Tuesday, January 31, 2012

6.3.7 Flailing and sprawling skaters that trip an opponent, regardless of intent.

This is a rule that is used to answer many skater questions. It is also one that annoys many skaters. What today’s rule means is that if a skater is flailing or sprawling, and trip an opponent, they are getting a Low Block major. Why this rule includes the part about intent means that whether the initiator intended to trip the opponent does not come into play. How does this normally happen? When a skater is blocked, falls, and trips an opponent. Even if a skater has no control over the action, if they get blocked to the floor and while going down trip an opponent while sprawling, they will get a Low Block major. In fact, flailing and sprawling is pretty much the exact opposite of falling small, which is defined in the rules as “falling with the arms and legs controlled, tucked in to the body, and not flailing”. So if a skater is blocked and falls, but not small, her actions even while falling are still her responsibility. This rule is unfortunate for those skaters who commonly get used by their teammates as a “bowling ball”, where the teammate will push them into opponents to make a block. If the “bowling ball” skater falls and trips the opponent, they get the penalty even though the action was completely of their teammate’s doing.