Rule 22 - Ball Assisting or Interfering with Play

By: Barry Rhodes | Thu 06 Feb 2014 | Comments ()


Post from Barry Rhodes author of the book, ‘999 Questions on the Rules of Golf’.


Picking up a golf ballThere is often confusion between players as to when you may lift your ball, or have another player’s ball lifted, when it is assisting or interfering with play.

5 Questions to ask

Here are five questions with ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers to start you thinking about Rule 22.

  1. Do the Rules permit you to lift your ball through the green when you think that it is interfering with the play of a fellow competitor?
  2. Do the Rules permit you to lift your ball if you think that it is assisting the play of any other player?
  3. In stroke play, are you permitted to play your ball first rather than lift it at the request of another player?
  4. Are you permitted to clean your ball if a fellow competitor requires that you lift it from the fairway because it interferes with their intended stroke?
  5. Do you have to mark your ball before lifting it when you think that it may assist another player’s play, or when another player requires you to lift it because it interferes with their play?

Now check your answers with reference to Rule 22 (or scroll to the end of the Rule for the answers);

22-1. Ball Assisting Play

Except when a ball is in motion, if a player considers that a ball might assist any other player, he may:

a. Lift the ball if it is his ball; or
b. Have any other ball lifted.

A ball lifted under this Rule must be replaced (see Rule 20-3). The ball must not be cleaned, unless it lies on the putting green (see Rule 21).

In stroke play, a player required to lift his ball may play first rather than lift the ball.

In stroke play, if the Committee determines that competitors have agreed not to lift a ball that might assist any competitor, they are disqualified.

Note: When another ball is in motion, a ball that might influence the movement of the ball in motion must not be lifted.

22-2. Ball Interfering with Play

Except when a ball is in motion, if a player considers that another ball might interfere with his play, he may have it lifted.
A ball lifted under this Rule must be replaced (see Rule 20-3). The ball must not be cleaned, unless it lies on the putting green (see Rule 21).

In stroke play, a player required to lift his ball may play first rather than lift the ball.

Note 1: Except on the putting green, a player may not lift his ball solely because he considers that it might interfere with the play of another player. If a player lifts his ball without being asked to do so, he incurs a penalty of one stroke for a breach of Rule 18-2a, but there is no additional penalty under Rule 22.

Note 2: When another ball is in motion, a ball that might influence the movement of the ball in motion must not be lifted.

The relevant part of Rule 20-1 states;

A ball to be lifted under the Rules may be lifted by the player, his partner or another person authorized by the player. In any such case, the player is responsible for any breach of the Rules.

The position of the ball must be marked before it is lifted under a Rule that requires it to be replaced

Answers:

  1. No - Note 1 to Rule 22-2.
  2. Yes - Rule 22-1a.
  3. Yes - Rule 22-1.
  4. No - Rule 22-2.
  5. Yes - Rule 20-1.

To summarise the most important points of Rule 22:

  • If a player considers that a ball at rest might assist any other player they may mark and lift it if it is their ball, or have any other ball lifted.
  • A ball lifted under this Rule must be replaced and must not be cleaned unless it was on the putting green.
  • You may always ask for another player to lift their ball if you consider that it interferes with your play, either physically or mentally (Decision 22/1).
  • You may not lift your ball if you think that it may interfere with another player’s stroke unless it is on the putting green; it is up to the other player to ask for your ball to be marked if they think that it interferes.
  • Rule 22 is intended to cover situations where there is a reasonable possibility that one ball might assist or interfere with another ball. If the Rule is being abused, e.g. by a player repeatedly requesting that a ball that lies tens of yards away and not close to the hole be lifted, the Committee would be justified in penalising them for undue delay, Decision 22/3.
  • Rule 20-1 requires that the position of a ball must be marked before it is lifted under any Rule that requires it to be replaced; otherwise the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.

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Article from Barry Rhodes author of the book, ‘999 Questions on the Rules of Golf 2016’

Barry is author of the book, ‘999 More Questions on the Rules of Golf 2016’ and writes a regular blog of miscellaneous content on the rules of Golf at www.barryrhodes.com

 



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Barry Rhodes

Barry is author of the book, '999 Updated Questions on the Rules of Golf 2012 - 2015' and writes a regular blog of miscellaneous content on the rules of Golf at www.barryrhodes.com

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