Sunday, June 5, 2011

6.1.3 Any contact to the back of an opponent that forces the receiving opposing skater out of her established position. This includes forcing a skater down, out of bounds, or out of position.

Today’s rule is a major Blocking to the Back penalty, or more commonly known as Back Blocking. As covered in a previous Rule of the Day, Back Blocking is any contact to the back of an opponent in an illegal target zone. Legal (and illegal) target zones are shown in the rules in Figure 2 - Legal Target Zones (http://wftda.com/rules/20100526/figure/2.jpg). If a skater makes contact to the illegal target zone area on the back of an opponent, and the illegal contact forces the receiving skater down, out of bounds, or out of position, then it is major.

It must be noted, however, that the rule includes the phrase “forces the receiving opposing skater out of her established position.” What this means is that the receiving skater must have established her position on the track for the forced contact down, out of bounds, or out of position to be illegal. For an example, if a Jammer is skating on the track, and just before she reaches the pack a Blocker steps right into her path, and as a result the Jammer slams into the back of the Blocker knocking her down, the Jammer will not receive a Back Blocking major, since the Blocker had not established her position. She had tried to gain a new position by moving on the track to a position in front of the Jammer, but unless the Blocker’s new position was established enough for the Jammer to adjust her path/speed, then the Blocker’s new position is not established, and thus she was not forced “out of her established position.”

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