Thursday, December 15, 2011

‎3.4.1.2 A Jammer must be ahead of the foremost in-play Blocker, as demarked by the hips, in order to become Lead Jammer.

Today's rule seems pretty straight forward, and really it is. However, while utilizing this rule several others have to be considered as well. This rule seems to make it clear that once a Jammer has passed the foremost in-play Blockers hips, legally and in bounds, she will become Lead Jammer. After all, Blockers who are out of play ahead of the pack need not be passed (3.4.1.3). But what about out of bounds Blockers ahead of the foremost in-play Blocker? They aren't specifically covered in the rules. To figure out how those Blockers matter one need only revisit 3.4.1.

3.4.1 Lead Jammer is a strategic position established on the Jammers’ initial pass through the pack during each jam. The Lead Jammer is the first Jammer to pass the foremost in-play Blocker legally and in bounds, having already passed ALL OTHER BLOCKERS legally and in bounds.

The capitalized emphasis above is my own. That is the part of the rules that covers Blockers who are out of bounds ahead of the foremost in-play Blocker. Just because the Jammer has passed the foremost in-play Blocker (FIPB for short) doesn't mean that 3.4.1 is ignored. At the time that the Jammer passes the FIPB, her Jammer referee must know whether or not the Blocker who is out of bounds ahead of the FIPB has been passed legally and in bounds. As stated a couple of times in the past, a pass is a pass. So if a Blocker gets passed legally and in bounds by a Jammer, and then the Jammer passes them a second time but illegally, the first legal pass still counts and she is still eligible to be Lead. So, if a Blocker ahead of the FIPB has been passed already, the as soon as the Jammer passes the FIPB, she becomes Lead (assuming she's still eligible). If that Blocker had not been passed, then even though the Jammer has passed the FIPB, she is not declared Lead Jammer until she passes the out of bounds Blocker, thus satisfying 3.4.1's all Blockers requirement.

What makes a scenario like this interesting is that it is possible for the out of bounds Blocker to return in bounds and become the FIPB herself, which is why Jammers should not be declared Lead too early. As well, it is entirely possible for the other Jammer to also pass the FIPB and have already passed the out of bounds Blocker, making her the Lead Jammer, even though she was behind the first Jammer. Again, even though the first Jammer was the first to pass the FIPB, the second Jammer was the first to pass the FIPB, having passed all other Blockers, as 3.4.1 requires.

I apologize if this explanation has totally confused you. These are the types of scenarios that are best explained visually, such as with toy figurines on a paper track, or however you like to play derby in small scale. If you still have questions about these scenarios please do not hesitate to ask. I will do my best to unconfuse you.

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