Thursday, July 18, 2013 During a no-pack scenario, if all of one team is out of bounds, the team on the track must skate forward, accelerating until they are sprinting, a pack has reformed, or a member of the opposing team may legally return to the track behind them.

Today's rule comes from the Out Of Play penalties section. This rule follows another rule which explains what skaters must do to reform a pack when it is destroyed. It is a new rule in this version of the rules. Previously, there was little to no guidance in the rules for skaters to know how to reform a pack when there was a no pack scenario. This rule is one of four new rules that helps give some guidance. In the case of today's rule, the situation is that all of one team is on the track and all of another team is off the track. Now, this isn't as straight forward as it seems. It doesn't necessarily mean four blockers from one team off the track and four blockers from the other team on the track, although that would certainly meet this definition. A more common scenario would be three of four blockers from one team on the track, and one blocker from the other off the track. This would likely happen during a power jam for the team with more blockers, and the defending team with two skaters in the box and the other on the way. Certainly, there are many other scenarios that would meet this rule's definition. I'm going to use the four and one scenario to explain the rule.

If the black team is one a power jam and has all their blockers on the track, and the white team has two blockers and a jammer in the box with a blocker on their way to the box, and the black blockers hit the white blocker out of bounds, there will no longer be a pack. In this example if the black team were to back up to force the white blocker to return behind them, then the no pack scenario would be sustained until the white blocker could get back on the track. What this rule does is it forces the black team to accelerate forward up to sprinting under the entire black team on the track is ahead of the white blocker so the white blocker may return to the track legally. If the black team is already ahead of the out of bounds white blocker, then they must stay ahead of the white blocker until they have returned to the track. My interpretation of the rule is that they may not accelerate if the white blocker may return behind them, until the white blocker is back in bounds. This would prevent the black team from sprinting away ahead of the white blocker, also sustaining the no pack scenario. In essence, this rule prevents the team on the track from keeping the pack destroyed. It requires them to allow the team off the track to return to the track and reform the pack.

If all of the on track team skaters are not following this rule, then one of them will be issued a penalty for failure to reform the pack.