Sunday, July 31, 2011

2.1.4 The track area will include chairs or benches in designated team areas, either in the infield or on the sidelines. Only those skaters who are on the roster for that game may sit or stand in the designated team area. Up to two support staff (team managers, coaches, or other non-skating players) per team are allowed in this area during a bout.

Today's rule is not a surprise to most, but one part may be often overlooked. This rule references "designated bench areas". That means that in a bout the team benches ought to be clearly defined, by rope, tape, or other form or marking. The reason for this is to know where exactly the bench is to enforce the limit of only rostered skaters and two support staff being allowed in the bench area. It is important to be able to determine if a team has too many support staff or skaters in their bench area as it is a penalty per 6.13.26. Without a designated bench area someone may make the argument that they are just near the bench area not in it. That being said, depending on the venue, if spectators are able to stand near the benches, and a clear designation for the bench areas exists, if a spectator is standing near the bench area they are not in it, and they are allowed to communicate with the skaters and staff in the bench area. 

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/231230863582444

Friday, July 29, 2011

‎3 Players Player positions refer to the position a skater is playing in a given jam. A skater is not limited in the number of positions she may play during a bout, but is limited to playing one designated position at a time. A maximum of four Blockers and one Jammer from each team are allowed on the track during play; only one of the Blockers may be a Pivot Blocker … (cont)

It is common knowledge that a team may field four Blockers and a Pivot in each jam, but I have heard some question exactly where in the rules it says that. Today’s rule is where. This rule also explains that only one of the Blockers in the jam may be a Pivot Blocker, and that only one of the skaters from each team may be a Jammer. This rule is what makes it possible to penalize a team for too many skaters on the track (6.13.6 and 6.13.17) or for an extra Pivot on the track (6.13.7).

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/230419426996921

Thursday, July 28, 2011

3.3.2 Jammer Identification: Jammers wear a helmet cover with two stars, one on each side, as specified in Section 3.6 - Helmet Covers. A player lined up in the Jammer Starting Position will not be considered an active Jammer unless she is wearing a helmet cover with visible stars.

Today’s rule has been a little confusing as of late to a few people. The question has been asked whether the stars must be on both sides of the helmet cover, or if the stars on the helmet cover must be on both sides of the Jammer’s helmet. The answer is the stars must be on both sides of the helmet cover, not the helmet itself. Let's look at 3.3.2 a little differently:

"...a helmet cover with two stars, one on each side..."

This shows the stars must be on the sides of the helmet cover. If itwere anything different then it would actually be two helmet covers on both sides of the helmet, not stars on both sides. Look at it this way:

"...a helmet cover..., one on each side..."

So as long as the helmet cover is on top of the Jammer's (or Pivot's in the case of a star pass) helmet, with the stars visible, then they are an active Jammer.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/229958897042974

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

‎2.1.2.1 The skating surface and boundary line colors must meet the definition of high contrast beyond a reasonable doubt or the Head Referee shall request the venue use colors that meet that definition. … (cont.)

Here is the full text of today’s rule:

2.1.2.1 The skating surface and boundary line colors must meet the definition of high contrast beyond a reasonable doubt or the Head Referee shall request the venue use colors that meet that definition. The skating surface and boundary line colors are of high contrast if there is a large degree of visual difference between the boundary line and the base color of the skating surface such that the boundary line color stands out from the skating surface.

It is important that track and boundary line colors are of high contrast, which means that they clearly stand out from each other. Black and white are high contrast. Blue and purple are not. If the track surface is light, such as polished concrete, using something like a light yellow tape is a bad idea. A darker color, like black, forest green, navy blue, etc might be more appropriate. On a dark track surface, such as a dark colored sport court, bright colors, like day glo colored tape, is more preferred. If the colors of the track surface and boundary lines are not high contrast, it will be difficult for skaters and referees to know if skaters are out of bounds, and will ultimately make the game look bad to fans.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/229455133760017

Monday, July 25, 2011

6.3.2 A skater who “falls small” in an effort to avoid tripping.

This is the second No Impact/No penalty rule for Low Blocking. The only way to fall and (generally) avoid a penalty is by falling small. A lot of people ask what falling small is. The glossary defines it as:

Fall Small - Falling with the arms and legs controlled, tucked in to the body, and not flailing.

