Fouls are a part of ultimate, the game we all love to play. As ultimate is a self-officiating game, it is up to the individuals playing to make the call. How to call a foul, and more importantly, how to deal with a foul that has been called is important. Dealt with properly can add to the Spirit of the Game. Dealt with poorly can completely distract, and leave people with a bad taste.
On how to deal with fouls, check out this short video made by USA Ultimate – Ultimate 101.
Four key points to remember when a call is made:
1. PAUSE – Take a second to think objectively about the play before responding – did I foul them? Did I affect their play on the disc? This brief pause will often avoid reactionary comments and can help with resolving the call.
2. LISTEN – Not everyone sees the same situation in the same light. Two players with a very good view of a situation can still see different things happening. Be aware of this when trying to resolve calls.
3. DISCUSS – There are always two sides. Briefly, and calmly, share your opinion and viewpoint. Important to note: If you were not involved in the call, or asked for clarification on a rule, zip it. Your opinion is not needed.
4. DECIDE – Was it a foul? If it was, rectify and play on. However, maybe you thought it was, but turns out it wasn’t. That’s okay, you can change your mind. It’s how we learn.