Friday, January 20, 2012

Lineup Clock is the term typically used for the 30 second count between jams.

Today’s Rule isn’t actually a rule. In fact, the term “lineup clock” doesn’t exist within the rules at all. It is the term that is most often used for the count of 30 seconds between jams. The required 30 seconds lineup time, and the rules regarding when that time stops and begins again is covered in several areas of the rules.

2.4.3 There are thirty (30) seconds between jams. At the conclusion of the timeout, the Referees will direct the skaters to return to the track and start the next jam as soon as possible. The next jam can start as soon as skaters are lined up, but no more than 30 seconds should elapse after a timeout. Officials must stop the official period clock between jams when time exceeds thirty (30) seconds.

All of these rules refer to the lineup clock, but never call it that. The terms lineup clock and lineup are used because it is easier than saying “30 seconds between jams”. What is important about the fact that the lineup clock is not actually in the rules is that there is no rule which requires it to be visible, or official, etc. There are many computer based scoreboards available on the internet that show a visible 30 second lineup clock once a jam is stopped, but for those league who use an arena scoreboard, or even an LED scoreboard, they usually don’t have the option of displaying a lineup clock due to the limitations of their technology. In those cases the jam timer begins timing as soon as the jam ends (on the 4th whistle blast of the jam ending whistle) and then whistles the jam start whistle for the next jam when their clock reaches 30 seconds, unless a timeout is called. Of course, knowing how long their is left until the next jam starts is great for teams to know, but it is not mandated by the rules.