Friday, June 14, 2013

1.1 Teams shall consist of a maximum of 20 skaters

Today's rule comes from the Teams section of the rules. Most people will notice that this rule looks shorter than they're used to, and that's because it is. This rule was revised in the most recent version of the WFTDA rules to remove the requirement that all skaters on a team have passed the minimum skills requirements (MSRs) set forth by the WFTDA. This has become a hot button issue for many people. The WFTDA has made a statement saying that the MSRs are a requirement for sanctioned bouts, as they have authority over those bouts, and can enforce that skaters in sanctioned bouts have passed the MSRs. In non-sanctioned bouts the WFTDA doesn't have the same authority. Certainly, with regulation bouts, or for all WFTDA member leagues, the WFTDA may be able to enforce a policy, however non-compliance doesn't really have a possible penalty as directly related to a bout as removing a bout's sanction.

Some question, even with that explanation, why the WFTDA would bother removing it anyway. When you think about the rules, they are intended to be rules for gameplay. As such, a rule requiring skaters to have passed the MSRs isn't directly related to gameplay. What I mean by this is that referees are almost completely unable to enforce that rule. Even if a referee asked every skater, before a bout, if they'd passed the MSRs, there's no way to verify the skater isn't lying. Besides, that's not the logical place for such a requirement. That is why the WFTDA has suggested that requirements for skaters to have passed the MSRs be put into bout contracts. As well, the same requirement can be spelled out for all scrimmages, pickup games, etc. Certainly, people can lie about having passed the MSRs, but nothing has stopped people from lying about that since the MSRs were created years ago.

Oddly, the WFTDA removed the requirement for passing the MSRs because its an internal policy, and has no place in gameplay rules, yet they left the rest of this rule, which, frankly, also has no place in the rules. Since rule 1.2 only allows 14 skaters per roster, a rule allowing a maximum of 20 skaters per team is as helpful as a rule allowing a maximum of a million.