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Should Viewers Be Able to Call in Rules Violations


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I vote yes. Unequivocally.

I think that the integrity of the competition, the integrity of the rules, has to be paramount.

The counter-argument that "the players on TV will be more likely to be penalized" doesn't hold water to me. First off, so what? If you're on TV you're making money, so don't break the rules. It's not difficult. Second, it's a weak excuse - we should let Tiger or Phil get away with rules infractions because they're always on TV because Joe Schmoe who might not even retain his card isn't on TV and thus might break a rule now and then?

Nah, doesn't work.

The other counter-argument? Players being interrupted mid-round can disrupt them. The counter-argument to that is that knowing whether they have a penalty or not can affect how they play - particularly on Saturday or Sunday (or Friday if they're near the cut line). Solution: have each player make a choice whether they want to be notified mid-round or as soon as possible after the round is complete and the officials are made aware of the rules infraction.

Again, I think that the integrity of the competition MUST be foremost.

If someone violates a rule, they should not "get away with it" simply because their playing partner or a walking official didn't see it.

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If you play golf at a high level like those on TV, they should be held to every rule of the game, period. I don't believe it is the viewers responsibility to be a marshall, though. There should be enough staff inside the ropes to keep tabs on that.

Edit, I voted yes, but it's not something I see as a responsibility of the viewer.

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I vote no, unequivocally.  A viewer at home has no business interfering in a tournament.  The players and officials are plenty of eyes on the situation.

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Originally Posted by JayMc

I vote no, unequivocally.  A viewer at home has no business interfering in a tournament.  The players and officials are plenty of eyes on the situation.

If a rule is broken and goes unnoticed, then clearly they're not "plenty of eyes."

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Bringing into the picture armchair rules officials sitting at home on their couchesenhances the sport exactly how?

Here are a few of the reasons I disagree with it.

1.) Tthere is absolutely no way every player in the field would be held to the same standard of officiating (if that's what you want to call it) since there's no cost effective way to ensure consistent viewership, or in other words, more rulies would be watching Tiger events than the Bob Hope which is barely even televised as it is.

2.) There is already a precident for applying this kind of off-the-field rules officiating to a major sport. The systems that MLB, the NFL and the NHL use are different from each other, but all effective in their own way. One way these systems work is by ensuring the people watching the video are trained properly and that all venues have standard camera placement and video quality. They also limit which plays (i.e. rules) are reviewable and for which the official on the field of play has the final say.

Not every hole on every course would be televised to the same extent for all players during  all rounds (morning and afternoon for Thursday and Friday) and since these are moving cameras, operated by human beings, the cost to deliver such a broadcast would be astronomical.

3) What type of background check would the caller be subjected to in order to ensure the callers are qualified and they have no connection to any of the players, officials, or sponsors? How would the Tour ensure the callers have nothing to gain by having certain players penalized (gambling or even just a huge man-crush)? During this background check (assuming you didn't have to pre-register as an "at home rules official") what if the player finishes their stipulated round? Assuming the scorecard has been submitted before the caller's impartiality is verified, and a rules infraction is discovered, is the player DQ'd?

4.) If the viewer at home has nothing to gain or lose within the context of the tournament, as they are clearly not a participant, what penalty is there for people who choose to ignore rules infractions. If their favourite player commits an infraction, and they choose not to rat them out, are they cheating too?

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We aren't going to agree on this one, but sometimes that will happen and so be it.

I saw the Camillo clip this AM before work.  When he flipped the divot my first thought was, "that's probably not legal", but it also didn't look his ball ended up rolled exactly through the ground he manipulated (on TV anyway).  He got DQ'd because somebody called in after he signed his card.

It's unregulated interference; if it's going to be allowed then put some rules around it.  As it stands it's inconsistent interference.

Originally Posted by iacas

Quote:

Originally Posted by JayMc

I vote no, unequivocally.  A viewer at home has no business interfering in a tournament.  The players and officials are plenty of eyes on the situation.

If a rule is broken and goes unnoticed, then clearly they're not "plenty of eyes."



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Originally Posted by JayMc

We aren't going to agree on this one, but sometimes that will happen and so be it.

I saw the Camillo clip this AM before work.  When he flipped the divot my first thought was, "that's probably not legal", but it also didn't look his ball ended up rolled exactly through the ground he manipulated (on TV anyway).  He got DQ'd because somebody called in after he signed his card.

