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MLU RULE BOOK

2016 Season


Table of Contents

Glossary of Key Terms        

Gameplay Rules        

I.        The Field        

II.        The Teams        

III.        Game Format        

IV.        General Gameplay        

V.        Status of the Disc        

VI.        In- and Out-of-Bounds        

VII.        The Thrower        

VIII.        The Receiver        

IX.        The Pull        

X.        Fouls and Infractions        

XI.        Clock Stoppages        

XII.        Officiating and Enforcement        

XIII.        Regulations for Equipment, Uniforms, and Gear        

Appendix A: MLU Guidelines for Game Conduct        


Glossary of Key Terms

  1. Assist: a statistical event consisting of the throwing of a pass when the reception of that pass results in a goal awarded to the thrower’s team.
  2. Bench Player: a person on the active roster for a team, who is eligible to play and be substituted, but who is not engaged in play at the moment.  The terms player and bench player are distinct.
  3. Boundedness: the state of being either in- or out-of-bounds.
  4. Boxing Out: A player’s attempt to position his body (not including arms and legs) to protect an advantageous approach to an airborne disc.  Slight contact is allowed for the purpose of maintaining position, but physically displacing an opponent is not allowed.
  5. Brick Mark: a mark on the centerline of the field, 20 yards up from the end-zone line.
  6. Callahan Goal: a statistical event wherein a defender scores a goal by intercepting a disc in the end-zone his team is attacking.
  7. Catch: the establishment of possession over an airborne disc.  A pass caught by the offense is also called a completed pass or a completion.  A pass caught by the defense is an interception.
  8. Centerline: the longer (120 yards) of two imaginary lines dividing the greater playing field in half (see: midline).
  9. Completion: a successful attempt to pass the disc from one player to another without the disc being turned over.  When possession is awarded to a fouled intended receiver, the pass is treated as complete.  A completion and a complete pass are equivalent.
  10. D: a statistical event wherein a defensive player contacts a passed or dropped disc in a manner that causes a turnover without that disc first being possessed again by the offense.
  11. Dead: one of two mutually exclusive statuses that may be assigned to the disc; a dead disc is not eligible to be thrown or caught, and may only be turned over in very specific circumstances.  Saying that play is dead is equivalent to saying that the disc is dead.
  12. End-zone: either of the areas on the greater playing field in which a player may be awarded a goal.  The goal line is not part of the end-zone.
  13. Ejection: the permanent removal of a player, bench player, coach, or other team employee from the game.
  14. Field Lines: the line segments marking the boundary to the greater playing field.  Yard lines or other markings on the surface of the greater playing field are not field lines.  The terms exterior field lines and field lines are equivalent.
  15. Foul: any sort of prohibited act that results in a penalty against the team committing the act.  The term foul may refer to any rules violation and does not necessarily denote a physical contact foul.  The terms foul and infraction are equivalent.
  16. Flagrant Foul: an intentional or unintentional foul that seriously or immediately endangers players, or otherwise undermines the public image or health of the league.
  17. Goal: a statistical event marking the completion of a pass (or an interception) wherein the player gaining possession does so within the end-zone his team is attacking.  Goals are the team achievement used to determine the final outcome of the game.
  18. Goal Line: either line distinguishing the natural playing field from the end-zones.
  19. Greater Playing Field: the entire in-bounds surface of the field (including the end-zones), the limit of which is marked out by the exterior field lines.
  20. Ground Contact: any bodily contact at all that a player makes with the ground OR with a non-player or object in contact with the ground.  Ground contact is used to establish scoring validity and boundedness.  
  21. Infraction: any sort of prohibited act that results in a penalty against the team committing the act.  The terms foul and infraction are equivalent.
  22. In Play: one of two mutually exclusive statuses that may be assigned to the disc; a disc in play is eligible to be thrown, caught, and turned over.
  23. Intended Receiver: an offensive player to whom a disc has been thrown, or who clearly has a play on a thrown disc, but who has not yet established possession of that disc.
  24. Interception: when a defensive player establishes possession of an airborne offensive pass.
  25. Invalid Pass: when a thrower hands the disc off to a teammate without throwing a pass, or is the first player to touch his own airborne pass, or tips a non-spinning disc to himself.
  26. Marking: the act of guarding the thrower within 3 yards of the thrower’s pivot spot.
  27. Midfield: the intersection of the centerline and the midline, denoting the exact center of the greater playing field.
  28. Midline: the shorter (53 1/3 yards) of two imaginary lines dividing the greater playing field in half (see: centerline).
  29. Natural Playing Field: the portion of the greater playing field that does not include the end-zones.
  30. Pass Interference: contact that affects another player from attempting to catch an airborne disc.
  31. Pivoting: the thrower’s act of moving his body in order achieve a viable throwing position or angle, while keeping the same part of his body in continuous contact with the pivot spot.
  32. Pivot Spot: the place on the greater playing field with which the thrower keeps continuous ground contact while in possession of the disc.  The term pivot, used as a noun, may also refer to the pivot spot.  The spot of the throw is equivalent to the pivot spot of the thrower who made the throw in question.
  33. Possession: control of a non-spinning disc.
  34. Player: any one of the fourteen people engaged in play at any particular time.  The terms player and bench player are distinct.
  35. Pull: a throw made by the team starting a point on defense to the team starting that point on offense, somewhat analogous to a kickoff in football.  Special rules apply to this throw.
  36. Pulling Line: the imaginary line, behind which the pulling team must stand in order to pull the disc.  This line occupies the same space as the pulling team’s goal line, unless penalty yardage applies.
  37. Reverse-Brick Mark: a mark at the exact center of each end-zone.
  38. Receiving Line: the imaginary line with which all players on the receiving team must maintain contact until the pull is released.  This line occupies the same space as the receiving team’s goal line, unless penalty yardage applies.
  39. Clock Stoppage: an official cessation in play that begins at the moment of the official’s signal.  The game clock does not run when a clock stoppage is in effect.  The disc is dead during a clock stoppage.
  40. Stall Count: the 7 seconds permitted to a marked thrower before he must release the disc.
  41. Strip: A strip occurs when a defensive player dislodges or pulls away the disc from an offensive player who has established possession of the disc.
  42. Temporary Disqualification: the temporary removal of a player from the game until such a time as the condition requiring his disqualification (e.g. injury, dangerous equipment) is corrected.
  43. Tipping: the act of an offensive player intentionally hitting, brushing, or otherwise advancing the disc in any direction via any impact strike without ever establishing possession of the disc.  If he tips to himself, the disc must be spinning.


Gameplay Rules

  1. The Field
  1. Dimensions and Markings of the Field
  1. Field Dimensions
  1. The greater playing field is 120 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide. Within the greater playing field:
  1. Each end-zone is 20 yards in depth, as measured from the shorter of the exterior field lines at the corresponding end of the field to the goal line of that end-zone.
  2. The natural playing field is 80 yards in length.  
  1. Field Markings
  1. The exterior field lines and goal lines are 4 inches in width.
  2. Each end-zone corner and each end of the centerline is marked with an approved pylon.
  1. The 3 exterior border edges of each end-zone may have extra color on the ground along the border and more pylons along those edges.
  1. A brick mark is centered at 20 yards in front of each goal line.
  2. A reverse-brick mark is at the exact center of each end-zone.
  1. On Field Lines and Goal Lines
  1. Exterior field lines are not part of the greater playing field; they mark its boundary, and are considered out-of-bounds.  
  1. Contact with an exterior field line is out-of-bounds contact.  
  1. A goal line is not part of its corresponding end-zone; the goal line marks the boundary of the end-zone, and is considered part of the natural playing field.
  1. Contact with a goal line is non-scoring contact.  
  1. Appropriate Positioning of Personnel
  1. A restraining perimeter of 6 yards is enforced around the field.  Only officials (and not players or coaches) may occupy this space except during a clock stoppage.
  2. Bench players must remain along the designated sideline, outside the restraining perimeter, within 20 yards of the field’s midline, and not overlapping with the opposing team’s bench area.
  1. Whether the teams are on opposite sidelines or the same sideline is venue-specific.
  1. Only team personnel (e.g. bench players, medical staff, owners, the head coach, and up to two assistant coaches) are permitted to be in a team’s bench area.  
  2. Bench players and other non-player personnel are subject to relevant flagrant fouls if they:
  1. Approach the Sideline Official’s table or enter the greater playing field unless the disc is dead, or
  2. Enter the greater playing field during a fighting incident, or
  3. Enter the opposing team’s bench area at any time.
  1. A player-coach has no special privileges in these regards; he must function as a player for this positioning.

 

  1. The Teams
  1. Rosters
  1. Each team must have an official active roster of persons eligible to serve as players for the game.
  2. This roster must have at minimum 14 eligible persons, and at maximum 25.
  1. Players
  1. Each team fields up to 7 players at a time.
  1. Captains
  1. Each team has a designated captain, and may have a co- or assistant-captain of the team’s choosing.
  1. All captains and co-captains should be clearly identified to all officials before the game.
  2. In the event that a team is without a captain for any reason (e.g. ejection, injury, absence), the coach immediately designates a temporary captain for the duration of the game, and notifies all officials of this new election.
  1. The captain is the only player who may ask an official about a rules interpretation or call.  Any such discussion must be during a stoppage of play, and must be brief, respectful, and functional, lest a delay of game penalty be called.

