Wednesday, December 7, 2011

‎9.1.5.3 Penalty Timing Officials: A game will have at least two officials to oversee the penalty box. The penalty timing officials time penalties and assist referees in ensuring a team skates short when they ought.

NSO week! Today's rule mandates at least two penalty timing officials. This is to make sure penalties get timed properly and accurately. Nowadays there exists at least a couple of penalty timer smartphone apps that allow a single person to keep time for up to 6 people by themself. This still doesn't remove the fact that the rules require two officials in the penalty box. Even if one official is timing and the other isn't, a second penalty timing official is a helpful person. Two PTOs help make sure that Jammers are released appropriately when both are penalized while still concentrating on any Blockers' penalty times. There is a penalty box manager form included in the WFTDA StatsBook that a second PTO can fill out. Regardless of how a league chooses to keep penalty time, a second PTO is not only not a bad thing, it's also a requirement.

Now, this rule mentions that penalty timing officials assist referees in making sure than penalized teams skate short. This is done so in a variety of way. For starters, they time the skaters' penalties to make sure they sit the appropriate amount of time. That is the primary function of a penalty timing official. PTOs also let referees know when skaters have left the box early without being released, so that the skater may be given an Illegal Procedure major and returned to the box. Sometimes penalty timing officials will use a whiteboard to record the numbers of skaters who have been waved off from the penalty box and eventually need to return. This is helpful to referees as they don't need to remember anything regarding the penalty queue except to look at the penalty box whiteboard. I am not necessarily promoting referees ignore the penalty queue, just that a penalty box whiteboard is becoming a widespread practice and that is one its effects.

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