Thursday, March 14, 2013

6.16.9 The excessive use of obscene, profane, or abusive language or gestures directed at an opposing skater, teammate, manager, coach, or other team support staff.

Today's rule is a Misconduct major penalty. Unlike obscene, profane, or abusive language or gestures directed at officials, mascots, announcers, audience members, or other bout production officials, a penalty is only issued to a skater if such language or gestures are directed excessively at at an opposing skater, teammate, manager, coach, or other team support staff. While it is understood that athletes engaged in full contact sports tend to have high emotions and high energy, the WFTDA rules make clear that there is no excuse to use obscene, profane, or abusive language or gestures towards officials, or those not directly involved in playing a bout. The rules seem to be understanding towards how teams act towards each other. Play gets heated, and skaters say thing to each other, that much is understood. However, there is a point at which it becomes excessive. Unfortunately, the term "excessive" isn't defined in the rules, which leaves it up to the discretion of referees. Certainly, if a skater hurls a swear word at a an opponent lands a big block on them, that's not excessive. If, however, the skater throws out a whole string of swear words, it will likely be considered excessive. If a skater gets blocked by an opponent and they reply by shouting "you're gonna pay for that!", it won't likely be considered excessive. However, if the skater replies by shouting "I'm gonna drag your f^&*ing ass out to the parking lot after this game and beat the living f^&* out of you!", well, that may be considered excessive.

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