Wednesday, August 8, 2012

6.9.5 Skaters may skate clockwise out of bounds when exiting the penalty box, but must re-enter from the back of the pack (see Section 6.13 Illegal Procedures).

Sometime in the past few years skaters began to exit the penalty box and skate clockwise to return to the track. This seemed confusing at first, because there were rules dictating that entry into the penalty must be from a counterclockwise direction. However, nothing stated how a skater must exit the box, or even how they may not exit the box. Luckily, this rule was added in the current version of the WFTDA rules when the Direction of Gameplay penalty section replaced the Skating Clockwise to Block section. Today's rule make it crystal clear that skaters are, in fact, allowed to exit the penalty box in a clockwise direction should they choose to do so. It also makes it clear the exiting in a clockwise direction does not prevent them from having to reenter the track behind the pack. If a skater leaves the box in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction and reenters the track in front of one pack skater, she will be given an Illegal Procedure, and a major if she reenters if front of multiple pack skaters.

Note: the penalties are only for reentering in front of pack skaters. Reentering in front of skaters not in the pack, even if they are in the engagement zone behind the pack, goes unpenalized.