Monday, June 27, 2011

‎6.1.2 Any contact to the back of an opponent that forces the receiving opposing skater off balance, forward, and/or sideways, but does not cause her to lose her relative position.

Blocking To The Back (or Back Blocking) has been discussed a little bit before. Previously there was a lot of discussion regarding the Back Blocking major. Today's rule, however, is the minor Back Blocking description. Just as with the other contact penalties, if a skater is affected by an illegal Back Blocking action and her skating stance is altered but not her relative position, then it is a minor penalty.

I do want to take this time to rediscuss what makes something an illegal Back Blocking action. Basically, if a skater initiates contact to another skater in an illegal target zone on the back of their body, between the shoulders and mid thighs, then that contact is Back Blocking. The legal and illegal target zones are quite clear in Figure 2 - Legal Target Zones.

The pink shaded areas are legal target zones and the white areas are illegal. As can be seen, the shoulder and part of the back behind the shoulder are legal target zones. Even if a skater comes from behind, if she makes contact with the pink shaded area of an opponent it is considered legal contact and not Back Blocking. Lately I have personally seen a lot of overcalling of Back Blocking penalties in games I have reffed or watched. A lot of times what really is happening is a skater makes contact to a legal target zone of an opponent from behind but ends up pushing the skater forward with her hands or forearms. While target zone comes before blocking zone in the hierarchy of calls in Appendix A, if there is no contact to an illegal target zone then the call in those situations should be illegal Use of Hands/Forearms, not Back Blocking.