  1. Game Format
  1. Game, Quarter, and Overtime Timing
  1. Each MLU game should start promptly at the time appointed by the league.  If a team is late in appearing on the field at the start of any quarter, that team is subject to punishment at the discretion of the league.
  2. Unless overtime is necessary, a game consists of four quarters, with each quarter consisting of 10 minutes of gameplay.
  1. The game clock starts and stops only in response to the signal of the official.
  1. The first and third quarters are each followed by a clock stoppage of play 3.5 minutes in length.
  2. The second quarter is followed by a 15 minute halftime clock stoppage of play.
  1. Coin Toss
  1. Before the start of the game, the officials conduct a coin toss between representatives from each team.
  2. While still called a ‘Coin Toss’, instead of tossing an actual coin, each representative will instead flip a disc (flipping over at least once).
  3. The away team’s representative will call ‘same’ or ‘different.’  
  1. The team winning the coin toss has the right to:
  1. Choose to begin the quarter on offense or defense, OR
  2. Choose which end-zone to attack/defend first.
  3. As an alternative option, they may defer this privilege to the opposing team so they guarantee selection in the 2nd and 4th quarters.
  1. The team losing the coin toss chooses from the remaining options.
  1. At the beginning of each successive quarter, the teams re-choose from the above options, with the teams alternating first choice each quarter.
  1. The deferral option is only available before the first quarter, and is not an option at any other point in the game.
  1. Before the start of the first overtime period, a new coin toss determines which team has first choice.
  1. At the beginning of each successive overtime period, the teams re-choose from the above options, with the teams alternating first choice each overtime.
  1. Game Clock
  1. The scoreboard clock is the official time for the game and is operated under the direction and control of the Sideline Official.
  2. Stopping and Starting the Clock
  1. The clock should stop only when an official signals for a clock stoppage.
  1. The officials should signal a clock stoppage after every score.
  1. Once stopped, the clock should only restart when the official signals the disc in play.
  2. A penalty does not automatically provoke a clock stoppage; therefore, the clock should not stop for penalties unless an official specifically signals a clock stoppage or under the following circumstance:
  1. The only exception to Section III,C,II,3 occur during the last 60 seconds of each quarter, where the clock will stop for any dead disc and will be restarted when the disc is in play as signaled by the referee"
  1. When the clock reaches 0:00 and the disc is not in flight, the official should signal a clock stoppage to declare the quarter or overtime period over.
  1. If the disc is airborne when the clock reaches 0:00 the official should only signal a play stoppage once the disc or a player in possession of the disc touches the ground.
  2. A quarter or overtime period cannot end on a defensive infraction.  In the event of such an infraction when fewer than 10 seconds remain, the official signals a technical clock stoppage, and returns the clock to 0:10 before play is resumed.
  1. The Offense can decline this clock adjustment if they wish.
  1. Determining a Winner
  1. At the end of the fourth quarter, the team that has scored the most goals over the course of the game is declared the winner.  
  2. If the game is tied at the end of the fourth quarter, the overtime rules go into effect as follows:
  1. First Overtime: In the event of a tie after four quarters, a 3-minute clock stoppage is followed by a 5-minute overtime period.
  2. Sudden-Death Overtime: In the event of a tie after the first overtime period, a 3-minute clock stoppage is followed by a sudden-death overtime, in which the first team to score is declared the winner.
  1. There is no coin toss at the start of Sudden-Death.

  1. General Gameplay
  1. Advancing the Disc
  1. A player may advance the disc in any direction only by:
  1. Throwing a complete pass to a teammate, OR
  2. By tipping the disc without the disc first contacting the ground (see: definition of tipping in “Glossary”).
  1. A thrown, dropped, or tipped disc that contacts the ground before (or at the same moment as) an offensive player establishes possession of that disc results in an incomplete pass and a turnover.  
  2. A thrown or caught disc that becomes out-of-bounds is a turnover charged against the offense, unless otherwise specified (see: “In- and Out-of-Bounds” for a description of what forms of ground- or player-contact render a disc out-of-bounds).
  3. Tipping:
  1. A player tipping a disc is not considered in possession of that disc; he need not establish a pivot spot.
  2. A player may not tip a disc after he has gained possession of that disc.
  3. A player may only tip a disc to himself if it is still clearly spinning.  If it is no longer clearly spinning, that player must either catch it or tip it to a teammate before touching it again.
  1. Possession
  1. Possession is control over a non-spinning disc.  A player is considered to have possession of a disc as soon as he has control of the disc and has stopped its rotation, even if he is airborne or moving.
  2. The moment of possession is considered to be the exact moment at which the player has stopped rotation and established control over the disc, even if the player does not yet have control over his body.
  3. The first ground contact after possession is used for determining whether a player has scored, or is in-bounds.
  1. NOTE: if, after a catch, the disc is the first thing to touch the ground, then that point counts as the first ground contact.
  2. NOTE: if a player is making any point of ground contact during the moment that possession is established, that ground contact is considered to be the “first ground contact” after possession is established.
  1. Interceptions:
  1. A disc is intercepted when the defense gains possession of an airborne offensive pass.  A pass must be cleanly caught for it to be considered intercepted.
  2. During an attempted interception, if the intercepting defender loses possession due the ground contact associated with that interception, his team retains possession.
  1. The play is treated as if possession had never been established (i.e. the play is treated as if the disc had been blocked or knocked down instead of intercepted).
  1. Goal Scoring
  1. A goal is awarded to a team when one of its in-bounds players:
  1. Gains possession of an in-play disc within the end-zone that his team is attacking, AND
  2. Maintains possession of that disc throughout the ground contact associated with the catch.
  1. For the purposes of scoring, a player is considered to be in possession within the end-zone only if
  1. He is in-bounds at the time of possession, AND
  2. His first ground contact after establishing possession of the disc is entirely within the end-zone.
  1. Note: NEITHER the exterior field lines NOR the goal lines are considered parts of the end-zone.  
  2. Accordingly, a player is NOT awarded a goal if his first ground contact after establishing possession (including any contact during the moment of possession) is with an area outside the end-zone, such as a goal line, field line, or out-of-bounds area.  
  1. Note: If simultaneous multiple points of contact occur both inside and outside the end-zone, a goal is not awarded.  
  1. If an airborne player in possession of a disc loses possession due to a strip, or he is forced out of bounds due to a foul, and (in the judgment of the official) that player would have made ground contact requisite for a score if not for the foul, that player is awarded a goal.
  2. A player may not score by running into the end-zone after a catch.  If the momentum of a player who has not scored carries that player into the end-zone, he must establish a pivot spot on the goal line nearest to where he entered the end-zone before putting the disc into play.
  1. Physical Contact
  1. Contact between players is not inherently a foul, but any official may deem any contact incident to be a foul, in accordance with his judgment of its nature, severity, and/or effect on a given play.
  1. Substitutions
  1. Substitutions occur only after a goal has been scored, or during time-outs, or to replace an injured, ejected, or temporarily disqualified player.
  2. During a scoring clock stoppage or during a time-out either team may replace any number of players, including the thrower or marker(s).
  3. In the event of an injury clock stoppage, each team may choose to replace either:
  1. Any injured players for whom a clock stoppage was signaled (and/or others deemed by the officials to be sufficiently injured), OR
  2. A number of players equal to the total number of injured players being replaced by the opposing team.
  1. A team may replace an ejected player with a new player; once ejected, a player may not re-enter that game.
  2. A player temporarily disqualified by the officials due to a fixable condition (e.g. improper uniform or faulty equipment) must be replaced within 30 seconds.  Once the disqualifying condition is remedied, that player may re-enter the game as a substitute, but he must wait until a normal substitution opportunity to do so.