Generally, falling small is falling in what the WFTDA Minimum Skills Requirements call a “4 Point Fall” (also called a 6 point fall, porn star fall, and various others). The reason the 4 point fall is most often referenced is because it is a controlled fall with all the limbs tucked in to the body and is about as small as a skater can make herself. It should be noted that this is not the only way to fall small. If a skater is on her side in the foetal position with all her limbs tucked in as close as possible, she has satisfied the condition of having her legs and arms controlled and tucked in to the body.

Falling small won't always help a skater avoid a Low Block penalty.

6.3.9 A skater who habitually, three or more times during the course of a bout, falls in front of opponents, causing them to lose relative position, even if she "falls small." The intent is to penalize a skater who repeatedly falls because she is a danger to her opponents. A single skater who repeatedly trips other skaters, even when "falling small" is adversely affecting game play and safety.

This clearly explains how falling small could still get a skater penalized for Low Blocking. In the normal course of skating, however, if a skater falls small, she will not be penalized for a Low Block penalty.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/228502317188632

Sunday, July 24, 2011

6.3.1 Contact between skates and wheels that is part of the normal skating motion.

Today's rule is the first No Impact/No Penalty rule of Low Blocking. What it means is that while skating normally, if skaters touch wheels and skates, there is no penalty. It is important to note that "normal skating motion" is not something specific to each skater; it is normal for all skaters. This particular rule does leave some interpretation to ref discretion but there isn't much of a range of difference that can be interpreted. The important part is to not judge a skater's motion to their own normal skating motion. Otherwise a skater could skate unsafe normally.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/228063547232509

Friday, July 22, 2011

10.1.2.2 Skaters are strongly encouraged to secure or tape down loose Velcro on pads.

Finishing off protective gear week is a simple suggestion from the WFTDA rules to secure loose Velcro straps on pads. This is to prevent the loose straps from rubbing or whipping another skater and hurting them. After all, that hook and loop can get scratchy.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/227155907323273

Thursday, July 21, 2011

10.1.3.2 Non-form fitting face shields such as hockey style full face shields, half face shields or face cages are strictly prohibited.

Continuing with optional protective equipment, today's rule explains what type of face protection is prohibited. Form-fitting face protection is designed to not interfere with any other players of a contact sport. Hockey style face shields and cages may pose a safety threat to other skaters. Granted, skaters are not to be hitting each other in or with the head, but the rules have still deemed these types of face protection to be not allowed.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/226680814037449

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

10.1.3.1 Chin guards, form fitting shields such as nose guards, turtle shell bras, tailbone protectors and shin guards may have a hard protective shell. No other optional protective gear may have hard protective shells.

Following yesterday's rule allowing optional protective gear, today's rule specifies which optional equipment may have a hard protective shell. Only a specific list of items may have a hard shell, and those only because they are, for the most part, form fitting, but also because they protect parts of the body that are not legal blocking zones. A hard shin guard is ok because skaters are not allowed to use their shins to contact another skaters; if they do so, the affect on safety is great enough that the shin guard won't really be impacting it much greater. A skater using a shin guard to block will end up with a Low Blocking penalty. Same goes for chin guards, and far shields; both Blocking With the Head. The impact to safety from a turtle shell bra or tailbone protector is much less than the benefit of wearing them, thus they are approved with hard shells. Shoulder pads, shorts, arm guards, and other similar protective equipment would pose a threat to the safety of other skaters as those are the areas where the most contact is made.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/226173624088168

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

10.1.3 Optional protective gear such as padded shorts, chin guards, form fitting face shields such as nose guards, shin guards, knee or ankle support, turtle shell bras, and tailbone protectors may be worn at the skater’s discretion as long as they do not impair or interfere with the safety or play of other skaters, support staff, or officials.

