Thursday, January 31, 2013

6.16.10 Entry to the penalty box that causes another person to vacate their position to reasonably avoid being forcibly contacted. This includes people correctly positioned in their team bench area and is not limited to people in the penalty box.

Today's rule is a Misconduct major penalty. It is a new rule in this version of the rules. Previously, there was no penalty for dangerous entry to the penalty. Unfortunately, this did happen often enough that it was added to the rules. Dangerous entry to the penalty box puts the other skaters in the box at risk of safety, as well as the penalty box officials. In fact, the penalty box officials are likely at greater risk, because they aren't wearing protective equipment. Luckily, this rule was added to help prevent dangerous entry to the penalty box. This rule explains that if a skater in the penalty box, including one already seated in their designated spot, is forced to vacate their position - in other words, move out of the way - to reasonably avoid being hit by a skater entering the box, the entering skater will receive a penalty. Now, it is important to note that this rule includes the qualifier "reasonably". If a skater gets frightened by a skater entering at a fast speed, and jumps out of their chair, but there wasn't risk of them being contacted, the entering skater may not receive a penalty. This may end up coming down to a judgment call by the penalty box officials, and of course they should consider that safety is the number one priority.

This penalty may, of course, be called by a referee that witnesses a dangerous entry. However, if the penalty box officials are the only witness, they should flag down a referee promptly so that the penalty may be issued. The enforcement of this penalty is similar to that of a skater who has left the penalty box early.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

3.2.3 If a Pivot cover falls to the ground or is removed from play by any means it may only be recovered by the Pivot.

Today's rule comes from the Pivot part of the Skater Positions And Identification section of the rules. This is a new rule for the current version. Previously, the only mention of retrieval of a dropped helmet cover appeared in the Star Pass section, and the rule stated that only a jammer or pivot could retrieve a dropped helmet cover. This made it legal for a jammer to retrieve a dropped pivot helmet cover. Now, only the pivot may retrieve their helmet cover. While it may have been helpful for a jammer to retrieve it and return it to the pivot before, at least now the pivot may skate clockwise to retrieve it. As well, pivots may skate out of bounds to retrieve their helmet cover. Although this action isn't covered in the No Impact/No Penalty section of the Skating Out Of Bounds penalties, the rules allow a pivot to skate out of bounds to retrieve a helmet cover, which makes it another exception to the requirement to stay in bounds.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

6.16.6 Initiating contact with both skates off of the ground that forces the receiving opposing skater out of established position. This includes forcing a skater down, out of bounds, or out of relative position.

Today's rule is a Misconduct major penalty. This rule has been changed significantly from the previous version of the rules. Previously, this rule made it illegal for a skater to make any contact with opponents while airborne. However, this rule now only penalizes a skater if they force an opponent out of their established position while airborne. It is important to note that this rule, along with several others in this version, says "established position", which is different than "relative position". In the case of this rule, loss of established position prevents a skater from jumping, and then an opponent leaping into their path and getting hit by the airborne skater. Once a skater is airborne, they are no longer in control of their trajectory, thus it is unfair for an opponent to be able to step into their path, when their trajectory was established before the position of the opponent was established in front of the airborne skater.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

3.4.2.3 Once the Jammer has exited the Engagement Zone that Jammer is no longer eligible to re-pass. If the Jammer has not passed all of the skaters on both teams legally and in bounds, the Jammer will be declared NOT Lead Jammer at this point.

Today's rule comes from the Lead Jammer section. 3.4.1 explains how a jammer is able to become lead jammer, by passing blockers. If a jammer becomes ineligible for lead status by getting a no pass/no penalty, they may drop back and repass the skater whom they passed while out of bounds. This rule explains that a jammer only gets until the end of the engagement zone to repass blockers to remain eligible for lead. Once a jammer has exited the engagement zone, they are no longer able to repass any blockers that were passed while out of bounds. At that point the jammer has finished their initial pass, and if they haven't already been declared lead jammer, at that point they will be declared not lead jammer.

It should be noted that this rule specifies that jammers who are not lead are declared not lead at this point. It does not say anything about whether the other jammer has been declared lead already. Thus, even if there is already a lead jammer, the second jammer is only declared not lead jammer when they exit the engagement zone, and not before then.

In the event that a jammer reaches the end of the engagement zone, and there is no pack, the language used in 3.4.2.2 should be used to determine when a jammer has finished their initial pass. This means that the jammer has completed their initial pass, and is no longer eligible to repass, when they skate 20 feet from the foremost blocker.

