Thursday, August 9, 2012

6.9.6 Skaters may block and/or assist while facing any direction as long as they are moving in the counter-clockwise direction.

Today's rule is one misunderstood by a surprisingly many people, regardless of it's prevalence. As has been posted and explained here before, roller is played in a clockwise direction, which meas that all blocks, assists, entries into the penalty box, retrievals of helmet covers, and scoring must occur in that direction. Counterclockwise, however, is not the same as forwards or backwards. When skaters skate normally they are moving in a counterclockwise direction facing forwards. However, many skaters like to turn around and skate backwards while playing for various reasons. This rule makes it clear that skating backwards while blocking and/or assisting is perfectly legal, so long as skaters are still moving in a counterclockwise direction. In fact, as the rule says, facing any direction is legal, so long as the block or assist is made while the initiator is going counterclockwise. More often skaters make blocks and give assist while skating in a mohawk (both skates parallel, facing opposite directions, which means they are likely facing either side. As long as a skater facing any direction does not stop or move clockwise while blocking and/or assisting, they will not be penalized.