Continuing this week's theme of protective equipment, today's rule explains what gear may be worn optionally. Padded shorts have been around for a long time, and shin guard are increasingly being worn. Knee and ankle supports are worn by many skaters with previous injuries, and are ok so long as they don't interfere with the safety of the wearer or other skaters. I have seen a chin guard worn once and also a form fitting nose guard. I have yet to personally see a turtle shell bra worn by a skater, but then again it's possible I have seen it and just didn't know.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/225754627463401

Monday, July 18, 2011

10.1.2.1 Wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads and helmets must have a hard protective shell or inserts.

Yesterday's rule explained what constitutes required protective equipment. Today's rule explains that the pads required to be worn must have plastic shells or inserts. What this means is that gaskets, volleyball pads, and most hardware store pads can't be worn (although some hardware store knee pads have plastic shells, using them is probably a bad idea). When it comes to wrist guards they must have A hard shell on one or both sides, or have a plastic insert - usually removable - secured on/in it. Although the rules don't particularly specify, wrist guards should be secured in some way by the hand (such as full glove types, or with thumb holes). This prevents the wrist guard from sliding and becoming ineffective. A wrist guard that isn't secured by the hand may not be approved during a pre-bout equipment check. Helmets must also have a plastic shell. No soft helmets, such as those designed for horse back riding, boxing, or sumo suit wrestling.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/225235210848676

Sunday, July 17, 2011

10.1.2 Protective gear shall include, at a minimum: wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, mouth guards, and helmets.

Friday's rule stated when skaters must be wearing required protective gear. Today's rule explains what constitutes required protective gear. It is the 5 items listed above. It was questioned before, but toe stops are not considered required protective equipment. Toe stops are optional, and there are many skaters who choose to use plugs instead if toe stops.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/224779647560899

Friday, July 15, 2011

10.1.1 Protective gear must be worn while skating in a jam, including to and from the penalty box. Failure to wear required protective gear or removal of protective gear, such as a mouth guard, will result in a penalty (see Section 6.13.27 and Section 7.3.6).

Safety first! All required protective gear must be worn while a skater is, effectively, a possible target. When skating in a jam, a skater may be hit. When sitting in the penalty box, she may be released and then be hit (once she reenters the track). When she is skating to and from the penalty box she is in danger of being hit by accident, when she may not even expect it. When skaters are at their bench the chance of being hit is a lot lower, much like sitting in the front row of suicide seats, and fans aren't required to wear protective gear.

This rule references two other rules. 6.13.27 is an Illegal Procedure major for removing required protective gear, and 7.3.6 allows a skater to remove their mouthguard only when seated in the penalty box.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/223833677655496

Thursday, July 14, 2011

6.11.1.4 When the initiating skater exits the Engagement Zone at any time after the initiating block.

As explained Sunday (http://www.rollerderbyruleoftheday.com/2011/07/6111-re-entering-behind-initiator-of.html), after a skater has blocked out an opponent the receiver must enter behind the initiator, except in four specific situations. Today's rule is the fourth exception.

After a skater blocks an opponent out of bounds, if the initiator goes out of play by leaving the Engagement Zone, either ahead of the pack or behind it, the receiver may reenter in front of the initiator.

Something that is very important to note is that, if the receiver who is reentering in front of the initiator is a Jammer, the act of them passing the initiator and not receiving a penalty for it is what is called a "No Pass/No Penalty". What this means is that there was no penalty committed, thanks to the Cutting exception, but the pass did not count as a legal pass, which would not count as a point or as a pass for Lead Jammer eligibility. If the Jammer had not already passed the initiator legally, and they didn't repass them after the No Pass/No Penalty, then they would lose Lead Jammer eligibility if it was their initial pass, and lose that Blocker point if it was a scoring pass.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/223248934380637

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

6.11.1.3 When the initiating skater downs herself or falls at any time after the initiating block.

As explained Sunday (http://www.rollerderbyruleoftheday.com/2011/07/6111-re-entering-behind-initiator-of.html), after a skater has blocked out an opponent the receiver must enter behind the initiator, except in four specific situations. Today's rule is the third exception.

