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Should Viewers Be Able to Call in Rules Violations


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Originally Posted by Dartguy View Post

So are you that guy that calls in?  If so, well.....


Your response is inappropriate regardless of whether he is or not. He's simply stating an opinion and you're calling people names.

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Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

Also, the spectators and the TV viewers may not see "the whole action." It reminds me of the shortlived TV show, Boomtown , another LA cop show. In this one, every crime or disturbance was replayed from the viewpoint of diffferent people. Not everyone saw "the same thing."


That's a non-point. It's on video. They play back the video and determine if the rule is broken. If there's inconclusive evidence then they go that route. If they can demonstrate conclusively that a rule was broken - as in the case of Camilo's DQ - they proceed down that track.

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Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

Also, how would the PGA process such notifications? What if it happened off-camera, and it was the pro vs. the spectator? Are we going to get members of the Moral Majority unfairly trying to target Tiger for past indiscretions, or a Boston-area Daughter of the American Revolution trying to sabotage an English player?

How often has that situation arisen? Despite all the years we've had PGA Tour golf (or golf otherwise), how many times have we seen spectators alleging rules infractions to target someone? ZERO. If there's no proof of something, they ask the player or his playing partner or they dismiss it altogether.

I bet most pros wouldn't be happy about it but they'd be okay with being called on a rules violation - just as Camilo was today. He handled it like a gentleman. What choice did he have? Be labeled a cheater? That's not a choice any pro is gonna make.

The PGA Tour already IS processing "such notifications." So why ask the question? It's already being done. It was done today. It's not like callers are flooding the PGA Tour headquarters with calls.

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Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

The turmoil and ill will this would cause is much worse than any instances of cheating it might uncover. Plus, PGA players have a pretty good track record of obeying the rules, and self-reporting violations which lead to disqualification.

Are you unaware of what happened today? PGA players have a good track record? We've already had one DQ in one event in 2011. Dustin Johnson didn't know that a pit filled with sand was a bunker.

A rules infraction is a rules infraction. Who cares who notices it? It doesn't change the fact that Camilo broke the rules.

Paul Azinger said this on Twitter :

A TV viewer call in DQ stinks for the player, but no player wants to get away with breaking a rule. Calling in violations protects the field

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Originally Posted by Zeph

I voted yes. These guys are playing for millions of dollars, if someone is cheating, they deserve getting penalized. Cheating is cheating, regardless if it is noticed or not. Anything that helps point out players that cheat is a good thing, helps keep the integrity of the game up.

There are of course players cheating, knowingly or unknowingly, but since when did one violation make another one OK? Is cheating ok as long as nobody notice? No. Anyone that cheat should be penalized, end of story. If you noticed yourself, a playing partner, rules official, caddy, spectator or TV-spectator doesn't matter, the point is to remove as much cheating as possible.

The rules of golf are extensive and they are the foundation for our game. They prevent us from doing some things and help us in some events. They represent the integrity of the game and we should all strive to play to them. Some rules may seem silly, but they are made to make the game as fair as possible.

If anything, this incident gave us a heads up on a rule we might not encounter too often.


I am not sure breaking a rule and cheating are the same thing, not in my mind anyhow. Cheating in sports to me involves deception, you don't just break the rule but you make and effort to avoid any penalty associated with the infraction. Just saying calling someone that broke a rule a cheater is not cool in my opinion.

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Originally Posted by 2bGood

I am not sure breaking a rule and cheating are the same thing, not in my mind anyhow. Cheating in sports to me involves deception, you don't just break the rule but you make and effort to avoid any penalty associated with the infraction. Just saying calling someone that broke a rule a cheater is not cool in my opinion.


As you can guess, English isn't his native language. And whether you connotatively take this to mean include "deception" or not, one of the definitions of "cheat" is "to violate rules or regulations."

But so far as Zeph's post goes, just substitute "cheater" for "person who broke a rule" and read his post that way.

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And Lee Janzen said this...

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A player breaking a rule on TV is still a rule violation. It's not fair to DQ the next day. If it's a TV caller then add a penalty
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Originally Posted by JayMc

And Lee Janzen said this...

And Lee's wrong. You sign an incorrect scorecard, the only choice is a DQ. And Zach Johnson wants to play different rules than the USGA. Doesn't mean he's right.

I was just pointing out that not every PGA Tour player is against the rules thing. Tiger's on TV all the time. How many times have people caught him violating the rules? Zero. Zilch. Guy knows 'em.

Know the rules and you don't have to worry. And if you violate the rules, if you're an honorable, upstanding guy, you say "duh, thanks," and move on with your integrity intact.

