Tuesday, December 4, 2012 Numbers may be placed on the helmet in addition to the arm/sleeve. Numbers on helmet must match roster numbers.

Today’s rule comes from the Uniforms section. It explains an option skaters have, which is to put their skater number on their helmet. This rule was changed from the previous version, to add that if a skater puts their number on their helmet, it must match the number that is on the roster, which is required to be on their back and on their arm or sleeve. This makes it easier for officials, as they won’t be confused by different numbers that appear on a skater. Although helmet numbers are not required, it can be confusing to a referee if, for example, they are looking above a skater’s shoulders calling a Blocking With The Head, and the number they see on the helmet is not that skater’s roster number.

This isn’t really a problem for the vast majority of skaters who put their number on their helmet, a trend growing in popularity worldwide. After all, most skaters will always wear their own skater number. This becomes an issue if a skater has to wear someone else’s helmet, jersey, or skater number, for some reason. For example, if a skater is skating in an invitational bout and have to use a different number than their own because of another skater on their team with the same number, they may need to wear a different helmet. Now, invitational bouts are not regulation or sanctioned, the two types of bout absolutely required to be played by exact word of the WFTDA rules. However, if a game is being played by the WFTDA rules, it is generally understood that it will follow the rules as if it is sanctioned or regulation. If a skater is in a situation where they are playing in a non-sanctioned or non-regulation bout and wants to wear a helmet with a different number than their roster number, they should seek approval prior to the bout from the head referee, and probably the opposing team, or else they will likely be asked to use a different helmet. Skaters in sanctioned and regulation bouts don’t have the option of seeking approval for a helmet with a number different than their roster number.