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Ball moved when marked

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Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:11 pm

Here’s a quick one.

Player’s ball is leaning against a Movable Obstruction. Before moving the MO the player marks the position of his ball with a peg and in the process the ball moves.

Is there a penalty as per R18-2 or is he in the clear as per R20-1?
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby marcalex » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:24 am

Hi Mr Bean,

My opinion: Rule 20-1 applies, so no penalty and the ball must be replaced.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:41 pm

Does everybody agree with Marcalex?
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Colin L » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:36 pm

He has no need to mark his ball of course. But it seems clear to me that 20-1 does not specify that the marking has to be necessary. If you are marking the ball for whatever reason, there is no penalty if you accidentally move it.

"If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a Rule or marking its position the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of marking the position of or lifting the ball."
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:17 pm

Colin L wrote:He has no need to mark his ball of course. But it seems clear to me that 20-1 does not specify that the marking has to be necessary. If you are marking the ball for whatever reason, there is no penalty if you accidentally move it.

"If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a Rule or marking its position the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. There is no penalty, provided the movement of the ball or ball-marker is directly attributable to the specific act of marking the position of or lifting the ball."


What I am a bit unsure about is whether there is a relation between 'lifting the ball under a Rule' and 'or marking its position'. If there is a relation, that is, the text should be ''lifting the ball or marking its position under a Rule'' then mere marking when a ball is not allowed to be lifted is not protected by R20-1.

Then again, if there is no relation then a player may mark his ball for whatever reason wherever on the course and there is no penalty should he move his ball in the process. This I find a very peculiar situation.

Furthermore, R24-1 says a player MAY move the MO, so he does not HAVE to. Also moving the MO does not necessarily result in the ball in play being moved, not to mention that this movement cannot always be foreseen. If the ball moves it must be replaced but a player cannot know that beforehand thus marking the position of the ball has not been made mandatory in R24-1.

One more aspect is that if R20-1 protects the player when marking the position of his ball whenever it is possible that the ball moves creates a situation where one needs to evaluate the possibilities and credibility. Also that I find not only bizarre but difficult to handle.

Opinions?

EDIT: One more thing. If marking the position of a ball is not mandatory, why should a player be protected against moving his ball in play?
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby regole » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:47 pm

Mr, Bean what is a peg used to mark the position of the ball?
The same ball-mark is a movable obstruction. So where's the problem?
Agree non penalty.

Ps: See D. 24-1/5
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Colin L » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:53 pm

"Marking its position" is not qualified by "under a Rule" in that the word order. If you wished it to be so, you would have to re-order the sentence to say,
If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball or marking its position under a Rule, the ball .....

As it stands, it is saying the same as "If a ball marker or ball is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a rule or is accidentally moved in the process of marking its position ...."
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:33 pm

I concur that R20-1 is relevant here, even though it is not mandatory to mark the ball prior to moving a movable obstruction.

However, R20-1 does not provide blanket protection for a ball being moved when marking if there is no justifiable reason for marking - that would be a R18-2 situation.

There are a number of circumstances named in the last para of R18-2 where a ball must be replaced if moved accidentally - eg when measuring - in such cases, while marking is not mandatory, if the player chooses to mark the ball to ensure he can comply correctly with replacement should be ball accidentally moved, AND the ball is accidentally moved when marking (directly attributable), then the R20-1 protection applies.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:33 pm

regole wrote:Mr, Bean what is a peg used to mark the position of the ball?
The same ball-mark is a movable obstruction. So where's the problem?
Agree non penalty.

Ps: See D. 24-1/5


A peg is more or less the same thing as a tee, i.e a (wooden or plastic) thing a ball is placed on when making a tee shot.

D24-1/5 tells us that a tee stick is a movable obstruction and ball moving as a result of removing such a MO requires to be replaced with no penalty. What is does not say is whether moving a ball when marking it under the circumstances is protected by R20-1.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:41 pm

Thom wrote:However, R20-1 does not provide blanket protection for a ball being moved when marking if there is no justifiable reason for marking - that would be a R18-2 situation.


This is why I feel uncomfortable about the entire thing. What is a justifiable reason for marking and what is not? Is it sufficient to express fear that the ball might move? Or must there be a reasonable doubt that the ball WILL move?