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I vote no I am not in favor of turning professional sports into tv viewer participation events. However as Sactionioning bodies like the PGA, NFL, MLB , NASCAR and others fight to retain or attract an audience in today's interactive inviorment it seems inevitable that they will have to adopt technology that engages the viewer in ways that old fashion tv could never dream of. But still, I do not like the idea of the viewer being a whistle blower. If the event promoter doesn't have the onsite resources to officiate the event then so be it, advantage goes to the player. Just my .02 Camo
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Now Eric's buddy IJP has gotten involved

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Yes the rules r the rules it was a mistake on Camilo's behalf, he didnt know he had done wrong, but people calling in, no 1 likes a snitch

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Originally Posted by Camo

But still, I do not like the idea of the viewer being a whistle blower. If the event promoter doesn't have the onsite resources to officiate the event then so be it, advantage goes to the player.

And the disadvantage goes to every OTHER player who follows the rules. Please.

Originally Posted by JayMc

Now Eric's buddy IJP has gotten involved


With his usual class, yep. And without sound reasoning. Not.

Look, nobody voting "no" can change the fact that a rules infraction occurs and it doesn't matter who reports it. The fact remains that a player has failed in his responsibility to follow the rules and violated the rules in a sport that demands it.

I'm disappointed in the player's tweets. Camilo took it better than they are. Learn the rules. You're professionals paid millions of dollars to play a game. Have some respect for yourself, the fans, and the game and learn the rules.

Any player who tweets something stupid on this will lose me as a fan. Lee Janzen, you're out. Paul Azinger, +1 to you. Aaron Olberholser, you lost points earlier today. Man up, people. If you break the rules why should you get away with it because you're ignorant and two other people weren't paying attention?

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If the sanctioning body holding the event can't fairly officiate the event without viewer participation then the issues for the sport run deeper then the few guys who might gain some sort of advantage because they are not on tv. Using tv as a rules tool is not equitable simply because only a few players are on tv. Every player should have the same oversight, not just the high profile players on tv My opinion about viewers as rules snitches is less to do about fairness , it is about letting the sanctioning body be the referee and not the audience.



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Originally Posted by Camo

If the sanctioning body holding the event can't fairly officiate the event without viewer participation then the issues for the sport run deeper then the few guys who might gain some sort of advantage because they are not on tv.Using tv as a rules tool is not equitable simply because only a few players are on tv.Every player should have the same oversight, not just the high profile players on tvMy opinion about viewers as rules snitches is less to do about fairness , it is about letting the sanctioning body be the referee and not the audience.


Since the responsibility lies with the player to officiate himself, it's not the "sanctioning body" that's responsible.

I've already addressed the silly "not equitable" argument. In short, how is letting a guy get away with an obvious rules infraction more equitable?

As often as Tiger's been on TV, how many rules violations has he been called for by TV viewers, many of which want to see him lose. ZERO.

Pros need to be more professional and learn the rules, call them on themselves, and we wouldn't have to get DQs because some guy watching on TV knows more about their profession than they do.

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I voted NO and here's why.

Yes, the players and caddy's should and need to know the rules.  This shouldn't be and I don't think is, disputed by anyone.

However, that's not the question.  You shouldn't allow/bring viewers into the equation.  I can't argue that the DQ was the correct call, but the manner it was done by was wrong and unproffesional, IMO.  It shouldn't have come to a viewer telling officials to look at a possible infraction.

There should be enough officials on the course to watch these guys.  To me, it's that simple.  Isn't there an official on every hole?  Wouldn't it be a pretty good idea to have an official or two maybe just watch the TV broadcast for possible infractions/issues?  I know golf is the gentleman sport where players are supposed to call everything on themselves, but I don't live in a fairy tale world.  I realize that there's millions of dollars at stake and leaving A LOT of potentially important infractions up to the players to call on themselves everytime isn't reality.  I guess what I'm saying is, is that players shouldn't be solely left to be the umpire/official.

"Well, all the more reason to make sure they follow the rules then.  Even if that means with viewer help."  Well, I actually agree w/ half of that logic.  If they're out there competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars, then they damn should be able to have officials watch every hole, whether in person or through TV.  As for the viewer help........

I believe any and all issues should be handled on site by the players and officials.  I don't believe any outside "help" is necessary or professional.  I believe if the officials were watching well enough or if there were enough there, they would have easily "caught" Villegas.

What if this catches on and you have viewers calling in off the hook on players?  How many officials are going to be busy looking at every "complaint" by every viewer?  How many officials do you want to use for that purpose?  What if the "TV officials" are too busy to get to looking at something before a certain players round ends?

This is a professional sport.  We the viewer WATCH.  We shouldn't be part of it, even if the intentions are right.

The outcry here should be aimed towards both Villegas and his opponent and the officials working the tournament.  How was this even left up to a viewer?  I believe that's the biggest and most important issue here.