It's unregulated interference; if it's going to be allowed then put some rules around it.  As it stands it's inconsistent interference.

Quote:

Originally Posted by iacas

Quote:

Originally Posted by JayMc

I vote no, unequivocally.  A viewer at home has no business interfering in a tournament.  The players and officials are plenty of eyes on the situation.

If a rule is broken and goes unnoticed, then clearly they're not "plenty of eyes."



Kudos to the self-important person who called in. You just cost him how much money in this limited field event with no cut?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Bringing into the picture armchair rules officials sitting at home on their couchesenhances the sport exactly how?

It preserves the sanctity of the rules. Camilo violated a rule, and was given the penalty for violating the rule.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

1.) Tthere is absolutely no way every player in the field would be held to the same standard of officiating (if that's what you want to call it) since there's no cost effective way to ensure consistent viewership, or in other words, more rulies would be watching Tiger events than the Bob Hope which is barely even televised as it is.

So? That's an argument without any merit. The fact doesn't change: a rule is violated. Who cares who reports it? Under what other conditions are you okay with people violating rules and getting away with it?

What's fairer: a player on TV violating a rule and getting away with it or a player, on TV or not, calling a penalty on himself or even having a penalty called on him by the rules official? In both cases a rule is violated. What's it matter who sees it?

Heck, the announcers should have seen it. Can they call a penalty? They should be able to - the facts are that a rule is violated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

2.) There is already a precident for applying this kind of off-the-field rules officiating to a major sport. The systems that MLB, the NFL and the NHL use are different from each other, but all effective in their own way. One way these systems work is by ensuring the people watching the video are trained properly and that all venues have standard camera placement and video quality. They also limit which plays (i.e. rules) are reviewable and for which the official on the field of play has the final say.

Applying an NFL rules mentality doesn't make any sense. As I said in my comment to Sobel (below), that's not even close to being a legitimate analogy. In the end, again, a rule is broken, and that fact never changes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

3) What type of background check would the caller be subjected to in order to ensure the callers are qualified and they have no connection to any of the players, officials, or sponsors?

How the heck does that matter? Either the player violates a rule or he doesn't. They don't just accept the caller's word and DQ people. They look at the tape, talk to the player, discuss, and make the correct ruling .

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

4.) If the viewer at home has nothing to gain or lose within the context of the tournament, as they are clearly not a participant, what penalty is there for people who choose to ignore rules infractions. If their favourite player commits an infraction, and they choose not to rat them out, are they cheating too?

The responsibility to abide by the rules lies with the player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMc View Post

It's unregulated interference; if it's going to be allowed then put some rules around it.  As it stands it's inconsistent interference.

I'm fine with putting some sort of time frame on it. Within 24 hours of the completion of the day's play would be a start. It wouldn't have helped Camilo, of course.

I also think players should be asked whether they want to be notified mid-round of a possible rules violation or wait until afterwards. It can affect how they might play the rest of their round(s), but some might not want the distraction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Kudos to the self-important person who called in. You just cost him how much money in this limited field event with no cut?

Another fallacy. People who vote "no" on this want to pretend that everyone at home is some rules dweeb itching to call in and make a name for themselves. The caller never gets any fame, earns no money, etc. They strike me simply as people that want to see the game played by the rules.

Here's my comment on Sobel's blog post at ESPN:

Quote:

As I said on Twitter, the "level playing field" thing doesn't hold water. How many rules violations have Tiger or Phil ever had? They know the rules.

The sanctity of the competition and thus the rules must come first. If a player violates a rule, then a rule's been violated. That's a fact, and it doesn't change based on who reports the fact.

Bummer for Villegas, but in the end, he's responsible for policing himself and he failed in that responsibility. In football it's commonly said "if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'" but that analogy fails when applied to golf: there aren't referees or umpires on the golf course. If a player fails in his responsibility to know and apply the rules, the violation still occurred and should be enforced.

You're suggesting that crimes which go unnoticed by a handful of people (playing partner, etc.) shouldn't be punishable. Imagine if our justice system worked that way!

Hey, I stole your wallet, took out your money, and threw it your wallet the lake, but since you didn't see me and the police didn't see me, the fact that fourteen eye witnesses saw me means nothing. This $6430 is all mine!

