Tuesday, June 4, 2013

6.9.13 A skater who, while blocking an opposing skater, momentarily comes to a stop, but resumes counter-clockwise skating and/or stepping at the first legal opportunity.

Today's rule comes from the No Impact/No Penalty part of the Direction of Gamplay penalties section. 6.9.1 says that skater's must be stepping and/or skating in a counterclockwise direction while blocking, and 6.9.15 is a penalty for a skater who make a block while stopped which includes physical contact. However, if a skater is blocking an opponent and comes to a stop, but begins stepping and/or skating in a counterclockwise direction at the first legal opportunity, they will not receive a penalty. If the engaging skater has the opportunity to begin stepping and/or skating in a counterclockwise direction but does not do so, and continues to engage their opponent, they will be penalized.

Note that the phrase "at the first legal opportunity" is the Glossary definition for the word "immediately". That means a skater who is blocking an opponent and comes to a stop may begin stepping and/or skating again immediately and not receive a penalty for blocking while stopped momentarily. Unfortunately, "momentarily" is not defined in the Glossary, and will pretty much be left to the discretion of the referees. However, it can be safely interpreted that momentarily would as long as it would take for the engaging skater to have their first legal opportunity to begin blocking legally again.

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