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I admit I'm conflicted on this one but for some reason I just feel it should be reported either by the players(ideally) or an official. When it comes from a fan calling in from home, it just seems weird that that's OK. It feels like it's crossing a line for some reason, even if I'm not exactly sure where that line is.

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Originally Posted by 1par2win View Post

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.



I agree with the decision today, but I wouldn't be against putting a tournament committee member or rules official in a booth with a TV to monitor the broadcast.  Then on the rare occasion every couple of years that a breach occurs on the air, it might be caught in a timely manner, and either applied immediately or at least applied before the card is returned.  This would at least end these silly discussions.  Villegas didn't even quibble.  If he can take it like a man, why can't forum contributors do the same?

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There should be enough officials on the course to watch these guys.  To me, it's that simple.  Isn't there an official on every hole?

No there isn't.  Each official is assigned to a group of holes.  He can't possibly see all of the action in his area of responsibility.  His job is not to police anyway, it's to be available as a resource on the rules if needed.  If he happens to see something fishy, he has a duty to speak up - even more to try and prevent a penalty if possible.  But he can't be everywhere at once.  This is why the player is still responsible for knowing the rules, no matter what the level of the competition.

And by the way, I say yes to the poll.

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Originally Posted by nike_golf View Post

However, that's not the question. You shouldn't allow/bring viewers into the equation. I can't argue that the DQ was the correct call, but the manner it was done by was wrong and unproffesional, IMO.

So your answer is "no, because no"?

And what's more unprofessional? Allowing a "professional golfer" to get away with a rules infraction or a "professional golfer" not knowing the rules that govern his job? Or enforcing the rules when the "professional" doesn't on his own as is his responsibility?

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Originally Posted by nike_golf View Post

There should be enough officials on the course to watch these guys. To me, it's that simple. Isn't there an official on every hole?

Nope. And even if there was he couldn't watch at least four people and at least two golf balls at the same time. It's impractical, and again, golf is a sport which asks the players to be responsible for themselves. Rules Officials are on-site to assist players, not to watch them like hawks looking for infractions.

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Originally Posted by nike_golf View Post

I believe any and all issues should be handled on site by the players and officials.  I don't believe any outside "help" is necessary or professional. I believe if the officials were watching well enough or if there were enough there, they would have easily "caught" Villegas.

They didn't "catch" him. And if they "miss" him it doesn't change the fact that a rule was violated.

Again, what you're suggesting is like me stealing twenty bucks out of your pocket and getting away with it because 17 eye witnesses all saw it, but none were your wife (playing partner) or a police officer (rules official). Except Camilo could have made more than twenty bucks...

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Originally Posted by nike_golf View Post

What if this catches on and you have viewers calling in off the hook on players?

Phones - and television - have existed for decades. There's no reason to believe we'll see an upshoot in call-ins about rules infractions. We haven't in decades. Straw man arguments don't fly, c'mon. You don't just get to make things up and pretend they're legitimate issues.

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Originally Posted by nike_golf View Post

This is a professional sport.  We the viewer WATCH.  We shouldn't be part of it, even if the intentions are right.

And when the professionals fail to uphold their professional duties... they just get away with it? Despite someone noticing?

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Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

I agree with the decision today, but I wouldn't be against putting a tournament committee member or rules official in a booth with a TV to monitor the broadcast.  Then on the rare occasion every couple of years that a breach occurs on the air, it might be caught in a timely manner, and either applied immediately or at least applied before the card is returned.  This would at least end these silly discussions.  Villegas didn't even quibble.  If he can take it like a man, why can't forum contributors do the same?

If the rules official has to watch the same broadcast we do, he'd likely fall asleep as most of us do after the never-ending putting, continuous promos, and 5+ hour rounds. But hey, maybe it'd get 'em to spice things up a bit!

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Originally Posted by Fourputt View Post

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There should be enough officials on the course to watch these guys.  To me, it's that simple.  Isn't there an official on every hole?

No there isn't.  Each official is assigned to a group of holes.  He can't possibly see all of the action in his area of responsibility.  His job is not to police anyway, it's to be available as a resource on the rules if needed.  If he happens to see something fishy, he has a duty to speak up - even more to try and prevent a penalty if possible.  But he can't be everywhere at once.  This is why the player is still responsible for knowing the rules, no matter what the level of the competition.

Yep.

Seriously, Camilo accepted this. Why's everyone else getting their panties in a twist. He's fine with it.

Nobody can explain away the fact that a rule was broken. That's a fact and regardless of who sees it, the committee has to make the appropriate call.

