The state of California may have a free and easy reputation, but something as harmless as a little game of frisbee is now punishable by a fine.
In a country that prides itself on the pursuit of liberty, pitching a frisbee at a pal on the beaches of LA County could see you slapped with a $100 (63) penalty.
All balls, except volleyballs, are also forbidden on pain of the same penalty, and children digging a hole anything deeper than 18in could also land their parents in trouble.
The bans have been imposed on the same beaches where the iconic TV series Baywatch was filmed, following pressure from real-life lifeguards.
'Our beaches are very popular', LA County's Carol Baker told Sky News. 'This is simply about keeping them safe.'
Between 50 and 70 million visitors swarm the county's beaches each year.
Authorities say the new beach rules are a rationalisation of a decades-old blanket ban on flying projectiles and they will apply only to the months between May and September.
Instead, ball sports and frisbees will be permitted in designated areas.
'Lifeguards are concerned about people being trampled while sunbathing', Ms Baker added.
The new decree covers hole-digging because of safety concerns, according to officials.
'Sand is very volatile,' said Ms Baker, citing incidents where deep holes have collapsed endangering children, and caused problems for lifeguards travelling across beaches in rescue vehicles.
But the news has provoked outrage on news websites.
Some speculate the rules are designed to raise money for a cash-strapped local authority, while others fume about the imposition of gratuitous rules by overzealous government and the demise of American freedoms.
The story seems to illustrate the well-worn maxim that America is a free country – as long as you obey all the rules.
California to fine frisbee throwers