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Even observers can cheat

Before one of our games at Potlatch today, I talked to a player who is trained to be an observer for games played during the UPA Club Championship Series.

Observers are persons trained in how to watch ultimate in order to dispute calls during a game if requested. The "if requested" is important, as ultimate is still a player refereed game: players make active calls, not referees. The observers are potential referees, in as much as they will settle disputes between two players, but they usually just watch (observe) the game.

Because they settle disputes between players, observers have to know the rules really well. They also know the little tiny nuances of the game, as well as the quite esoteric, but legitimate, interpretations of the rules. In the end, they interpret the rules the way the UPA would interpret them.

The observer and I were talking about fouls on the thrower, and I learned a bit about how various situatuions which are fouls, and some that aren't, but seem as if they should be. It was an interesting discussion.

Later, we played against the team the obsever was playing on. She was defending against me, and behind me when a call was made as I was streaking across the endzone in an open cut for the score.

When I say open, I mean open. I was about three yards or so in front of her when I recognized the call was made. I hadn't seen her the entire point (as she was behind me the whole time), and didn't realize she was my defender until I stopped and turned around to look.

As required by the rules (10th edition and fair play), I started jogging back the way I had run in order to move back to where I was when the call was made. I knew about where I should be standing, but not exactly, so as a courtesy, I asked her about where I should be.

The woman indicated where she thought I was when she recognized the call. I moved to the spot she indicated and watched in dumb-founded amazement as she positioned herself one step in front of me.

In. Front. Of. Me.

My first thought was, "HEY! No freakin' way!"

My second thought was, "Eh. Doesn't matter. I'll still outrun her when the disc comes in."

I was very careful not to move before the disc was tapped back into play (which would be a violation, causing play to stop again), and exploded towards the sideline when play did start.

My third thought as I caught the disc?

"Hmph. Even observers can cheat."