Sunday, October 30, 2011

‎6.12 Skating Out of Bounds Skaters must remain in bounds. No part of the skater’s skate(s) may touch the ground outside the track boundary. Skaters may not pick up momentum for a block until in bounds (see Section 6.8.2).

This is the main description of what Skating Out Of Bounds constitutes. The rules state that skaters must stay in bounds. Roller derby is played in bounds on the track. This section goes on to list exceptions where skaters may go out of bounds, but aside from those exceptions skaters must remain in bounds, as today’s rule clearly says. Some of these exceptions include being blocked out of bounds, going out of bounds as the result of a missed block, going out of bounds to avoid a downed skater, and of course skating to and from the penalty box. What is definitely not allowed is a for a skater to go out of bounds of their own accord. 6.12.5 penalizes a skater who skates out of bounds to avoid a block. 6.12.6 penalizes a skater who skates out of bounds to maintain or increase speed. A penalty issued per 6.12.6 happens most usually when a skater comes around a turn too fast and her momentum ends up taking her out of bounds. This is common with Jammers. This would be a Skating Out Of Bounds minor.

Previously the argument has been made that the phrase “skating out of bounds” referred to the skating a skater did while out of bounds. An official publication from the WFTDA, Exiting The Track (, makes it clear that “skating out of bounds” means skating from in bounds to out bounds. As well, the publication makes it clear that any skater who has both skates touching outside the track boundary must receive a Skating Out Of Bounds minor penalty. This may seem contrary to the phrasing of “to maintain or increase speed” as found in 6.12.6, but the intent of the WFTDA publication is to penalize skaters for going out of bounds of their own accord. Per the publication, it is not illegal for a skater to put herself into a straddling position, which will always be called as no impact/no penalty. However, if a skater puts herself into a straddling position and then afterwards completely exits the track, even to avoid a Cutting the Track penalty, she will receive a Skating Out of Bounds penalty. If the skater was hit into a straddling position, and then completely exits the track to avoid a Cutting penalty, she will not be penalized.