  1. Status of the Disc
  1. The Two Statuses
  1. The disc has two possible statuses: “In Play” and “Dead.”  These statuses are mutually exclusive; a disc cannot be both in play and dead at the same time.
  1. In Play
  1. A disc in play is eligible to be thrown, caught, and turned over.  
  2. Putting the Disc into Play:
  1. A dead disc must be put into play before it can be thrown.  
  1. The offensive player in possession of the disc puts the disc into play by establishing a valid pivot spot.
  2. The official has complete discretion in determining when and whether the offense has put the disc into play.
  3. To put a disc into play at a given spot means to establish a pivot spot exactly on that location.
  1. On the Natural Playing Field:
  1. A thrower on the natural playing field is considered to have established a pivot spot when he comes to a stop on the natural playing field after gaining possession of the disc.
  2. A thrower picking up a disc off the ground on the natural playing field must put the disc into play (establish his pivot spot) at the spot of the disc.
  1. Out-of-bounds:
  1. A pivot spot may never be established out of bounds.  Accordingly, to put the disc into play, a player in valid possession of the disc must establish a pivot spot at the appropriate in-bounds location (see: “In- and Out-of-Bounds: The Disc”).
  1. In the End-zone Being Attacked:
  1. A pivot may never be established within the end-zone that the thrower’s team is attacking.  Accordingly, a thrower within the end-zone his team is attacking (i.e. a thrower carried there by momentum after a non-scoring catch, or picking up an at-rest disc in that end-zone) must establish a pivot spot on the goal line nearest to where he entered the end-zone.  
  1. In the End-zone Being Defended:
  1. The disc remains in play when an offensive player receives a pass in the end-zone he is defending; he must establish a pivot spot as though that end-zone were part of the natural playing field (i.e. at the spot of possession or the cessation of momentum).
  2. A player gaining possession of a disc on a turnover in the end-zone his team is defending may either:
  1. Keep the disc in play by establishing a pivot spot at the spot where possession is gained, OR
  2. Choose to carry it to the nearest spot on the goal line and put it in play there.
  1. A player choosing this option may move at any speed, including a variable speed, but if he pauses after gaining possession, he must establish a pivot at the spot where possession was gained.
  1. Such a thrower may NOT establish a pivot foot or throw the disc at any point OTHER than the spot of possession or the goal line.  If he does so, he is guilty of a Delay of Game.  
  1. A disc in play remains in play unless signaled dead by an official upon one of the following specific events:
  1. A goal is scored.  
  2. A foul or infraction is committed.  
  3. The disc becomes out-of-bounds (see: “In- and Out-of-Bounds” for information on what scenarios render a disc formally out-of-bounds).  
  4. A clock stoppage is signaled.  
  5. Any event or penalty occurs that requires the thrower to establish a pivot spot at a new location
  1. Exception 1: The disc should not be signaled dead when an in-bounds player in possession of the disc makes out-of-bounds contact due to his momentum after making a valid catch, as long as he does not become out of bounds himself (see: “In- and Out-of-Bounds” for rules on how players become formally out of bounds).  
  2. Exception 2: The disc should not be signaled dead when an in-bounds player in possession of the disc makes non-scoring contact with the end-zone he is attacking due to his momentum after making a valid catch.
  3. Exception 3:  The disc should not be signaled dead when a player gains possession of a disc after a turnover in the end-zone his team is defending and he chooses to establish his pivot on the goal line.
  4. In the event of any of the preceding exceptions, the thrower must establish a valid pivot on the natural playing field (at the spot nearest to where he first contacted the ineligible area) before he may throw.  If he fails to do so, he may be called for a delay of game (see: “Fouls and Infractions”).
  1. Dead
  1. The disc becomes dead the moment that an official signals any penalty or clock stoppage.
  2. A dead disc is not eligible to be thrown or caught, and may only be turned over in very specific circumstances.  Saying that the play is dead is equivalent to saying that the disc is dead.
  3. A dead disc is eligible for a turnover only:
  1. If it is dropped to the ground while being carried (or when it must be carried) to the spot at which it is to be put into play, OR
  2. If an infraction causes a turnover to be charged.  
  1. When the disc is dead, all players may move freely.
  2. Dead Discs Thrown
  1. A dead disc that is thrown is returned to the thrower, who is usually charged with a delay of game penalty.
  2. Note: a thrower who throws a dead disc will not be charged with delay of game if:
  1. He did not have a reasonable amount of time in which to halt his throw after the disc became dead, OR
  2. The disc became dead due to a foul committed against him during his throwing motion.  
  1. Note: this does not negate any turnover that is due to be charged to the thrower’s team due to a foul.
  1. Airborne Discs Becoming Dead
  1. When an airborne disc is signaled dead, it reverts to the possession of the thrower at the spot of the throw’s origin, regardless of the outcome of the pass.  
  1. Exception 1: If a foul causes an airborne disc to become dead, then the rules of possession for that particular infraction (see: “Fouls and Infractions”) apply.  
  2. Exception 2: An airborne disc only becomes out-of-bounds due to contact (see: In- and Out-of-Bounds), and is not returned to the thrower.
  1. Status of the Pull
  1. Many special conditions apply to the status of a pull and procedures for putting the pull into play—including many exceptions to the rules outlined above.  Nothing in this section supersedes the procedures and rules outlined in “The Pull.”  
  1. Official Discretion
  1. The official has complete discretion in determining the precise moment at which possession and/or the pivot is established and the disc is put into play.  No player may make this determination.
  2. The official has complete discretion in determining the precise moment at which any event causes a disc in play to become dead.  No player may make this determination.  
  1. Signaling a Change in Status of the Disc
  1. Only the official’s signal changes the status of the disc.  See: “Duties of the Officials” for signaling procedure.  

  1. In- and Out-of-Bounds
  1. Turnovers Due to Boundedness
  1. A thrown or caught disc that becomes out-of-bounds is a turnover charged against the offense, except in the event of an applicable foul.
  1. A defender who renders a disc out-of-bounds is not charged with a turnover; his team may take possession.  
  1. The Field Lines
  1. The exterior field lines are not part of the greater playing field and are out-of-bounds.  Any contact—even partial contact—with an exterior field line is contact with an out-of-bounds area.  
  1. The Surrounding Environment
  1. Any ground area not within the greater playing field is out-of-bounds.  Non-player persons who are out-of-bounds (e.g. bench players, coaches, spectators, officials, etc.), and equipment or structural features of the arena that are in contact with an out-of-bounds area (e.g. light-posts, goalposts, cameras, etc.) are considered out-of-bounds.
  1. The Disc
  1. An in-bounds disc may be either in play or dead.  An out-of-bounds disc is always dead.  Therefore, an out-of-bounds disc must be brought in-bounds to be put into play.  
  2. The boundedness of an airborne disc is determined ONLY by contact with an area, object, or person, and NOT by whether an airborne disc crosses above the field lines.
  3. A thrown disc retains its boundedness until it makes contact with the ground, an object, a non-player person, or an offensive player, OR is caught (and not merely touched) by a defensive player, at which point the disc assumes the boundedness of that area or player.
  1. A disc rendered out-of-bounds remains out-of-bounds until it is put back into play, no matter where it lands or is caught.  
  1. A disc becomes out-of-bounds if it is in the possession of a player who becomes out-of-bounds.
  1. Note: See rules in this section under “Players” for determining when such a player becomes out-of-bounds.  
  1. An out-of-bounds disc should be put into play where it became out-of-bounds, except in the following circumstances:
  1. If contact with an offensive player renders a disc out-of-bounds, the disc should be put into play at the spot on the natural playing field where it last crossed above the field lines.  
  2. If a defensive player renders a disc out-of-bounds via an interception, or was the last person to touch the disc before it otherwise became out of bounds, the disc should be put into play at the spot on the natural playing field nearest to where the defender touched the disc.
  3. If contact with an out-of-bounds object, area, or person renders such a disc out-of-bounds, the disc should be put into play at the spot on the natural playing field where it last crossed above the field lines.  
  1. Players
  1. Ground Contact:
  1. A player’s boundedness is determined based on ground contact alone, and NOT by his airborne crossing above the field lines.  
  2. Ground contact can be established by any bodily contact with the ground.  
  3. Only ONE point of contact is required to establish boundedness.  
  4. In the event that a receiver or defender makes multiple simultaneous ground contacts, if any contact is out-of-bounds, that player is out-of-bounds.  
  5. In the event that a receiver or defender makes ground contact in such a way that it is impossible for any official to make a clear assessment of his boundedness, he is out-of-bounds.  
  1. Receivers:
  1. An in-bounds, airborne receiver retains his boundedness until his next ground contact, and is thus eligible to make a play on the disc while airborne (including a throw, if he has time), even if he crosses above the field lines while airborne.
  1. Note: an out-of-bounds, airborne receiver also retains his boundedness until his next ground contact, and thus renders any disc he touches out-of-bounds, even if he or the disc subsequently lands (or is caught) in-bounds.
  2. Note: If an in-bounds, airborne receiver establishes possession and then clearly makes in-bounds ground contact with part of the body (e.g. toes) before making out-of-bounds contact with another part of the body (e.g. heels), then he is in-bounds.  
  1. A running receiver who is in-bounds at the time he gains possession of the disc and subsequently makes out-of-bounds contact due to his momentum retains his original boundedness, but the player must establish an in-bounds pivot spot before throwing.  
  1. Throwers:
  1. An in-bounds thrower may make contact with an out-of-bounds area in the course of pivoting, as long as he does not lose contact with his valid in-bounds pivot spot.
  1. Transfer of Boundedness to Other Players
  1. Contact between players does not transfer boundedness.

