Friday, August 30, 2013

10.3.4 Skaters who are injured prior to the bout may play if they have received clearance from their doctor.

Today’s rule comes from the Injured Skaters section. This rule is sort of an odd one. The reason being that this is a very tough rule for the officials to enforce. Much like the Minimum Skills Requirements that the WFTDA removed from the rules, since it is a sanctioning requirement rather than a gameplay rule, this rule is also not a gameplay rule. After all, how would a referee go about enforcing this rule? Presuming that every skater has been hurt, and asking every one of them for a letter from their doctor won’t work, because some skaters have never been hurt, and thus won’t have a letter. Asking teams which of their skaters have been hurt wouldn't work, either, since a team can just lie. When it really comes down to it, since this rule has to do with actions outside of an actual game, there is no way to enforce it whatsoever.

That being said, while this isn’t a gameplay rule that can be enforced, it is a rule that all teams should follow as best they can. Injured skaters, at least seriously injured skaters (there’s a difference between a broken leg and rink rash) are not typically qualified to make the best medical diagnosis. While it absolutely sucks to not be playing roller derby, an injured skater playing in a game can become a safety hazard to other skaters and potentially injure themself even more.