Thursday, February 21, 2013

5.1.1 Blocking is any movement on the track designed to knock the opponent down or out of bounds or to impede the opponent’s speed or movement through the pack. Blocking includes counter-blocking. Blocking need not include contact. Positional blocking is blocking without contact. A skater positioning their body in front of an opposing skater to impede the opposing skater’s movement on the track is positional blocking. Positional blocking need not be deliberate and/or intentional to be illegal, e.g. if the blocking skater is not aware of the Jammer’s position behind the blocking skater.

This rule comes from the General Blocking portion of the Blocking section. It has been slightly revised from the previous version of the rules. Although the meat and bones of the rule stay the same, the definition of positional blocking has been removed and put in the Glossary, at the end of the rules. Positional blocking is still held to the same standards as blocking with contact, and must be done legally. For example, a counterblock to the back of an opponent that knocks the opponent down will be penalized just as if a block was initiated to the opponent's back. The exception to this is in the Direction of Gameplay. If a skater makes a clockwise or stopped block that includes contact, and has impact, they will receive a penalty. However, if they make a clockwise or stopped positional block, they will not receive a penalty.

As this rule says, blocking is engagement by a skater to an opponent. A skater is not, by definition, able to block a teammate.