pattern of attempting to distract other players, rather than "a few comments". If accurate, such behavior breaks rule 1.2a - "spirit of the game" - and should be subject to some sort of correction, i.e. penalty.  

"DQ" is a strawman in this case. As mentioned, one main reason to create a code of conduct - rule 1.2b - is to allow lesser penalties. See Committee Procedures, Section 5H.

Regarding how to tell - if the player is as willful and persistent as described, they may readily acknowledge that is what they have been doing. If not, they should at least be forced underground! 

I read your story about other coach earlier, thanks for posting. I agree that is egregious behavior. If there is no way to address that in the rules, there should be. (Maybe a code of conduct?!) 

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15 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Yea, 

So back to my example. You hit a bad shot into a bunker that gets buried right underneath the lip. I say, "OMG, I never seen such a horrible lie". 

You call over the rules official and claim I am trying to distract you. 

The rules official asks me why I said that. 

I tell him that it was just a spontaneous reaction to seeing the horrible lie. 

Should I get a penalty? 

How do you determine if a person is purposely distracting someone? 

Also, talking to someone is inherently distracting. Anything that can draw the attention away from something is by definition distracting. I do not agree that it comes close to misconduct in golf that warrants a penalty or DQ. 

I think you are just adding more subjectivity and complexity to the game when it isn't needed. 

There are situations when a subjective call is needed as not everything is black and white and that is the task of the referee / Committee. I am by far not suggesting this would be an easy call but if the alternative is to tolerate such disrespectful conduct towards another player with no means to stop it I think my proposal is much better than no proposal at all.

And once more, asking the player their motives is a magnificent tool and solves lots of tricky situations.

Oh, and to your examples: I would tell the player to be more discrete as golf is a gentleman's game. I am rather convinced that would help.

Edited by Ruler
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4 minutes ago, Ruler said:

I am by far not suggesting this would be an easy call but if the alternative is to tolerate such disrespectful conduct towards another player with no means to stop it I think my proposal is much better than no proposal at all.

Define disrespectful? 

5 minutes ago, Ruler said:

And once more, asking the player their motives is a magnificent tool and solves lots of tricky situations.

This does nothing. 

A lot of comments have no motive other than some people are chatty. Some people make a lot of exclamations. You could have situations were someone gets penalized more so because they are more outgoing. They may have no intent at all to use this to their advantage. You are then leaving it up to a RO. Which, I don't want RO's being called every other hole because someone is easily agitated or having a bad day. 

6 minutes ago, Ruler said:

Oh, and to your examples: I would tell the player to be more discrete as golf is a gentleman's game. I am rather convinced that would help.

Define being a gentleman? Are we talking early 1900's or current day? The age of the golfer could matter greatly here. How is that applied equally as a rule? 

14 minutes ago, reidsou said:

The OP alleged a willful persistent pattern of attempting to distract other players, rather than "a few comments". If accurate, such behavior breaks rule 1.2a - "spirit of the game" - and should be subject to some sort of correction, i.e. penalty.  

Prove it was attempting to distract versus a person just being talkative. There are some people who talk a lot because it helps them calm down. There are people who get agitated by people who talk a lot. 

Where is the line drawn here? 

16 minutes ago, reidsou said:

If there is no way to address that in the rules, there should be. (Maybe a code of conduct?!) 

This is very much a slippery slope to outlaw conduct that is not even close to being misconduct. 

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(edited)

saevel, I think you are arguing just for the fun of it. We are not talking about chatting or random nasty remarks but actual deliberate and continuous disturbing of another player that should not be tolerated. And I am not going to define 'disturbing' as everyone knows when they are being disturbed.

But I have a question for you. How many times have you asked a player as a referee of their motives when trying to give a ruling? Have you found that to be helpful or not? If not, why?

Edited by Ruler
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2 hours ago, Ruler said:

In my mind the Code of Conduct could be written something like this:

'Any less than casual and repeating remarks aimed to distract another player would be considered as misconduct. Such behavior can lead to a penalty.'

I’ve read many statutes, codes, rules, and regulations in my day. This is among some of the worst language I’ve seen. 

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I’m as “rules are rules” as the next guy, but @Ruler and @reidsou, you do not exist in reality.

Since both of you latched on to the “DQ” part of what I said, replace it with “penalize” and I stand by all I wrote.

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Geez man, what’s happened out there? If someone I’m playing with or against is ‘disturbing’ me they’re damn sure gonna hear about it and I don’t need a RO to assist in the matter at all.

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2 hours ago, Ruler said:

saevel, I think you are arguing just for the fun of it.

Nope, just probing a weak argument.

2 hours ago, Ruler said:

We are not talking about chatting or random nasty remarks but actual deliberate and continuous disturbing of another player that should not be tolerated. And I am not going to define 'disturbing' as everyone knows when they are being disturbed.

The problem is, try to decide which is actual purposeful distracting versus overt chatty or just a not tactful person who doesn’t mean harm. 

that is why you can’t define disturbing, because the gray area is huge and can’t be translated well into a rule.

2 hours ago, Ruler said:

How many times have you asked a player as a referee of their motives when trying to give a ruling? Have you found that to be helpful or not? If not, why?

None.

im not a ref. Again, a lot of people say things with out motive. I think most people do. Not everything people say is calculating. 

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6 hours ago, Ruler said:

And I am not going to define 'disturbing' as everyone knows when they are being disturbed.

That’s part of the problem. If you’re going to write a rule, you’d need to define it. People are disturbed by different things.

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38 minutes ago, billchao said:

That’s part of the problem. If you’re going to write a rule, you’d need to define it. People are disturbed by different things.

There's already a rule against distracting other players. As someone else said, if there are complaints, could just ask the offending player his intent. If he admits he's trying to distract others then that is clear. If he denies it, at least it let's him know expectations. 

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21 minutes ago, reidsou said:

There's already a rule against distracting other players. As someone else said, if there are complaints, could just ask the offending player his intent. If he admits he's trying to distract others then that is clear. If he denies it, at least it let's him know expectations. 

Oy.

Please join us in the real world man. It’s not that bad.

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So, if a player continuously coughs, shouts or claps hands when another player is hitting their ball with the intention of causing that player to shoot poorly there is nothing in the Rules to make him stop nor should there be? Is that what you guys are saying?

It is very fortunate that such situations occur extremely seldom. Also serious misconducts occur very very seldom and yet there is a Rule how to handle such situations. Furthermore the Committee has been given tools in the form of Code of Conduct to address less severe misconduct as well. Why should purposeful distracting and disturbing of other competitors be fenced out? 

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