Monday, March 4, 2013

8.3.1 Pass opposing skaters’ hips while in bounds and upright, legally, without committing penalties.

This rule comes from the scoring section. 8.3 explains that a jammer begins scoring once they have ended their initial pass. This rule explains how a jammer scores points. This isn't the only way a jammer may score points, as there are exceptions to this rule. However, the largest majority of points a jammer scores will be per this rule. There's a few parts to this rule. First, the jammer must pass the opponents' hips. Previously, this was not the easiest thing to understand, thanks to some odd language in the rules. Thankfully, the language has been revised in this version of the rules, to remove confusion. The definition of hips is now much easier to understand. Secondly, to score a point, the jammer making the pass must be in bounds. In the past, some have erroneously interpreted this rule to mean the opponent being passed must be in bounds. That would be an illogical rule, since all an opponent would need to do is be out of bounds when the jammer passed and they wouldn't be scored on. The third part of this rule is new in this version of the rules. The jammer must be upright when making a pass, or else they won't score those points. Previously, a jammer could be down when passing, meaning that a jammer could risk a low block penalty, and dive past the legs of a wall of opposing blockers. Since a jammer can't be blocked while down, they were practically undefendable, and would be attempting a pass while down only at their own risk. Finally, the jammer must pass legally, without committing penalties. In previous versions of the rules, a jammer was able to earn a minor penalty while making a pass, and not earn a point for the pass, but not be sent to the penalty box. Since minor penalties no longer exist in the WFTDA rules, a jammer must pass without committing a penalty, as that will send them to the penalty box. If a penalty happens while a pass is being made, the jammer will be sent to the penalty box without having scored a point for that pass. All of the above part of this rule must happen, or else the jammer will not score a point for that pass.

As I mentioned above, there are exceecptions to this rule. The most notable are Not On The Track points. As well, there are points earned for skaters who are out of play ahead of the engagement zone, both before and after the jam ends. Both exceptions have been covered, and are available on the Roller Derby Rule of the Day archive at rollerderbyruleoftheday.com.