Well, I guess that is one of those eternal questions the referee has to face...
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Colin L » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:27 pm

Thom wrote:However, R20-1 does not provide blanket protection for a ball being moved when marking if there is no justifiable reason for marking - that would be a R18-2 situation.


But where are the words that tell us that you have to have a justifiable reason for marking a ball? What rule is being breached by marking a ball unnecessarily? Rule 20-1 makes no qualification of that kind: it says no more than that a ball moved in the process of marking must be replaced and that there is no penalty.

You might think 13-2 if a player regularly marked a ball unnecessarily, but that is do with the player's intention. Accidental movement of his ball in the process of marking would be just the same. Not a breach of any rule,
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby marcalex » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:31 pm

Mr. Bean wrote:
Thom wrote:However, R20-1 does not provide blanket protection for a ball being moved when marking if there is no justifiable reason for marking - that would be a R18-2 situation.


This is why I feel uncomfortable about the entire thing. What is a justifiable reason for marking and what is not? Is it sufficient to express fear that the ball might move? Or must there be a reasonable doubt that the ball WILL move?

Well, I guess that is one of those eternal questions the referee has to face...


I think no rule prohibit a player marking his ball. A player has the right to mark his ball.

But if a player marks a ball with the intent to do something prohibited or with the intent to circumvent a prohibition, here is the bad reason for marking a ball. But in this circonstance, the player did not really marked his ball, he has done something else that is prohibited.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Doug » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:37 am

Colin L wrote:
Thom wrote:However, R20-1 does not provide blanket protection for a ball being moved when marking if there is no justifiable reason for marking - that would be a R18-2 situation.


But where are the words that tell us that you have to have a justifiable reason for marking a ball? What rule is being breached by marking a ball unnecessarily? Rule 20-1 makes no qualification of that kind: it says no more than that a ball moved in the process of marking must be replaced and that there is no penalty.

You might think 13-2 if a player regularly marked a ball unnecessarily, but that is do with the player's intention. Accidental movement of his ball in the process of marking would be just the same. Not a breach of any rule,


Marking and lifting are permitted by any Rule specifying so. That is what 20-2 says.
Moving the ball at any other time, whether marked or not, is not permitted under rule 18-2.
If a player marks his ball, other than under a rule permitting marking, there is no breach. But if he moves the ball, there is a breach.

Bu why would he want to mark his ball?
If he did it to prevent it blowing away, would 1-2 apply?
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:17 am

Doug wrote:Marking and lifting are permitted by any Rule specifying so. That is what 20-2 says.
Moving the ball at any other time, whether marked or not, is not permitted under rule 18-2.
If a player marks his ball, other than under a rule permitting marking, there is no breach. But if he moves the ball, there is a breach.


This is well argued and precisely my understanding, subject to one qualification - I think it should read 'other than under a rule permitting lifting' rather than 'marking'. Rule 20 is about lifting etc, the marking dimension arises as a subset of the lifting issue. Also, rules such as R24, 25 do not expressly permit marking, they permit lifting, and it is clear from D24-1/5 that there is no penalty when a ball is moved accidentally during a marking process (providing DA) relating to a MO.

Further explanation of when moving your ball accidentally does not cause a penalty under R18-2 is stated very clearly in the last paragraph of R18-2.

I therefore believe that Colin L's interpretation of his cited wording in R20-1 is not correct, but I very much understand his argument - I believe this is another example where the RB's drafting has contributed unnecessary ambiguity. I further think there is a simple fix. The problematic first sentence in paragraph 3 should have the words "under a Rule that enables lifting" after "marking its position" on the second line of the paragraph.

There is also the very minor issue above in Doug's comment that 20-2 should be 20-1.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Doug » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:31 am

1) I should have written 'lifting' not 'marking and lifting'

2) Oops. Typo

If something is not prohibited, then it is permitted.
If something is prohibited by a rule, it may be permitted by another rule.

Marking falls in the former, lifting in the latter.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Q8 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:20 am

Doug wrote:Moving the ball at any other time, whether marked or not, is not permitted under rule 18-2.
If a player marks his ball, other than under a rule permitting marking, there is no breach. But if he moves the ball, there is a breach.


