Monday, April 29, 2013

6.9.17 A clockwise block that includes physical contact which forces the receiving opposing skater off-balance, forward, backward, and/or sideways, but does not cause the opposing skater to lose relative position.

Today’s rule is a Direction of Gameplay major penalty. This rule is sort of a change from the previous version of the rules. Previously, a block made while the skater were moving in the clockwise direction was considered a clockwise block, regardless of whether there was contact. Now, contact is sometimes the difference between a penalty and no penalty. As this rule says, if a skater makes a clockwise block that includes contact, and the receiver is only forced off balance, but does not lose relative position, the initiator will still receive a major penalty. Of course, if the receiver is forced down, out of bound, out of play, or the there is a loss of relative position, the initiator will receive a major penalty as well. The change here is that what used to be a minor penalty in past rules version is now a major penalty in the current version. This mostly affects when skaters are in a wall and holding back an opponent, as skaters tend to step clockwise when a wall is moving very slowly forward. As well, skaters have had to adjust when trying to draw out of bounds opponents backwards on the track, since skaters have to be more careful when moving clockwise on the track, so that they don’t contact an opponent.

It must be noted that while this rule doesn’t include a loss of established position, like other Direction majors do, initiation must be factored into the issuance of this penalty. If a skater is moving clockwise, and an opponent steps into their path, getting hit and knocked down, the clockwise skating skater would not be guilty of a clockwise block because the opponent would be considered the initiator by stepping quickly into their path.