Official Rules of Discflect and Tournament Rules
PDFA Official Rules of Discflect
1.00 – Overview
1.01 Discflect is a flying disc sport featuring teams of two that throw and deflect a disc at or into a goal. Each team takes their turn, where each player alternates as a thrower and a deflector. Points are awarded if the throw or deflection either hits the goal or lands inside the goal. Teams alternate until one team reaches 21 points exactly in the same number of rounds as their opponent, outscores their opponent in the maximum number of rounds or overtime, or throws a Win Shot.
1.02 This is a unique disc sport since it involves not only accurate throwing, but also the distinct ability to deflect a thrown disc into a goal. Hence, the name of the sport is discflect, which combines disc and deflect into one word to accurately depict the sport.
1.03 Discflect encourages competition, fairness, and camaraderie. Since each team consists of only two players, it is easy for anyone to get a team together to compete. With four different ways to score, anything can happen during a game, and teams are always in it until the very end. It is a sport that can be played by anyone of all ages and skill levels. The goals are very portable and affordable, allowing Tournament Directors (TDs) to host a tournament nearly anywhere with open space.
2.00 – Spirit of the Game
2.01 The Spirit of the Game is a set of expectations for the sport of discflect that is the responsibility of the players to maintain. Discflect promotes an atmosphere of camaraderie and sportsmanship, while encouraging competitive, fair, and fun play.
2.02 These expectations also apply to staff members and spectators. While spectators may not know all the detailed rules of the game, they are still expected to act with respect and integrity toward all players, staff, and other spectators. Poor behavior will not be tolerated, and spectators may be asked to leave by a tournament official.
2.03 All players are expected to know the rules of discflect and adhere to those rules in order to maintain fairness and respect the integrity of the game.
2.04 Players shall act as referees in their own games. It is the expectation of the players to administer the rules when they feel a judgement call is needed or when a violation has occurred.
2.05 If a violation is made during a game, it is up to the players involved in that game to call out that violation. It is not the responsibility of spectators, staff, or other teams watching the game to call out rule infractions.
2.06 Players shall not abuse the ability to make their own calls to give themselves an advantage in a game. Players shall be honest, respectful, and willing to admit if a violation has been committed or a judgment call does not go their way.
2.07 All players should come together to discuss disputes and should not take any decisions personally. Players should be able to admit and accept when they are wrong. See Disputes section for further clarification.
2.08 All players are ambassadors for discflect and should strive to uphold the Spirit of the Game. Veteran players should be willing to mentor and help novice players to explain the rules and violations in a respectful manner, not just tell players they are wrong.
2.09 All players should be willing to respectfully talk to opposing players. The only way for players to improve their gameplay is to have open and honest conversations about what may have gone wrong. Players should be willing to accept this constructive criticism without taking it personally.
2.10 Examples of actions that display the Spirit of the Game:
(a) Players introducing themselves prior to the start of a game
(b) Congratulating an opposing player for a good deflection or throw
(c) Bumping fists with opposing players at the conclusion of a game or series
(d) Accepting when a violation is called out
(e) Players calling themselves out if they know they’ve committed a violation
(f) Players not taking calls against their team personally
(g) Staying calm during a dispute
(h) Respectfully coming to a mutual agreement
(i) Clearly stating the score after each round
2.11 Examples of actions that do not follow the Spirit of the Game:
(a) Arguing anytime a violation is called out
(b) Refusing to accept a resolution to a dispute
(c) Purposely lying about an action in order to benefit
(d) Celebrating when a team misses a play
(e) Purposely distracting a player while they are trying to make a throw or deflection
(f) Standing too close to an opposing player while they are attempting to throw or deflect the disc
(g) Swearing/cursing at the opposing players
(h) Elevating disagreements with officials or other players from respectful to verbally abusive
3.00 – Equipment
(a) Each goal must meet the following specifications:
(1) A cylindrical bucket shape with an open top and front slot opening.
(2) Composed of a hard durable material with a thickness of at least 1/16 inch (1.5 mm).
(3) Height is 20 inches (50.8 cm).
(4) Slot opening measures 13 inches wide (33 cm) by 3 inches tall (7.6 cm). The slot opening corners are a rounded radius of approximately 3/8 inch (9.5 mm).
(5) The diameter of the open top measures 16 inches (40.6 cm).
(6) A publicly available manufactured item, specifically made for the sport of discflect.
(b) Anchors: If the playing surface allows, goals can be anchored to the ground with stakes to help during windy conditions. Any stakes used must be placed on the inside of the goal, so as not to interfere with gameplay and no part of the stake can be on the outside of the goal.
3.02 Tournament Goal Specifications
(a) Graphics Location
(1) If there are labels, they shall be placed on the front side of the goal above the slot opening.
(2) Larger graphics can be placed under the slot opening on the front.
(b) Graphics Content
(1) Graphics can include manufacturer label, sponsors, tournament logos, club logos, or PDFA branding (with PDFA approval) for sanctioned events.
(2) Promotion of drugs, explicit content, vulgar language, or offensive material is strictly prohibited. If the event is alcohol-free, promotion of alcohol is prohibited.
(3) Tournament Directors shall submit graphics for final approval by PDFA prior to event.
(4) Bumper stickers, promotional stickers, paint, tape, or any other graphics not related to the event or sponsor(s) are prohibited.
3.03 Flying Discs
(a) Teams can use any publicly available manufactured flying discs, as long as the discs meet the specifications below:
(1) Weight – Flying disc must weigh between 160-175g. Tolerance is +/- 2g.
(2) Diameter – Flying disc must measure 10.75 inches (27.3 cm). Tolerance is +/- 1 cm.
(3) 3D printed discs are not permitted.
(b) For Media covered games or series, there may be a restriction on the color of disc being used so that the disc is always visible against the goal for best visibility on video. For this reason, it is recommended that players bring multiple disc options to use in a tournament. This generally will only apply in the last rounds of Bracket Play.
(1) If White goals are used – White and yellow discs are prohibited due to the lack of contrast between the goal and disc; however, most other colors should be acceptable.
(2) If Black or darker color goals are used – Black and other darker color discs are prohibited due to the lack of contrast between the goal and discs.
4.00 – Court Setup
4.01 Each game court will consist of two goals.
4.02 The official distance between the goals is 50 feet (15.24 m). This distance should be measured from the front edge of one goal to the front edge of the other goal. Place the goals with the slot openings facing each other.
4.03 One line should be marked on the playing surface at the front edge of each goal to mark the official distance as well as the release line.
(a) If venue allows, lines should be marked with spray paint or washable paint. The line should be a minimum 3’ in length, but 4’ is recommended.
(b) If venue doesn’t allow paint, lines should be marked with masking tape or painter’s tape.
4.04 Release Line Diagram:
4.05 Single court set up should have 10 feet (3.05 m) of open space on either side of each goal to allow room for deflecting.
4.06 Behind each goal there should be no less than 10 feet (3.05 m) of clear and open space. See diagram.
4.07 For multiple courts set up aside one another – adjacent goals should be placed 20 feet (6.10 m) apart from each other. See diagram. If necessary, 15 feet (4.57 m) spacing between courts can be utilized in smaller venues.
4.08 Court Setup Diagram:
5.00 – Order of Play
5.01 The Hammer: The right to throw last is called having The Hammer. Choosing to throw last is generally considered to be an advantage, similar to having “last bats” in baseball.
5.02 Game 1 or Single Game
(a) Start with a disc flip
(1) Teams shall agree on any disc to flip.
(2) Teams shall decide who will flip the disc and who on the opposing team will be the caller.
(3) Heads shall be the top of disc. Tails shall be the underside of the disc.
(4) One player will flip the disc, and one member of the opposing team will call heads or tails.
(b) The team who wins the disc flip shall determine one of two pre-game options:
(1) The winning team can decide which team throws first, or
(2) The winning team can decide which court end throws first. This is referred to as the starting end. The court end that throws second is referred to as the pivot end.
(3) The unchosen option falls to the team who lost the disc flip.
(c) Players will declare court ends.
(d) Each team will separate, sending a single player to each court end.
(e) Once a court end is declared, players may not switch court ends in the middle of a game.
(f) The players on the starting end are responsible for filling out the scorecard.
5.03 Games 2-7
(a) The team losing the previous game shall determine which team has The Hammer.
(b) The starting end chosen prior to game 1 is locked into place for the duration of the series.
(c) Prior to the start of a new game, players may switch court ends if desired. However, players may not change court ends in the middle of a game.
