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.