THE INTEGRITY RULE
The ref’s call is final, and arguing could result in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. However, if the player is arguing against themselves, then it’s encouraged. In other words, players can actually overrule a ref’s call if the call was in their favor.
Sportsmanship is fundamental to ultimate, and the integrity rule enables players to promote fairness while fiercely competing.
You may wonder if this rule is ever invoked. After all, subtle cheating is part of many sports, and blatant cheating is casually accepted in certain circumstances (hack-a-shaq, anyone?). The integrity rule clearly fits perfectly into the traditions of ultimate, but some wonder if such sportsmanship can exist with money and pride on the line. It can. In the second half of the AUDL Championship Weekend II Finals, the Toronto Rush called themselves out of bounds after a ref had signaled a score. It was a close game. Fifteen thousand dollars were on the line. Sportsmanship was on display.
Now you know the integrity rule, and remember that those players are ambassadors of ultimate, honest competitors, and good role models.
Check back later for more AUDL rules talk, and send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading,
AUDL Head Referee