(d) The scorecard shall remain on the starting end even if players switch court ends.
6.00 – Flying Disc Usage
6.01 Each team shall use their own disc(s).
6.02 Teams can use any disc(s) as long as all discs meet the Equipment requirements.
6.03 In tournament play, the maximum number of discs that each team can bring is five. Teams are expected to bring their own disc(s) to use in tournaments.
6.04 Players on the starting end shall keep all discs on their court end.
6.05 Teams can switch discs during a game, but only the person who starts the game is allowed to do so. The same disc must be used for an entire round (thrown down and back).
7.00 – Gameplay
7.01 Play consists of four players divided into teams of two. Members of the same team (partners) stand at opposite goals.
7.02 One partner throws the flying disc and, when necessary, the other partner deflects (redirects) it toward or into the goal. After both partners complete one throw each, that team leaves the court. The second team then steps onto the court to take their turn.
7.03 There should only be one team on the court at a time. The team that is not actively throwing or deflecting should give the active team adequate space to complete their turn and stand out of court boundaries. See court diagram.
7.04 The thrower can score points with a direct hit to the goal, or the deflector can score by deflecting the flying disc to hit or land inside the goal.
7.05 Deflectors can move anywhere around the goal to redirect the disc, including in front of the goal if necessary.
7.06 Players cannot hold anything in their hands (besides the flying disc) while throwing or deflecting.
7.07 No player substitutions are allowed in the middle of a game.
8.00 – Points & Scoring
8.01 DINGER – 1 point (1P): Disc is deflected and hits any part of the goal.
8.02 DEUCE – 2 points (2P): Thrown disc hits the goal unassisted.
8.03 BUCKET – 3 points (3P): Disc is deflected and lands inside the goal. This normally occurs through the top of the goal, but may also happen if the disc is deflected into the slot opening.
8.04 WIN SHOT (WS): Disc lands inside the goal unassisted.
(a) The disc can enter through the slot opening on the front or through the open top of the goal.
(b) This shot is not worth points but is a winning shot that could end a game.
(c) For fairness, both teams will have an equal number of turns. If Team A hits a Win Shot first, Team B will have a chance to also hit a Win Shot. This is known as the Redemption Rule.
8.05 No points or Win Shots are awarded when the disc hits the ground or an object before contacting the goal directly or being deflected.
(a) A disc is considered to have hit the ground or an object when the trajectory has been altered. Some examples include:
(1) If the disc hits the ground and the trajectory is changed or stopped, the play is dead.
(2) If the disc only grazes weeds or grass blades, but continues on its original path, this is considered a legal throw.
(3) If the disc hits a tree branch, leaves, or any object overhead and the trajectory is changed or stopped, play is dead.
(4) If the disc grazes leaves overhead but continues on its original path, this is considered a legal throw.
9.00 – Regulation
9.01 In Regulation, the game is played to a maximum of eight rounds, or until a team reaches exactly 21 points without going over, whichever happens first.
9.02 One round consists of each team completing two throws, one per player. After all four players have thrown the disc, the round is considered over. This is similar to innings in baseball; an inning is over once both teams have had the opportunity to bat.
9.03 Teams must complete an equal number of turns, including if a Win Shot is thrown. See Redemption Rule.
9.04 If the team that starts the game reaches 21 points first, the team with The Hammer always has their last turn to either catch up in points to force Overtime, or, if 21 points is not attainable from one round of play, throw a Win Shot. If the team with The Hammer reaches 21 points first, they are the winners; the other team does not have another round to tie.
9.05 If the game is played to eight rounds and neither team has reached 21 points, the team with the most points after the completion of round 8 will be declared the winner. If the score is tied after the completion of round 8, the game will go to Overtime.
9.06 In the case where the team throwing first completes round 8 and has the lower score, the team with The Hammer has won the game and will not complete round 8.
9.07 If a team reaches 21 points exactly, their turn is over, and that team cannot score any more points. If a score of 21 is reached on the first throw of a turn, the disc must be thrown back to the starting end to complete the round; however, a team cannot be penalized for any additional points scored on this return throw. This return throw is not counted as a legal throw, it is only to get the disc back to the starting end.
10.00 – Going Over Penalty
10.01 Teams must score exactly 21 points. This encourages clear communication, teamwork, and strategy. If a given throw results in points that raise a team’s score above 21, the points from that play are deducted from their current score and play continues. The following scenarios will cause a team to go over 21 points:
(a) If a team has 19 points and deflects the disc for a Bucket (3 points), their score is reduced to 16 points (current score of 19 points – 3 points = 16 points).
(b) If a team has 20 points and deflects the disc for a Bucket (3 points), their score is reduced to 17 points (current score of 20 points – 3 points = 17 points).
(c) If a team has 20 points and hits the goal on the fly for a Deuce (2 points), their score is reduced to 18 points (current score of 20 points – 2 points = 18 points).
11.00 – Overtime
11.01 If both teams reach exactly 21 points in the same number of rounds, the game is extended to Overtime.
11.02 After completing eight rounds, if both teams have the same number of points, the game is extended to Overtime.
11.03 Overtime consists of each team taking a single turn; each player will get one throw. After the first team completes their turn, the team with The Hammer must either tie the opposing team’s Overtime score to force a second Overtime round or simply score more points for the outright victory.
11.04 The team with The Hammer may not need to complete both throws in Overtime. For example, Team A throws and scores 2 points total. If the team with The Hammer scores a clean Bucket (3 points) on their first throw, the game is over as a victory for Team B. In this case, they can toss the disc back to the starting end and do not need to attempt to score any more points.
11.05 If both teams score the same number of points, another round of Overtime begins. The game proceeds as one round of Overtime as needed until one team outscores the other.
11.06 If a Win Shot is thrown in Overtime, teams will still have an equal number of turns and must follow the Overtime Redemption Rule.
12.00 – Redemption Rule
12.01 Both teams will be afforded an equal opportunity to win a game, and an equal number of turns. This avoids the possibility of a game ending after a single throw with The Hammer team never having an opportunity to play. This applies to both Regulation and Overtime.
12.02 Regulation Redemption Rule: Once a team throws a Win Shot in Regulation, that team’s turn ends immediately. Should Team A throw a Win Shot, Team B (the team that has The Hammer) will have a Redemption round.
(a) When Team A throws a Win Shot, Team B will have two attempts (one per player) to also throw a Win Shot. If Team B is successful and throws a Win Shot on either attempt, their turn is over and the game moves directly to Overtime. If Team B does not throw a matching Win Shot, Team A will be declared the winner.
(b) Any points scored before the first Win Shot by Team A will count towards overall stats, but no other points by either team will be scored for that round. Any points scored by Team B while attempting the redemption Win Shot will be considered a miss or 0 points.
12.03 If Team A does not throw a Win Shot and Team B does throw a Win Shot in the bottom half of that round, Team B will be declared the winner. Team A does not receive a Redemption round as both teams have had an equal number of turns.
12.04 Overtime Redemption Rule: In Overtime, teams are matching points one round at a time for use as a tiebreaker only. Points in Overtime are not tabulated in overall stats in tournaments; therefore, a Win Shot will take precedence over any points scored and be considered a winning shot. If a Win Shot is thrown by Team A, no other points will matter for that round. Since the Win Shot takes precedence to any points, Team B must only match the Win Shot, and does NOT have to also match any points scored. Matching the Win Shot is enough to force another round of Overtime.
(a) If Team A throws a Win Shot on their first throw, their turn is now over. Team B has two attempts to match the Win Shot. If Team B is successful, the game proceeds to another Overtime Round. If Team B is unsuccessful, Team A will be declared the winner.
(1) Scenario: Team A scores 3 points on their first throw and a Win Shot on their second throw. The initial 3 points do not matter as the Win Shot will take precedence. Team B scores 2 points on their first throw and a Win Shot on their second throw. Since the Win Shot was matched, the game will proceed to another Overtime Round.
(2) Scenario: Team A throws a Win Shot on their first throw. Team B scores 2 points on their first throw and a miss on their second throw. Since Team B did not match the Win Shot, Team A is declared the winner.
(b) If Team A does not throw a Win Shot and Team B does throw a Win Shot in the bottom half of that Overtime round, Team B will be declared the winner. Team A does not receive a Redemption round as both teams have had an equal number of turns.
(1) Scenario: Team A throws 3 points and 3 points for a total of 6 points. Team B throws a Win Shot on either throw. Team B is declared the winner and the game is over.
