After a media flurry, the LA county supervisor would like to clarify: It's fine to toss around a Frisbee or a football on local beaches—"as long as you do it responsibly." Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky writes at his blog that county officials were "baffled" that an overhaul of beach rules was "widely misinterpreted" to mean that anyone caught with a Frisbee would be fined $1,000. Sample confusion: A TV station's report is headlined "LA County OKs Hefty Fine For Throwing Football, Frisbee on Beaches," while a Los Angeles Times headline says, "Ball playing, Frisbee tossing now allowed on L.A. County beaches."
The Times had it right: As it turns out, Frisbees and footballs already were outlawed “to prohibit some knucklehead from acting like an idiot on the beach," explains the county beach chief. The new rules actually spelled out that Frisbees and footballs would be allowed under certain situations, "basically, in the off-season, or with a permit or permission from the lifeguard," writes Yaroslavsky. But it boils down to this: Nobody's going to get a fine for tossing a Frisbee or a ball among friends, at any time. People who repeatedly chuck them into summer crowds or disobey a lifeguard's direct orders to stop might get fined—but it would be $100, not $1,000.