Have you ever caught the disc but landed out of bounds? Yet had you not been pushed, you would have landed out of bounds? Did you make the right call when it happened? Did you even know there was a call for what happened? Well, there is; it’s called a force-out foul. Read on for more about this foul.
b. Receiving Fouls
4. Force-out Foul: If an airborne player catches the disc and is contacted by an opposing player before landing, and that contact causes the player to land out-of-bounds instead of in-bounds, or out of the end zone instead of in the end zone, it is a foul on the opposing player and the fouled player retains possession at the spot of the foul. If an uncontested force-out foul results in an in-bounds player landing outside the end zone being attacked when they would have landed in the end zone without the foul, a goal is awarded.
This foul can sometimes be tricky to call; mainly because it’s all a matter of perspective.
Take example A – If you were to jump for the disc close to the sidelines and make an effort to land with your foot/feet in bounds, then it’s clear to the players on the field that you’re trying to land in bounds and that you are aware of the sideline. You would be stretching back with your foot/feet trying to toe the line.
Take example B – If you were to catch the disc close to the sidelines while jumping, not realize that you’re close to the sidelines, and consequently land out, then it would be pretty clear that you didn’t realize that you were that close to the sidelines.
Now, take example AA – If you and your defender both go up for the disc, again close to the sidelines, and you end up catching the disc. Let’s say that you are aware how close to the sidelines you are and so you try to stretch your back leg to land in bounds. However, in the process of jumping, your defender bumps you in the air, causing you to land just out of bounds. In this situation, it’s not totally clear if you would have landed in bounds, but it’s definitely a good possibility.
In example BB, the same situation happens as AA, with one twist – you’re not aware of how close you are to the sidelines so you don’t try to toe the line. In this case, it’s clear that you wouldn’t have landed in even if you weren’t pushed by your defender.
In order to call a force-out foul, it has to be pretty clear that you would HAVE landed in had it not been for the contact between you and your defender. So in the process of playing, I encourage you to always be aware of where you are on the field in case a situation such as this happens. The more aware you are, the greater the chance that a force-out foul call will stand.
And, conversely, if you are the defender and are called for forcing the opposing player out of bounds, you can use this theory to argue that they would not have landed in (or to agree that there was a good chance that they would have landed in bounds). Having good spirit means that if the opposing player makes a good call that you agree with them – not that you argue no matter what.