But even if 24-1a does not require marking nor does it prohibit it, does the decision 24-1/5 override 18-2? Does it override only when removing the ball-mark not while marking? Can this decision be extended to other "not required" markings, if not then why not?
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Colin L » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:12 pm

The point I was making and I think Doug agrees with is that there is no distinction made in the rules between marking that is required and marking that is not. There is just marking. Marking my ball thinking it was required when it wasn't and giving it an accidental nudge is not a breach of any Rule - simply because there is no Rule that says it is. It is, in fact, expressly stated to carry no penalty.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:53 am

Colin L wrote:The point I was making and I think Doug agrees with is that there is no distinction made in the rules between marking that is required and marking that is not. There is just marking. Marking my ball thinking it was required when it wasn't and giving it an accidental nudge is not a breach of any Rule - simply because there is no Rule that says it is. It is, in fact, expressly stated to carry no penalty.

There are parts of this I agree with, and there are parts that I do not believe are correct. As to the latter, I remain of the view that the wording of R20-1 does not provide blanket protection from penalty for moving a ball accidentally during a process of marking the ball.

Take what I consider is the clearest possible case of breach. Your ball is in the middle of the fairway. Perfect lie, no other ball in vicinity, all is peaches and cream. The only directly relevant rule applying here is R13-2, the ball must be played as it lies. No other rule has any relevance, there is no justification/reason to lift the ball and no rule permits lifting in this hypothetical situation. You move to mark your ball, small coin in hand, and in the process of putting it down behind the ball, your clumsy fingers nudge the ball first and it rolls a bit away from its original position. Is this a breach of a Rule?

IMO, absolutely, a breach of R18-2. The last paragraph of 18-2 defines very carefully the circumstances when you are not penalized for moving your ball, and this is not one of them.

My impression from earlier posts is it is only Colin that is mounting a case that this is not a breach, but I'm happy to be corrected if he has wider support.

I do agree that no rule permits or prohibits marking, although there are a number of rules that require that a ball must be marked in certain circumstances. It follows that marking a ball, of itself, is not a breach of any rule.

Now let's tweak my hypothetical situation for the sake of exposition/discussion. Your ball in the middle of the fairway is actually on a bit of a slope and is leaning against a metal putting green repair tool dropped by a previous group. Before you move the MO, because your ball may roll away, you decide to mark your ball first and do so. You remove the MO, the ball rolls away so you must replace (R24-1a) and you do so. (If necessary, if the ball fails to come to rest on the exact spot, the R20-3d procedure is invoked but that is outside scope of the current discussion.) As you now move to pick up your ball marker, you nudge the ball and it moves. Is this a breach of a Rule? D24-1/5, an almost identical situation, tells us no. Interestingly, the Decision cites R24-1 as the authority, relating to the removal of an MO (in this case the ball marker).

So we do not have an explicit authority (in the form of a Decision) that states that there is no breach/penalty in the situation of the ball being moved when a player is in the process (DA assumed) of placing a ball marker next to the ball. But we do have an explicit authority that states no penalty if the ball is moved in the process of removing a ball marker (MO).

To conclude, how do we decide if there is a breach if a player moves the ball accidentally in the process of placing a ball marker? If the placing of the ball marker is associated with any of the circumstances identified in R18-2 last paragraph then no breach, otherwise a R18-2 breach occurs. All IMO, of course.

Apologies for the length of this post.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Colin L » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:25 pm

Whether the words in R20-1 exonerate you from an 18-2 penalty in any circumstances of marking, required or unnecessary, rests, I now think, on one little word - "its" - and what it refers to.

a) If we take "its" to refer back to" a ball" at the beginning of the sentence, we have two completely separate either/or matters. Neither when lifting a ball under the rules or when marking the position of a ball are you penalised for causing it to move.
If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a Rule or marking its position, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. . ..

b) But if we take "its" to refer to the later ball in the sentence, the one which has been lifted under a Rule, then that limits the exemption from penalty to the marking of a ball that is going to be lifted under a Rule.
If a ball or ball-marker is accidentally moved in the process of lifting the ball under a Rule or marking its position, the ball or ball-marker must be replaced. . ..

Obviously I've been reading it as a), but having realised b) as a possibility , I'm now not so sure.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:18 am

Colin

We have now reached a meeting of the minds on the observation that this paragraph in R20-1 is capable of being read ambiguously. IMO, that is a drafting disaster, because I have absolutely no doubts that RB's only intended one meaning. And while I think I know which is their one intended meaning, the published drafting means I am not absolutely certain of it.