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

2.2.2 The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Today's rule is my favorite rule in the entire rule book! It is actually the easiest rule to understand. Even with all the confusing overtime rules, this one still makes perfect sense.

This rule is in honor of Roller Derby Rule of the Day's 2 year anniversary! Thanks so much for all the participation from this fantastic community!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

8.3.1.4.1.2.3 The Jammer must have passed the foremost in play Blocker.

Today's rule is from the Scoring section, and is a subrule of 8.3.1.4.1.2, which explains that a jammer may score points for blockers who have advanced ahead of the engagement zone without having to physically pass them. Normally, this is only possible if the jam ends with the blockers ahead of the engagement zone. This rule, along with the two others before it, are the circumstances which make 8.3.1.4.1.2 possible. That being said, this rule helps tell the story behind why these points are possible. Quickly, let’s review the previous two rules:

8.3.1.4.1.2.1 The Jammer must be on a scoring pass.
8.3.1.4.1.2.2 The Jammer must have already scored one point on an opposing Blocker in the same scoring pass.

So, to be able to earn points for a blocker who has skated ahead of the engagement zone, without passing them, before the jam ends, a jammer must be on a scoring pass, have already scored a point on an opposing blocker, and also have passed the foremost in play blocker. It is a very specific situation, that won’t happen often in a game. But you might be asking yourself why this rule exists? Especially so, because it is a confusing situation to consider. There’s only one reason I can consider why it would be so, and that is to prevent skaters from unfairly preventing being scored upon.

Consider this situation: a jammer has been skating through a pack, and has passed three opposing blockers, with one more ahead of them. To avoid being scored upon, the unscored-on blocker skates forward out of play. As the jammer is approaching the forward edge of the engagement zone, ahead of all the other blockers, the unscored-on blocker’s teammates catch up and are able to bring the jammer back into the pack. Before the jammer has a chance to call off the jam, the unscored-on blocker drops back into the engagement zone.

In this situation, the unscored-on blocker has been able to run away from the jammer and not be scored on. Considering that skaters are supposed to stay in play, this is unfair of the blocker who is able to skate out of the engagement zone, leaving their already scored upon teammates to stop the jammer before the jammer passes the unscored-on blocker. Now, if the jammer were to call off the jam while the blocker was still out of play, the jammer would get that point, per 8.5.4.1. However, if the blocker were to get distracted, the unscored-on blocker would be able to slip back in play, avoiding being a point. Considering rules such as 8.5.4.1 and all of the Not On The Track rules are designed to prevent opponents from unfairly avoiding being scored on, it only seems logical that this rule was designed for exactly the same purpose.

To reiterate, the points available to a jammer per 8.3.1.4.1.2 are only scored if all three circumstances listed in 8.3.1.4.1.2.1-8.3.1.4.1.3 happen at the same time.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

8.3.1.4.1.2.2 The Jammer must have already scored one point on an opposing Blocker in the same scoring pass.

Today's rule is from the Scoring section, and is a subrule of 8.3.1.4.1.2, which explains that a jammer may score points for blockers who have advanced ahead of the engagement zone without having to physically pass them. Normally, this is only possible if the jam ends with the blockers ahead of the engagement zone. This rule, along with the two others after it, are the circumstances which make 8.3.1.4.1.2 possible. Per today's rule, the jammer must have already scored one point on an opposing blocker in the same scoring pass. If the jammer meets the other criteria to be awarded the points outlined in 8.3.1.4.1.2, but hasn’t met this one, then they will not be awarded the points. This rule doesn’t say how the point may be awarded, but it does say the point must be on an opposing blocker. That means a jammer lap point would not satisfy this requirement.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

8.3.1.4.1.2.1 The Jammer must be on a scoring pass.

Today's rule is from the Scoring section, and is a subrule of 8.3.1.4.1.2, which explains that a jammer may score points for blockers who have advanced ahead of the engagement zone without having to physically pass them. Normally, this is only possible if the jam ends with the blockers ahead of the engagement zone. This rule, along with the two others after it, are the circumstances which make 8.3.1.4.1.2 possible. For starters, per today's rule, the jammer must be on a scoring pass. As 8.2 explains, there is no scoring during the initial pass; although 8.2.1 makes an exception, it is only for scoring jammer lap points, not points on blockers. Thus, 8.3.1.4.1.2 only applies if a jammer is on a scoring pass. The other two circumstances will be covered in the following two Rules of the Day.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

8.3.1.4.1.2 A Jammer may receive points during a scoring pass before the jam has ended for opposing Blockers who have advanced ahead of the Engagement Zone without having to physically pass them. These are the circumstances in which a Jammer can earn points in this manner:

Today’s rule comes from the Scoring section. It is a new rule, as are all its subrules. This rule explains that there is a situation where a jammer can earn points without passing an opponent, while that opponent is still on the track, and before the end of the jam. Previously, the only way a jammer could earn points without passing an opponent was either if the opponent was a Not On The Track point, or if the opponent was a blocker out of play ahead of the pack when the jam ended. Both situations still exist. Now there is an additional situation, this one with the opponent still on the track, which is unlike any of the situations covered in the NOTT points section.

