Thursday, August 18, 2011

6.11 Cutting the Track A skater that is in bounds need not yield the right of way to an out of bounds skater. Skaters that are out of bounds must find an entrance back in bounds that does not require in bounds skaters to move. When out of bounds, skaters must re-enter the track without bettering their position in relation to other skaters. … (cont.)

Today’s rule is Cutting the Track. This is the first rule in the CTT section, but it is quite large, so I will post the rule in its entirety:

“A skater that is in bounds need not yield the right of way to an out of bounds skater. Skaters that are out of bounds must find an entrance back in bounds that does not require in bounds skaters to move. When out of bounds, skaters must re-enter the track without bettering their position in relation to other skaters. Out of bounds skaters are subject to skating out of bounds penalties even if they do not cut the track (see Section 6.12 Skating Out of Bounds).

This section addresses penalties for cutting the track. Skaters must be upright and skating to receive cutting the track penalties. (See Section 6.8 Out of Bounds Blocking for downed skaters re-entering and illegally blocking and Section 6.3 Low Blocking).

Downed skaters that have re-entered the track are subject to applicable cutting the track penalties when they return to an in-bounds, upright and skating position. Downed skaters are not to be penalized with cutting the track penalties, but are still subject to low blocking and blocking from out of bounds penalties. Skaters cannot drop back while in play in efforts to undo or avoid cutting the track penalties.”

This is a very extensive rule that explains all the basics behind not just Cutting the Track, but reentering the track in general. Let’s look at each part. For starters, this rule explains that in bounds skaters need not yield the right of way to out of bounds skaters. What this means is that being in bounds is an advantage and being out of bounds is a disadvantage. The rule goes on to explain that skaters out of bounds must find an entrance back in bounds without requiring an in bounds skater to move. That is part of the disadvantage. If an out of bounds skater returns to the track in front of an in bounds skater who was in front of her when she went out of bounds, that would be what is considered bettering her position in relation to other skaters on the track. Bettering her position negates the disadvantage, which is what the out of bounds skater may not do. So the very basics of Cutting the Track is that out of bounds skaters are disadvantaged by their position out of bounds, and must return to the track without negating that disadvantage by bettering her position when she returns.

The rule continues to explain that for a skater to be guilty of CTT she must be in bounds and in an upright and skating position. That means that a skater who goes out of bounds and returns to the track while down does not get a CTT penalty. Up until Version 4.0 of the WFTDA rule this requirement didn’t exist. 4.0 changed the rule, which penalized a skater even if their pinky finger were to cross back on the line after the went out of bounds. This was a great change, as it prevents skaters from getting CTT penalties when they are trying to not go back in bounds, and also makes it easier for us refs as we only have to worry about skaters in an upright and skating position, where Cutting is concerned. It is also important to note the “in bounds” requirement of the rule. If a skater still has any part of her body or equipment touching out of bounds when she returns, then she is not in bounds, and will not receive a CTT penalty. So if a skater returns to the track and betters her position, but is down, and then goes back out bounds while still down, she will not receive a Cutting penalty. If, however, she returns to the track in front of one or more in bounds skaters and better her position, but is still down, and while still in front of those other skaters she gets up and returns to an upright and skating position, she will then receive a Cutting the Track penalty.

What this rule also covers is skaters who return to the track that are down, who don’t receive Cutting penalties. It goes on to say that skaters returning who are down won’t receive a Cutting penalty but are still eligible for Out Of Bounds Blocking or Low Blocking penalties if they make contact with opponents. Therefore, skaters who return to the track while down still need to be responsible for their actions so they don’t get any penalty.

Finally, today’s rule explains that a Cutting the Track penalty can’t be “undone”. This means that once a skater has cut the track and received a penalty for it, leaving the track again and returning behind the skater who was cut doesn’t remove the penalty. Once a cut has been made and a penalty given, it stays.

There are many more subrules in Section 6.11, some that have been covered here, and some that have yet to be covered but will be in the future. For those that have been covered, please see the Roller Derby Rule of the Day archive page at www.rollerderbyruleoftheday.com.

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