Official Rules of Footbag Sports

Article I - General

Article I - General

Outline of Contents

  • 103.01 Comments
  • 103.02 Gender
  • 103.03 Rule Changes
  • 105.01 Entry
  • 105.02 Tournament Director
  • 106.01 Open Division
  • 106.02 Women's Division
  • 106.03 Novice Division
  • 106.04 Intermediate Division
  • 106.05 Under-Twelve Division
  • 106.06 Junior Division
  • 106.07 Master Division
  • 106.08 Grand Master Division
  • 106.09 Senior Grand Master Division
  • 106.10 Suspension of Classification
  • 106.11 Choice of Divisions
  • 107.01 Footbag Specifications
  • 109.01 Making Protest
  • 109.02 Upholding Protest
  • 109.03 Denial of Protest:
  • 109.04 Effect on Protesting Player
  • 109.05 Sanction
  • 110.01 Tournament Director Discretion
  • 110.02 Effect on Potential Records
  • 111.01 Publication
  • 111.02 Inspection

101. IFC Rules

The International Footbag Committee (IFC) is organized and exists as a committee within the non-profit corporation, International Footbag Players' Association (IFPA), Inc. The IFC, as a committee of IFPA, shall devise, publish, and enforce specific rules of play for each sport or event. These rules shall be set forth in separate Articles with each Article setting forth rules for a specific event or set of related events.

102. Spirit of the Rules

Footbag sports have traditionally relied upon a spirit of sportsmanship which places the responsibility of fair play on the players themselves. Highly competitive and committed play is encouraged, but never at the expense of the bond of mutual respect between players, adherence to the agreed upon rules of any event, nor the basic enjoyment of play. Protection of these vital elements serves to eliminate adverse conduct from the playing field. The responsibility for the maintenance of this spirit rests on each player's shoulders.

103. Construction of the Rules

Any rule set forth in Articles II through V shall be construed in accordance with the purpose for the rule, in a manner of consistency and fairness, exercising substance over form, with due regard to the spirit and gamesmanship fundamental to footbag sports as set forth in section 102 of Article I herein.

103.01. Comments 

To facilitate understanding and comprehension of the rules of footbag play, a comment discussing the event appears at the beginning of the set of rules pertaining to that event. The comment shall not be considered a rule. However, it may be used as an aid in interpretation of the actual rules.

103.02. Gender 

Wherever used in the rules, the use of any gender shall be applicable to both genders.

103.03. Rule Changes 

Suggestions for rule changes or additions concerning specific events are to be made to the appropriate IFC event committees. Proposals concerning general rule considerations may be made directly to the IFC Rules Committee. All event committees shall submit their proposed rule documents for the coming season before the annual meeting. The Rules Committee shall then review the proposed rules, and through communication with the event committees, assemble the rule book for the coming season. Individual rule changes shall be discussed and voted on during the annual IFC meeting held in late July or early August. New rules and rule changes must be voted in no later than November 30 of the year preceding their effective date.7 New rules and rule changes shall be effective commencing January 1.

104. Event Sanctioning Authority

The IFC and IFPA may grant or revoke authorization for other organizations or entities to sanction footbag events. IFPA and IFC are currently the only official authorized sanctioning bodies. Sanctioning information is available from IFPA Sanctioning committee and at www.footbag.org.

105. Tournaments

Players shall compete in one or more of the footbag events at tournaments organized or sanctioned by the IFC or by a nation or person who is a member of the IFC.

105.01. Entry 

To qualify for entry in a tournament, a player shall pay the entry fee set by the tournament director.

105.02. Tournament Director 

The tournament shall be under the management and control of a tournament director who shall oversee the entire tournament, appoint officials and delegate duties and responsibilities to said officials and other tournament personnel, interpret the rules of play when necessary, settle disputes as they arise, perform any other acts and duties required by the IFC rules, and otherwise insure that the tournament is conducted in an efficient, professional, consistent and fair manner.

106. Classification of Players

To promote fair competition, players shall be classified based upon age, sex and ability level, and compete against other players of a like classification, or, at their discretion, in the open field of players. The following classifications shall be used:

106.01. Open Division 

All players who do not qualify for any other division or choose not to compete in any other division. In a prize-money event, this division may be labeled Open Professional.

106.02. Women's Division 

Available only to female players. The women's division may be further subdivided into junior, intermediate, master, grand master, or senior grand master divisions, depending upon the number of female players who would qualify for said divisions.

106.03. Novice Division 

Available to players who have not competed in another tournament or are considered beginning players.

106.04. Intermediate Division 

Available to players with some tournament experience but who are not at the level of play in the Open division.

106.05. Under-Twelve Division 

Available to players who will not reach their 12th birthday in the year the tournament is held.

106.06. Junior Division 

Available to players who will not reach their 18th birthday in the year the tournament is held.

106.07. Master Division 

Available to players who have reached their 35th birthday, but will not reach their 45th birthday in the year the tournament is held.

106.08. Grand Master Division 

Available to players who have reached their 45th birthday, but will not reach their 55th birthday in the year the tournament is held.

106.09. Senior Grand Master Division 

Available to players who will reach their 55th birthday in the year the tournament is held.

