Monday, July 15, 2013 During a no-pack scenario, if there are more than two groups, skaters who are in neither the front-most or rear-most groups may choose for themselves whether they would prefer to speed up or slow down in an attempt to reform the 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. The most common scenario used when discussing no pack situations is two even group of skaters, more than ten feet apart. However, this is not the only scenario that may occur. After all, a pack is the largest group of in bounds blockers from both teams skating or standing in proximity. So if there are more than two groups, it is still possible for a pack to not exist. For an example of an odd scenario, I'll use a black and a pink team. Let's say there is a group of two pink blockers and one black blocker in front, then eleven feet behind is one pink and one black blocker, and eleven more feet behind them is a group of one pink blocker and two black blockers. All the groups contain skaters from both teams. However, since the two largest have the same amount of skaters, there is no "largest group" as required by rule 4.1.1. In that case, the two blockers in between the groups of three would be the subject of today's rule. Since they are not part of either the front-most or rear-most groups, they would not be subject to rules or, which are the two previous rules that also help explain what to do to be considered reforming the pack. Therefore, the two skaters in the middle have a choice. They may either skate forward and join the front-most group, or slow down and join the rear-most group. They don't have to do the same thing, as the rule says they "may choose for themselves". Of course, that can make things difficult. If both skaters in the middle decide to both jump forward more than a foot, then the pack will be reformed in front, since that group would now have five blockers, versus the rear having only three. However, if one skater were to skate forward while the other slows down, then there would be two groups of four blockers, thus continuing the no pack situation. That means the two groups are still responsible for reforming a pack, and would have to follow the directions in rules and