Monday, September 3, 2012

3.5.8.1.1 The Pivot is eligible to obtain Jammer status by retrieving a dropped helmet cover and placing it on her helmet.

Today's rule follows yesterday's rule. That rule explained that the jammer or pivot may retrieve a dropped helmet cover.It did not specify which helmet cover, which means that the pivot may retrieve a dropped helmet cover from the ground. That leads in to today's rule. If the jammer helmet cover falls to the ground, the pivot may pick it up, put it on her head, and become the jammer. There are many facets tot his rule. I will try to cover them all.

Although 3.5.4 says that the jammer must hand off the helmet cover to the pivot and not throw it, because of this rule if a jammer throws the helmet cover and it lands on the floor, and the pivot picks it up, then she has retrieved a fallen helmet cover and may put it on. The reasoning behind this, for those not convinced, is because a helmet cover thrown to the ground is not a helmet cover thrown to the pivot.

Another situation is a helmet cover dropped out of bounds. The pivot may skate out of bounds to retrieve a dropped helmet cover (per 3.5.8.2) and become the jammer. Of course, if the helmet cover was dropped by the jammer while she was on her way to the penalty box, the pivot may retrieve it, but not put it on, as the position of jammer is in the penalty box with the inactive jammer sitting there. Howeber, once the jammer is released from the penalty box, the pivot may put on the helmet cover and become the jammer.

There is a situation which seems against the rules to some, however is actually legal. That is where the jammer drops the helmet cover on the ground while she is out of the engagement zone and the pivot picks it up when she gets to it. It is often argued that this type of star pass is illegal because it wasn't made while in the engagement zone. Passes that must be made in the engagement zone are passes where the helmet cover is handed directly from jammer to pivot, as outlined in 3.5.4. However, there is no rule that requires the jammer to be in the engagement zone when she drops a helmet cover, nor that the pivot must be in the engagement zone when she retrieves it. In fact, 3.5.8.2 is very specific that a helmet cover may retrieved while not in the engagement zone, since out of bounds is out of play.

To reiterate, it is not illegal for a pivot to retrieve a helmet cover from the ground an put it on her head. During yesterday's discussion, and also several times in the past, I've been told by various skaters that they have received penalties for just that action. If you have received a penalty for this, or know of a ref who has issued a penalty for this, please pass this information on the that referee. It is important that it is understood by all refs that this action is not illegal.

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