Thursday, October 6, 2011

Out of Play - A Blocker that is positioned more than twenty (20) feet outside the pack, out of bounds, or down is out of play. A Jammer that is out of bounds is out of play.

Previously I have covered "in play" but today I am covering the Glossary entry for "Out of Play".

There is one major important factor to this rule. A skater is out of play if they are 20 feet from the pack. This is important because if there is no pack there is nobody out of play. Granted, nobody is in play, which is why during a no pack scenario Blockers may not engage or be engaged. However, during no pack scenarios all cutting rules apply, even though none of the Blockers are in play. That's because they aren't out of play either.

This distinction becomes important also when looking at scoring. 7.3.7.3 states that Jammers earn points for out of play skaters they return from the box in front of. However, in a no pack scenario there are no out of play skaters so this doesn't apply. Similarly, 8.6.7 awards Jammers points at the end of a jam for skaters out of play ahead of the Engagement Zone. If there is no pack, there is no Engagement Zone to be ahead of, thus 8.6.7 only applies when there's a pack.

Again, in a no pack scenario all Blockers are not in play but also not out of play. It is a sort of limbo which gets solved by the reformation of a pack. Even though out of play penalties exist for engagement during no pack scenarios, being out of play is dependent on the existence of a pack.

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