13.00 – Winning the Game
13.01 There are several scenarios in which a team can win the game:
(a) A team scores exactly 21 points, without going over, and their opponent is not able to match them in the same number of Regulation rounds.
(b) After completing 8 rounds of play, the team with the most points wins.
(c) If a game is forced into Overtime, the team that outscores their opponent will win the game.
(d) At any point, in Regulation or in Overtime, either team can throw a Win Shot. This is a game winning shot; however, the team with The Hammer will always have their chance to match the Win Shot and extend the game. See Redemption Rule.
14.00 – Perfect Game
14.01 A perfect game in discflect is when one team wins a game by throwing all Buckets (3-points). There cannot be any catches or misses.
14.02 If the opposing team keeps pace and extends the game to Overtime, the Perfect Game still counts, as long as the winning team continues to throw only Buckets (3 points) throughout Overtime.
14.03 If a Win Shot is thrown by either team, no Perfect Game will be counted.
15.00 – Throwing
15.01 Players must have both feet completely behind the front edge of the goal when releasing the disc.
15.02 If a player steps past the front edge of the goal on their throw, the play is considered dead. There will be no re-throw or make up of that play. Any points scored or Win Shots thrown do not count.
15.03 If a player throws the disc and hits the goal on their own end, the play is considered dead; no points shall be awarded for that throw.
15.04 Pace of Play – A time limit prevents players from waiting for more favorable conditions to throw the disc. This rule is intended to keep games moving in a reasonable manner. The time limit is more of an expectation; while teams are not required to physically watch a clock, they are encouraged to use their internal clock to enforce the rule if teams are throwing well beyond the time limit.
(a) At the start of a round, the player throwing first will have 15 seconds to throw the disc.
(b) Once the disc has come to rest, the player throwing second will also have 15 seconds to retrieve the disc and make their throw.
(c) If the disc lands more than 10 feet away from the goal, the player throwing second will have an additional 15 seconds to retrieve the disc and make their throw.
(d) Players must make all reasonable efforts to retrieve the disc and throw within the time allotted. Exceptions can be made for circumstances where the disc is difficult to retrieve such as on a roof, over a fence, or into an adjacent court.
(e) If a player exceeds the 15-second time limit when throwing, the opposing team reserves the right to call a delay of game violation and void that throw. The opposing team must call this violation prior to a throw being made. If the violation is called on the player that is throwing first, the other team member will still have their chance to complete their throw for the round.
16.00 – Deflecting
16.01 Discflect is a game of deflection. While there is no one perfect way to deflect, there are many plays which should be considered carries. A carry is not only when a player catches and throws the disc into the goal; a carry is called on any illegal deflection.
16.02 Clean Deflection – A player deflects the disc, striking the disc’s middle edge or the disc’s top center. Hands should be close together when striking the disc.
(a) Deflections can be made using one hand or both hands at the same time.
(b) Deflections off other body parts (such as foot, stomach, etc.) are valid, as long as there are no double-hits.
(c) All contact of the disc should be momentary and in one motion.
16.03 Illegal Deflection – Any play considered illegal, as outlined below, will result in no points scored or Win Shots awarded.
(a) Carries – Players may not control the disc while deflecting. The following are considered carries with one hand or two:
(1) Stopping the disc in the air – Players cannot trap the disc between their palms or fingers to end its flight. While this would result in the disc dropping into the goal, it is not a clean deflection. This is almost always seen when a deflector ‘sandwiches’ the outer edges of the disc.
(2) Catching or throwing – It is a violation when the disc is thrown or tossed toward the target. This is most common on errant throws where simply stopping the flight of the disc is not enough to score. Players cannot catch the disc and throw or toss it toward the goal.
(3) Pushing or lifting the disc – A push or lift is an illegal attempt to flip a low throw up and into the goal. When a player makes prolonged contact with the underside of the disc (the rim or the flight plate) and the motion of the flip continues up and forward, this is considered a carry. If the play is like a ‘set’ in volleyball, this is prolonged contact and will be considered a carry.
(4) Pulling the disc – A pull is an illegal attempt to deflect a high throw. A pull happens when a deflector stops or grabs the disc and moves it toward the goal, usually in a straight line, with the disc sandwiched between their hands.
(b) Double Hits – Players may strike the disc only once.
(1) Two hands may be used as one contact point, as long as they make contact with the disc simultaneously.
(2) A disc may not strike one body part and then another.
(3) If a player makes contact with the disc a second time, the play is dead upon second contact. Whatever happened before the second contact will count, but no other action will be counted thereafter.
(A) For example, a player slams the disc, the disc bounces off the top of the goal, and the player hits the disc again into the goal. This play results in only 1 point.
17.00 – Scoring Unique Plays
(a) If a player deflects the disc into the top of the goal, the disc hits the bottom or ground inside the goal, and the disc bounces back out through the open top or slot, this is counted as 3 points. The bottom or ground inside the goal causes the play to be dead.
17.02 Into the Goal and Out the Slot
(a) If a player deflects the disc into the top of the goal and the disc exits the goal through the slot opening on the front, this is counted as 1 point, assuming the disc makes contact with the goal on the way out.
(b) If the disc is deflected into the top of the goal and comes out the slot cleanly without touching the goal, it will be 0 points.
17.03 Into the Slot and Out of the Goal
(a) If a player throws a disc and it enters the slot opening and comes out the top of the goal without the deflector touching the disc, it is considered a Deuce (2 points) and not a Win Shot. If this happens and the disc doesn’t touch the goal at all, it is 0 points. To be a legal Win Shot, the disc must remain inside the goal, or touch the bottom/ground.
(b) If a thrown disc enters the slot opening without the deflector touching it, hits the back of the goal, and somehow comes back out the slot, it will only be counted as a Deuce (2 points).
(c) If a thrown disc enters the slot opening, comes out the top of the goal, and then is deflected toward the goal, it will be a Deuce (2 points), providing the disc touched the goal before it was deflected.
(d) If the disc enters the slot without making contact with the goal, comes out the top of the goal without making contact, and then the disc is deflected toward the goal, it will count as either a Dinger (1 point) or Bucket (3 points), depending on whether the deflected disc hits the goal or lands inside of it.
(e) For any shot approaching the slot opening, it is recommended to back away and become a spectator. For example, a player holds their hands over the top of the goal to prevent a disc thrown into the slot from exiting the goal. This type of play prevents the disc from completing its action, and would be scored as follows:
(1) Disc is thrown into the slot and makes contact with the goal before the deflector touches the disc: this counts as 2 points, since the disc hit the goal first and the deflector made contact after, causing the play to be dead.
(2) Disc is thrown into the slot without contacting the goal and is then touched by the deflector before hitting the ground inside the goal: this counts as 3 points, since the deflector assisted or indirectly deflected the disc to keep it in the goal.
(f) If a thrown disc is deflected into the slot opening and somehow comes back out, either through the slot or open top (very rare), this is only counted as a Dinger (1 point), as long as the disc touches the goal. If this happens and the disc does not touch the goal at all, it is 0 points.
17.04 Disc Trapped on Top of Goal
(a) A disc is considered to be trapped if while in the middle of a deflection, a player’s hands hit the disc and sandwich the disc between their hands and the top edge of the goal for longer than half a second.
(b) Trapping the disc is considered a carry and will result in 0 points regardless of if the disc falls into or out of the goal.
17.05 Disc Hits Goal First, then Deflected toward Goal
(a) If a disc strikes the goal on the fly without deflection, it is a Deuce (2 points) regardless of if the player then deflects it either into the goal for a Bucket (3 points), deflects the disc into the side of the goal for a Dinger (1 point), or misses completely.
(b) Once the disc hits the goal on the fly for 2 points, no more action on that turn will be counted unless the disc somehow flips or falls into the goal unassisted for a Win Shot.
17.06 Goal Falls Over on a Win Shot or a Deflection
(a) If the goal falls over on a Win Shot or a deflection into the goal, scoring will depend on which end of the goal the disc exits. The Win Shot or Bucket (3 points) will only count in the following scenarios:
(1) Disc exits through the bottom of the goal.
(2) Disc remains inside the fallen goal.
(3) More than half of the disc remains inside the top end of the fallen goal.
(4) Exactly half the disc remains in the top end of the fallen goal and half out of the goal.
(b) If the goal falls over on a direct throw and the disc lands more than half out of the top end of the fallen goal, this is scored as a Deuce (2 points).
