If a player’s ball at rest might have moved but this is not “known or virtually certain”, it is treated as not having moved and must be played as it lies.
But if the ball has moved, the “known or virtually certain” standard will also apply to all questions of fact about why a ball at rest moved. This means it must be at least 95% certain that:
The weight of the evidence test under the current Rules is often difficult to apply in ball moved situations:
Using the “known or virtually certain” standard will fit well with the new Rule 13.2 that will eliminate the penalty for accidentally causing a ball to move on the putting green:
This Rule change also means that only the single standard of “known or virtually certain” will be used for all ball moved questions, rather than the situation under the current Rules where different standards apply in deciding whether an outside influence moved a ball or whether the player or opponent did so.
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