No.69 Ball Assisting/Interfering with Play

Question 1:
In singles stroke play, player A is chipping from off the putting green and his fellow competitor, B's ball is near the hole in a position to serve as a backstop. If A requests B not to lift his ball and B leaves it there what is the ruling?
a) Neither player incurs a penalty.
b) A incurs a penalty of two strokes
c) Both A and B incur a penalty of two strokes
d) Both A and B are disqualified.

Question 2:
In the above circumstances, if A plays his ball without anyone referring to the fact that B's ball is in a position that could assist him, has any Rule been breached?

Question 3:
In the above photo, if the two balls belonged to four-ball partners in match play could their opponents request that the ball behind the hole be lifted, as it could assist the player chipping from off the green.

Answer 1:
d) Both A and B are disqualified.

Note: If A and B agree not to lift a ball that might assist A, both players are disqualified under Rule 22-1. Decision 22/6.

Answer 2:


Note: The disqualification penalty can only be applied if the Committee determines that competitors have agreed not to lift a ball that might assist any competitor. Rule 22-1.

Answer 3:

Yes. Rule 22-1b.

Note: Except when a ball is in motion; if a player considers that a ball might assist any other player, he may lift the ball if it is his ball, or have any other ball lifted.


Question 4:
Two balls lie on the apron of the putting green. Without being asked A marks and lifts his ball because he thinks it might interfere with B's stroke. What is the ruling?

Answer 4:

A was not entitled to lift his ball and incurred a penalty of one stroke in both stroke play and match play.

Note 1 to Rule 22-2 states;
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.
Another 'Rhodes Rules School' Q&A will follow next week,
Good golfing,
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