106.10. Suspension of Classification 

A tournament director may suspend one or more of the divisions for a given tournament if fewer than 5 persons at a tournament qualify for that division. The tournament director may choose to use the Novice and Intermediate divisions instead of some other divisions. If a division is suspended, the players who would have qualified for that division shall compete in another division in which they qualify, or the open division.

106.11. Choice of Divisions 

If a player qualifies for more than one division, he shall choose which division he shall compete in prior to the start of play, and shall not compete in any other division throughout the duration of the tournament, subject to tournament director discretion. In practice this rule is applied to each category of footbag sport independently, where category means net, freestyle, golf or consecutive. That is, if a player competes in Open Team Freestyle, they cannot compete in Intermediate Singles Freestyle. However, that same individual might compete in Intermediate Net.

107.01. Footbag Specifications 

To be used in competition, footbags must:
A. Be approximately spherical in shape;
B. Have a soft, pliable covering; they cannot be rigid balls;
C. Contain loose filling of any material; and
D. Be subject to the following size and weight restrictions:
      1. Diameter of footbag: Minimum: 2.54cm (1.0 inches); Maximum: 6.35cm (2.5 inches)
      2. Weight of footbag: Minimum: 20g (0.71 ounces); Maximum: 70g (2.47 ounces)

108. Disqualifications

A tournament director may disqualify a player from any event or from the entire tournament whenever that player exhibits violent, obscene, abusive, disruptive, destructive, or illegal behavior, is continually annoying to other players, cheats, or otherwise attempts to create an unfair advantage for himself or disadvantage for others through a circumvention of the rules, or otherwise causes substantial hardship, inconvenience, or annoyance to spectators, officials, or other players. This rule shall not supersede, alter or in any way affect the rules of disqualification relating to specific events as set forth in Articles II through V herein, but shall be considered a supplement or addition to those specific rules.

109.01. Making Protest 

Whenever a footbag player chooses to challenge a decision made by a tournament director or official or a result entered at a tournament, he shall file a written protest to the IFC, or an official designated by the IFC to handle protests, within 10 days of the occurrence giving rise to the dispute. The protest shall be reviewed and either upheld, dismissed or held in abeyance pending investigation, at the discretion of the IFC or its designated official. An investigation may include interviewing any or all individuals with personal knowledge of the circumstances involved in the dispute, or conducting a hearing, if deemed necessary. A decision shall be made without undue delay with the results of the decision being served upon the tournament director in question and the protesting player. All decisions are final and are not appealable.

109.02. Upholding Protest 

The IFC or designated official shall uphold a protest whenever it is established, by clear and convincing evidence, that the tournament director or other tournament official intentionally or knowingly:
A. falsified tournament results;
B. improperly aided or made calls or decisions for the purpose of giving unfair advantage or disadvantage to one or more players;
C. improperly impeded the play of a player, whether physically or by calls or decisions, to the benefit of one or more other players;
D. disqualified a player from play without cause;
E. otherwise performed any act designed to create an unfair advantage or disadvantage to one or more players;
F. accepted a bribe or other remuneration from a player or other person in exchange for performing any acts set forth in (A) through (E) herein.

109.03. Denial of Protest: 

The IFC or other designated official shall deny any protest which has as its subject matter any of the following:
A. a call or decision made by a tournament director or other official when a call or decision was made in good faith, regardless of the outcome;
B. a call or decision made by a tournament director or other official when the call or decision resulted in an unfair advantage (or disadvantage), being created when the advantage (or disadvantage) created was not the motivating reason for the call or decision;
C. any act committed by a player. Improper acts of a player shall be treated at the tournament level.

109.04. Effect on Protesting Player 

If a protest is upheld, IFC or other designated officials shall, if possible, attempt to put the protesting player in the position he would have been in were it not for the circumstances leading to the protest.

109.05. Sanction 

If a protest is upheld, IFC or other designated official may sanction the offending tournament director, tournament official or other persons in the manner and to the extent deemed appropriate. Possible sanctions may include but are not limited to: disqualification of a player retroactive to the tournament in question; suspension of a player, tournament director or other official for a defined or indefinite period of time; barring of a player from tournament play or affiliation, or the stripping of a title or record if the title or record was achieved as a result of improper conduct leading to the protest.

110.01. Tournament Director Discretion 

A tournament director shall have the discretion to suspend or change one or more of the rules set forth in Article II through V herein or an additional rule not set forth, if applying the rules as set forth would be impractical, cumbersome or impossible, or would unduly create a significant advantage or disadvantage for one or more players, providing the suspension, alteration or addition occurs prior to the start of the tournament, will not unduly prejudice other players and is made known to all players prior to the start of a tournament. The tournament director shall set forth in his report to the IFC any suspension, alteration or addition of rules and the reasons for said action.

110.02. Effect on Potential Records 

A suspension, alteration or addition of any rule as set forth in section 110.01 may be cause for the IFC or other sanctioning body to refuse recognition of a record set or tied at a tournament, if the rule change was a factor to any degree in the record being set.

111.01. Publication 

The IFC rules shall be published and appear in a book, pamphlet or other printed material. The effective date of the rules shall be conspicuously noted on the initial page or cover of said printed edition.

111.02. Inspection 

A copy of the IFC rules, then in effect, shall be present for inspection by any player upon request at any IFPA-sanctioned tournament. A player may request a copy of the rules for his own use and shall be provided with same upon receipt of the request by the IFPA or its agent and upon payment of a nominal fee as set by the IFPA.
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