Wednesday, January 16, 2013

8.3.1.4.1.2.3 The Jammer must have passed the foremost in play Blocker.

Today's rule is from the Scoring section, and is a subrule of 8.3.1.4.1.2, which explains that a jammer may score points for blockers who have advanced ahead of the engagement zone without having to physically pass them. Normally, this is only possible if the jam ends with the blockers ahead of the engagement zone. This rule, along with the two others before it, are the circumstances which make 8.3.1.4.1.2 possible. That being said, this rule helps tell the story behind why these points are possible. Quickly, let’s review the previous two rules:

8.3.1.4.1.2.1 The Jammer must be on a scoring pass.
8.3.1.4.1.2.2 The Jammer must have already scored one point on an opposing Blocker in the same scoring pass.

So, to be able to earn points for a blocker who has skated ahead of the engagement zone, without passing them, before the jam ends, a jammer must be on a scoring pass, have already scored a point on an opposing blocker, and also have passed the foremost in play blocker. It is a very specific situation, that won’t happen often in a game. But you might be asking yourself why this rule exists? Especially so, because it is a confusing situation to consider. There’s only one reason I can consider why it would be so, and that is to prevent skaters from unfairly preventing being scored upon.

Consider this situation: a jammer has been skating through a pack, and has passed three opposing blockers, with one more ahead of them. To avoid being scored upon, the unscored-on blocker skates forward out of play. As the jammer is approaching the forward edge of the engagement zone, ahead of all the other blockers, the unscored-on blocker’s teammates catch up and are able to bring the jammer back into the pack. Before the jammer has a chance to call off the jam, the unscored-on blocker drops back into the engagement zone.

In this situation, the unscored-on blocker has been able to run away from the jammer and not be scored on. Considering that skaters are supposed to stay in play, this is unfair of the blocker who is able to skate out of the engagement zone, leaving their already scored upon teammates to stop the jammer before the jammer passes the unscored-on blocker. Now, if the jammer were to call off the jam while the blocker was still out of play, the jammer would get that point, per 8.5.4.1. However, if the blocker were to get distracted, the unscored-on blocker would be able to slip back in play, avoiding being a point. Considering rules such as 8.5.4.1 and all of the Not On The Track rules are designed to prevent opponents from unfairly avoiding being scored on, it only seems logical that this rule was designed for exactly the same purpose.

To reiterate, the points available to a jammer per 8.3.1.4.1.2 are only scored if all three circumstances listed in 8.3.1.4.1.2.1-8.3.1.4.1.3 happen at the same time.

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