Rule 11 - Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Person, Animal or Object; Deliberate Actions to Affect Ball in Motion

Purpose of Rule: Rule 11 covers what to do if your ball in motion hits a person, animal, equipment or anything else on the course. When this happens accidentally, there is no penalty and you normally must accept the result, whether favourable or not, and play the ball from where it comes to rest. Rule 11 also restricts you from deliberately taking actions to affect where any ball in motion might come to rest.

This Rule applies any time your ball in playIn Play: The status of your ball when it lies on the course and is being used in the play of a hole. is in motion (whether after a strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball. or otherwise), except when your ball has been droppedDrop: To hold the ball and let go of it so that it falls through the air, with the intent for the ball to be in play. Each relief Rule identifies a specific relief area where your ball must be dropped and come to rest. in a relief areaRelief Area: The area where you must drop a ball when taking relief under a Rule. Each relief Rule requires you to use a specific relief area whose size and location are based on these three factors: and has not yet come to rest. That situation is covered by Rule 14.3.

11.1  Your Ball in Motion Accidentally Hits Person or Outside Influence

a. No Penalty to Any Player

If your ball in motion accidentally hits any person or outside influenceOutside Influence: Any of these people or things that can affect what happens to your ball or equipment or to the course:, including you, any other player or any of your caddiesCaddie: Someone who helps you during a round to carry, transport or handle your clubs and/or give you advice. A caddie may also help you in other ways allowed by the Rules (see Rule 10.3b). or equipmentEquipment: Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie., there is no penalty to any player.

Exception – Ball Played on Putting Green in Stroke Play: If your ball in motion hits another ball at rest on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). and both balls were on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). before your strokeStroke: The forward movement of your club made to strike the ball., you get the general penaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play. (two penalty strokes).

b. Ball Must Be Played as It Lies

If your ball in motion accidentally hits any person or outside influenceOutside Influence: Any of these people or things that can affect what happens to your ball or equipment or to the course:, your ball must be played as it lies, except in two situations:

Exception 1 – When Your Ball Played from Anywhere Except Putting Green Comes to Rest on Any Person, Animal or Moving Outside Influence.

Exception 2 – When Your Ball Played from Putting Green Accidentally Hits Any Person, Animal or Movable Obstruction (Including Another Ball in Motion) on Putting Green.

 For more information on these two Exceptions.

Penalty for Playing Incorrectly SubstitutedSubstitute: To change the ball you are using to play a hole by having another ball become your ball in play. Ball or Playing Ball from a Wrong PlaceWrong Place: Any place on the course other than where you are required or allowed to play your ball under the Rules. in Breach of Rule 11.1: General PenaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play..

11.2  Ball in Motion Deliberately Deflected or Stopped by Person

If a ball in motion has been deliberately deflected or stopped by a player or if it hits equipmentEquipment: Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie. that has been deliberately positioned, there is normally a penalty and the ball must not be played as it lies.

 For information on where to play a ball that has been deliberately deflected or stopped and whether any penalty applies.

11.3  Deliberately Moving Objects or Altering Conditions to Affect Ball in Motion

While a ball is in motion, you must not deliberately alter physical conditions or lift or move a loose impedimentLoose Impediment: Any unattached natural object such as: or movable obstructionMovable Obstruction: An obstruction that can be moved with reasonable effort and without damaging the obstruction or the course. to affect where the ball might come to rest.

Exception – You may move a removed flagstickFlagstick: A movable pole provided by the Committee that is placed in the hole to show you where the hole is., a ball at rest on the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). or any other player’s equipmentEquipment: Anything used, worn, held or carried by you or your caddie. Objects used for the care of the course, such as rakes, are equipment only while they are being held or carried by you or your caddie. (other than a ball at rest anywhere except the putting greenPutting Green: The area on the hole you are playing that is specially prepared for putting, or the Committee has defined as the putting green (such as when a temporary green is used). or a ball-markerBall-Marker: An artificial object when used to mark the spot of your ball to be lifted, such as a tee, a coin, an object made to be a ball-marker or another small piece of equipment. anywhere on the courseCourse: The entire area of play within the edge of any boundaries set by the Committee. The boundary edge extends both up above the ground and down below the ground.).

Penalty for Breach of Rule 11.3: General PenaltyGeneral Penalty: Loss of hole in match play or two penalty strokes in stroke play..