Wednesday, July 10, 2013

6.10.13.1 Examples of an immediate attempt to reform the pack by the front-most group of skaters include actively braking or coasting. This should continue until either they have come to a stop, at which point they may not start skating counter-clockwise again, or a pack has been reformed. During a no-pack scenario the front-most group is never required to skate clockwise to reform a pack.

Today's rule comes from the Out Of Play penalties section. This rule follows the rule that explains how a major penalty is earned for failure to reform a pack. It is brand new in this version of the rules. This rule explains what the foremost group in a no pack scenario must do to be considered to be attempting to reform the pack. Previously, there was no direction in the rules for skaters to follow to reform a pack. All that anyone had to go by was that there must be an attempt to reform. So, for the group in rear, it was pretty much universally interpreted that they must increase their speed greater than it was before the pack was destroyed, and maintain their speed increase until the pack was reformed. For the group in front, it was interpreted that they would have to slow down until the pack was reformed, eventually coming to a stop if it took that long to reform the pack. This rule doesn't deviate too much from the previous interpretation. However, there is a part of the rule that many find very interesting. The interesting part is the inclusion of the phrase "actively braking or coasting". Although the rule continues to say "This should continue until either they have come to a stop ... or a pack has been reformed", there is no indication in the rule that the front-most group must come to a stop, or even how long they may coast until they come to a stop. Therefore, this rule effectively says that as long as the front-most group of skaters is not actively skating (defined in the Glossary as "Using your skates to move"), then they may continue to coast until the rear-most group has skated forward to reform the pack, as explained in 6.10.13.2.

It is widely thought that this rule is WFTDA's attempt to combat the strategy known as "passive offense" without making a major change to the game or rules. After all, the only real difference between this rule and the previous interpretation is that this rule now specifically allows the front-most group to be coasting to be considered attempting to reform the pack.

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