Thursday, February 23, 2012

‎6.12.6 Skating out of bounds to maintain or increase speed.

Today’s rule, a Skating Out Of Bounds minor, is one that has been misinterpreted by many in the past. Thankfully, the WFTDA has given us an official Publication to go by so this rule has become much less confusing.

http://wftda.com/rules/publications/exiting-the-track

Previously, the misinterpretation was that this penalty was applied while a skater was out of bounds, if she was maintaining or increasing speed. It is now understood that is penalty is to be applied when a skater put herself out of bounds. An example of a skater maintaining speed by skating out of bounds is a Jammer who is rounding a turn too fast and ends up out of bounds. She would given a Skating Out Of Bounds minor, thanks to this rule. If a skater is at the front of a pack and leaves the track so she can skate clockwise while out of bounds to get to the back of the pack, she will be given a SOOB minor. What the WFTDA Publication makes clear is that this penalty is applied when a skater skates TO out of bounds, not WHILE out of bounds. The Publication makes clear skaters who put both of their skates out of bounds will be given a SOOB minor. What it doesn’t say directly is what to do about skaters who put themselves into a straddling position, which is technically out of bounds. The Publication includes a sentence that helps understand how to handle straddling skaters:

“Although straddling skaters per 6.11.5 are permitted to completely exit the track in order to attempt to avoid a cutting the track penalty skaters who put themselves into a straddling position are still subject to Skating Out of Bounds Penalties.”

This makes it clear that skaters who put themselves into a straddling position are not given a Skating Out Of Bounds penalty until they go completely out of bounds. There are many referees who may be reading this thinking that they’ve never, or very rarely, given a penalty for this action. There may be many, many skaters who may be thinking that they’ve never, or very rarely, received a penalty for this action. The fact is, this action merits a penalty. After all, section 6.12 starts out by saying, “Skaters must remain in bounds”. So if a skater goes out of bounds, for any reason not outlined in the rules as excepted, then she must be penalized.

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