Sunday, May 15, 2011

Immediately - The first legal opportunity in which a skater may complete an action.

For today's rule I chose the definition of "immediately" from Section 11, the Glossary. A lot of people have made many remarks as to different metrics for judging penalties, for example using a 3 second rule for out of play skaters to return to the Engagement Zone before they get a major penalty. In fact, there are only two defined times used in the rules that determine when an action becomes a penalty, or becomes a major rather than a minor. The 3 second rule used by some is understandably confused as common because it does exist twice in the rules: a skater will get a minor Use of Forearms and Hands for extended touching of an opponent more than 3 seconds; and skaters may receive a major Multiple-Player Block penalty, rather than a minor, if a multi-player block lasts more than 3 seconds. Other than those two instances, the only other defined time limit that exists in the rules is "immediately."

The difficulty with immediately is that one would imagine immediately, in the rules, would mean what immediately means in the dictionary, which is right away. This is not true for the rules, which is why immediately has been defined in the Glossary. Immediately, for the sake of the rules, means "at the first legal opportunity." This means that if a skater is unable to correct an illegal action without committing another illegal action then they may wait until thy may do so legally. An example of this may be a Blocker out of play ahead of the Engagement Zone, who, once warned of their out of play status, is unable to return to play without engaging the opposing Jammer. So long as the out of play Blocker doesn't make any effort to engage, but waits until the Jammer is no longer in her way of returning to play, and then does so when she is able, she has satisfied the "at the first legal opportunity" portion of the definition of immediately. This is but one example. Several rules in Section 6, and in other parts of the rules require skaters to correct actions immediately.