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The issue or question wasn't if a player should be allowed to get away with a rules infraction. They should not be allowed to get away with an infraction. The question was should the tv audience be permitted to participate when a rules infraction occurs. In my opinion it would diminish the sport of professional golf to a cheesy tv gimmick used to increase tv ratings and would diminish the class and stature of the sport reducing it to a tv game show and take it out of the realm of a professional sport. On the irrelevant matter if it is equitable, I still contend that unless the tv audience / refree was observing each player for the same amount of time on the same hole it would be unfair. Any way you slice it. If the Marshall is watching you for 22 minutes and me for 15 seconds that is not an equal amount of scrutiny. I.e. What I mean by inequitable Anyhow, I voted no. Just my opinion.



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Originally Posted by Camo

The issue or question wasn't if a player should be allowed to get away with a rules infraction. They should not be allowed to get away with an infraction. The question was should the tv audience be permitted to participate when a rules infraction occurs. In my opinion it would diminish the sport of professional golf to a cheesy tv gimmick used to increase tv ratings and would diminish the class and stature of the sport reducing it to a tv game show and take it out of the realm of a professional sport.On the irrelevant matter if it is equitable, I still contend that unless the tv audience / refree was observing each player for the same amount of time on the same hole it would be unfair. Any way you slice it. If the Marshall is watching you for 22 minutes and me for 15 seconds that is not an equal amount of scrutiny. I.e. What I mean by inequitable Anyhow, I voted no. Just my opinion.


The most used and misused term in rules discussions is "unfair".  The rules have nothing to do with fairness other than all players are subject to the same rules, and all are responsible for knowing those rules.  Is it fair to the rest of the field that a player who is ignorant of the rules gets away with an infraction just because nobody sees him do it?  And then he subsequently wins money which rightfully should go to another player.  You can't have the sort of "fairness" you seem to think is proper.  This is no different from a case where one player breaches a rule when his fellow competitor is watching and calls him on it, but in the next group a player who does the same thing is not being watched and gets away with it.  This is precisely why the rules state that the player is responsible for knowing and playing by the rules.  There is no assigned overseer at any level of play (except in certain high level match play tournaments where a referee accompanies each group - but never in stroke play), but even if someone happens to be watching at a particular moment, that does not absolve the player of his responsibility, nor does it relieve him from the penalty if his breach is seen by someone else.

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Originally Posted by Camo

The issue or question wasn't if a player should be allowed to get away with a rules infraction. They should not be allowed to get away with an infraction. The question was should the tv audience be permitted to participate when a rules infraction occurs.


Those sentences are opposed to one another. If golfers should not get away with infractions who cares who notices the infraction?

Originally Posted by Camo

In my opinion it would diminish the sport of professional golf to a cheesy tv gimmick used to increase tv ratings and would diminish the class and stature of the sport reducing it to a tv game show and take it out of the realm of a professional sport.

What you don't seem to get is that we've had this situation for decades, so if professional golf is not a "cheesy tv gimmick" now then you have nothing to support the wild claim that it will "turn into it" by the continuation of something we've had for decades (phones + television). Even if you go back to "the start of the Internet" we have 10-20 years of people being able to easily call the PGA Tour or someone connected to a tournament.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

The most used and misused term in rules discussions is "unfair".  The rules have nothing to do with fairness other than all players are subject to the same rules, and all are responsible for knowing those rules.  Is it fair to the rest of the field that a player who is ignorant of the rules gets away with an infraction just because nobody sees him do it?  And then he subsequently wins money which rightfully should go to another player.  You can't have the sort of "fairness" you seem to think is proper.  This is no different from a case where one player breaches a rule when his fellow competitor is watching and calls him on it, but in the next group a player who does the same thing is not being watched and gets away with it.  This is precisely why the rules state that the player is responsible for knowing and playing by the rules.  There is no assigned overseer at any level of play (except in certain high level match play tournaments where a referee accompanies each group - but never in stroke play), but even if someone happens to be watching at a particular moment, that does not absolve the player of his responsibility, nor does it relieve him from the penalty if his breach is seen by someone else.


Yep. Well stated.

Nobody can overcome the fact that the fact remains that a player violated a rule and the consequence is clear, and nobody can overcome the fact that it's not "more fair" to let a player get away with something simply because nobody in a very small group didn't see it or know it was a rules violation.

The vote is currently at 18-12 in favor of "No." That makes me sad.

If you're playing in a club championship match, and a spectator points out that you violated a rule, do those of you who voted "no" claim that it doesn't count because your opponent or the head pro who is serving as the "official" didn't notice it?

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My 2 cents.  I think however the rules violation is discovered the appropriate penalty should be imposed.  It does bother me some that tournament leaders and the "elite golfers (Phil & Tiger)" will be more exposed to a TV viewer's call than others.  But in my view that is a lesser evil as the alternative is not playing by the rules.

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