Thursday, April 21, 2011

6.1 BLOCKING TO THE BACK Hitting an opponent in the back of the torso, back of the legs, or back of the booty is prohibited (see Section 5.2.2 for Illegal Target Zones). Hitting an opponent with a legal blocking zone into a legal target zone while positioned behind said opponent is not blocking to the back and is not illegal.

Today I want to cover Blocking to the Back, or as it is more commonly known, Back Blocking (which is also its verbal cue). Too many times I have heard refs and skater, and even fans, say that any contact to an opponent from behind is Back Blocking. This is very untrue. I can only assume this is why the name of the rule section was changed to “Blocking to the Back” from “Back Blocking and Blocking from Behind.” The old title may have been confusing people. The thing about Back Blocking is that beyond the words of the rule, which outline the areas in which a skater may not be blocked, it references a diagram which clearly shows where a skater may and may not be hit.

The diagram linked above is the Legal Target Zones diagram from the WFTDA rules. The pink shaded parts of the body are the areas where a skater may legally be hit. The areas that are not shaded are areas where a hit on a skater will be considered illegal. The middle figure in the diagram, which shows the backside of a skater, is what is pertinent to Back Blocking. Any hit to skater that is between the pink lines, and also above the thighs and below the shoulders, is a Back Block. If it is a hit below the pink area, it will become a Low Block, and a hit above the pink area will become a High Block.