(c) If the goal falls over on a deflection and the disc lands more than half out of the top end of the fallen goal, this is scored as a Dinger (1 point).
(d) If a deflected disc hits the bottom or ground inside the goal, the goal falls over, and the disc comes out the top or slot opening, this is scored as a Bucket (3 points) as the bottom or ground caused the play to be dead.
(e) If a disc enters the goal on a direct throw, hits the bottom or ground inside the goal, the goal falls over, and the disc comes out the top or slot opening, this is scored as a Win Shot as the bottom or ground caused the play to be dead.
17.07 Contact with Goal
(a) Players waiting to deflect may not touch the goal in any way, even to let it edge up to their legs for support. The goal must remain free standing at all times to be legal.
(b) If the deflecting player is holding the goal, any points or Win Shots will be automatically voided.
(c) A player may not make contact with the goal in order to change the outcome of a play. If a player makes contact with the goal to influence a play, all points are voided.
(1) For example, a team has 20 points and only needs 1 point to win. The disc is deflected to hit the side of the goal, but it appears as if the disc will crawl up and land inside the goal for a -3 point penalty. That player may not move or kick the goal out of the way to prevent going over.
17.08 Disc Lands on Top of the Goal
(a) In the rare case the disc is deflected cleanly and then comes to rest for more than five seconds on the top edge of the goal (perfectly balanced), this will count as a Dinger (1 point).
(b) If the disc falls into the goal in under five seconds, this will count as a Bucket (3 points).
(c) The deflector may not assist the disc into the goal in any way after it has come to rest. This includes blowing on or fanning at the disc to cause it to drop.
(d) If the deflector assists the disc in any way to cause it to drop, the play is dead, and the initial Dinger (1 point) shall be scored.
(e) If this same situation were to happen on a direct throw without the deflector touching the disc (extremely rare), it will be counted as a Deuce (2 points).
17.09 Disc Stuck in Goal Assembly
(a) If the disc is deflected and becomes stuck in the assembly of the goal for more than five seconds, this will count as a Dinger (1 point). For example, the disc is deflected and becomes stuck in between the assembly tabs.
(b) If this same situation were to happen on a direct throw without the deflector touching the disc (extremely rare), it will be counted as a Deuce (2 points).
(c) If the disc becomes stuck on a direct throw and falls into the goal unassisted in under five seconds, this will count as a Win Shot.
18.00 – Disputes
18.01 Any disputes over the score, rules, or a specific play should be resolved at the moment they occur. It is up to the players to call their own games. Players should voice their concern immediately when they feel a violation has occurred or there is a discrepancy in the outcome of a play.
(a) Violations or discrepancies must be brought up prior to the opposing team throwing the disc. If a violation is called out and the opposing team makes their throw after the call, the player that threw the disc will get an opportunity for a rethrow once teams have decided on a resolution of the previous play.
(b) If a call has been made that the opposing team does not agree with, all players should come together to discuss the dispute. Disputes cannot go unresolved; a decision must be made, even if that means arbitrarily flipping a disc to determine an outcome. Players are expected to follow the Spirit of the Game rule and not abuse disputes to their own advantage.
(c) In tournament play, if players are not able to come to an agreement on their own, they are allowed to seek the opinion of spectators, staff, or players not involved in the game. If it is a judgement call, players may seek the perspective of spectators or staff for additional opinions, provided they saw the play in question. In the Spirit of the Game, it is the responsibility of those spectators, staff, or other players to remain unbiased and honest. If they did not clearly see the play in question, they should not offer their perspective. In this case, it is still up to the teams to make a final decision after seeking outside assistance.
(d) If players still cannot make a final decision, then a staff member or official must be brought in to resolve the dispute. Should this be an ongoing issue for a particular series, then an official can officiate the series.
19.00 – Interference
19.01 If a player purposely interferes with play, they automatically forfeit the game, and the opposing team is declared the winner.
19.02 If it is incidental interference, teams will come to a mutual agreement if a rethrow should be warranted. This will happen mostly in tournament play where multiple courts are set up next to each other. It is not unusual to have players from adjacent courts running out to make a play on or near another court. If a player from another court is in the way, interference can be called and a rethrow is permitted.
19.03 There is no rethrow for things such as wind unless the entire goal itself blows away in the middle of a throw or a deflection. There is also no rethrow for a situation where a player jumps for a deflection and the disc hits a tree or other object.
PDFA Tournament Rules
20.00 – Divisions
20.01 Amateur: This is a division for Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 skill level teams. See Skill Levels. This is a great option to keep new or intermediate teams involved in the sport without having them play Pro teams. These teams will compete for trophies and/or prizes, depending on the tournament.
20.02 Pro: This is a division for Level 4, Level 5, and Level 6 skill level teams. Teams in this division will compete for payouts and trophies.
20.03 The divisions act as separate tournaments. Each division will have Pool Play and Bracket Play to determine a single winner. There is no crossover; teams will only compete within their own division for the entire tournament.
20.04 Teams can play in any division they qualify for or any higher-ranked division they prefer; however, Level 5 and Level 6 skill level teams will always play in the Pro division.
20.05 If teams want to test themselves, an Amateur team could enter the Pro division. Teams always have the option to play in a higher division.
20.06 Once a team accepts a monetary prize, that team is considered Pro for all future tournaments, and they must always compete in the Pro division moving forward.
(a) To avoid being classified as a Pro team for all future tournaments, Amateur teams playing in the Pro division may opt to decline cash payout should they place high enough. This allows teams that may have moved up for any reason to not get stuck playing in Pro for all future tournaments.
(b) Teams may also choose not to accept a monetary prize if they are not allowed to do so. For example, collegiate athletes or military restrictions.
20.07 PDFA and Tournament Directors reserve the right to determine if a team should be moved from one division to another based on prior results and PPR Ratings.
21.00 – Team Skill Assessment (TSA)
21.01 The TSA is a good way for two individuals to determine how they stack up as a team. They can determine their TSA by simulating game time situations during a practice session. The TSA only requires two players and one court set up. The TSA can be used to figure out in which division a team is best suited to play.
21.02 Teams will try to score exactly 21 points, without going over, in as few throws as possible. For purposes of the assessment, any Win Shots thrown should be counted as 2 points, as the assessment is only to determine how quickly a team can get to 21 points and is not about winning a game.
(a) One player should track number of throws while the other tracks total points scored.
(b) Teams are encouraged to attempt the TSA multiple times in varying weather conditions so that a more accurate average can be determined.
(c) Typical game play rules apply during this game simulation such as Going Over and a maximum of 8 rounds.
21.03 Based on the average number of throws to score 21 points, teams can determine which division to play in:
(a) Amateur: 13 or more throws
(b) Professional: 7 – 12 throws
22.00 – Skill Levels
22.01 As an alternate method to determining which division a team should compete in, teams can use the written descriptions of the skill levels below:
(a) Level 1: A team with little to no experience. At this level, players are unlikely to throw with accuracy, proper distance control, and often score 2 points or less per round. A round of 0 points is not unusual. Deflecting the disc often results in whiffs and carries. The disc usually does not go where the player intends. Teams in this division have no strategy.
Team Skills Assessment Total: 16 Throws (8 Rounds or 2.63 PPR or lower)
(b) Level 2: A team at this level has some distance control but still lacks consistent accuracy. Level 2 teams are further along in development than Level 1, and typically score 3 points or less per round. Throwing is likely to be stronger than deflecting. A round of 0 still may occur, but it is less likely. A team at this skill level knows basic strategy only.
Team Skills Assessment Total: 15 Throws (7.5 Rounds or 2.80 PPR)
(c) Level 3: A team with reasonable accuracy who still misses deflections and throws. A team at this level should be looking to progress by improving strategy and deflections. A round score of under 4 is likely half the time.
Team Skills Assessment Total: 13 – 14 Throws (6.5 – 7 Rounds or 3.00 – 3.23 PPR)
(d) Level 4: A team with the ability to throw and deflect fairly well but does not always do so. They can look like a Level 5 at times, but they may struggle in subsequent games to duplicate such a high level of play. These teams almost always get points on every throw. Teams at this level know some strategy.
Team Skills Assessment Total: 11 – 12 Throws (5.5 – 6 Rounds or 3.50 – 3.82 PPR)
(e) Level 5: A team at this level is consistent with their throwing and deflecting skills. They almost always score 4 points or more each round, and 6-point rounds are likely half the time. Teams at this level know strategy and use it to their advantage.
