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Should Viewers Be Able to Call in Rules Violations


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I voted "no", but do so with this caveat.

I may allow it if the viewer calls the penalty in before the end of the round - an official in the "tv truck" can investigate these violations and rule before the player(s) signs his card. I think the game should be decided by the officials and players on the course. In this way, a tip called in by a viewer to an official is an assist to the "officials" who can't follow every TV player around the course. As long as it is done prior to the completion of the round, I'd give this a shot. Of course, this gives more scrutiny to players who are shown on TV. I guess you could expand the rule to allow spectators on the course to call an official ombudsman (sort of a 911).

But where do you draw the line?

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Originally Posted by Camo

I guess my claim wasn't so wild after all...... How many more tv DQ do you think we will get this year ? I still for see the whole thing getting much more out of hand and becoming much more prevalent. This is just the start.


That's an irrelevant comment. You said it would turn TV golf into some "cheesy tv gimmick" and I said people have been calling in for 20 years, so if it's not a "cheesy tv gimmick" by now it's not going to turn into one.

I continue to disagree as wholeheartedly as I can with anyone who votes "no."

If a PGA Tour player violates a rule, why does it matter who sees it? Does it somehow change the fact that a rule was violated, and thus, the player incurred a penalty?

Nobody who votes "no" can reasonably answer that question.

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NO!  i think its total BS that they let people do that.  People should be at home enjoying the golf, not being arm-chair referees.   Golf was well and fine before HD allowed people to nitpick everyone's actions on the course.  Golf is a gentleman's (and lady's) game, and is and always was able to police itself w/out busy-body's calling in from home.  Padrig Harrington's DQ is a perfect example.  *He* said he felt the ball moved back to its original spot, that's good enough for me and should've been for anyone else.

IMHO of course..

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Originally Posted by iacas

I continue to disagree as wholeheartedly as I can with anyone who votes "no."

If a PGA Tour player violates a rule, why does it matter who sees it? Does it somehow change the fact that a rule was violated, and thus, the player incurred a penalty?

Nobody who votes "no" can reasonably answer that question.


I'm at a tournament on a Saturday following some guy who just made the cut.  I see him remove a loose impediment near his ball in the rough and it appears to me that his ball moved.  I tell him and he says, no it didn't it just oscillated and returned to it's original position.  There are no cameras around following him, so he might have incurred a penalty, but there is no way to prove it.  The rules official and his marker take his word for it and that's the end of it.

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NO!  i think its total BS that they let people do that.  People should be at home enjoying the golf, not being arm-chair referees.   Golf was well and fine before HD allowed people to nitpick everyone's actions on the course.  Golf is a gentleman's (and lady's) game, and is and always was able to police itself w/out busy-body's calling in from home.  Padrig Harrington's DQ is a perfect example.  *He* said he felt the ball moved back to its original spot, that's good enough for me and should've been for anyone else.

IMHO of course..

But he was wrong. Facts are facts, the source does not matter. The idea is to collect as many facts as possible. [quote name="RemyM" url="/forum/thread/43116/should-viewers-be-able-to-call-in-rules-violations/162#post_569250"]



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Originally Posted by iacas View Post

I continue to disagree as wholeheartedly as I can with anyone who votes "no."

If a PGA Tour player violates a rule, why does it matter who sees it? Does it somehow change the fact that a rule was violated, and thus, the player incurred a penalty?

Nobody who votes "no" can reasonably answer that question.


I'm at a tournament on a Saturday following some guy who just made the cut.  I see him remove a loose impediment near his ball in the rough and it appears to me that his ball moved.  I tell him and he says, no it didn't it just oscillated and returned to it's original position.  There are no cameras around following him, so he might have incurred a penalty, but there is no way to prove it.  The rules official and his marker take his word for it and that's the end of it.

[/quote] Indeed it is the end. No one is advocating that the spectators [i]create[/i] the violations, that's just stupid. No one is advocating that they [i]administer[/i] judgment on rules violations, that's also stupid. The point is that they should be able to point them out to an official who then acts just as if he had been the one who saw it in the first place. Your example doesn't address Erik's point because the rules official is still doing all that he can do. The rules will never be perfectly enforced, it's just that some players may have the ability to be more closely scrutinized than others.
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Originally Posted by B-Con

Quote:

Originally Posted by ejimsmith

NO!  i think its total BS that they let people do that.  People should be at home enjoying the golf, not being arm-chair referees.   Golf was well and fine before HD allowed people to nitpick everyone's actions on the course.  Golf is a gentleman's (and lady's) game, and is and always was able to police itself w/out busy-body's calling in from home.  Padrig Harrington's DQ is a perfect example.  *He* said he felt the ball moved back to its original spot, that's good enough for me and should've been for anyone else.

