Thursday, September 5, 2013

7.2.3 Penalty Box Procedures, Rights, and Restrictions When a skater is sent to the penalty box, the skater must immediately exit the track and skate to the penalty box in the counter-clockwise direction.

Today’s rule comes from the Penalty Enforcement Procedures section. This rule explains what a skater must do when a referee signals a penalty to them. There’s three distinct parts to this direction.

For starters, although not the first part of the rule, the skater must exit the track. Technically, exiting the track can be done it two ways: to the infield, and to the outside. This rule actually makes no distinction because which way the skater exits depends on where the penalty box is. If the penalty box is on the outside of the track, then the penalized skater would need to exit to the outside of the track; if the penalty box is in the infield (this is allowed) then the skater would need to exit to the infield. A skater should not be exiting the track the opposite way than is required to get to the penalty box - if the penalty box is on the outside, then exiting to the infield is not a proper exit. This also means a skater may not cut through the infield to get to the penalty box on the outside.

Second, a penalized skater must exit the track immediately. The Glossary in the rules defines immediately as “the first legal opportunity”. That means a skater who is able to immediately exit the track but fails to do so is not following this rule. It is important for referees to remember that sometimes it may not seem like a skater is exiting the track immediately, however they may be waiting for the first legal opportunity.

Lastly, penalized skaters must skate to the penalty box in a counter-clockwise direction. Rule 7.2.3.1 requires skaters to enter the penalty box in a counter-clockwise direction. If a penalized skater fails to do so, then they will be told by the penalty box official to take another lap (by using the verbal cue “color, number, skate around”, per the WFTDA Officiating Verbal Cues document).

A skater is required to do all these things, per today’s rule, however, there is not a penalty associated with failure to do all of them. If a skater fails to skate to the penalty box in a counter-clockwise direction, their consequence will be to skate a full lap to enter the box from the correct direction. If a skater exits the track the wrong way, they may be notified by the referee to go the other direction. If they fail to do so, then they will receive an Insubordination penalty. And finally, if a skater doesn’t exit the track immediately, and does so willfully in disobedience of the referee’s direction, they will receive an Insubordination penalty.

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