  1. The Thrower
  1. Becoming a Thrower:
  1. A player in possession of a disc other than during a clock stoppage becomes the “thrower” regardless of whether or not he eventually throws the disc.  
  2. The official’s judgment determines the precise moment at which a player gaining possession becomes the thrower (as opposed to being a receiver or a defender).  
  3. Any player may pick up and put into play an unattended disc when his team is entitled to possession; however, whichever player picks up such a disc must become the thrower and put the disc into play.
  1. Stall Count:
  1. A thrower has 7 seconds to release a disc from the moment that he both:
  1. Gains possession of an in-play disc or puts a disc into play, AND
  2. Is marked (guarded) by a defensive player within 3 yards.
  1. These 7 seconds are the stall count.
  2. The stall count can also begin if the offense takes an undue amount of time to take possession of a disc, or to put a disc into play.
  1. The official will say “Stalling!”, will signal the disc into play, and will begin the stall count immediately, even if the ordinary conditions for stalling (possession, pivot established) are not met.
  2. Pre-Stall counter: Immediately after a turnover (e.g. the moment the disc touches the ground or becomes out of bounds), the offense is allowed up to 10 seconds to put the disc into play:
  1. If the disc is not reasonably retrievable, the Player may replace it with another nearby game disc.
  1. A defender must be within 3 yards of the impending spot of possession for the 7-second stall count to start early in this way.
  1. Only the 7 second stall count requires the presence of a defender; the 10 second pre-stall counter does not.
  1. The stall count resets to zero if:
  1. The thrower is no longer marked by a defensive player.
  2. There is a foul against the defense.
  1. The stall count is kept silently by the officials (see: “Duties of the Officials”).
  1. Exceptions: The officials must say the following verbal queues:
  1. “Four” at 4-seconds into the stall count
  2. “Reset” if the stall count resets to zero
  3. Note: There’s no way to ensure that these verbal queues will be heard by the players.  If these verbal calls are not heard by the players, the game continues anyway.
  1. Establishing a Pivot Spot:
  1. A thrower must establish a valid pivot spot on the greater playing field before throwing.  The pivot spot is considered the location both of the thrower and of the disc in the thrower’s possession.  
  1. Exception 1: A running or otherwise moving player may throw a disc without establishing a pivot, provided that:
  1. The player is considered in-bounds at the time of the throw, AND
  2. The disc is released before the third ground contact after establishing possession, AND
  3. The player does not speed up or change direction before releasing the disc.
  1. Exception 2: Airborne throwers (i.e. players making a leaping catch and attempting to throw before landing) need not establish a pivot in order to make a throw.  
  1. If the disc is already in play when possession is established and remains in play (e.g. via a caught pass), the thrower must establish a pivot spot either:
  1. Where possession was established, OR
  2. Where he came to a stop when reasonably carried there by momentum after a catch.  
  1. If the disc is signaled dead, the thrower (or player becoming the thrower) must put it into play at the appropriate spot.  
  2. Once he has established a pivot spot, the thrower must keep continuous contact with that spot until he has released the disc, but may otherwise move his body as desired (pivoting), provided that he is not fouling another player.  
  1. Exception 1: A prone or seated player may lose contact with his pivot spot in order to stand up, as long as he establishes a new pivot at the appropriate spot.  
  2. Exception 2: During an official clock stoppage of play, or when a new pivot spot must be established due to an infraction, a thrower need not maintain contact with the pivot spot, but he must re-establish contact with the appropriate spot before play resumes.
  1. If a player is about to establish a pivot spot in a spot where there is a field pylon, the ref will do their best to move the pylon out of the way without getting in the way of that player.
  1. Once the thrower moves away from that spot, the ref will then replace the pylon back to the correct spot.
  1. Marked Throwers:
  1. Marking is the act of guarding the thrower within 3 yards of his pivot spot.  When a defender is marking the thrower while the disc is in play, the stall count is active.
  2. A defender is only considered a marker if he is actually guarding the thrower.  A defender who is solely attending to the actions of a non-thrower is not marking the thrower.  
  3. No defender is considered a marker or to be marking the thrower if he is greater than 3 yards away from the thrower’s pivot spot, even if that defender is attempting to guard or defend against the thrower from a distance.
  1. Dropped Discs by the Thrower:  
  1. A deliberately dropped disc is equivalent to a thrown disc.
  1. Note: As a result of this rule, a defender (even an airborne defender) who intercepts a disc and then deliberately drops it is charged with an incomplete attempted pass and a turnover.
  1. A disc accidentally dropped by the thrower:
  1. Is a turnover if it contacts the ground or is intercepted.
  2. Is treated as a continuous possession if recovered by the thrower before it touches another player.  The stall count is unchanged.  
  3. Is treated as a new possession if recovered by the thrower after it touches another player.  The stall count resets.  
  1. Calling Time-Outs:
  1. When the disc is possessed, only the player with possession or his coach may call a time-out.
  1. The thrower signals the official for a time-out by forming a T with the disc and a hand, and calling “time-out.

  1. The Receiver
  1. Simultaneous Possession: If, in the judgment of the official, a receiver and a defender simultaneously establish possession of the disc, possession is awarded to the offense.  
  2. Ambiguous Catch: If, in the judgment of the official, a receiver establishes possession of the disc at the same moment that the disc contacts the ground, the play is a turnover.  

  1. The Pull
  1. Authority of this Section
  1. The rules governing the pull are highly specialized.  As a result, the rules outlined below in this section supersede any rules with which they may seem to be in conflict (but only for the purposes of the pull).  
  1. To begin play at the start of each quarter or overtime period, the team becoming defense will pull the disc to the offense, as determined by the latest coin toss.
  2. After each goal in a given quarter or overtime has been scored, the scoring team will then pull from the end-zone in which it has just scored.  
  1. Exception: If the goal was awarded to a team for a Callahan Goal, then the scoring team will receive the pull in the end-zone in which they scored.
  1. Signaling Readiness and Positioning before the Pull
  1. The Receiving Team
  1. The receiving team may signal readiness when all seven players are contacting the receiving line and are clearly visible to the opposing team and officials.  
  2. A member of the receiving team signals readiness to the official by raising a hand above his head.  
  3. Once the receiving team signals readiness, but before the pull is released, any player on the receiving team who loses contact with the receiving line, OR whose position changes relative to the other receiving players, is off-sides.
  1. The Pulling Team
  1. The pulling team may signal readiness when all seven of its players are in-bounds and behind the pulling line (normally the goal line, unless penalty yardage applies).
  2. The pulling player signals readiness to the official by raising a hand or holding the disc above his head.  
  3. Once the pulling team signals readiness, any defensive player crossing the pulling line before the disc has been released is off-sides.
  1. Adjusted Positioning for Penalty Yardage
  1. If a foul or infraction occurs in such a manner that penalty yardage is assessed before the pull (e.g. delay of game, unsportsmanlike conduct immediately following a score), the location of the pulling line is adjusted as follows:
  2. Penalty on the Receiving Team
  1. If the receiving team is assessed penalty yards, the pulling line is moved toward the receiving team the appropriate distance.
  1. Penalty on the Pulling Team
  1. If the pulling team is assessed penalty yards, the pulling line is moved to the back of the end-zone.
  1. This is true no matter where the pulling line started from.
  2. If the pulling line is already the back of the end-zone, and the pulling team has any further penalties, then there is no pull, the receiving team gets the disc at the brick nearest the pulling team.
  1. Flagrant Fouls on Either Team
  1. In the event of a flagrant foul resulting in penalty yardage on a pull, the receiving line and the pulling line are moved 20 yards in the direction disadvantageous to the team charged with the flagrant foul.
  1. For the limited purposes of pre-pull positioning after a flagrant foul, players are not considered out-of-bounds if the positions they are required to maintain cause them to contact out-of-bounds space.  As soon as the disc is released, all boundaries are treated as normal.  
  1. Timeliness of the Pull
  1. After a goal has been scored, both teams must signal readiness for the pull within 45 seconds.
  2. Once both teams have signaled readiness, or after 45 seconds have elapsed, whichever comes first, the Head Official will signal for the pull, at which point the defensive team has 15 seconds to release the disc.
  3. Either team may call timeout between points and before readiness has been signaled (or 45 seconds have elapsed).
  1. This is just like any other timeout (i.e both teams have to leave the field).
  2. After the timeout, teams have a new 45 seconds to take the field and signal readiness.
  3. If the pulling team has called the timeout between points during the first four quarters or first overtime period , the pulling line is advanced to midfield. If there were any fouls on the previous scoring play, any yardage penalties are enforced from this point.
  4. For timeouts called by the pulling team in advance of the start of the sudden-death overtime period, the pull will take place from the front of its defending endzone instead of advancing to midfield.
  1. Result of the Pull
  1. If the disc lands in-bounds and comes to a rest without going out-of-bounds, the offense must put the disc into play at the spot where the disc comes to a rest.
  2. If the disc becomes out-of-bounds after initially landing in-bounds, the offense must put the disc into play at the spot on the greater playing field closest to where the disc became out of bounds.  
  3. If the disc lands out-of-bounds without first being touched by a player:
  1. The offense may put the disc into play at the spot on the natural playing field closest to where disc last crossed above an exterior field line, OR
  2. The offense may put the disc into play at the brick mark, or at the point on the centerline nearest to where the disc became out-of-bounds, by signaling to the official with a fist raised above the head-level.
  1. If the receiving team touches the disc before it contacts the ground, in or out of bounds, and the disc subsequently contacts the ground without being recovered, the disc is treated as a dropped disc: it is considered a turnover, with the pulling team taking possession of the disc at the point on the natural playing field nearest to where the disc comes to a rest.  
  2. If the pulling team touches the disc before it contacts the ground AND before the offense touches it, the pulling team is guilty of delay of game.
  3. If the pulling team touches the disc after it contacts the ground AND before the offense touches it, the disc must be stopped where it was touched, else they are guilty of a delay of game.
  4. If the pull lands within the end-zone from which it was pulled, the receiving team must put the disc into play at the intersection of the centerline and the goal line of the end-zone the offense is attacking.
  1. Restarting the Clock on the Pull
  1. Despite the complicated, special procedures detailed above (and the unusual actions permitted and demanded) for the pull, a clock stoppage is still in effect until the officials signal the disc in play.  
  2. The officials should signal the disc in play (thereby signaling the Sideline Official to restart the clock) when:
  1. An in-bounds pull is touched by the offense, OR
  2. Any pull is otherwise put into play at the appropriate spot.

