Friday, July 1, 2011

‎4.1.1 The pack is defined by the largest group of in bounds Blockers, skating in proximity, containing members from both teams.

Very few people are unsure as to what a pack is. However, there exists a belief that the pack is the largest group of skaters from both teams skating within 10 feet. I have heard this explanation used a time or two. It is an unfortunately inaccurate description. The only distance actually included in today’s rule is “proximity”. The rules go on to describe what proximity is. Proximity is defined as not more than ten feet (as measured from the hips) in front of or behind the nearest pack skater.

This rule actually makes it a little strange, since a skater being 10 feet from the nearest pack skater puts them in the pack, but also makes them part of the pack. Barring all the philosophical discussion that may be had about being in and of the pack, the fact is that the requirement isn’t for skaters to be within 10 feet, as if the pack could only be 10 feet long. The pack may be as long as the number of in play Blockers can make it. With all Blockers on the track the pack may be 70 feet long, with each Blocker skating 10 feet apart. Proximity means that so long as there are two skaters 10 feet from each other, and they are the largest group of skaters from both teams, they are the pack. Every skater within 10 feet of them is part of the pack as well. Then every other skater 10 feet from those skaters are part of the pack. Proximity is what doesn’t limit the pack to being only 10 feet, but as long as the Blockers on the track can make it. It must be remembered that proximity is measured from the skaters’ hips.