Team Skills Assessment Total: 9 – 10 Throws (4.5 – 5 Rounds or 4.20 – 4.67 PPR)
(f) Level 6: This team is at the very top of the sport. Throwing and deflecting is very consistent, and these teams often score 6 points per round with ease. Teamwork and strategy help these teams win more often than not, and perfect games can be common.
Team Skills Assessment Total: 7 – 8 Throws (3.5 – 4 Rounds or 5.25 – 6.00 PPR)
22.02 Based on the Level descriptions above, teams can determine which division to play in:
(a) Amateur: Levels 1 – 3
(b) Professional: Levels 4 – 6
23.00 – Team Registration
23.01 Tournament Directors will host their own team registration for each event. Teams will need to register for the event prior to showing up. Prior to opening registration to the public, Tournament Directors will decide the parameters for the following items:
(a) The cap on number of teams
(b) Which divisions are offered
(c) The schedule for the day
(d) The last day to register
(e) Team entry fees
(1) Tournament Directors reserve the right for entry fees to be the same for all teams or to vary between divisions, offer early bird discounts, or increased prices for later registrations.
(f) Refund policy and refund cutoff date
(g) Prizes and trophies
(h) The number of payout places and payout percentages
23.02 Waivers – Tournament Directors shall have all players and staff complete an event waiver.
23.03 Divisions – PDFA sanctioned tournaments can offer Amateur, Pro, or both divisions for tournament play. When teams register, they will choose which division they want to compete in, should multiple divisions be available. See Divisions for the recommendations for each skill level.
23.04 Registration should close no more than three days prior to an event.
23.05 Team entry fees
(a) Local Tournaments – minimum $20.00 per team, recommended $30.00+ per team.
(b) Regional Tournaments – minimum of $40.00 per team, recommended $50.00+ per team.
(c) Major Tournaments – minimum of $50.00 per team, recommended $60.00+ per team.
(a) Refunds should be offered up to one day before an event, but the cutoff date shall not be more than three days prior.
(b) Teams that do not show up or contact a Tournament Director prior to the set cutoff date will not be provided a refund.
23.07 Team name guidelines
(a) When teams register, they will enter or select a team name for the tournament.
(b) Team names shall be limited to 32 characters or less in length, including spaces.
(c) Team names shall consist of only letters and/or numbers, no special characters.
(d) Team names shall not include any offensive or vulgar language or any trademarked names, brands, or words.
(e) Team names cannot be duplicated within a single tournament, regardless of division.
(f) Tournament Directors reserve the right to request teams to change their team name, if necessary.
(g) PDFA has final say on team names.
23.08 Team name usage across multiple tournaments
(a) Teams consisting of the same two players across multiple tournaments are expected to use the exact same team name.
(b) If team names vary, statistics and result tables will not be accurate and will not calculate or show totals under one common team name. This includes legacy statistics and results prior to 2021.
(c) Once a team has won a regional or major tournament, their team name must stay exactly the same for any future tournaments. This includes legacy statistics and results prior to 2021.
23.09 Combining divisions
(a) Tournament Directors should make the decision to combine or not combine divisions the day after registration closes.
(b) Decisions may have to be made at the tournament due to teams who do not show or cannot make it last minute.
(c) For local and regional tournaments, the minimum number of teams needed to fulfill a division is four; however, six teams or more is recommended.
(d) For major tournaments, the minimum number of teams needed to fulfill a division is six; however, eight or more is recommended.
(e) If an Amateur division does not meet team minimum requirements, teams can elect to receive a refund or move up to the Pro Division.
(1) If a team chooses to receive a refund, this means they are no longer eligible to play in the tournament.
(f) If the Pro Division does not meet the minimum team requirements, the following actions can be taken:
(1) Tournament Directors can ask if any registered Amateur teams would like to move up to the Pro Division to meet the minimum requirements. Amateur teams would not have to accept payouts; however, if an Amateur team does accept payout, they will not be forced to play in the Pro Division moving forward, due to the extenuating circumstances.
(2) Pro teams can be issued a refund due to lack of teams. Pro teams cannot play down in an Amateur division in order to keep a tournament competitive and fair.
24.00 – Trophies, Prizes, & Payouts
24.01 Trophies and Prizes
(a) Trophies and prizes shall be awarded to each player on teams that reach a qualified finishing position and shall not be a shared item per team.
(b) Trophies shall be awarded to first place at a minimum for each division. If tournament budget allows, second and third place trophies can be awarded as well.
(1) Local Tournaments – minimum trophy value of $10.00 per person for first place ($20.00 value per team). If second and third place trophies are offered, minimum trophy value of $5.00 per person ($10.00 value per team).
(2) Regional Tournaments – minimum trophy value of $12.00 per person for first place ($24.00 value per team). If second and third place trophies are offered, minimum trophy value of $6.00 per person ($12.00 value per team).
(3) Major Tournaments – minimum trophy value of $16.00 per person for first place ($32.00 value per team). If second and third place trophies are offered, minimum trophy value of $8.00 per person ($16.00 value per team).
(c) Amateur Prizes shall be awarded to a minimum of first, second, and third place, but can be more if additional prizes are available.
(1) Local Tournaments – minimum prize value of $10.00 per person ($20.00 value per team) for third place and recommended to increase in value for higher placements if tournament budget allows.
(2) Regional Tournaments – minimum prize value of $12.00 per person ($24.00 value per team) for third place and recommended to increase in value for higher placements if tournament budget allows.
(3) Major Tournaments – minimum prize value of $15.00 per person ($30.00 value per team) for third place and recommended to increase in value for higher placements if tournament budget allows.
24.02 Pro Division Payouts
(a) Number of payout places shall be a minimum of three and can increase with larger tournaments.
(b) Payouts are generated from team entry fees. A minimum of 50% of Pro Division entry fees and 30% of Amateur Division entry fees will go toward Pro payouts.
25.00 – Event Check-In
25.01 Teams should be familiar with the tournament schedule and be sure to arrive and check-in on time.
(a) Teams will be sorted into pools, if necessary. Sorting cannot happen until teams have officially checked-in.
(b) Once teams are sorted into pools, late teams cannot be checked-in and will not be eligible to participate in the tournament.
(c) If a team knows they are going to be late due to circumstances out of their control, it will be important to notify the Tournament Director via phone call or text so that pool sorting can still happen.
(d) Teams that notify the Tournament Director they will be late but are on their way will still be sorted into a pool, and it will be their responsibility to complete all their games in the allotted time. No extra time will be given.
(e) Once the tournament begins, teams must play every game with the same partner.
26.00 – Scorecard & Stats Reporting
26.01 There will be one scorecard per game. Both teams shall use the same scorecard. The players tracking stats must both stand at the starting end during gameplay.
26.02 After The Hammer has been determined, but before gameplay begins, one person should fill out the following items: team number, team name, and player names. The player throwing first should be listed as Thrower 1 in their respective row on the scorecard. Thrower 2 is the player that throws second for each team. For examples, please see the Scorecards page.
26.03 Teams will track and log the results of their opponents for every throw of the game. For example, while Team A is throwing, Team B will track and log the results of each throw on the scorecard. Once a turn is complete, teams will switch roles; Team A will track and log while Team B is throwing.
26.04 The players filling out the scorecard are keeping track of stats and should not be responsible for communicating the overall score out loud. However, the scorecard can be used as a reference in case of any score discrepancies during gameplay.
26.05 The players on the pivot end should be responsible for communicating the overall score out loud during gameplay.
26.06 Upon completion of the game, one person shall fill out the bottom of the scorecard. Each category needs to be filled out accurately to ensure each team is getting the proper stats recorded. Most importantly, the correct Team Numbers must be entered in the corresponding Winning and Losing Team Number boxes. The categories are as follows:
(a) Division – Check AM or PRO
(b) Pool Letter
(c) Team Number
(d) Regulation Points – This is the total number of points scored during Regulation play by each team. This does not include overtime points.
(1) Win Shots do not count as points.
(2) If a Win Shot is thrown, the total number of points should reflect only the points that have been scored. For example, Team A has recorded 20 points, and Team B has recorded 5 points. Team B throws a Win Shot. Team B is the Winning Team and will record 5 points for this category while Team A is the Losing Team and will record 20 points for this category.
(e) Number of Regulation Throws – This is the number of throws for each team and may vary between teams. This does not include overtime throws. The following exceptions apply:
(1) If a team scores 21 points on the first throw of the round, the round is over and the throw back to the starting end does not count as a throw.