  1. Fouls and Infractions
  1. Spot Fouls: (Possession to fouled team)
  1. A spot foul is a foul that only results in possession being awarded to the fouled team.
  2. Penalty and Possession
  1. In the event of a spot foul, the fouled player is awarded possession at the spot of the infraction.
  2. If the foul is not committed against a single player, the fouled team gains possession at the spot of the infraction.
  3. No additional penalty yardage applies.
  1. The following are spot fouls:
  1. Pass Interference
  1. Pass interference is contact that affects another player from attempting to catch an airborne disc.
  1. Exception 1:  Boxing out is legal contact.
  2. Exception 2:  If the result of the play is determined before contact occurs, then the contact is not pass interference; at the official’s discretion.  However, significant contact after the result of the player may be called as another type of foul (e.g. contact).
  1. Altered Movement
  1. An altered movement infraction occurs when a player attempts to alter or aid another player’s movement to make a play on the disc; OR when he attempts to use another player’s body to alter or aid his own movement to make a play on the disc.
  1. Strip
  1. A strip occurs when a defensive player dislodges or pulls away the disc from an offensive player who has established possession of the disc.
  2. If a strip occurs in the end-zone that the fouled player is attacking, then a goal is awarded to that player’s team.
  1. Stall
  1. A stall occurs when, in the judgment of the official keeping the stall count, the thrower fails to release the disc before the expiration of the stall count.
  1. The continuous presence of any defender(s) marking the thrower is sufficient for the stall count to continue, even if the original marker leaves during the stall count.
  1. Swinging of Elbows by the Thrower (without contact)
  1. This is when a thrower excessively and/or vigorously swings their elbows when a defender is nearby, even if there is no contact made.
  1. Invalid Pass
  1. An invalid pass occurs when any of the following happen:
  1. A thrower is the first player to touch the disc after he releases a pass.
  2. A thrower hands the disc off to a teammate instead of a releasing a pass.
  3. A player tips a disc to himself that is no longer clearly spinning.
  1. Illegal Use of Equipment
  1. Illegal use of equipment occurs when a defender throws, waves, or otherwise unusually uses his equipment to interfere with a pass.
  1. Note:  If the pass is caught by the offense anyway, this violation is ignored.
  1. Invalid Timeout
  1. An invalid time-out occurs when a thrower calls a time-out when his team has none remaining.
  1. Personal Fouls: (10 yards)
  1. A personal foul is a minor foul that results in penalty yardage.
  2. Penalty Yards and Possession:
  1. In the event of a personal foul, the team on offense retains possession.  Penalty yardage (10) is assessed.
  1. The following are personal foul infractions:
  1. Disc Space:
  1. A thrower is entitled to 10 inches of distance (space approximately equal to a disc’s diameter) from the marker, as measured either at the torso or at the pivot.
  2. A disc space violation occurs when the line between any two points on the marker’s body encroaches on any part of the thrower’s 10-inch space.
  3. If the encroachment is caused solely by the thrower’s movement, then the marker is not guilty of this foul.
  1. Travel
  1. A travel occurs when a player catches the disc and then fails to stop as quickly as possible; at the discretion of the official.
  2. A travel also occurs when a thrower loses contact with an established pivot spot before releasing the disc (for rules on certain moving throwers who may not need to establish pivot spots, see: “The Thrower”).
  1. Vision Blocking
  1. A vision blocking foul occurs when a defender intentionally obstructs or obscures the vision of a thrower.  Merely being in the thrower’s sightline, or incidentally blocking the thrower’s vision as the result of a valid attempt to mark (to cut off a throwing or pivoting angle) are not vision blocking fouls, unless such actions are taken specifically to block the thrower’s vision.
  1. Triple-Team
  1. A triple-team occurs when more than two defenders are marking the thrower.
  2. A third defender merely running across the area within 3 yards of the thrower’s pivot is not guilty of a triple team.  A third defender running through this space with any motive other than movement to another spot on the field, or whose running interferes with the thrower in any way is not "merely running,” and may be called for a triple-team.
  1. Delay of Game
  1. Delay of game occurs when a player delays or slows down gameplay to gain an unfair advantage or in a manner overly disruptive to the natural rhythm of the game.
  2. Delay of Game also occurs when the offense attempts to establish an invalid pivot spot.
  1. For such an infraction, if the official believes it to be an accident, he may simply stop play, tell the player where he must start play from, and then let play resume.
  2. However, if the official feels it was not an accident, then he may assess the full 10 yard penalty.
  1. Delay of game also occurs when a team has more than seven players on the field when play is supposed to start following a clock stoppage.
  1. In order for play to resume, the penalized team must retain no more than seven players out of the players already on the field, and may make no substitutions.
  1. Delay of game also occurs on the pull when:
  1. Either team fails to signal readiness for the pull within the designated time interval, or
  2. When the pulling team fails to pull within the designated interval
  1. The unique consequences for this specific penalty are explained above.  See “The Pull – Adjusted Positioning for Penalty Yardage”
  1. When the pulling team touches the pull before it contacts the ground AND before the receiving team touches it.
  1. Delay of game also occurs when a player throws a dead disc.
  1. Such a penalty should not be signaled if the official judges that the disc was thrown because the thrower did not have enough reaction time to halt his throwing motion (i.e. the disc was signaled dead during or immediately preceding the throwing motion).
  1. Pick (by the Offense)
  1. A pick occurs when:
  1. An offensive player, who is not attempting to catch an airborne disc, obstructs a defender’s path in a way that does not cause undue contact, AND
  2. that obstruction delays or prevents the defender from reaching a desired position relative to an offensive player, AND
  3. the defender makes a reasonable attempt to avoid the obstructing player (provided that the defender can see the obstructing player and has time to avoid him with minimal change of speed or direction), AND
  4. the defender is not more than 5 yards from the offensive player he is trying to cover.
  1. A pick also occurs when an offensive player positioned directly behind a defender does not allow that defender enough space to take a single normal step backward without contact or obstruction.
  1. Contact (by the Offense)
  1. Contact between players should be avoided when possible; however, not all contact is necessarily a foul.
  1. If, in the judgment of the official, light contact is negligible or irrelevant (i.e. that it does not affect a player’s balance, rhythm, jump, catch, pivot, or throw), a foul should not be called.
  2. Contact between two players pursuing an airborne disc, but after the throw already resulted in either a catch or a D should not result in a foul unless the official deems it as a reckless or dangerous play.
  3. Unintentional contact away from the disc that does not affect the outcome of the play (and that does not endanger any player) should be ignored.
  1. All of the following types of contact should be considered a foul when committed by a player on the offense:
  1. Contact that results when a player holds, pushes, charges into, or impedes the progress of an opponent by extending a hand, forearm, leg, or knee or by otherwise unusually positioning the body.
  2. Contact that results in the rerouting of an opponent.
  3. Contact resulting from a thrower pushing away or pivoting into the body of an opponent who is not violating the thrower’s space.
  4. Contact due to recklessness or lack of body control.
  1. Note: A player may turn slightly to shield himself from imminent unavoidable contact, but may not, under any circumstances duck down and ‘submarine’ an opponent to avoid contact; a player engaging in such an action may be called for a foul.

