Monday, February 25, 2013

7.3.8 With one Jammer already in the box, if the opposing team’s Jammer leaves the jam because of a decision to quit playing (e.g. sits on their team’s bench mid-jam, leaves the track area mid-jam), the jam will be whistled dead after it has been determined by the referee that the Jammer will not again be re-entering play (Section 7.3.6 and Section 7.3.7 do not apply). A new jam will be started with the penalized Jammer still in the box serving the remainder of the required penalty time, and the opposing team fielding a new Jammer. The Jammer who ends a jam by quitting is to be considered as having quit the game. That Jammer is not permitted to return to play in the bout.

Today's rule comes from the Both Jammers Penalized/Both Jammers Off The Track section. This rule, much like most rules in this section, is designed to prevent a jam from continuing with no jammer on the track. This rule is not supposed to be enforced if the jammer who has left the track is still able to return to the jam (in the case of equipment malfunction), nor is this rule enforced if the jammer has become injured and is unable to return to the track. Rather, this rule is to be enforced when the jammer has left the track and has decided not to return. As the rule states, examples of a jammer quitting the game include sitting down on their team's bench and refusing to return to the track, and leaving the track area mid-jam. This second example can include multiple scenarios, such as the jammer sitting down in the stands with the audience, the jammer going to the bathroom, or even the jammer stepping off the track and sitting or lying down in the outside safety zone. Typically it will be the jammer's referee that will determine whether the jammer has quit the jam, however, any referee may make the determination if necessary. If the jammer has been determined to have quit the jam, the referee who has made that determination must call off the jam. The jammer in the penalty box remains in the penalty box to finish their penalty time. The team whose jammer quit the jam is able to field a new jammer in the next jam. However, the jammer that has quit the jam may no longer play in the bout.

This rule is silent on whether the jammer who has quit the bout must leave their team's bench, such as is made clear in the rules for expulsion and fouling out. It seems appropriate that the jammer quitting the game be treated like a foul out, and that the jammer be required to leave their team's bench area, but not be required to return to their team's dressing room/staging area. However, since it is not explicitly spelled out in the rules, the concerns is of the referees would be the final call on this situation.