Tuesday, October 9, 2012

6.13.19 A Jammer successfully calling off a jam when she is not Lead Jammer.

Today's rule is an Illegal Procedure major penalty. It is similar to yesterday's rule, however it is a penalty for a jam that is successfully called off when the non-lead jammer attempts to call it off. Per rule 3.4.6, only the lead jammer may call off the jam. If a jammer is not lead, and she taps her hips repeatedly, she is giving the signal to call off the jam, which is an attempt to have it called of. If the jam is called off as a result of this illegal attempt, the jammer will receive a major penalty.

It is because of this rule why the accepted practice of only jam refs calling off the jam has come about. The jam refs are the ones who will know best if a jammer is or isn't actually lead. By jam refs calling off jams first, it helps prevent this penalty from having to be issued.

This penalty used to be a little ambiguous. Prior to version 4.0 of the WFTDA rules it said "successfully calling off a jam", making it unclear if this rule applied to only jammers or all skaters. Considering only jammers can call off jams, it didn't make sense that this rule would apply to blockers. However, the fact that no particular position was identified made it unclear. The rule was eventually changed to read "a jammer successfully calling off a jam". It is now very clear that this rule applies only to jammers who are not lead.


Friday, October 5, 2012

6.13.24 A skater, after addressing mid jam equipment malfunction, re-entering the track in front of more than one pack skater.

Today’s rule is an Illegal Procedure major penalty. Much like yesterday’s rule, it is a penalty for illegal reentry to the track. Even though it seems like this would be a Cutting rule, penalties for Cutting are issued for reentering in front of in play skaters while illegal reentry is penalized for reentering in front of pack skaters. There is, of course, specifics to when illegal reentry penalties are issued, such as this rule, which is issued for illegal reentry after addressing mid jam equipment malfunction. If a skater leaves to the track to address an equipment malfunction during a jam and returns to the track in front of more than one pack skater, she will receive a major penalty.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

6.13.27 Removing required safety equipment (see Section 7.3.6 and Section 10.1.1).

Today's rule is an Illegal Procedure major penalty. Removing safety equipment is a major penalty to the offending skater. However, this doesn't apply always. This rule references 10.1.1 which says that "protective gear must be worn while skating in a jam, including to and from the penalty box", while 7.3.6 allows a skater to remove their mouthguard while in the penalty box, but only when they are seated. Thus, if a skater is not skating in a jam (meaning she is in her bench area) then she will not receive a penalty for removing safety equipment. Skaters are allowed to leave and rejoin a jam to address an equipment malfunction, however they may not remove the equipment if they are in the jam. So, if a skater is having trouble with a knee or elbow pad, for example, they may skate out of bounds to adjust the pad and get it tightened, straightened, or do whatever else is necessary, so long as it is not removed.


Monday, October 1, 2012

6.13.26 Too many skaters and/or team support staff in the designated team area. The penalty is issued to the Pivot at the time the Penalty is determined. If there is no Pivot in that jam, the penalty is issued to the Captain in all circumstances.

Today's rule is an Illegal Procedure major penalty. This is, at times, a penalty that is easy to issue, and at others a difficult one. Rule 2.1.4 allows up to two non-rostered support staff to be in the team bench area during a game. This is interesting because there's no clear definition of what the "team bench area" is. There isn't a rule that requires the team bench area to be remarked by a tape line, rope, or any such marker. Thus, it is not so obvious to know when a team has more than two support staff on the bench. If a game is played in a hockey arena, and the teams use the rink benches as their team benches, then it is more obvious where the team bench area is. If the venue is open and there is spectator seating behind the benches, then it becomes more difficult to tell where the bench area is. One of the qualifiers that can be used to determine if a team has more than two support staff if it isn't clear, is if more than two people are integrating with the skaters on the bench. If, for example, there is a third person behind the bench handing helmet covers to skaters, then they would be considered a third support staff. If, however, the third person is just talking to the skaters, they wouldn't be considered an extra support staff member. After all, there is no rule preventing communication to and from the bench with audience members.

This penalty is issued to the active pivot at the time it is issued. If the penalty is issued between jams then it would go to the pivot from the previous jam. After all, prior to a jam starting there is technically no pivot, since any number of people can be standing on the track wearing a pivot helmet cover up until the jam start whistle without incurring a penalty. If there was no pivot in the previous jam, then the major goes to the captain.