IMHO of course..

But he was wrong. Facts are facts, the source does not matter. The idea is to collect as many facts as possible.

Yeah, and I don't care.  Viewers shouldn't be able to call in rules violations, and most certainly shouldn't be able to DQ people over it.   If Padrig was wrong, it was for the officials at the tournament to discover, not some a-hole watching from home.

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Originally Posted by ejimsmith

Quote:

Originally Posted by B-Con

Quote:

Originally Posted by ejimsmith

NO!  i think its total BS that they let people do that.  People should be at home enjoying the golf, not being arm-chair referees.   Golf was well and fine before HD allowed people to nitpick everyone's actions on the course.  Golf is a gentleman's (and lady's) game, and is and always was able to police itself w/out busy-body's calling in from home.  Padrig Harrington's DQ is a perfect example.  *He* said he felt the ball moved back to its original spot, that's good enough for me and should've been for anyone else.

IMHO of course..

But he was wrong. Facts are facts, the source does not matter. The idea is to collect as many facts as possible.

Yeah, and I don't care.  Viewers shouldn't be able to call in rules violations, and most certainly shouldn't be able to DQ people over it.   If Padrig was wrong, it was for the officials at the tournament to discover, not some a-hole watching from home.


I can see that drawing the line here is quite hard, at least for most of us. But how can we rule out people at the scene, i.e. spectators? What about players in other groups (rare, I admit)?

One thing needs to be born in mind: facts collected may prove a player is in breach of a rule but also many prove him not guilty. Is it better to gather as many facts as possible to get the entire truth or do we let some people be punished for something they did not do?

There was an interesting situation last summer in the Amateur European Championship. A player was accused to have broken a tall weed while taking his stance (a violation of R13-2) and this was brought to the attention of the Chief RO. He interviewed the player and also got his hands on some photos having been taken by one of the photographers on the course. What the player told was a perfect match to the pictures taken and what actually happened was that there was a half-broken weed that was partially lying towards the ground. For some reason the top of the weed was raised by other weeds when the player took his stance. When he stepped back the weed went down again and this part was seen by a spectator who thought the player had cut the weed.

So the potential infraction was first noticed by a spectator and then proved not to be an infraction by a photographer, just by chance. What if the only persons having seen this had been the three players and their caddies in the group? And the player had been the only one to actually know what really happened? And no photographer had been there to create evidence?

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Originally Posted by ejimsmith

Quote:

Originally Posted by B-Con

Quote:

Originally Posted by ejimsmith

NO!  i think its total BS that they let people do that.  People should be at home enjoying the golf, not being arm-chair referees.   Golf was well and fine before HD allowed people to nitpick everyone's actions on the course.  Golf is a gentleman's (and lady's) game, and is and always was able to police itself w/out busy-body's calling in from home.  Padrig Harrington's DQ is a perfect example.  *He* said he felt the ball moved back to its original spot, that's good enough for me and should've been for anyone else.

IMHO of course..

But he was wrong. Facts are facts, the source does not matter. The idea is to collect as many facts as possible.

Yeah, and I don't care.  Viewers shouldn't be able to call in rules violations, and most certainly shouldn't be able to DQ people over it.   If Padrig was wrong, it was for the officials at the tournament to discover, not some a-hole watching from home.


And therein lies your problem.  You don't care if the rules are followed or not.  Do you take that same attitude to the course with you?  If nobody is watching, you can do as you please?

You and others here would think it's just peachy that the committee ignores a known breach simply because of the source of the information.  Fortunately you guys are wrong.  The rules of golf do NOT allow such selective enforcement, and properly so.

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I think most everyone here is making excellent arguments for and against.  I've been emphatic in my "no" position, however I believe I am at a point where I understand both sides and can accept the current position of the USGA, R&A; and professional tours.

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I voted no, mainly for the fact that the punishment of these rules infractions does not match the crime.

Case in point, the ball oscillates after picking up a marker.  The player thought it returned to the same position, but under closer HD slow-mo scrutiny it actually didn't.  Fine, 2 stroke penalty.  But no, because the player turned in and signed the scorecard it's now a DQ.  By the letter of the DQ rule it's correct, the player did sign an incorrect scorecard, but I don't think the intent of the rule was to punish players who were unaware that a infraction took place.  And I'm not talking about just being ignorant of the rules, but legitimately not seeing the infraction in the first place.

What if in this case the ball was placed on the green, and the marker lifted, At that point nothing unusual happened to the ball as viewed with the naked eye.  But in HD conditions, under slow-mo it's perceived that the ball moved a millimeter.  At real speed it looks like nothing out of the ordinary happened, and that player proceeded to putt the ball and finish up his round, sign his card and head to the locker room.  Joe Golfer at home is pouring over footage in slow-mo at home on his nice HD TV (2 hours later, or a day later) and sees the ball move  and calls in the infraction.  The PGA looks at the tape and sure enough, at 1 fps the ball does move.  The PGA pro is now called to the trailer and DQ'ed.

