Tuesday, May 31, 2011

9.2.6.1.2 Injury—Referees will only call off a jam in the case of a serious injury or an injury that could endanger another skater.

Today's rule is a subrule of:

9.2.6.1 A referee may call off a jam for any of the following reasons:

It is important to note that this rule says "may" call off a jam, not "must" call off. Calling off a jam due to an injury is not a requirement. There are situations where a jam may continue even if a skater from the jam is injured. If the injured skater has been able to return to their team's bench, the jam may continue. If the injured skater is in the outside ref lane but has moved out of the way of any refs or skaters, the jam may continue. If the injured skater is in the infield but has moved out of the way of refs, skaters and officials, the jam may continue. These are not all the situations, but just examples of when the referees may not call of a jam due to an injured skater. Of course, any time a skater is injured and the referees don't call off the jam, they are taking the chance that the skater who is injured is not seriously hurt and needing medical attention. There are times when a skater may receive medical attention from the EMTs without requiring the jam to be called off, but usually that isn't the case if the skater is in the outside ref lane, and especially not if she is in the infield. 

Many may ask why a referee would not want to call off a jam if a skater is injured. It is because of the requirement that skaters who have had a jam called because of injury must sit for three jams. There are times when a skater gets the wind knocked out of her and she needs more than a few seconds to get back up, and calling off a jam because of her may affect her team if she was supposed to skate in any of the next three jams. Of course, safety is the priority for referees and if they determine a skater injured and call off a jam because of her, they are doing so in the interest of the safety of everyone on the track. While it is ok for referees to try not to jump the gun and call off a jam as soon as a skater goes down and doesn't immediately get up, they are duty bound by their position to call off the jam if they believe a skater is injured and the safety of the jam is compromised. 

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