Tuesday, April 5, 2011

‎6.13 ILLEGAL PROCEDURES Technical infractions that give the offending team an advantage but do not necessarily impact a specific opponent.

I thought it a good idea to post the definition of Illegal Procedures as found in Section 6. A lot of times I have heard people try to use Illegal Procedures as a sort of “catch all” for things they know are penalties, but don’t fit in a particular section. Prior to this rule set where stopped blocks were put in the Direction of Gameplay section, I had heard it argued that stopped blocks should be called as Illegal Procedures, since they were illegal and didn’t fit anywhere else. This is not the case with Illegal procedures.

The definition above is very clear. Illegal Procedure penalties are to be given when a team commits a technical infraction that gives them an advantage over their opponent, that doesn’t necessarily impact a particular opponent. The inclusion of “necessarily” is important here. Examples of Illegal Procedures are attempting to call or successfully calling off the jam when not Lead Jammer, false starts, violations of the Star Pass procedure, reentering the track from the penalty box in front of pack skaters, etc. Some of these are an advantage for one skater/team without impacting a particular opponent. Illegal Star Passes don’t impact an opponent, but they give the offending team an advantage. Attempting to call off, or successfully calling off a jam when not Lead Jammer seems to impact the opposing Jammer, but it really impacts the whole opposing team. Other Illegal Procedures, like too many skaters on the track, improper uniform, or penalized skaters who leave the penalty box during timeouts, impact the opposing team as a whole.

Where the inclusion of “necessarily” comes in is when an Illegal Procedure impacts a particular opponent, but are still appropriately Illegal Procedure penalties. A skater who returns to the track from the penalty box, or after addressing an equipment malfunction mid-jam, in front of one or more pack skaters will be impacting the skater(s) they reentered in front of. False starting skaters, such as non-Pivot Blockers who are lined up at the jam start whistle in front of the hips of a Pivot Blocker who is on the line will be gaining an advantage over that Pivot. Other Illegal Procedures, such as engaging an opponent before the first whistle, or illegally blocking a star pass, impact a particular opponent.

What is to be remembered about Illegal Procedures, as well, is that they are “technical infractions” which means they are penalties for actions that break the rules, but not in such as a way as caused by contact (except in the case of engaging before the first whistle), or skating out of bounds (such as Cutting The Track or Skating Out Of Bounds penalties). The Illegal Procedure section is very extensive, and should be sufficient to cover the included examples and like situations. The rest of the rules sections have been altered in such a way that Illegal Procedures should no longer need to be used as a “catch all” for infractions that don’t seem to fit anywhere else.