Sunday, November 27, 2011

3.5.3 The initiator of the star pass is always responsible for the legality of the star pass.

Much like a block, the skater who does the act of passing the star is the initiator. This means, if a Jammer takes off her helmet cover and passes it illegally to the Pivot, either by throwing it or by handing it to the Pivot while the Pivot is out of play, the Jammer is the initiator and will receive an Illegal Procedure major for violation of the star pass procedure, per 6.13.20. Now, if the Pivot were to remove the Jammer's helmet cover from the Jammer's helmet, the Pivot would be considered the initiator of the illegal star pass and be the one to receive the major penalty.

Now, there's a situation where I interpret the rules a certain way, but I fully admit there's the possibility of me being wrong. Not because I'm interpreting the words wrong, but simply because the rules may not have meant to be interpreted this way. Regardless, unless corrected, this is the interpretation I go by. The situation is if the Pivot picks up the Jammer helmet from the ground.

There's two ways this can happen, the Jammer drops the Jammer helmet cover from their hand or the Jammer helmet cover ends up on the ground by other means. If the Jammer drops the Jammer helmet cover on the track and the Pivot picks it up while out of the engagement zone, that is an illegal star pass (3.5.1), and the Jammer is the initiator and will go to the box. If the Jammer helmet cover falls off of the Jammer's helmet onto the track and the Pivot picks it up outside of the engagement zone, the Pivot is the initiator and will go to the box. The Pivot being the initiator would also apply if the Jammer's helmet cover is removed by any other means except her taking it off herself. I find the first scenario unfortunate because the Pivot can cause the Jammer to go to the box without the Jammer performing and wrongdoing, and that is why I believe there is a possible different intended interpretation to this rule. However, the rules as written do support my interpretation. I am certainly open to being corrected on this, as issuing that penalty would be a nightmare, since the referees would have to know who did what, when and where. I would prefer that the rules require the Pivot to be penalized if they pick up the helmet cover illegally in all circumstances, but that isn't currently how it is.