  1. Contact (by the Defense)
  1. Contact between players should be avoided when possible; however, not all contact is necessarily a foul.
  1. If, in the judgment of the official, light contact is negligible or irrelevant (i.e. that it does not affect a player’s balance, rhythm, jump, catch, pivot, or throw), a foul should not be called.
  2. Contact between two players pursuing an airborne disc, but after the throw already resulted in either a catch or a D should not result in a foul unless the official deems it as a reckless or dangerous play.
  3. Unintentional contact away from the disc that does not affect the outcome of the play (and that does not endanger any player) should be ignored.
  1. All of the following types of contact should be considered a personal foul when committed by a defender:
  1. Contact that results when a player holds, pushes, charges into, or impedes the progress of an opponent by extending a hand, forearm, leg, or knee or by otherwise unusually positioning the body.
  2. Contact that results in the rerouting of an opponent.
  3. Contact with a thrower once the thrower is in the throwing motion.
  4. Contact by a defensive player’s arms or legs that prevents a thrower from pivoting (and is not initiated solely by the thrower).
  5. Contact due to recklessness or lack of body control.
  1. Note: A defender may set up in such a way as to occupy a space and block a thrower’s intended pivoting, but he may not do so in a way that causes unavoidable contact or violates the thrower’s disc space.
  2. Note: A player may turn slightly to shield himself from imminent unavoidable contact, but may not, under any circumstances duck down and ‘submarine’ an opponent to avoid contact; a player engaging in such an action may be called for a foul.
  1. Flagrant Fouls: (spot foul + 20 yards; player may earn a “band” or may be ejected at official discretion)
  1. A flagrant foul is an intentional or unintentional foul that seriously or immediately endangers players, or otherwise undermines the public image or health of the league.
  2. Penalty Yards and Possession
  1. Flagrant Fouls are first assessed as a spot foul unless the foul occurred directly following the scoring of a point or the Continuation Clause (Section XII,B,IV,4,C) was in effect for the scoring of a point.
  2. Once possession is awarded at the correct spot, an extra penalty of 20 yards is then also assessed. If the foul occurred directly following the scoring of a point, the yardage will be assessed on the pull as outlined in Section IX,D,III,4 "Flagrant Fouls on Either Team"
  3. The guilty party may also be banded or ejected at the discretion of the officials.
  1. The following are Flagrant Fouls:
  1. Unsportsmanlike Conduct
  1. All of the following behaviors may be deemed by an official to be unsportsmanlike conduct:
  1. Disrespectfully addressing an official.
  2. Physically contacting an official.
  3. Overt actions indicating resentment to a call.
  4. Use of profanity.
  5. Coaches entering the field without the permission of an official.
  6. A deliberately thrown elbow (by any player) or any attempted physical act with no contact involved.
  7. Taunting.
  8. Spiking the disc on or towards an opponent, or in such a way that can only result in damage to the disc.
  9. Initiating serious physical contact with an opponent when it could be avoided.
  10. Any reckless, dangerous, or aggressive action that could endanger another player.
  11. “Flopping” - an attempt to make the officials believe a foul occurred when there was no foul.
  12. Any other conduct determined by the officials to be unsportsmanlike.
  1. Once a player has been ejected or the game is over, unsportsmanlike fouls cannot be assessed regardless of the provocation.  Any additional unsportsmanlike conduct shall be reported immediately to the MLU Operations Department.
  1. Fighting
  1. All of the following actions are considered fighting:
  1. Unnecessary and/or excessive contact.
  2. An intentional elbow that makes contact.
  3. An attempted punch, kick, elbow, etc. (anything intended to cause physical pain to an opponent) that does or does not make contact.
  4. Deliberately entering the stands other than as a continuance of play.
  1. Fighting fouls are assessed on any player, coach, or trainer, participating in a fighting incident; such fouls result in immediate ejections for all those so assessed.
  2. This rule applies whether the disc is in play or dead, including throughout all clock stoppages.
  3. All fighting incidents must be reported immediately to the MLU Operations Department.
  1. Flagrant Foul Ejections
  1. Two flagrant fouls committed by the same player in a given game results in a mandatory ejection from that game.
  2. At the discretion of the on-field officials, a player may be ejected after a single flagrant foul.
  3. Ejected players must immediately leave the field and go to the locker room and cannot remain on the sidelines or stands.
  4. All ejections must be reported to the MLU Operations Department.
  1. Banding
  1. Only players may earn a band.
  2. If a player earns a flagrant foul for any excessively physical action that potentially endangers another player, the official may decide to award that player with a band as an extra penalty.
  3. The player must walk up to the official and receive and wear the bright orange band.
  4. The band must be worn on the upper arm, over any other clothing, and must be clearly visible any time that player is on the field.
  5. If the player intentionally removes, hides, or conceals the band while he is on the field, he is ejected.
  6. If the band falls off in the course of play, he will retrieve it and put it back on during the next clock stoppage.
  7. If a player earns two bands in the same game, he is immediately ejected.
  8. For every three bands a player earns per season, he is suspended for the next game, in addition to any games he was ejected from.
  9. Video review can be used to award a player a band after the conclusion of a match.
  1. Personnel Eligible for Flagrant Fouls
  1. All team personnel are subject to the flagrant foul rules, not merely players.
  1. Double Fouls
  1. A double foul occurs when two opposing players foul one another during the same play or moment.
  2. The team in possession retains possession, at the spot of possession, with the stall count unchanged.
  1. If the double foul occurs while the disc is airborne, the disc returns to the thrower with an unchanged stall count.
  1. Other Infractions
  1. Off-sides
  1. Off-sides occurs when either team takes invalid positioning before the pull is released (see: “The Pull”).
  2. If the receiving team is called off-sides, the receiving team puts the disc into play at the reverse-brick mark.
  1. The official should use discretion in the timing of signaling the disc in-play after the receiving team has been off-sides in order to prevent the team from benefiting from its off-sides infraction.  
  1. If the pulling team is called off-sides, the receiving team puts the disc into play at midfield.
  1. Spirit of Sportsmanship
  1. Overview
  1. Any player on the field of play has the ability to overturn a call specified in the section below made by the official.
  2. Officials will respect the call made and overturn the original call immediately, as the intention is to display sportsmanship and remedy an incorrect call against the opponent if the team chooses to do so.
  3. This rule applies only to calls made by an official and not to non-call situations.
  4. The intention here is not to devalue the call of the official, rather to increase the value that the MLU holds on getting the call correct and holding their players to the highest level of integrity in the world of sports.
  1. Signaling to Invoke Spirit of Sportsmanship
  1. The Spirit of Sportsmanship rule is signaled by a player by holding their arm straight in the air.  They must also verbally attract the attention of an official.
  1. Duty of Officials
  1. An official must acknowledge a properly made call by a player and may not overrule this call.
  2. When the rule is invoked, the play and the clock are stopped until resumed by the official.
  3. The official must shake hands with the person who invoked this rule before play can resume.
  1. When the rule can be enacted by the defense:
  1. A player on the offense catches a disc inbounds but is called out of bounds.
  2. A player on the offense catches a disc in the end zone but is called out of the end zone.
  3. A turnover is ruled because of a dropped disc, but a defender or coach knows it was caught.
  4. A simultaneous catch of the disc is ruled in the defense’s favor but the defender knows it was received by the offense first.
  5. All travel calls.
  1. When the rule can be enacted by the offense:
  1. A player on the offense catches the disc out of bounds but is called in bounds.
  2. A player on offense drops the disc and is not called by the official.
  3. A foul is called on the defense but the offensive player knows it was not a foul.
  1. Other calls by the official
  1. No other calls may be overturned by players.

  1. Clock Stoppages
  1. General Clock Stoppage Rules
  1. A clock stoppage goes into effect at the moment of the official’s signal (a double-whistle).
  2. Although the disc is dead during a clock stoppage, the thrower need not keep continuous possession of the disc.  He may place it on the ground at the spot of his pivot without being charged with a turnover.
  3. Because the disc is dead during a clock stoppage, players may move as normal, except for the thrower who has established a pivot.  
  1. An official may signal any of the following clock stoppages:
  1. Time-out
  1. A timeout causes a clock stoppage of play for 120 seconds.
  1. Immediately after the timeout starts, all players must leave the field for their teams’ designated bench areas within 15 seconds.
  2. After 105 second of the timeout, the referee will indicate that the players may return to the field.
  3. At 120 seconds, both teams must be back on the field, and the official will blow the whistle again, indicating that the clock and stall count start again and the offense may put the disc into play at will.
  4. After a timeout, the stall resets to zero.
  5. If the offense does not put the disc into play when the ref blows his whistle, the official may begin the stall immediately (as per the Thrower - Stall Count rules above).
  1. Each team is allotted three timeouts per half during regulation.
  2. Each team may use exactly one timeout in each overtime period, regardless of how many regulation timeouts remain.  
  3. When the disc is possessed and a clock stoppage is not already in effect, only the thrower currently in possession or his head coach may call for a time-out.
  1. During a scoring clock stoppage (after a goal is scored) a time-out may not be called once readiness is signaled.
  1. Like all clock stoppages, a timeout takes effect only at the discretion and signal of the official (and not at the request of a player or coach); however, the official should signal the timeout as soon he notices a valid request.
  1. Injury Clock Stoppage
  1. An official may signal a clock stoppage due to any player injury or illness.  During such a clock stoppage, the primary concern is the health and safety of the injured player(s).
  2. A team is permitted 60 seconds to stop the bleeding of a player, or that player must be substituted.
  1. All visible blood on the player or his uniform must also be fully dry before he can return to the game.
  1. If a clock stoppage is signaled for an injured player (who made no contact with an opponent), that player must be substituted or else his team will be charged a timeout.
  1. Exception: If a team so charged has no timeouts remaining, that team will be charged with a Delay of Game penalty instead.
  1. Scoring Clock Stoppage
  1. There is a clock stoppage after every goal scored.
  1. Quarter, Halftime, or Overtime Clock Stoppage
  1. Whenever the game clock reaches 0:00 and the disc is not in flight, the officials should signal a clock stoppage as outlined in “Game Format.”
  2. Therefore, if the game clock reaches 0:00 while a disc is in the air, the official should only signal the clock stoppage once the disc, or a player in possession of the disc, touches the ground.
  1. Technical Clock Stoppage
  1. An official may signal a clock stoppage at his discretion lasting for a length of time at his discretion if he perceives a situation that falls into any of the following categories:
  1. Presents an unusual risk to players, staff, or spectators.
  2. Presents a significant unfair disadvantage (especially to a team that has been fouled).
  3. Requires a meeting of the officials.
  4. In any other way unduly impedes the flow of play until the situation has been corrected (e.g. if a disc has become too severely damaged or warped for play to continue, or if special administrative matters need to be addressed).
  5. If a player or a player’s equipment is the cause of a technical clock stoppage, that player may be temporarily disqualified by an official.  A player so disqualified must be substituted within 30 seconds.

