Foot underneath the line, in/out?

There has been some confusion about catching the disc while the foot is underneath the line. Here is the response from Lorne Beckman, the person who has been involved in all the BULA rules as well as most UPA rules:

First let’s clarify nomenclature: a person’s foot cannot be “underneath the line”. “Lines” are conceptual. A person’s foot can be underneath the coloured tape, but the coloured tape is not the line. The coloured tape is only an aid to mark the lines. See the BULA addendum to the WFDF rules:

  • 2.2 The perimeter of the Field of Play is the Perimeter Line and consists of two (2) Sidelines along the length and two (2) End lines along the width.
  • 2.2.1. All lines shall be marked with colored tape between five (5) and ten (10) centimetres wide
The conceptual “line” exists as a plane that extends infinitely upward and downward parallel to the pull of the Earth’s gravity.A person who catches the disc with a foot which is underneath the coloured tape is therefore squarely on the line, and therefore, out-of-bounds. If the disc is caught by someone with a foot before the tape and then the person’s foot slides underneath it, he/she is in-bounds.

I hope that clarifies it. Let me know if you have any questions.


Although I agree with the conclusion, the explanation makes no sense. The tape on beach ultimate fields is rarely (if ever) straight, and we ALWAYS play the tape and not the (conceptual, straight) line: Inside the tape is in, outside the tape is out, irrespective of whether the tape directly corresponds to the conceptual line or not. So in beach ultimate (as it is played) the tape really is the line, not just a marker of it…

  • I’m happy you agree with my conclusion. Let me try to clarify my explanation:
    The “conceptual line” need not be straight. The only truly straight, conceptual line would be a conceptual line between two points (cones).
    When the line is marked by the tape, the line follows the tape, wherever it may be, just like an Ultimate field (grass) with painted lines. (Painted lines are never perfectly straight either.) However, In or out is determined by inside or outside of the painted line (or tape), not the perfectly straight, conceptual line between the cones. Of course.
    On a beach, the coloured tape marks where the line is in one dimension, but the line extends upward and downward from wherever the tape marks that one dimension. (I guess I’m repeating myself, not explaining.)
    Hmm, let’s say the disc flies outside the perimeter line and lands OB, untouched. The disc is put back into play where it last crossed the perimeter line. Where is that spot? Well, to know where, we project the plane of the line upward infinitely. The line also extends downward.
    The line is not the tape, and it’s not the cones and it’s not the paint. The location of the line is •marked* by the tape or paint or cones.
    Okay, well, I’m glad you accept the conclusion because I’m not sure I’ve offered anything more convincing as to the explanation.

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