Two related rules issues came up last Sunday, both about how quickly play needs to restart; so I had a look at the rule book to give some definitive answers.

How quickly do you have to pick the disc up after a turnover or pull?

Essentially the answer is: as quickly as possible.

The aim being to keep the game moving at pace.

Attacking players need to (at least) walk to the disc and when there pick it up and play. If they don’t the defending team can call ‘Delay of play’ and if the attackers don’t stop delaying the defenders can start the stall count.

  • 8.5. After a turnover, and after the pull, the team that has gained possession of the disc must continue play without delay.
    • 8.5.1. An offensive player must move at walking pace or faster to directly retrieve the disc and establish a pivot.
    • 8.5.2. In addition to 8.5.1, after a turnover the offence must put the disc into play within the following time limits, if the disc did not become out-of-bounds, and the discs location is:
      • in the central zone – within ten (10) seconds of the disc coming to rest.
      • in an end zone – within twenty (20) seconds of the disc coming to rest.
    • 8.5.3. If the offence breaches 8.5 the defence may give a verbal warning (“Delay of Game”) or may call a “Violation”.
    • 8.5.4. If an offensive player is within three (3) metres of the pivot point and, after the verbal warning, the offence continues to breach 8.5 the marker may commence the stall count.
Taken from: WFDF – Rules of Ultimate

USA Ultimate’s current rule is essentially the same – see XIX.B.

What happens if the pull is delayed after a ready signal?

The rules we use (WFDF) do not really specify, but, again, the idea here is to get play restarted as quickly as possible:

7.1.1. Teams must prepare for the pull without unreasonable delay.

WFDF – Rules of Ultimate

The USA Ultimate Rules go into some detail about how much time can be taken and penalties for going beyond this, but as we use the WFDF rules, I won’t go into those – if you want to, look at VIII.C.

One thing that we might note is the order suggested by the WFDF rules:

  1. Receiving team signals that they are ready.
  2. Receiving team stays still, each player with a foot on the goal line – so pulling (defending) team can pick who to mark.
  3. Pulling team signals readiness – pulling team all need to be in their endzone.
  4. Once the pull is thrown all players may leave their endzones.

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