(2) Win Shots do not count toward the total number of Regulation throws.
(3) Once a Win Shot is thrown, no more throws are counted for either team for that round; if a team is trying to match the Win Shot, those throws do not count for points and therefore do not count towards the throw total.
(f) Perfect Game – If a Perfect Game is thrown, check Yes. If the game was not perfect, check No or leave category blank.
(g) Overtime – Check YES if the game went into overtime. Check No if the game did not go into overtime or leave category blank.
(h) Win Shot – If a Win Shot is thrown, mark either Win Slot or Win Top depending on how the disc entered the goal and mark which player threw the Win Shot. There is a possibility that multiple Win Shots are thrown in a single game, and each Win Shot should be marked accordingly.
26.07 Should there be a discrepancy in the stats, the teams will need to reconcile prior to turning in the scorecard. Once the scorecard is turned in, results are official and cannot be reversed.
26.08 The winning team shall turn the scorecard in to the scorer’s table immediately upon completion of a single game and prior to starting a new game.
26.09 Bracket Play Booklets
(a) For Bracket Play, multi-game series will be played and scorecard booklets will be used to track all games.
(b) Instead of a Team Number, a Seed Number shall be entered.
(c) Pools have been combined into one bracket, so a Pool Letter will not need to be entered.
(d) Teams should fill out the totals at the conclusion of each game prior to the start of the next. It is highly recommended that thrower names are filled in for each game as throwing order may change and the team with The Hammer may also change.
(e) Once the next game has been started, results of the prior game cannot be disputed or reversed. If there is a discrepancy, teams should reconcile this prior to the start of the next game.
(f) At the conclusion of the series, teams shall fill out the front of the booklet, and the winning team shall hand it in.
27.00 – Points Per Round (PPR) Rating
27.01 PPR rating is an assessment of a team’s performance in an individual game as well as overall in a tournament.
27.02 In addition, PPR will be one of the tiebreaker methods used in tournaments, and provides teams with an assessment of what division they should be playing in based on their average PPR.
27.03 PPR is based on a scale from 0.00 to 6.00. This is calculated by taking the total number of points scored in Regulation only and dividing this by the total number of throws in Regulation. This total is then multiplied by two (since there are two throws per round in a game) to provide a PPR rating.
(a) For example, if a team lost a game and scored 15 points in 10 Regulation throws, their PPR for that game would be 3.00 (15/10 = 1.50 x 2 = 3.00).
27.04 The PPR rating for a team is even more valuable when looking at their average PPR in a tournament, as this provides an easy-to-understand number to assess their level of play.
27.05 Since PPR will be one of the tiebreaker methods, it puts more emphasis on scoring on every throw to increase the rating. This can affect team strategy. In some cases, teams will purposely catch an errant throw to stay on a certain number, but this will negatively impact the PPR rating in doing so. However, it is ultimately the goal to still win games as that is the first item in ranking teams. Teams will still need to think about what strategy is best.
27.06 Scenarios in Regulation where a throw is not counted towards PPR:
(a) If a team gets to 21 on the first throw of a round, their turn is over. The toss back to the starting end does not count as a throw and will not impact PPR.
(b) If a Win Shot is thrown, that shot itself is not counted as a throw. The PPR is based on total score. Since a Win Shot is not worth points, when one is tossed it does not register as a throw, otherwise it would negatively impact the PPR.
(c) Once a Win Shot is tossed, no additional throws will be counted by either team that round, including Redemption (if applicable).
(1) If Team A throws a Win Shot on the first throw of a round, their turn is over and the toss back to the starting end does not count.
(2) Also, in this same situation, Team B’s Redemption attempts do not count as throws, as these are only attempts at matching a Win Shot. Since they cannot score points on these throws, it would not impact PPR.
27.07 The greatest benefit of the PPR rating is that a team’s rating cannot be affected if a game ends early due to a Win Shot, as PPR is based on that team’s total number of throws.
(a) For example, Team A throws a Win Shot in Round 1 of a game. Since Team B did not register a throw, as their Redemption attempts do not count, they wouldn’t have a PPR rating for that game. In a tournament with multiple games, this individual game does not negatively impact their overall PPR.
28.00 – Tournament Format
28.01 All PDFA sanctioned tournaments will follow a basic format consisting of pool play games to qualify for a seed and an elimination bracket in best-of series. Each division will have their own individual tournament.
28.02 Pool Play
(a) All teams, regardless of division, are guaranteed to play at least 7 games in pool play.
(b) PDFA recommends pool play of approximately 8 to 12 games. The actual number will range anywhere from 7 to 14 games. The number of games will be determined by the Tournament Director depending on the total number of teams or pools, timeframe, number of courts, and weather.
(c) Generally, pool play is recommended for a maximum of two hours.
(d) Schedule – Since games are usually 10 minutes or less, there is no need to implement a schedule for pool play games. Instead, teams are responsible for completing all their games in the allotted time by finding their pool teams within their designated court range.
(e) Tournament Directors will communicate whether pool matches will be 1-game, 2-game, 3-game, or 4-game matches. In most cases, pool play will consist of one game against every opponent in the pool.
(f) Tournament Directors will be responsible for communicating which teams are in which pools, and on which courts each pool should be playing. Courts should be clearly marked to help teams find where they should be playing.
(g) Those with limited time slots or space can implement timed games. For example, teams are scheduled to play their pool games from 2:00 pm to 2:30 pm, then the next group comes in at 2:30 pm to 3:00 pm.
(h) All teams must complete their pool play games within the timeframe designated. Any pool play games not completed will not count toward a team’s overall record and PPR (points per round) rating.
(i) Players will be responsible for tracking which teams they have played; Tournament Directors will hand out team cards to help track opponents. These cards do not need to be handed in and will not count for any standings; they are solely a reference.
(j) In the event a team leaves the tournament early, all their games will not be counted, including prior games either won or lost. The Tournament Director will need to make the correction to all previously played games.
(k) Even though there will be a manageable number of games played, in the rare event a team is unable to complete all of their games due to some extenuating circumstances (such as weather), it will be up to the discretion of the Tournament Director to have those teams complete their games during the lunch break.
28.03 Seeding & Tiebreakers
(a) After the conclusion of pool play, teams will have a short break. At this time, divisional seeds are finalized.
(b) Teams are ranked first within their own pool and seeded accordingly based on the following:
(1) Total number of wins
(2) Head-to-head record
(3) Head-to-head PPR Rating among tied teams
(4) PPR Rating for all pool games
(5) 1-round shootout, if time permits, otherwise random assignment as determined by Tournament Director. Shootouts will be extremely rare, as almost every tie will be broken by PPR Rating in (3) and (4) above. A shootout is the equivalent of playing one round of overtime. See section (c) below for shootout format.
(c) If a shootout is needed, it will need to be overseen by an official or staff member. All teams in the tie will complete the shootout on the same court. There will be a disc flip to decide the order. Team A will complete one round of throws. Then Team B will complete one round of throws, and so on. Teams in the tie are then ranked based on their total score in the shootout. Win Shots are counted as 10 points. If tied, play proceeds another round (like overtime) until every team outscores the other(s).
(d) In the event of multiple pools within a division, seeds are combined to create one pool in that division for bracket play based on the following:
(1) Teams are first seeded based on their pool rank. For example, if there are three total pools in a division, the three #1 ranked teams are seeded #1, #2, and #3.
(2) Teams with the same rank are broken by best overall PPR Rating.
(3) If still tied, a 1-round shootout will occur if time permits; otherwise, random assignment shall be used.
(e) If the number of teams across multiple pools is uneven, the lowest seed(s) are grouped with the next level up and ties are broken by PPR Rating.
(1) For example, there are three pools in the Pro Division: Pool A (10 teams), Pool B (10 teams), and Pool C (9 teams). The #10 ranked teams in Pool A and B are grouped with all the #9 ranked teams. Within this group, the ties are broken by PPR.
28.04 Bracket Play
(a) Since each division is a separate tournament, there will be a bracket created for each division.
(b) The Tournament Director will announce all bracket matches and where teams will play.
(c) The higher seed from each matchup will need to get a bracket series booklet to track stats. See Scorecards & Stat Reporting for how to fill out the booklet.
(d) Bracket matches are all best-of series. All series will either be best-of-3, best-of-5, or best-of-7 game series. The Tournament Director will set the exact format and announce the length of the series prior to each round of the bracket.