As explained in this rule, these points are only awarded to the jammer for opposing blockers that are out of play ahead of the pack, meaning they are ahead of the engagement zone. Although it seems as if this allows a jammer to score points any time an opposing blocker leaves the engagement zone ahead of the pack, the three following subrules explain, as mentioned in this rule, the circumstances in which the jammer earns those points. If all three circumstances are not met, then the points aren’t awarded. Over the next few days I will cover the subrules to explain the circumstances.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

5.2.4 Illegal Blocking Zones: Apply to the body parts of the skater performing a block. Skaters may not initiate contact with the following parts of the body:

Today’s rule is a subheader of the Contact Zones section of the rules. It isn’t a new rule. However, it was revised in this version of the rules. It wasn’t a major change, however it now makes a lot more sense when reading. The last sentence, “Skaters may not initiate contact with the following parts of the body”, was added. This doesn’t change the meaning of the rule at all. It just adds some clarification.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

6.15.4 A team successfully requesting a team timeout when they have none remaining. Penalty will be assessed to the Captain.

Today’s rule is a Delay of Game major penalty. It is new in the current version of the rules. It actually looks very similar to another rule, which is successfully getting the jam called off when not lead Jammer; an Illegal Procedure major. That rule has bothered many people for years, simply because if a jammer is not lead, then the referees shouldn’t be calling off the jam. While there is lots of merit to that argument, the other side of the coin is that the referees have a lot going on, and a jammer who is not lead should be responsible for their own actions and not attempt to call off the jam. The same logic seems to apply to today’s rule. Basically, because timeouts may be requested within even a second of a jam being started, referees don’t always have the luxury of time to look at a scoreboard, or a whiteboard somewhere to see if a team has any timeouts left. If a team signals a timeout, then a referee is going to call a timeout. If a team has no timeouts left, this can cause a lot of confusion, scrambling, and of course, a delay of the game. Therefore, if a team has no more timeouts left (they get three team timeouts per game), and they request a timeout and a timeout is called, the captain of that team will receive a major penalty. This means teams need to pay close attention to how many timeouts they have used.

Since this rule specifies the penalty only going to the captain, if the captain is already in the penalty box, they will receive an extra minute on top of the time they are already there for. If the captain is no longer in the game, the offending team gets to choose a new captain. If they refuse to choose a captain, then the head referee may choose which skater will receive this penalty.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

6.15.2 Failure to be on the track for the next jam at jam start when currently in the penalty box queue. One penalty will be assessed to each offending skater.

Today’s rule is a Delay of Game major penalty. This rule is new in the current version of the rules. It was created to address what was determined to be an issue that was disrupting the flow of the game. If a blocker reports to the penalty box and both of the blocker seats are filled with teammates, that blocker is sent back to the track, in the penalty box queue. If the jam ends before the blocker is sent back to the penalty box to sit for their penalty time, that skater must play in the next jam. Previously, there was no determination that it was the skater’s responsibility to remain on the track, and at times jams would either be stopped to allow for the referees to return the skater to the track, or the next jam was run without that skater in it. While the effect of a skater in the penalty queue not remaining on the track is typically minor, it could become major if the blocker were to fail to remain on the track in the last jam, thus preventing their team from serving that skater’s penalty, allowing them an advantage. This rule prevents any advantage from a skater purposely failing to remain on the track when in the penalty queue. Further, while it doesn’t prevent disruption to the officiating of the game by forcing the officials to scramble about and make sure any skaters in the penalty queue remain on the track, it certainly provides a consequence is a skater forces such a situation.

There is no specific instruction on how or when to issue this penalty, however, logic helps in the situation. The rules don’t explain whether to stop the jam that the skater in queue has failed to skate in, and issue the penalty immediately; or to wait until the next jam. Logic dictates that the jam should be stopped and the penalty issued immediately. This means that the skater in queue would be asked to return to the track for the next jam, and when they were sent to the box to sit their penalty time, they would sit for an extra minute, thanks to receiving a major per this rule.

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