Friday, December 9, 2011

‎ Jam Timer: A game will have one jam timer. The jam timer is responsible for starting jams and for timing thirty (30) seconds between jams. The jam timer is also responsible for ending jams that run the full two (2) minutes.

NSO week! To round out the end of NSO week, today we look at the jam timer. There is only one jam timer. Their job is to start each jam, time the 30 seconds between each jam, and blow the jam ending whistle when jams reach two minutes. Now, there are a couple interesting points here.

For starters, the jam timer times the 30 seconds between jams, commonly referred to as the lineup clock. This is interesting because the lineup clock is not mentioned in Section 2.8 Clocks. 2.4.3 says there are 30 seconds between jams, and today's rule mentions that the jam timer times that 30 seconds, but no rule requires this lineup time to be visible. That is why it is acceptable for a bout to have a 2 minute jam clock visible but not the lineup clock.

The second interesting point is that today's rule puts only the responsibility of starting the jam on the jam timer, not starting the Jammers. 4.4.2 mentions that "the referee whistles the Jammers to begin". So technically, and completely literally, a referee (it doesn't say which) is supposed to start the Jammers. However, since the referees need to concentrate on watching the skaters, it has become a fully accepted practice for the jam timer to blow the Jammer start whistle.

Jam timer verbal cues and hand signals have been standardized in the WFTDA Officiating Standard Practices and Officiating Verbal Cues documents. In fact, all the NSO positions that exist in the rules, that have been covered all week, have standards associated with them. While these standards are only require for WFTDA tournaments, it is recommended that every official follow them, as widespread standards make the game better to play and officiate for everyone.