Tuesday, June 25, 2013

3.1.2 Prior to the start of a jam, Blockers line up behind the Pivots, if the Pivot is upright and on the Pivot Line, and ahead of the Jammers (see Section 4.2 Pre-Jam Positioning). Prior to the start of a jam, if a skater coming onto the track commits a penalty, they will serve as a Blocker.

Today's rule comes from the Blocker part of the Skater Positions and Identification section of the rules. This rule has been revised in the most recent version of the rules. The first half of the rule is effectively unchanged. However, the second half is new. Previously, there was no direction as to how to penalize a skater with a pivot helmet cover on who commits a penalty before a jam starts. While some may have penalized that skater as a pivot, that would have been technically inaccurate, since a skater doesn't become pivot until a jam begins. Yet, that wasn't very clear. Now, however, it is clear how to penalize a skater lining up as pivot who gets a penalty before the jam-starting whistle.

Note, this rule specifies that it applies to skaters coming onto the track, this doesn't mean it only applies to to skaters in the act of skating onto the track. Although there isn't a specific rule specifying that skaters who commit penalties after the fourth whistle, having skated in the preceding jam, are to be penalized as the same position they played in that jam, today's rule makes a contrast between the two situations by omission. Thus, this rule only applies to skaters who are preparing to skate in a new jam, as opposed to those who have just skated in a jam.