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I vote no because it won't add anything to the integrity of the game but it would add a serious cost to the management of tournaments.

They would need a phone bank to field the calls.

They would need judges to review the footage to verify the accuracy of the calls.

They would need to provide the video replay equipment for the judges.

Just because it could be done doesn't mean it should be done, players are responsible enough to

police themselves and the on course judges are very good consistently. So for the added cost and complexity what would we actually gain?

I'd love it in Pro Football where on field officials make bad calls from time to time.

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I vote no they should not. A viewer at home should not be allowed to interfere with a tournament imo, broken rules are going to go unnoticed, it is not fair that the people who are televised more often have a better chance at being caught.

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Originally Posted by The Road Dog

I vote no because it won't add anything to the integrity of the game but it would add a serious cost to the management of tournaments.


There's no added cost. We already have this situation, and it's been occurring since golf has been televised. Nobody is adding banks of phones...???

I'm disappointed in the folks that are voting no... Integrity schmintegrity, I guess. Disappointing.

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I don't "choose" to disagree with you on this - it's absolute disagreement all the way to my very core, so obviously there's nothing I've read thus far that convinces me the right decision was made in this case. I'm not talking about the rules decision. I'm talking about the decision for the PGA Tour to not have officials watching the event who can make decisions in a timely manner. No, they defer to a do-gooder who can get someone DQ'd after the fact rather than have a rule applied when it would have only been a 2-stroke penalty.

If the PGA Tour feels they need to have more officials, off the course, they should do it. The National Hockey League system of having a "war room" where trained officials see all the games and can make consistent decisions that give all teams and all games equal scrutiny (theoretically) is a model to follow.

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I voted yes. The reasoning being is that regardless how it became known that an infraction occured, a violation of the rules still took place. And how it's been handled with using the telecast footage, eyewitness accounts, and the input of the competition commitee there has never been an occurance where the penalized player didn't know exactly what the infraction was. And it unlikely going forward that a mistake in penalizing a player will ever occur because a viewer witnessed an infraction.

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Of course they should. I've yet to see a single logical reason why they shouldn't.

If a tree falls in the woods and the playing competitor doesn't see it, did the tree still fall down? Of course it did.

Camilo broke the rules and should be penalized. End of story.

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Yes - it sucks what happened to Camilo today.  However, it's not fair to the rest of the field if he breaks a rule and isn't penalized.  I didn't see what went down, but if you make any modification to a ball's lie before it gets there, it's an obvious infraction and he should have called himself on it.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

I don't "choose" to disagree with you on this

You're the only one using that word. Why's it in quotes all of a sudden as if I put words in your mouth? C'mon.

Originally Posted by sean_miller

I'm talking about the decision for the PGA Tour to not have officials watching the event who can make decisions in a timely manner. No, they defer to a do-gooder who can get someone DQ'd after the fact rather than have a rule applied when it would have only been a 2-stroke penalty.

If the PGA Tour feels they need to have more officials, off the course, they should do it. The National Hockey League system of having a "war room" where trained officials see all the games and can make consistent decisions that give all teams and all games equal scrutiny (theoretically) is a model to follow.


The NHL only goes to the war room to check on goals. Last time I checked the number of times there's a question as to whether a ball has been "holed" or not is pretty darn small . The NHL does not review high sticking calls, offsides, icings, etc. in the War Room.

Furthermore, Camilo failed in his responsibility. The PGA Tour does not need "more officials" when every player is supposed to honor the game and play by the rules. Unfortunately, Camilo has "learned that lesson the hard way," (not that getting DQed in Hawaii, still earning money, and spending his birthday on the beach is all that tough a way to do anything).

Originally Posted by 1par2win

I voted yes. The reasoning being is that regardless how it became known that an infraction occured, a violation of the rules still took place. And how it's been handled with using the telecast footage, eyewitness accounts, and the input of the competition commitee there has never been an occurance where the penalized player didn't know exactly what the infraction was. And it unlikely going forward that a mistake in penalizing a player will ever occur because a viewer witnessed an infraction.


My case in a nutshell. Regardless of who calls the infraction to the attention of the player and/or rules officials, the infraction still occurred. That fact is not changing here. This isn't something that's subjective and it's not something that changes based on who sees the infraction.

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