  1. Officiating and Enforcement
  1. The Game Officials
  1. Each game is presided over by one Head Official, who has final authority on all decisions, three or four assistant officials, and one Sideline Official.  Unless otherwise specified, the term “the official” may refer to any of these officials.
  1. There will be one more “replacement” official who can fill in if needed.
  2. Only MLU-certified officials may preside over a game.
  3. The officials may wear only the uniform prescribed by the MLU.
  1. An official is treated as a part of the air in terms of his contact with an airborne disc and his physical interaction with players.
  1. An official is neither in nor out of bounds, and contact by a disc or player with an official does not change the boundedness of that disc or player.  
  1. Duties of the Officials
  1. Elastic Power
  1. Elastic power is given to the officials, meaning that:
  1. Any call, non-call, or rule interpretation made by the officials is treated as correct, AND
  2. Any decision made by the officials regarding a subject or circumstance not covered under the provisions of the rules is treated as correct.
  1. Exception: A call, non-call, or rule interpretation may be overturned by the Head Official or by a meeting of the officials.
  1. Time and Place for Decisions
  1. It is the primary duty of the official nearest to the play to make the necessary determination; however, if his view is obstructed or he is unsure of the proper call, he may yield to another official or signal for a meeting of the officials.
  2. If no official has a clear view, the Head Official has the final authority to make the decision.  
  3. Decisions should be made as quickly as possible so as to preserve the flow of play.
  1. Conflicting Decisions
  1. If multiple officials make conflicting calls or decisions:
  1. The officials may signal a clock stoppage and a meeting to determine the result of the play, OR
  2. The Head Official may immediately overrule without a clock stoppage.  
  1. Enforcement of Fouls and Infractions
  1. Signaling a Foul or Infraction
  1. When the disc is in play:
  1. The official blows a single whistle, making play dead.  
  1. Note: The official may use his discretion to blow a double whistle to signal a technical or injury clock stoppage when a fouled player may need significant time to recover, OR
  2. When the application of the penalty may require a significant amount of time.  
  1. When the disc is already dead:
  1. The official should signal a technical clock stoppage (or an extension of that stoppage) before applying the penalty, in order to avoid confusion over whether or not the disc is in play.
  1. Unless a meeting of the officials is required, the official making the call then immediately indicates:
  1. The nature of the infraction or foul, both by calling out the infraction verbally, and by using the designated hand signals, AND
  2. The number of the player charged with the infraction, AND
  3. The scoring direction of the team entitled to possession, AND
  4. The new spot at which the disc is to be put into play.
  1. Applying the Penalty
  1. Penalty yardage is always positive for the fouled team and negative for the penalized team.
  2. Fouls Committed by the Defense:
  1. Unless the result of the foul is a goal for the offense, the stall count resets to zero when play resumes.  
  2. If an intended receiver is fouled while the disc is airborne, possession is awarded to that receiver, the pass is treated as complete at the spot of the infraction, and applicable penalty yardage is applied.
  1. Exception: When an intended receiver is fouled in the end-zone he is attacking, he takes possession at the spot on the goal line nearest to where he was fouled.  This does not counteract rules on strips or force-outs resulting in scores, because those players have already established possession and are thus not intended receivers.
  1. If a player other than an intended receiver is fouled, possession returns to or remains with the thrower.
  1. Note: If the thrower was moving or airborne at the time of the foul, the thrower’s approximate location at the time of the foul is at the official’s judgment.
  1. Fouls Committed by the Offense (Pick or Delay of Game):
  1. If the offense retains possession, the stall resumes unchanged when the disc is put into play, after penalty yardage has been applied.
  2. If the stall is greater than 0, then before play resumes, the official must notify everyone of the status of the stall count.
  1. Limitations on Penalty Distance:
  1. If a penalty results in yardage equal to more than the distance remaining to the goal line being attacked, or more than the distance remaining to the back of the end-zone being defended, yardage equal to the distance remaining to that corresponding line is applied instead.
  1. Player Movement During Penalty Enforcement
  1. Play is dead during the enforcement of a penalty, players other than the thrower may continue to move as they normally would.
  1. Official Discretion
  1. An official has discretion in determining whether a given incident is a foul.
  2. An official may choose to ignore a foul if its enforcement would not benefit the fouled team, EXCEPT when:
  1. The foul is flagrant, OR
  2. The foul is dangerous.
  1. Continuation Clause: If an official sees a foul against the offense, they may choose to raise their hand instead of blowing their whistle to stop play.  The purpose is to give the offense a chance to successfully complete the play and continue playing instead of stopping the flow of the game for a foul that didn’t end up having an impact on the result of the play.  If the offense is not able to successfully and immediately complete that play, then the official should blow the whistle and possession will return to the thrower.  Here are some examples where the official may want to invoke Continuation:
  1. A marker fouls a thrower in the act of throwing – if the throw is complete, the official will lower his hand and play will continue.  If the throw is incomplete, the official will blow the whistle to stop play and return possession to the thrower.
  2. A defender fouls an offensive cutter (not necessarily the intended receiver) just before the disc is thrown – if the offense is able to successfully complete a play despite this foul, the official will lower his hand and play will continue.  If there is no immediate throw after this foul, or if this foul was significant enough to prevent the offense from completing the play, the official will blow the whistle to stop play and return possession to the thrower.
  3. Regardless of Continuation, if a whistle is blown, the play is dead.  For safety reasons, neither team should ever have any incentive to continue their pursuit of the disc after a whistle is blown.
  1. In the event of player confusion when such official discretion is invoked, an official should announce “Play on!”
  1. Stalling
  1. Keeping the stall count is the responsibility of the officials.
  2. Normal Mechanics:
  1. Each count of the stall count is one second in length.
  2. The official keeping the stall count makes the designated hand signal to mark each second of the stall count.  
  3. The official keeping the stall does not announce each second of the stall verbally.
  1. Exceptions: The officials must say the following verbal queues:
  1. “Four” at 4-seconds into the stall count
  2. “Reset” if the stall count resets to zero
  3. Note: There’s no way to ensure that these verbal queues will be heard by the players.  If these verbal calls are not heard by the players, the game continues.
  1. Resetting the Stall Count
  1. If, at any moment during the count, no defender is marking the thrower (defending him within 3 yards of the pivot spot), the count resets to zero.  
  2. If a defender subsequently returns to mark the thrower, the count begins again from zero.
  3. After a clock stoppage, the stall is reset, unless the clock stoppage is the result of an offensive infraction.
  1. Suspended Stall
  1. When the disc is dead the stall count is suspended, but it resumes once the disc is again in play.
  1. If the disc is signaled dead due to a foul committed by the offense, the stall count resumes unchanged.
  2. If the stall is greater than 0, then before play resumes, the official must notify everyone of the status of the stall count.
  3. If the disc is signaled dead due to a foul committed by the defense, or due to a clock stoppage that is not the result of an offensive foul, the stall count resets to zero.
  1. Clock Stoppages
  1. A clock stoppage goes into effect at the moment of the official’s signal (a double-whistle).
  2. Following a clock stoppage, the disc becomes in play on the official’s signal.
  1. Signaling a Change in Status of the Disc
  1. Signaling a Disc Dead or In Play
  1. A disc in play becomes dead on the official’s signal.
  1. The signal is a single whistle unless otherwise specified.
  2. The signal is a double whistle when the disc becomes dead when the official signals a clock stoppage.
  1. A dead disc due to a foul becomes in play by a single whistle by the official.
  1. Inadvertent Whistles
  1. If an inadvertent or erroneous whistle appears to signal a disc dead when it should remain in play the official may announce “Play on!” to signal that play should continue as if uninterrupted.
  1. Pre-game Preparation
  1. Prior to the start of the game, the officials should examine and approve or disapprove all game equipment, including field, discs, player gear and apparel, and Sideline Official's equipment.
  2. At least 10 minutes prior to the start of the game, the officials must review procedures with scoring table personnel.
  3. Prior to the start of the game, the officials must conduct the coin-toss between the team representatives.
  1. Conferences With Coaches
  1. While a coach is entitled to an explanation of a rule, rule interpretation, or game situation between periods or prior to the game, the official conducting the explanation must invite the opposing coach to be present during such a discussion.  The same obligation applies when an official wishes to initiate such a discussion with one coach.
  1. Meetings of the Officials
  1. An official who requires a meeting with the other officials to determine a call, administrative matter, or rules interpretation may signal a clock stoppage of play via a double whistle, and may then signal for an official’s meeting via a triple whistle.
  1. Unusual Incident Reporting
  1. The officials should report any of the following unusual incidents to the MLU Operations Department at the earliest opportunity:
  1. Application of elastic power to a previously unknown rule situation, or a particularly unusual rule interpretation.
  2. Any incident of fighting.
  3. When a team does not have at least 14 players present to begin the game.
  4. Any other exceptional or unusual incident relevant to the league.
  1. Duties of the Sideline Official
  1. Pre-Game Preparation
  1. At least 10 minutes before the game, teams must provide 25-man active rosters (including indication of the starting lineups) to the Sideline Official, who records the names and numbers of the players listed (as well as the starting lineups).
  1. Game Score and Progress
  1. The Sideline Official records the goals totaled by each of the teams.
  2. The Sideline Official records the name of the team receiving the pull at the start of each point.
  3. The Sideline Official records the time remaining in the quarter or overtime period upon the scoring of each goal.
  1. Players Entering and Exiting the Game
  1. At the start of each point, the Sideline Official verifies the names and numbers of each of the players participating in the game.
  2. The Sideline Official records ejections (including game time) when a player is ejected from the game.
  1. Timeouts
  1. The Sideline Official records the use of timeouts by each team, notifying the officials when a team has no timeouts remaining in a given half, or when a team has called a timeout when it has none remaining.
  1. Flagrant Fouls:
  1. The Sideline Official records each occurrence of a flagrant foul, including the guilty player’s number, the time of the infraction, and the nature of the infraction
  1. Game Clock Operation:
  1. The Sideline Official operates the game clock.  
  2. The clock starts whenever the disc is signaled in play by the officials.  
  3. When (and only when) the officials signal a clock stoppage of play, the Sideline Official should also stop the game clock.  
  4. On all clock stoppages, the game clock starts when the disc is signaled in play by the officials.  
  1. Stopwatch Usage
  1. The Sideline Official uses digital stopwatches to time the length of each timeout and each interval between points.  
  1. Notifying the Officials During Clock Stoppages
  1. The Sideline Official determines and notes when each half is to begin, and notifies the officials and coaches prior to the beginning of each half:
  1. When 5 minutes remain,
  2. When 2 minutes remain, and
  3. When 1 minute remains.
  1. The Sideline Official notifies the officials when any clock stoppage or interval permitted to a team (e.g. timeouts, injury management) has expired.  
  1. Signaling to the Officials
  1. The Sideline Official uses an air-horn or other device unmistakable for a whistle to signal to the officials.  
  2. The Sideline Official uses four short blasts to signal his need to speak with the officials.
  3. When the Sideline Official notices a violation of the rules pertaining to submission of the lineups, substitutions, or number of players, the Sideline Official notifies the nearest official during the next available clock stoppage. 
  1. Only if it is immediately necessary to correct an error or infraction should the Sideline Official signal the officials when a clock stoppage is not in effect.
  1. The Sideline Official uses a single long blast to indicate to the officials when time has expired in a given quarter.  
  2. The status of the disc does not change when the Sideline Official signals the officials.  The status of the disc only changes at the official’s signal; therefore, players should ignore the Sideline Official’s signal during play.
  1. Discrepancy and Disagreement
  1. In the event of a discrepancy or disagreement regarding the score of the game, the official score kept by the Sideline Official is followed, unless the Head Official declares otherwise due to specific knowledge.
  1. Elastic Power and Officials’ Procedure
  1. The officials may apply elastic power in order to amend or interpret any procedure related to the smooth, timely, and efficient facilitation of the game.