(e) Depending on the total number of teams, there could be bye teams for the first round of the bracket.
(f) The top seed will face the bottom seed throughout the bracket until one team remains. This is not a straight bracket. Discflect utilizes a reseed bracket structure. For example:
#1 vs #8: Winning team is #1 seed
#2 vs #7: Winning team is #2 seed
#3 vs #6: Winning team is #6 seed
#4 vs #5: Winning team is #4 seed
#1 seed vs #6 seed
#2 seed vs #4 seed
29.00 – Overall Tournament Standings
29.01 Each division will have their own standings.
29.02 Overall tournament ranks are based on how far teams make it in Bracket Play for their division.
29.03 The two teams knocked out in the Semi-Finals will play a one game tie-breaker to determine 3rd place. If one of the teams chooses not to play this game, they will forfeit their position and drop to 4th place.
29.04 For the remaining teams 5th place and lower, teams knocked out in the same round will have ties automatically broken by their Division Seed to determine final standings.
30.00 – Distribution of Payouts, Prizes, and Trophies
30.01 Teams competing in the Pro Division will have the ability to earn payouts, while teams competing in the Amateur Divisions can earn prizes. The payout amounts and prizes will be posted by the Tournament Director once the tournament commences.
30.02 The number of teams that earn payouts or prizes will be determined by the Tournament Director. This shall be based on the total number of teams competing in the division.
30.03 At the conclusion of the tournament, the Tournament Director will announce the top teams and overall ranks, including those that made the cut to earn payouts or prizes.
30.04 If a team chooses not to play the 3rd Place tiebreaker game, they will forfeit the 3rd place payout/prizes and trophies, which will then be awarded to the other team. In this case, the 4th place payout/prizes (if applicable) will be evenly distributed among the top three teams.
30.05 If a team declines a payout, the money that would have been awarded to that team will instead be distributed evenly among the other payout teams.
(a) Any trophies or non-cash prizes should still be awarded to the team that declined the payout.
31.00 – Weather and Suspension of Play
31.01 Tournaments will be played in all weather conditions and players should come prepared to play. However, player safety is always a top priority and Tournament Directors can modify the format, suspend play, or cancel a tournament as deemed necessary.
31.02 Lightning Rule
(a) If thunder is heard, lightning is seen, or a computer/app shows that lightning has struck within 10 miles, Tournament Directors should suspend play.
(b) If play is suspended, all players, staff, spectators, vendors, and other personnel should leave the field and seek shelter in vehicles or the nearest enclosed building.
(c) Tournament Directors will monitor the conditions and wait at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder or lightning strike within 10 miles before resuming the tournament.
(d) Once it is deemed safe to proceed, Tournament Directors will communicate when to resume play.
31.03 If the Tournament Director announces suspension of play in the middle of a game, teams will mark on their scorecard where they left off and can resume the game once tournament play resumes.
31.04 Tournament Directors should make every effort to finish the tournament as games can be played in rain, wind, or non-ideal conditions.
31.05 It is highly encouraged for tournaments to be completed on the same day; however, some very rare circumstances may require a secondary date.
31.06 Pool Play must be completed in some capacity in order to determine seeds for Bracket Play. Tournament Directors have the following options to complete Pool Play after suspending play for designated period of time:
(a) If venue and schedule allows, extend the length of the tournament and pickup where Pool Play left off.
(b) During the break, Tournament Directors assess how many games have been completed. If time no longer allows to finish the tournament as scheduled, then remainder of Pool Play games can have a cap of four rounds instead of eight.
(c) If more time is still needed, Bracket Play can be modified by any of the following options:
(1) Shorten the length of each round by reducing to best-of-3 or best-of-5 series as needed. In extreme cases, this could be reduced to just one game.
(2) Reduce the total number of teams that make the bracket in order to have less bracket rounds.
31.07 If Pool Play has been completed and the Tournament Director determines that Bracket Play cannot be continued or completed due to weather or lack of a secondary date, then Tournament Directors can award payouts, trophies, and prizes based on Bracket Play seeding at the time the tournament is called.
31.08 If Pool Play and Bracket Play cannot be completed due to extenuating circumstances, the tournament will not be considered official, and no tournament results or statistics will count.
32.00 – Tournament Officials: Requirements & Responsibilities
32.01 Potential officials are required to take a test to become certified to run a sanctioned discflect tournament.
32.02 A tournament official should be viewed as a rules expert first and is not expected to officiate any particular game during any portion of a tournament, unless otherwise requested by a Tournament Director.
32.03 Officials should be used as support for questions about rules and general gameplay, but due to the number of games being played at one time, will not be able or expected to oversee all games.
32.04 Once tournaments enter Bracket Play, officials can oversee a series in a more official capacity, but teams are still expected to call their own games as explained in the Spirit of the Game section.
32.05 Tournament Directors reserve the right to have an official oversee or officiate any game or series deemed necessary. This official should primarily be considered a backup, as teams will still be expected to call their own games, but can be helpful when disputes continue to arise or remain unresolved.
32.06 Officials are not responsible for keeping score for any particular game during any portion of a tournament.
32.07 Officials will be responsible for the following:
(a) Knowledgeable of the PDFA Official Rules of Discflect
(b) Knowledgeable of the PDFA Tournament Rules
(c) Knowledgeable of the tournament parameters that have been set by the Tournament Director.
(d) Maintain impartiality toward all teams/players.
32.08 While officials are not required to run a tournament, it highly encouraged to adhere to the guidelines set for each tournament type:
(a) Local – Tournament Director is expected to be familiar with all rules, so a dedicated official is not likely needed.
(b) Regional – Minimum of one official recommended. Additional officials encouraged, if available.
(c) Major – Minimum of two officials recommended. Additional officials encouraged, if available.
33.00 – Code of Conduct
(a) All tournament players must be familiar with and follow all PDFA Official Rules of Discflect and PDFA Tournament Rules.
(b) Players, staff, and spectators are expected to act professionally at all times. Tournament Directors reserve the right to ask any player, staff, or spectator to leave if it has been determined they are a disruption to the tournament.
(c) PDFA reserves the right to ban players, staff, or spectators from any future events if Tournament Directors have lodged a complaint and the disruptive behavior is determined to be detrimental to an event.
(a) A warning will be issued by the Tournament Director if a player, team, spectator, or staff fails to follow proper Spirit of the Game etiquette or displays unprofessional conduct including, but not limited to:
(2) Excessive use of vulgar language
(3) Arguing with other players, officials, or staff
(4) Consumption of alcohol at events where prohibited
(b) If a second warning must be issued, the Tournament Director reserve the right to ask a team, spectator, or staff member to leave. If a player or team has been asked to leave, they will forfeit the rest of their games. If a player or team refuses to leave, local authorities should be contacted.
(c) Damage of Property – If an individual purposely causes damage to any tournament equipment, items owned by Tournament Directors, items owned by other players, or venue property, they will be asked to leave the event, thus forfeiting the rest of their games. Legal action may be taken.
(d) Misconduct – Use of illegal drugs and physical attacks will not be tolerated. If an individual is in violation of either, they will be asked to leave, and legal action may be taken.
(e) Tournament Directors reserve the right to make all final decisions. Warnings do not have to be issued if a Tournament Director feels the action is severe enough to warrant ejection. Tournament Directors can ask a player, spectator, or staff member to leave immediately.
33.03 Dress Code
(a) The following dress code for all teams will be enforced by the Tournament Director at all PDFA sanctioned tournaments:
(1) All competitors and staff are required to wear a shirt or jersey. Teams are encouraged to wear matching shirts or jerseys.
(2) All competitors and staff are required to wear shoes or other foot coverings.
(3) No ripped shirts, shorts, or pants.
(4) No offensive, profane, or obscene slogans or logos shall be allowed on any clothing. Players may also not wear slogans or logos related to tobacco or drugs. If the event is alcohol-free, this includes alcoholic slogans or logos as well.
(b) This dress code will be in effect from start to finish at each event, including all Bracket Play rounds and the conclusion of awards distribution.
(c) For a game or series that is being recorded or covered by a media outlet, players will be required to have team shirts or jerseys. PDFA will provide PDFA team jerseys should teams not already have their own. This will typically only apply in the final rounds of Bracket Play.
(d) Teams that have been eliminated but choose to stay to watch the conclusion of the tournament will be considered spectators and no longer required to follow the dress code. Teams may be asked to put their shirts or jerseys back on for photographs and awards distribution.