How is that fair to the player, or the integrity of the game?  In this situation does a DQ fit the crime committed (if you can consider that a crime), or should it just be a simple 2 stroke penalty?  How long after the fact can these infractions be called in?  Can I call in a week later?  A month?  What if I find an infraction from the 1997 Masters 4th round?  Can Tom Watson be DQ'ed and his money taken away?

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Originally Posted by MasterP

I voted no, mainly for the fact that the punishment of these rules infractions does not match the crime.

Case in point, the ball oscillates after picking up a marker.  The player thought it returned to the same position, but under closer HD slow-mo scrutiny it actually didn't.  Fine, 2 stroke penalty.  But no, because the player turned in and signed the scorecard it's now a DQ.  By the letter of the DQ rule it's correct, the player did sign an incorrect scorecard, but I don't think the intent of the rule was to punish players who were unaware that a infraction took place.  And I'm not talking about just being ignorant of the rules, but legitimately not seeing the infraction in the first place.

What if Paddy was unaware that it happened but a rules official caught it? Why is that any different?

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MasterP, the problem with your version of the story is that Padraig saw the ball move. He could have availed himself of a Rules Official and chose not to.

If someone else did it and legitimately didn't know that the ball moved, there are a few problems:

  1. The Committee now has to determine whether the player actually knew that his ball had moved or didn't. That would be impossible, so they'd have to rely on the facts - did the ball move or didn't it?
  2. The player is responsible for ensuring that the ball is put back in the proper spot. So even if the player "is unaware" that the ball moved, he still caused it to move, so "awareness" is irrelevant once again.

Originally Posted by MasterP

How is that fair to the player, or the integrity of the game?  In this situation does a DQ fit the crime committed (if you can consider that a crime), or should it just be a simple 2 stroke penalty?  How long after the fact can these infractions be called in?  Can I call in a week later?  A month?  What if I find an infraction from the 1997 Masters 4th round?  Can Tom Watson be DQ'ed and his money taken away?

This has been answered several times: close of competition.

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Originally Posted by MasterP

I voted no, mainly for the fact that the punishment of these rules infractions does not match the crime.

I'm sort of sympathetic to this feeling---it was a (most likely) inadvertent ~ inch error that costs him a shot at a good finish.  However, just feeling that it's unfair isn't really enough: you have to consider the other results of somehow barring outside observers from drawing attention to infractions and the other impacts of your alternative rule.  As iacas (and probably others) mention above, you can't possibly determine what the player actually knew or what his intention was, so the current rule has the huge benefit of not depending on those.  It's a simple question of fact.  It occasionally means that someone will be thumped with the DQ-hammer for a "minor" error, but IMO that extremely rare event is preferable to less-than-honest players weaseling around and cheating by gaming a more subtle rule.

Plus, if you want to prevent outsiders from pointing things out, you have a big job ahead of you.  If anyone has a practical suggestion for how to define what information would be available to rules officials, let's hear it.  I have trouble imagining any such method that is actually better than what we have now, but maybe someone can surprise me.

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Originally Posted by MasterP

I voted no, mainly for the fact that the punishment of these rules infractions does not match the crime.



It certainly does.  He returned an incorrect scorecard.  The only penalty for that is disqualification.  The penalty fits the crime to a T.

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My two cents is: "NO!!!!"

1st - It's the job of the players to know the rules and abide by them and most if not all do.

2nd - The PGA / USGA rules officials on the course handle that aspect along side the players.

3rd - There is enough TV cameras to catch most anything meaningful for review by the rules officials.

Let the spectators watch, after all that is what they paid for.  I could easily see them heckling or sending in false positives on players they don't like.  And most spectators don't know the rules of golf to the T like the 3 examples above.

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Originally Posted by iacas

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.


What examples do you have with PGA players 'Getting away with it'?

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Originally Posted by BigMikey

What examples do you have with PGA players 'Getting away with it'?


If TV viewers were unable to call, tweet, or email in, then I'd have two examples within the past month.

You said "It's the job of the players to know the rules and abide by them and most if not all do." So what do you do when they don't know the rules? Not punish them because an observer saw the infraction?

I've stated my position a few times in this thread and others, and I'm mostly staying out of it at this point.

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Originally Posted by BigMikey

Let the spectators watch, after all that is what they paid for.  I could easily see them heckling or sending in false positives on players they don't like.  And most spectators don't know the rules of golf to the T like the 3 examples above.


I'm sure anything false gets weeded out before any infraction is actually applied.

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