Changes to How the Disc Can Land in the Basket
One of the more controversial PDGA rule changes for 2022 is not necessarily a new rule. It is technically a reversal to an older version of the same disc golf rule. It affects Rule 807, which is focused on “Completing the Hole.” Specifically, it has to do with how the disc can end up in (or on) the basket in order to consider the hole complete for any given player.
Here is the amended PDGA Rule 807.B:
In order to complete a hole with a basket target, the thrower must release the disc and it must come to rest supported by the tray or the chains below the chain support.
The Old Rule
In years past, this Rule 807 more specifically stated that the disc must enter from above the basket tray (aka “the cage”). From there, it must be supported by either the chains or the tray itself. The disc could be wedged in the side of the cage, as long as it came through the inside first. Or, it could even be hanging on the outside nubs of the tray, again as long as it crossed over/through the chains/tray first.
The New Rule
Now, that distinction has been removed. The disc counts as “in” as long as it is supported by the tray or the chains, regardless of how it arrived there. This includes any disc wedged in the side of the cage, even if it came in from the outside. The same goes for a disc that may slip through the very top support of an older target, as long as it comes down to rest in the chains or in/on the tray. A disc hanging from the nubs will also count as in, no matter how it ended up that way. Discs landing and staying on top of the basket will still not count.
Why the Rule Was Updated
This update offers a benefit to all disc golfers. It also eliminates any guesswork that can happen when the players cannot see exactly how a disc entered the basket. An example may be an ace or a hole-out from the fairway when nobody is up by the target to witness how the disc came to rest in the chains or tray.
This may also provide a unique advantage to disc golfers who use super-soft putters and approach discs. A floppy disc that goes through the side of the cage will be considered in according to these new rules. Again, we say “new” though this is more of a return to the way the rule was once written many years ago.
Will it Affect Disc Golf Strategy?
The answer here is a clear no. This rule will likely not change any strategies for most disc golfers. Purposely trying to go through the side of the tray is no easy task, even with the floppiest of putters. It may present some fun ways to “tap in” super-close putts, but that’s about the only time someone might purposely try to hole out this way. It’s more of an accident that can happen from time to time and everyone has a laugh. Now, the player who saves a stroke when the accident happens will just have the last laugh.
Next week on the DGU Blog, we will run through some of the other significant PDGA rule changes for 2022. We wanted to highlight some of the most notable ones first like the new OB relief rules and the updated mandatory rules. The rest are fairly straightforward. However, as a disc golfer it is important to know the current rules and how they may affect you in casual or tournament play.