After a skater blocks an opponent out of bounds, if the initiator goes down, either on her own or by being blocked, the receiver may reenter the track in front of the initiator. The initiator need not fall as a result of the block she made on the receiver. The rule just says if she goes down after the block. Even if the initiator gets back up before the receiver has reentered the track the receiver may still reenter in front of the initiator so long as the initiator goes down after the block.

Something that is very important to note is that, if the receiver who is reentering in front of the initiator is a Jammer, the act of them passing the initiator and not receiving a penalty for it is what is called a "No Pass/No Penalty". What this means is that there was no penalty committed, thanks to the Cutting exception, but the pass did not count as a legal pass, which would not count as a point or as a pass for Lead Jammer eligibility. If the Jammer had not already passed the initiator legally, and they didn't repass them after the No Pass/No Penalty, then they would lose Lead Jammer eligibility if it was their initial pass, and lose that Blocker point if it was a scoring pass.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/222764174429113

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

‎6.11.1.2 When the initiating skater goes out of bounds at any time after the initiating block.

As explained Sunday (http://www.rollerderbyrule​oftheday.com/2011/07/6111-​re-entering-behind-initiat​or-of.html), after a skater has blocked out an opponent the receiver must enter behind the initiator, except in four specific situations. Today's rule is the second exception.

After the initiator has blocked out the receiver, if the initiator touches any part of themselves out of bounds, then receiver may reenter the track in front of the initiator. It is important to note that the rule says nothing about the receiver having to return behind the initiator if the initiator returned to the track before the receiver. There is no such rule. Even if the initiator returns to the track before the receiver, the receiver may reenter the track in front of the initiator simply because the initiator went out of bounds after the initiating block.

Something that is very important to note is that, if the receiver who is reentering in front of the initiator is a Jammer, the act of them passing the initiator and not receiving a penalty for it is what is called a "No Pass/No Penalty". What this means is that there was no penalty committed, thanks to the Cutting exception, but the pass did not count as a legal pass, which would not count as a point or as a pass for Lead Jammer eligibility. If the Jammer had not already passed the initiator legally, and they didn't repass them after the No Pass/No Penalty, then they would lose Lead Jammer eligibility if it was their initial pass, and lose that Blocker point if it was a scoring pass.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/222287231143474

Monday, July 11, 2011

6.11.1.1 When the initiating skater is considered “in the box,” having been sent off the track for a penalty (see ).

As explained Sunday (http://www.rollerderbyrule​oftheday.com/2011/07/6111-​re-entering-behind-initiat​or-of.html), after a skater has blocked out an opponent the receiver must enter behind the initiator, except in four specific situations. Today's rule is the first exception.

If, after the initiator blocks out the receiver, the initiator is sent to the penalty box, the receiver may enter in front of the initiator. Granted, if the initiator is sent to the box there is no "in front" of her since she is now considered in the box, not on the track, so this rule isn't entirely necessary. It is good, though, to have it spelled out. This rule also doesn't say that the initiator must go to the box as a result of the block on the receiver. If the initiator blocks out the receiver legally, then while the receiver is out of bounds the initiator is sent to the box, the receiver may still enter in front of the initiator.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/221811207857743

Sunday, July 10, 2011

6.11.1 Re-entering behind the initiator of the block When sent out of bounds by a block, an opponent must re-enter the track without bettering her position in relation to other skaters. ...