But I can say with confidence that only one of those two interpretations is consistent with R18-2. Perhaps a ruling request to RBs is the only definitive route to resolution - in contrast with Mr Bean's first thought "Here's a quick one".
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:20 pm

Thom wrote:IMO, absolutely, a breach of R18-2. The last paragraph of 18-2 defines very carefully the circumstances when you are not penalized for moving your ball, and this is not one of them.



I believe You found the beauty of the wordings...

Rule 18-2:

... 'In lifting a ball under a Rule - Rule 20-1'

In the case at hand nobody is going to lift the ball... unless it is necessary...

Sometimes it is very hard to understand the text written by the RB's and IMO this is a subject that should have been more clearly explained in the published texts.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:22 pm

Thom wrote:in contrast with Mr Bean's first thought "Here's a quick one".


Sorry...
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Mr. Bean » Mon Apr 24, 2017 6:31 pm

Doug wrote:Bu why would he want to mark his ball?
If he did it to prevent it blowing away, would 1-2 apply?


An excellent question, Doug!

Never even thought of that even though I was worried about marking to be misused.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:46 am

Mr. Bean wrote:
Thom wrote:in contrast with Mr Bean's first thought "Here's a quick one".


Sorry...

Absolutely no need to apologise, we are here for the interesting and the curious, this one ticks both of those. RB's drafting in this paragraph in R20-1 is ambiguous, something they clearly try to avoid generally.
I've considered how I would judge the same question under the new draft rules and it is clear that the problematic verbiage in that paragraph is gone. The Exceptions where there is no penalty under new R9.4 for accidentally moving the ball includes the following "Exception 4 (Accidental Movement While Applying Rule)". Such a headline conveys a stronger feeling of protection only when you are applying a rule and there are no such words as in the current R20-1 that may be read as a blanket protection anytime marking is involved. Probably still not 100 per cent clear cut unless the forthcoming handbook has a helpful delineation of when any protection ceases. Wishful thinking?
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:03 am

Doug wrote:Bu why would he want to mark his ball?
If he did it to prevent it blowing away, would 1-2 apply?


I don't think there could be a 1-2 issue. If the ball was marked and lifted to avoid it blowing away, this would be legitimate if a rule enabled lifting and would be a breach if not. If the ball was merely marked and not lifted, and the ball blew away, it would still need to be played from where it comes to rest - there is no authority to return it to the original (marked) spot. In this latter scenario, the ball remains in play despite being marked.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Doug » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:05 am

I was thinking of a situation where the marker was placed downwind and down hill of the ball, with something more substantial than a flat marker (a casino chip or tee say), preventing the ball from moving away by a strong gust.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Q8 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:17 am

So D24-1/5 actually has nothing to do with marking in arbitrary situation but with removing the MO (i.e. ball-marker)?
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:52 am

Doug wrote:I was thinking of a situation where the marker was placed downwind and down hill of the ball, with something more substantial than a flat marker (a casino chip or tee say), preventing the ball from moving away by a strong gust.

If the intent was so transparent - placing a 'chock' next to the ball - I would have no problem breaching that situation against 1-2 if it operates as intended (blocking the ball's movement). If it made no difference and the ball blew away anyway it would be play as lies and it would be difficult to breach unless you had a confession of crime, IMO.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Thom » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:06 am

Q8 wrote:So D24-1/5 actually has nothing to do with marking in arbitrary situation but with removing the MO (i.e. ball-marker)?

The Decision wording simply does not answer your question, so we are poking around in the tea leaves and speculating.
All we can be entirely confident of is it deals with removing a MO already in place (in this case ball marker) and uses R24-1 as the justification.
If it dealt only with placing a marker, R24-1 would seem unlikely to get mentioned but, again, this is speculative.
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Re: Ball moved when marked

Postby Adrian Mackenzie » Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:08 pm

As the original post mentioned that the ball was up against a MO and R 24-1 states that if the ball moves when removing the MO, in my opinion the player is justified in marking the ball before removing the MO. If the ball moves in the process of the marking of it, I do not believe the player will be penalized and it may well be decided to be ruled under equity as the rules to do not seem to cover this situation.
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