Friday, November 30, 2012

6.11.9 A skater cutting only one in-play teammate.

Today's rule is from the No Impact/No Penalty par of the Cutting the Track penalty section. This rule came about as the result of minor penalties being removed in this version of the rules. Previously cutting one in play skater, regardless of team, was a penalty. Now, cutting on in play teammate does not result in a penalty.

It is important to note that even though no penalty is given, passes made while out of bounds do not satisfy the requirements of rule 3.4.1, and a jammer who cuts one in play teammate, and doesn't repass that teammate in bounds, will not be eligible for lead jammer.

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.

Monday, November 26, 2012 A Pivot may skate in any direction, including out of bounds, to retrieve the Pivot helmet cover.

Today’s rule comes from the Player Positions and Identification section. This is a new rule in the current version of the WFTDA rules. Previously, the rules regarding the retrieval of dropped helmet covers were in the Star Pass section. In this version, they’ve been moved to the appropriate sections, for the helmet cover in question. This rule, regarding the pivot helmet cover, appears in the Pivot Blocker section. Also, previously, the rules made it legal only to retrieve either helmet cover while skating in the counterclockwise direction. This has been changed, and now the pivot (and jammer) helmet cover may be retrieved while skating in either direction. This is a helpful rule change, as it prevents pivots from having to skate an entire lap to retrieve a helmet cover that is clockwise of them. If they missed the helmet cover on their first try, they would have to take another lap, repeating until they retrieved the helmet cover. This also makes it easier for referees, as they no longer need to worry about the direction a pivot is moving when retrieving their helmet cover. All they need to do is make sure that the skater retrieving the pivot helmet cover is, in fact, the pivot. This rule is a subrule of 3.2.3, which says that only the pivot may retrieve their helmet cover from the ground.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 In the event both Jammers simultaneously meet all requirements for Lead jammer, the foremost Jammer, if there is one, will be declared Lead Jammer.

Today’s rule comes from the Lead Jammer section. This is a new rule as of the most recent revision of the WFTDA rules. This situation was previously addressed as an official Publication, but has been incorporated into the rules. It is an odd circumstance that would lead to this rule being required. I’ll explain:

3.4.1 states that the lead jammer is the first jammer to pass the foremost in play blocker legally and in bounds, having passed all other blockers legally and in bounds. As well does not require jammers to pass blockers that are ahead of the engagement zone to be come lead jammer. So, if both jammers have made it through the pack and there is only one in play blocker ahead of them - the foremost - and that blocker were to skate out of play ahead of the engagement zone, at that moment both jammers will be in front of the new foremost in play blocker, meaning they have both passed the foremost in play blocker. Assuming that blocker was passed legally and in bounds, and all other blockers were pass legally in bounds, by both jammers, then both jammers will have met the requirements to be lead simultaneously.

Thanks to today’s rule, lead status will be signaled for the jammer which is in the lead at the time they both meet the requirements to become lead jammer. If, at that time, neither jammer is foremost (meaning they are neck and neck, and foremost cannot be determined) then neither shall be declared lead.