Tuesday, November 27, 2012 Distances for determining the Pack and the Engagement Zone are measured as the shortest distance parallel to the track boundary between skaters' hips (see Glossary for “hips”).

Today’s rule comes from the Pack Definition section. It is similar to the rule that existed in the previous version of the rules, however it includes an addition. This rule includes the phrase “parallel to the track boundary”. There used to be much discussion about how to determine the shortest distance between skaters’ hips, if it was parallel to the track (sometimes called the rectangle method) or if it was the direct distance from one skater’s hips to another’s. It has been the consensus of most referees that the rectangle method is the preferred method of determining the distance between hips, and this is even taught in official WFTDA officiating clinics. Now, there’s no question how to measure this distance, thanks to this rule. A skater’s position relative to the inside and outside boundaries has no bearing on the distance between hips. Only their distance along the track makes a difference.

If you are having trouble visualizing this, take a look at this image that explains the rectangle method visually.