Wednesday, October 26, 2011 On the back of the torso, back of the booty or back of the thigh

Today's rule is the second of the three illegal target zones. The penalty associated with this illegal target zone is 6.1 Blocking to the Back. Because of the name of the penalty section I have discovered more than one person who believes that only the back is an illegal target zone and that it is legal to block a skater in the back of the booty. Where the rules are concerned, "the back" is the entire illegal target zone on the back of the body, below the shoulders and above the mid-thigh. A common misconception regarding this illegal target zone is that any contact between one skater and the back of another is always a Block to the Back. This is untrue. The back, the entirety of it, is a legal blocking zone, therefore a skater may initiate a block with her back into another skater, thereby creating legal skater-to-back contact. If, however, the receiver of this type of block were to counterblock into the initiator's back, then it would become illegal contact, and a penalty may be issued.

Back Blocking (as it is commonly called, and what the verbal cue is) has been covered extensively here. Check out the Rule of the Day archive for all the explanations and discussions.