  1. Regulations for Equipment, Uniforms, and Gear
  1. Equipment Inspection and Player Substitution
  1. An official may inspect any player’s equipment in order to ensure the safety of other players.
  2. An official may order the immediate removal of a piece of equipment if it can be removed without disruption or delay.
  3. An official may signal a clock stoppage in order to force the substitution of a player found to have impermissible equipment.
  1. Regulations for Specific Equipment
  1. Unless a piece of equipment is specifically disallowed, it is allowed.
  1. Exception 1: Players may not wear equipment that is deemed by an official to carry an unusual risk of injury to an opponent.
  2. Exception 2: Players may not wear equipment that may unusually confuse an opponent.
  3. Exception 3: Players may not wear equipment designed to give an unfair or unnatural advantage.
  1. Players may not wear hard or metal protective gear (e.g. casts, braces, etc.) if that gear has exposed hard edges or surfaces.  
  1. Exception: Protective gear on the face (e.g. face masks, nose or eye protectors) may have exposed hard edges or surfaces, provided that the gear conforms to the contours of the player’s face and that the gear does not protrude in a way as to cause risk of injury to another player.
  1. Hats are not permitted.
  2. Glasses or sunglasses must be 360-degree wrapped or affixed by elastic or similar device, and must be shatterproof.
  3. Jewelry of any type is not permitted.
  1. Exception:  Wedding bands are permitted if they are flush against the skin.
  1. Metal spikes or cleats are never permitted.
  1. Player Uniforms
  1. Each team should wear its site-appropriate jersey (i.e. “home” or “away”).  In the event that an official deems that the uniforms cannot be adequately distinguished, the Head Official designates which jerseys may be worn.
  2. Each player must be conspicuously numbered on the back of the jersey and the front of the shorts with the number corresponding to that listed with the Sideline Official.
  1. Each player must retain the same number throughout the game unless an official grants special permission.  Any changes in numbering must be registered with the Sideline Official.
  1. A player may not change uniforms or numbers while in the game; he must be substituted to make such a change.
  1. The Disc
  1. The disc must be an officially approved MLU Game Disc.
  2. The home team must have no fewer than twelve new MLU Game Discs available for each game.
  3. All MLU Game Discs must be properly prepared and inspected by an Official before the start of play.


Appendix A: MLU Guidelines for Game Conduct

General

Each official should have a definite and clear conception of his overall responsibility to include the intent and purpose of each rule. If all officials possess the same conception there will be a guaranteed uniformity in the administration of all contests. The restrictions placed upon the player by the rules are intended to create a balance of play, equal opportunity for the defense and the offense, provide reasonable safety and protection for all players, and emphasize cleverness and skill without unduly limiting freedom of action of player or team. The primary purpose of penalties is to compensate a player who has been placed at a disadvantage through an illegal act of an opponent. A secondary purpose is to restrain players from committing acts that, if ignored, might lead to roughness even though they do not affect the immediate play. To implement this philosophy, many of the rules are written in general terms while the need for the rule may have been created by specific play situations. This practice eliminates the necessity for many additional rules and provides the officials the latitude and authority to adapt application of the rules to fit conditions of play in any particular game.

  1. GUIDELINES FOR INJURY AND INFECTION CONTROL
  1. If a player suffers an injury, particularly a laceration or a wound where bleeding occurs, the officials shall suspend the game at the earliest possible time that does not disrupt a fast break or advantage situation. If the injury is deemed serious from the official’s determination, an injury clock stoppage should be signaled immediately and the injured player attended to. If the player is unable to return to play once 60 seconds have elapsed, he must be substituted. The injured player may return to the game when he has received appropriate treatment by medical staff personnel.
  2. If the player returns to the game, the officials shall make certain that any lesion, wound, or dermatitis is covered with a dressing that will prevent contamination to and/or from other sources. A wristband or sweatband is not considered a suitable bandage.
  3. In the event a player is deemed to have a concussion, the player may not return to the field of play unless cleared by medical staff.

  1. PLAYER/TEAM CONDUCT AND DRESS
  1. Each player must be in dress code ten minutes before the game starts and until the end of the game.
  2. Players, coaches, and trainers are to stand and line up in a dignified posture along the sidelines during the playing of the National Anthem.
  3. While playing, players may wear nothing over their team jersey or shorts.
  4. Warm-ups may only be worn before or after the game or when a player is on the bench.
  5. If visible, undershirts and shorts shall be standardized for all players on the same team and shall not have frayed or ragged edges.
  6. Headbands and wristbands must adhere to team uniform standards.
  7. Players, coaches, and trainers will refrain from smoking or consuming alcohol.

  1. GAME CANCELLATION
  1. For the purpose of game cancellation, the Officials' jurisdiction begins with the opening pull. Prior to this, it shall be the decision of the home management whether or not playing conditions are such to warrant postponement. However, once the game begins, if because of extremely hazardous playing conditions (such as lightning) the question arises whether or not the game should be cancelled, the Head Official shall see that EVERY effort is made to continue the game before making the decision to terminate or delay it. If a game is terminated before half time, all play is negated. If a game is terminated after half time, the game is over and the final score is the score at the point of termination of play.
  2. Protests are not permitted during the course of a game. In order to file a protest or appeal from the result of a game, notice thereof must be given to the MLU offices within forty-eight (48) hours after the conclusion of said game, stating therein the grounds for such protest. Only a General Manager or Head Coach may protest the results of a game.
  3. Upon receipt of a protest, the MLU shall at once notify the member operating the opposing team in the game protested and require an operating member from each team to file evidence upon the issue within five (5) days. The MLU commissioner shall make a final decision on the protest within five (5) days after receipt of such evidence.