(e) Tournament Directors reserve the right to request teams to change their shirts or jerseys should they be deemed not appropriate for media content.
(a) All teams and staff understand and agree that PDFA, media outlets, and tournament staff may record video and photography of their participation in a tournament.
(b) Teams should be aware that media may be present and may request an interview during a tournament.
(c) Media personnel should refrain from interviewing a player or team if they decline an interview and should be mindful of time restrictions during Pool Play. Teams should not be asked for an interview during any ongoing series.
(a) Alcoholic sponsors will not be permitted if the tournament is an alcohol-free event.
(b) Marketing material shall not contain any offensive, profane, or obscene slogans or logos and shall not refer to tobacco or drugs.
(c) Individual teams can also be sponsored; however, the rules above apply to team shirts, jerseys, or any other attire. This also include flying discs.
(d) Marketing material shall not obstruct or impede the field of play in any way.
(a) Tournament Directors reserve the right to refuse site access to any vendor at their discretion.
(b) Vendors will be responsible to obtain any required permits or insurance certificates as requested by Tournament Directors or Host Venues at their own expense.
(c) Vendor merchandise may not contain alcohol at alcohol-prohibited tournaments.
(d) Vendor merchandise may not contain tobacco or drug paraphernalia of any kind.
(e) Tournament Directors reserve the right to ask vendors to leave if they are not in compliance with these guidelines.
34.00 – Tournament Directors: Requirements & Responsibilities
34.01 Anyone that wants to host a tournament can be a Tournament Director; they are the heart and soul of growing the sport of discflect. Tournament Directors will be a big part of bringing discflect to new cities and expanding the community.
34.02 PDFA recommends Tournament Directors establish a local club, consisting of multiple members to help them manage and run tournaments. This will help with balancing the duties and responsibilities needed to host a tournament.
34.03 While a club can be considered the host of a tournament, one person should have the title and act as Tournament Director. This person will make all final decisions, as well as oversee all planning and execution for the tournament.
34.04 Tournament Directors should have the following skills and qualifications:
(a) Be an expert in all discflect rules, including PDFA Official Rules of Discflect and PDFA Tournament Rules.
(b) Have good communication skills.
(1) Social media: Help grow a discflect community in their area, promote PDFA and discflect, and promote tournaments. Use social channels as a way to stay in communication with players.
(2) Email: This will be an important form of communication from tournament teams and players, especially when dealing with team registrations.
(3) Day-of announcements, including welcoming teams to the tournament, going over basic rules and expectations, letting teams know where they are playing and which pool they are in, schedule for the day, when each portion of the tournament starts or stops, and awarding prizes and trophies.
(c) People management skills
(1) Tournaments are much easier to host with a team of people helping; Tournament Directors should be able to delegate tasks for planning and organizing a tournament as well as day-of operations.
(d) Technical and computer skills
(1) Knowledge of Excel – Tournament tools provided by PDFA are Excel files. They are simple to use and do a lot of the work behind the scenes, but a Tournament Director should be comfortable working with an Excel file.
(2) Tournament Registration – This will need to be hosted online in some fashion. There are many options for hosting registration, so a Tournament Director can choose what they are most comfortable with.
(e) Decision-making skills
(1) Tournament Directors should be comfortable with making decisions to plan and organize their event including date, location, team limits, etc.
(2) They may also have to make decisions on the day of the tournament such as whether to combine divisions or if play needs to be suspended due to weather.
(f) Financial skills
(1) Tournament Directors should be organized to track numerous budget items including registration fees, cost of prizes and trophies, and sanction fees.
(2) Tournament Directors will also be responsible for awarding payouts to top finishing teams.
34.05 Tournament Directors can also participate, depending on the type of tournament.
(a) Local – Tournament Directors can play; however, hosting duties should take precedence.
(b) Regional – Tournament Directors are encouraged not to play. Hosting duties will require a lot of attention and some practice or playing time may need to be sacrificed. However, if the right plan is in place, and there are enough volunteers available to help, a Tournament Director could conceivably play. There should still be one non-playing person dedicated to delegating tasks to volunteers and acting as Game Day Tournament Director.
(c) Major – Tournament Directors cannot play in the tournament. The hosting duties will be too significant; playing would distract from running an efficient and successful tournament.
34.06 Each tournament will need a dedicated, non-playing scorekeeper who is entering completed scorecards as they are handed in. This could also be the Tournament Director.
34.07 Request to change rules for tournaments:
(a) All sanctioned tournaments shall follow the official PDFA rules and standard tournament format. If a Tournament Director would like to modify the rules or format for their tournament, they can submit a request to PDFA to change a particular rule. PDFA reserves the right to approve or decline this request.
34.08 Sanctioning Agreement
(a) Tournament Directors are required to complete a sanctioning agreement during their preplanning process. This agreement will include the following information:
(1) Date, time, location of tournament.
(2) Type of tournament: local, regional, or major.
(b) This sanctioning agreement will also require that Tournament Directors will:
(1) Abide by all PDFA Official Rules of Discflect and PDFA Tournament Rules.
(2) Follow PDFA official tournament format.
(3) Make every effort to host the tournament and not cancel unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances.
(4) Obtain necessary insurance policy as required.
(5) Communicate with teams as needed, including but not limited to date, location, registration fees, refund policy, prizes, and trophies.
(6) Send the tournament Excel file with results and standings to PDFA within 48 hours of the conclusion of the tournament.
(7) Pay any sanction fees owed to PDFA in order for results to be published.
APPX A – Summary of Changes
- Court end, starting end, and pivot end terminology added throughout.
- Equipment – Flying Discs – Added parameters for media covered games or series.
- Gameplay – Update to hands free when deflecting.
- Points & Scoring – Instant Win term changed to Win Shot (WS).
- Regulation – Clarification regarding what happens when Team A has lower score after Round 8.
- Regulation – Rule change: Once 21 is reached exactly, turn is over and teams cannot be penalized for going over on a return throw.
- Redemption Rule – New rule introduced to provide both teams equal opportunity to win a game in both Regulation and Overtime in regards to throwing a Win Shot.
- Throwing – Pace of Play further clarification.
- Scoring Unique Plays – Into the Slot and Out of the Goal – Rewording for clearer understanding.
- Scoring Unique Plays – Goal Falls Over on a Win Shot or a Deflection – Cleaned up section.
- Disputes – Further clarification on responsibility for teams to resolve disputes and what to do if they cannot be decided.
- Divisions – Changed to simpler structure consisting of Amateur and Pro divisions.
- Team Skill Assessment (TSA) – Changed format of this self-assessment practice to match up with new PPR rating.
- Skill Levels – Simplified Skill Levels and updated to reflect TSA and PPR rating.
- Tournament Registration – Simplified refund expectations.
- Tournament Registration – Combining divisions – Adjusted minimum requirements for divisions.
- Trophies, Prizes, & Payouts – Adjusted minimum and recommended values.
- Scorecard & Stats Reporting – Updated to reflect tracking throws instead of rounds for PPR stat and additional WS possibility.
- Points Per Round (PPR) Rating – After analyzing data from 2021, the Game Rating stat has been replaced by Points Per Round Rating. Introduced new stat and how it works.
- Seeding & Tiebreakers – Updated to reflect new tiebreakers based on PPR.
- Overall Tournament Standings – Added 3rd Place tiebreaker game based on prior results and feedback.
- Distribution of Payouts, Prizes, & Trophies – Added rules for teams that forfeit 3rd place tiebreaker game.
- Weather and Suspension of Play – Added Lightning rule and further guidelines if tournament is suspended due to weather.
- Tournament Officials: Requirements & Responsibilities – Corrected rules requiring officials due to Spirit of the Game expectations.
- Code of Conduct – Dress Code – Added dress code requirements for media-covered games/series.
- Official Rules of Discflect & Tournament Rules published.
- Order of Play – Starting end rule added.
- Release Rule – Updated to eliminate shorter 40-foot release line option.
- Perfect Game – Updated to include overtime.
- Throwing – Changed from arm extension at front of goal to foot fault.
- Original rules published to include all scoring scenarios not previously included in basic rules.
- Interference – Updated to forfeit in the event of interference done purposely.
APPX B – Copyright
Full copyright of these rules and any iteration of its contents is reserved by PDFA. Copyright © 2022 PDFA.
All rights reserved. No portion of these rules may be reproduced in any form without permission from PDFA. For permissions email, [email protected].