Because today's rule is too long for Facebook, here is the full text:

When sent out of bounds by a block, an opponent must re-enter the track without bettering her position in relation to other skaters. Re-entering the track from out of bounds in front of the initiator of the block is improving your relative position, regardless of who is in front when the block is executed. An in-bounds skater who forces an opponent out of bounds earns and establishes superior position. A skater may not return in bounds in front of the skater who blocked her out of bounds, except under the following circumstances where no penalty is to be issued:

The idea behind this rule is very simple. If one skater blocks another skater out of bounds legally, then the initiating skater has established a superior position and has gained advantage by being in bounds while the receiver is out of bounds. Therefore, the receiver, being in the inferior position, must return to the track behind the skater with the advantage. If the receiver returns in front of the initiator, she has not been properly disadvantaged, and therefore is subject to a Cutting The Track penalty. This advantage is maintained by the initiator unless she gives it up by one of four ways - the subrules of today's rule - all of which will be covered in the next week.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/221460677892796

Friday, July 8, 2011

6.8.1 Skaters must be in bounds when initiating a block.

This is the first rule in the Out Of Bounds Blocking section. Roller derby is played on the track in bounds, not off the track out of bounds. Therefore, blocks must be made while in bounds. As a reminder, the rules define in bounds thusly:

In Bounds - A skater is in bounds as long as all parts of the skater’s body and equipment that are in contact with the ground are within or on the track boundary. If a skater jumps, and ceases all contact with the ground her prior in bounds/out of bounds status is maintained until contact with the ground re-establishes in bounds/out of bounds status. In bounds skaters are not necessarily in play.

If a block is made while out of bounds, the initiator of the block will receive an Out Of Bounds Blocking penalty, based on impact.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/220508781321319

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

6.6 Blocking With the Head The head may not be used to block an opponent. Blocking with the head is dangerous for the initiator and the receiver.

Today's rule is pretty self explanatory. Blocking with the head is unsafe. Note, this is blocking with the head, not to the head (also a penalty). That means contact from the head of the initiator. Penalties for Blocking With the Head are based on impact in the subrules of section 6.6. Because of the unsafe nature of contact with the head, even incidental contact by the head is a penalty, if it affects the skating stance of the receiver.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/219573711414826

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

6.5.1 Forearms or hands may never be used to grab, hold, or push an opponent.

Today's rule is the basics behind Use of Forearms and Hands. It's pretty simple. However, I have heard this rule misinterpreted before. Therefore I am going to post the rule again, but with my own emphasis.

6.5.1 Forearms or hands may never be used to grab, hold, or push an OPPONENT.

I have heard this rule interpreted that grabbing, holding, or pushing anyone, be they opponent or teammate, is illegal. There are, in fact, rules that govern the grabbing and holding of teammates in the Multiple-Player Blocks section, and have been covered here before. Pushing teammates may be a penalty if the push was an assist made out of play. But those are all different penalties, not Forearms and Hands. A skater will only ever get a penalty for illegal Use of Forearms and Hands when making illegal contact with an opponent, never for contact with a teammate.

http://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/219111828127681

Friday, July 1, 2011

‎4.1.1 The pack is defined by the largest group of in bounds Blockers, skating in proximity, containing members from both teams.

Very few people are unsure as to what a pack is. However, there exists a belief that the pack is the largest group of skaters from both teams skating within 10 feet. I have heard this explanation used a time or two. It is an unfortunately inaccurate description. The only distance actually included in today’s rule is “proximity”. The rules go on to describe what proximity is.

4.1.1.2 Proximity is defined as not more than ten feet (as measured from the hips) in front of or behind the nearest pack skater.

This rule actually makes it a little strange, since a skater being 10 feet from the nearest pack skater puts them in the pack, but also makes them part of the pack. Barring all the philosophical discussion that may be had about being in and of the pack, the fact is that the requirement isn’t for skaters to be within 10 feet, as if the pack could only be 10 feet long. The pack may be as long as the number of in play Blockers can make it. With all Blockers on the track the pack may be 70 feet long, with each Blocker skating 10 feet apart. Proximity means that so long as there are two skaters 10 feet from each other, and they are the largest group of skaters from both teams, they are the pack. Every skater within 10 feet of them is part of the pack as well. Then every other skater 10 feet from those skaters are part of the pack. Proximity is what doesn’t limit the pack to being only 10 feet, but as long as the Blockers on the track can make it. It must be remembered that proximity is measured from the skaters’ hips.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/217444854961045