Monday, July 29, 2013

6.13.33 Removing required safety equipment (see Section 7.2.7 and Section 10.1.1).

Today's rule is an Illegal Procedure major penalty. This penalty is issued to skaters who remove the safety equipment they are required to wear during a jam. This includes a skater's knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet, and mouth guard. The reference to 7.2.7 in this rule allows a skater to remove their mouth guard when they are seated in the penalty box, but at no other time while in a jam. If a skater is having an equipment malfunction, they are allowed to leave the track to correct it, and return legally to the jam, per 10.3.3.

This rule is the one that is responsible for most Illegal Procedure penalties issued during a jam. It is issued with the verbal cue "Equipment violation". Most usually, this penalty is issued when a skater's mouth guard is removed. This is often a point of contention with skaters, as they don't believe their mouth guard was removed, since it stayed in their mouth. However, it has become the consensus of referees worldwide that a mouth guard must be seated on the teeth to be considered in. After all, if a skater is wearing an elbow pad on their forearm, it isn't being worn correctly, and is an equipment violation. The same goes for a mouth guard. If it isn't seated on the teeth, then it isn't being worn correctly.

Full disclosure, I have personally been guilty of this particular penalty twice myself, by skating in a jam with my mouth guard stuck in my helmet. Oops.