Wednesday, January 2, 2013

6.15.2 Failure to be on the track for the next jam at jam start when currently in the penalty box queue. One penalty will be assessed to each offending skater.

Today’s rule is a Delay of Game major penalty. This rule is new in the current version of the rules. It was created to address what was determined to be an issue that was disrupting the flow of the game. If a blocker reports to the penalty box and both of the blocker seats are filled with teammates, that blocker is sent back to the track, in the penalty box queue. If the jam ends before the blocker is sent back to the penalty box to sit for their penalty time, that skater must play in the next jam. Previously, there was no determination that it was the skater’s responsibility to remain on the track, and at times jams would either be stopped to allow for the referees to return the skater to the track, or the next jam was run without that skater in it. While the effect of a skater in the penalty queue not remaining on the track is typically minor, it could become major if the blocker were to fail to remain on the track in the last jam, thus preventing their team from serving that skater’s penalty, allowing them an advantage. This rule prevents any advantage from a skater purposely failing to remain on the track when in the penalty queue. Further, while it doesn’t prevent disruption to the officiating of the game by forcing the officials to scramble about and make sure any skaters in the penalty queue remain on the track, it certainly provides a consequence is a skater forces such a situation.

There is no specific instruction on how or when to issue this penalty, however, logic helps in the situation. The rules don’t explain whether to stop the jam that the skater in queue has failed to skate in, and issue the penalty immediately; or to wait until the next jam. Logic dictates that the jam should be stopped and the penalty issued immediately. This means that the skater in queue would be asked to return to the track for the next jam, and when they were sent to the box to sit their penalty time, they would sit for an extra minute, thanks to receiving a major per this rule.