Out of bounds

berniethebolt

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(2) When Ball Is Out of Bounds.
A ball at rest is out of bounds only when all of it is outside the boundary edge of the course.

A ball is in bounds when any part of the ball:
  • Lies on or touches the ground or anything else .... inside the boundary edge, or ....
The ball was on the white line marking the out of bounds but part of it was overhanging the course side. The player claimed it was in bounds according to the first sentence above as part of it was was not outside the boundary edge.
No said a fellow player, it is out of bounds as according to the second part above no part of the ball was lying on or touching the ground inside the boundary edge.
The diagrams explaining the situation in the rules do not seem to cover this situation.
As it was a 'friendly' game he was allowed to treat it as in bounds but was this the correct decision?
 

Steven Rules

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The ball was in bounds.

You have missed a key element in quoting 18.2a(2) which has allowed an element of uncertainty and confusion to creep in:

(2) When Ball Is Out of Bounds. A ball at rest is out of bounds only when all of it is outside the boundary edge of the course.
A ball is in bounds when any part of the ball:
Lies on or touches the ground or anything else (such as any natural or artificial object) inside the boundary edge, or
Is above the boundary edge or any other part of the course.


Also, for good measure from the Defintions:

The boundary edge of the course extends both up above the ground and down below the ground
......
When defined by a painted line on the ground, the boundary edge is the course-side edge of the line, and the line itself is out of bounds.
 

salfordlad

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As Steven notes, in your case of "ball overhanging the course", there is no question - that ball is in bounds.

However, the words in the book do lend themselves to different interpretations. Specifically, the question that divides some experienced and knowledgeable rules people is: "My ball, mostly outside the boundary edge, is touching the boundary edge. Is my ball on the course?" Some folk argue yes, it is in bounds. However, the USGA has advised the ball is not in bounds unless it crosses the boundary edge, that is, the boundary edge itself is not on the course. Here's a published Q/A (complete with typos in the question) advising this:

Question-if my ball come to rest on out of bound line with no part of the ball is touching the fairway, is my ball consider OB?

USGA RESPONSE

The OB edge is essentially a vertical plane that extends above and below the ground based on the course-side edge of that OB line. If any part of the ball breaks that plane onto the course, then it is on the course - regardless of whether the ball is touching the ground at the point it breaks that plane. If no part of the ball is inside the boundary edge then it is OB.
 

berniethebolt

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Once you have pointed out the full wording of the rule then the situation became quite clear and obvious. But I must say that it is hard to see how the second part adds anything but potential confusion to the first - as happened in the incident I posted. Surely A ball at rest is out of bounds only when all of it is outside the boundary edge of the course is quite definitive. The definition of Out of Bounds states that the boundary edge extends vertically up and down.
Also you quote "My ball, mostly outside the boundary edge, is touching the boundary edge. Is my ball on the course?" If the ball is "mostly" outside the boundary edge then some of it must be "inside" the boundary edge and is therefore surely in bounds. If it is touching the boundary edge then it is not inside the boundary edge.
 

salfordlad

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Once you have pointed out the full wording of the rule then the situation became quite clear and obvious. But I must say that it is hard to see how the second part adds anything but potential confusion to the first - as happened in the incident I posted. Surely A ball at rest is out of bounds only when all of it is outside the boundary edge of the course is quite definitive. The definition of Out of Bounds states that the boundary edge extends vertically up and down.
Also you quote "My ball, mostly outside the boundary edge, is touching the boundary edge. Is my ball on the course?" If the ball is "mostly" outside the boundary edge then some of it must be "inside" the boundary edge and is therefore surely in bounds. If it is touching the boundary edge then it is not inside the boundary edge.
The words "mostly outside the boundary edge" were only intended to mean from the outside but you have - reasonably - read them in a way I did not intend. My bad.

So make the question "My ball is touching the boundary edge, is it on the course?" and some folk believe that ball, unambiguously, is on the course when it is touching the edge. And the published words of 18.2b(2) do not exclude that interpretation (see second bullet point) for a ball touching the course 'from the outside'. But the USGA advice does. And because obscure USGA advice is not as accessible as the published words, a debate continues. The problem, IMO, is those two bullet points in 18.2b(2) do not appear to be internally consistent.
 
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berniethebolt

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The words "mostly outside the boundary edge" were only intended to mean from the outside but you have - reasonably - read them in a way I did not intend. My bad.

So make the question "My ball is touching the boundary edge, is it on the course?" and some folk believe that ball, unambiguously, is on the course when it is touching the edge. And the published words of 18.2b(2) do not exclude that interpretation (see second bullet point) for a ball touching the course 'from the outside'. But the USGA advice does. And because obscure USGA advice is not as accessible as the published words, a debate continues. The problem, IMO, is those two bullet points in 18.2b(2) do not appear to be internally consistent.
Indeed hence my suggestion that the first statement is, on its own, definitive - "outside the boundary edge" clearly does not include "on the boundary edge". But dare I suggest that consideration of a ball "touching the boundary edge" is splitting hairs. One can talk about a tangent "touching a circle" but that is a mathematical concept not involving an actual measurement. I wonder how the boundary edge could be marked with sufficient accuracy that such a measurement could be sensibly made and if so what equipment would be employed. If the boundary is the line between posts yards apart then the situation is ridiculously impossible and if it is a painted white line then which blade of grass would be used - millimetres matter! Still, splitting hairs is what makes this forum so fascinating.
 

rulie

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Indeed hence my suggestion that the first statement is, on its own, definitive - "outside the boundary edge" clearly does not include "on the boundary edge". But dare I suggest that consideration of a ball "touching the boundary edge" is splitting hairs. One can talk about a tangent "touching a circle" but that is a mathematical concept not involving an actual measurement. I wonder how the boundary edge could be marked with sufficient accuracy that such a measurement could be sensibly made and if so what equipment would be employed. If the boundary is the line between posts yards apart then the situation is ridiculously impossible and if it is a painted white line then which blade of grass would be used - millimetres matter! Still, splitting hairs is what makes this forum so fascinating.
If the field (versus in cyberspace, as here, and in textbooks), and there is doubt, I use a monofilament fishing line from post to post, and have never had a problem.
 

rulie

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On the Rules Course I attended, fishing line was also recommended as an item in your bag!

I smiled initially then saw what he meant
Some people had suggested dental floss, but I find getting the floss back in the container difficult, so I opted for a fishing reel with 100 yards of line - more than enough and re-usable.
 

Colin L

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My (still unused) solution is the nylon line for a strimmer. Only because I had needed about 20 cms replacement for my strimmer and had to buy a reel of the stuff. If I say half a kilometre it would be an exaggeration but there's a fair length of it which sits in my refereeing bag, waiting for its day in the sun.
 
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jim8flog

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My (still unused) solution is the nylon line for a trimmer. Only because I had needed about 20 cms replacement for my trimmer and had to buy a reel of the stuff. If I say half a kilometre it would be an exaggeration but there's a fair length of it which sits in my refereeing bag, waiting for its day in the sun.
Where I play you would need the full strimmer to find the bottom of the posts.

As it seems we are all about gadgets these days what about a laser sighter.
 
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