Thursday, October 13, 2011

‎ If the jam starts with too many skaters, the referees must pull the last Blocker who entered the floor; if that skater cannot be identified, the Blocker that is closest to the referees must be pulled off of the floor. The team must be penalized according to Section 6.12.5.

Tuesday's rule was mainly in regards to a jam starting with less than the minimum and maximum allowed number of skaters on the track. Today's rule is about a jam starting with more than the maximum number of allowed skaters on the track

Before I get into that, the rule above was copied directly from the website, which is the same as the PDF. The reference to Section 6.12.5 is obviously a typo, since that rule is a minor Skating Out Of Bounds penalty. The actual rule to reference is 6.13.6.

As mentioned yesterday, the maximum number of skaters from one team allowed on the track in each jam, according to Section 3, is 4 Blockers and 1 Jammer. If a jam starts and either or both of the teams have more than 4 Blockers and/or more than 1 Jammer on the track, only extra Blockers are removed from the jam. This rule is very specific about only removing Blockers. That means, if there are 5 Blockers and a Jammer on the track, the Jammer being the last to enter, the. Jammer stays and a Blocker is removed. This aspect is important when it comes to extra Jammers and Pivots.

Section 3 states that a team may have 1 Jammer and 1 Pivot in each jam. Therefore it is a penalty to have more than one, an Illegal Procedure minor to be exact. If a team starts the jam with more than one Pivot in the jam then the second Pivot to enter the track will be given a penalty for being an extra Pivot when the jam starts, per 6.13.7. However, also according to 6.13.7, she is only sent to her bench if she is an extra skater on the track. Meaning, if there are 4 Blockers from one team on the track and 2 of them are wearing Pivot helmet covers, after receiving her minor the second Pivot will have to remove her helmet cover but will be allowed to stay on the track, as she is not an extra skater. While the rules don't specify exactly how to handle a situation with two Jammers, using the guideline for two Pivots is appropriate. Of course, any extra Jammer lined up behind the Jammer line will receive a false start minor as well. If, after receiving a penalty for being an extra Jammer or Pivot, those skaters don't remove their helmet covers, they may then get a Illegal Procedure major for improper uniform, per 6.13.18.

A reminder, all these actions happen only after the jam start whistle has blown. Referees do not warn nor penalize teams for lining up too many skaters until the jam starts.