USGA Quiz Question (Ref# 689)

tadabq

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Welcome to the forum tadabq!

I agree there were a number of inaccuracies in earlier posts. But Steven's post at #5 got it precisely right.

There are lots of words in your post but I appreciate you are offering broader explanation and I think it will be useful for many readers. I would, though, like to add two observations that relate to a couple of the issues you raise in the part of your post I have copied above.

You provided some intuitive explanation for the "why" of an S&D penalty, but I note the player had no intention of taking S&D here, rather, as the player proceeded under an inapplicable rule and was not aware of the position of the original ball at the time, the Committee allocates Rule 18.1 (S&D) to the process and this is the observation I wanted to add - it is a Committee action rather than player choice. I'm sure you are fully alert to this, but other readers may not be. And we have an official explanation of this process - for those so motivated, refer to Committee Procedures 6C(8), it is an incredibly important part of the Official Guide to the Rules (and is accessible in the app) and the fourth bullet point of this reference provides the official line on why S&D needs to be allocated. I also understand that the Ruling Bodies have a current workstream in place that will see the 6C(8) guidance reviewed and extended, for inclusion in the next (2027) reworking of the Rule book.

My other comment relates to your words above that are bolded. In fact, the original ball became a wrong ball the instant the substituted ball, when dropped, left the player's hand (rather than when the dropped ball was played). Prior to the dropped ball being played, it was possible for the player to correct their error without penalty (courtesy of Rule 14.5) but that possibility was lost when the player played the substituted ball.
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I agree Steven's post #5 is good.
It is somewhat true that the original ball became a wrong ball the instant the substituted ball left the player's hand. However, it is more like the original ball became a
ball in "limbo" (my terminology). After dropping, the original ball (although technically a wrong ball) is eligible to become the ball in play if done to correct the mistake and within the 3 minutes. So it's not exactly a wrong ball because it has the potential to become the ball in play. In fact, as identified in Scenario B, it can potentially become the ball in play with NO PENALTY. Once the dropped ball was played, the original ball was out of limbo and not only a wrong ball but no potential to become the ball in play with or without penalty. That's why I identified that at the time the dropped ball was played playing the original ball was a wrong ball. The "limbo" phrase is my own but certainly the Rules identify the possibility of a ball being indeterminant between "in play" and "wrong ball". Using the dichotomous concept of "ball in play" vs "wrong ball" is fraught with problems because there are balls that are of indeterminant status depending upon what subsequently happens. I freely admit I don't fully understand all of the nuances and potential situations for balls of indeterminant status and tried to avoid that topic when discussing this rules situation. I've also heard several times this issue is being discussed for change in 2027 Rules.
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salfordlad

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I agree Steven's post #5 is good.
It is somewhat true that the original ball became a wrong ball the instant the substituted ball left the player's hand. However, it is more like the original ball became a
ball in "limbo" (my terminology). After dropping, the original ball (although technically a wrong ball) is eligible to become the ball in play if done to correct the mistake and within the 3 minutes. So it's not exactly a wrong ball because it has the potential to become the ball in play. In fact, as identified in Scenario B, it can potentially become the ball in play with NO PENALTY. Once the dropped ball was played, the original ball was out of limbo and not only a wrong ball but no potential to become the ball in play with or without penalty. That's why I identified that at the time the dropped ball was played playing the original ball was a wrong ball. The "limbo" phrase is my own but certainly the Rules identify the possibility of a ball being indeterminant between "in play" and "wrong ball". Using the dichotomous concept of "ball in play" vs "wrong ball" is fraught with problems because there are balls that are of indeterminant status depending upon what subsequently happens. I freely admit I don't fully understand all of the nuances and potential situations for balls of indeterminant status and tried to avoid that topic when discussing this rules situation. I've also heard several times this issue is being discussed for change in 2027 Rules.
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That is not the way I think of "indeterminant" status. While correctly identifying status of the ball depends on having all necessary facts, I think status at a given point in time represents only the facts up that point. And it is of great value to a player to understand that subsequent actions can change that status in an instant. Your "in limbo", in my mind, is awareness that the current status may have a very short shelf life.
 

rulie

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There are only four states that the ball can occupy: in play, substituted, lost, wrong ball. The ball can move from one to the other frequently, eg, a player's ball in play laying on the putting green is marked and lifted, while the ball is in the player's hands it is not in play and is a wrong ball. It becomes the ball in play when it is replaced with the intent for it to be in play.
A ball not in play is a wrong ball. Further, a player can only have one ball in play at any time.
 

Colin L

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Does the act of picking it up and dropping it before hitting it negate it from being a wrong ball?
Exactly. . If you find a ball and play it thinking it is yours, it does not become your ball in play. Your original ball remains in play and the ball you played is a wrong ball. if you realise your mistake you have to find and play your original ball.

If you think a ball is yours and lift it to take relief, it is your ball in play when you drop or place it and your original ball is thus out of play. But before you play the substituted ball, you can correct your error.
 
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