Monday, April 29, 2013

6.9.17 A clockwise block that includes physical contact which forces the receiving opposing skater off-balance, forward, backward, and/or sideways, but does not cause the opposing skater to lose relative position.

Today’s rule is a Direction of Gameplay major penalty. This rule is sort of a change from the previous version of the rules. Previously, a block made while the skater were moving in the clockwise direction was considered a clockwise block, regardless of whether there was contact. Now, contact is sometimes the difference between a penalty and no penalty. As this rule says, if a skater makes a clockwise block that includes contact, and the receiver is only forced off balance, but does not lose relative position, the initiator will still receive a major penalty. Of course, if the receiver is forced down, out of bound, out of play, or the there is a loss of relative position, the initiator will receive a major penalty as well. The change here is that what used to be a minor penalty in past rules version is now a major penalty in the current version. This mostly affects when skaters are in a wall and holding back an opponent, as skaters tend to step clockwise when a wall is moving very slowly forward. As well, skaters have had to adjust when trying to draw out of bounds opponents backwards on the track, since skaters have to be more careful when moving clockwise on the track, so that they don’t contact an opponent.

It must be noted that while this rule doesn’t include a loss of established position, like other Direction majors do, initiation must be factored into the issuance of this penalty. If a skater is moving clockwise, and an opponent steps into their path, getting hit and knocked down, the clockwise skating skater would not be guilty of a clockwise block because the opponent would be considered the initiator by stepping quickly into their path.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

3.4.5 A Jammer who begins the jam in the penalty box is eligible to earn Lead Jammer status provided that the other Jammer has not already been declared Lead Jammer. A Jammer sent to the penalty box while making their initial pass through the pack is not eligible to become Lead Jammer upon re-entering the jam.

Today's rule comes from the Lead Jammer section. This rule allows a jammer who has started a jam in the penalty box the opportunity to become lead jammer. It is very important to differentiate between a jammer who has gone to the penalty box on their initial pass, and a jammer who has begun a jam in the penalty box. It's not a difficult differentiation to make, but it must be made. A jammer begins the jam in the penalty box simply be being sent to the penalty box prior to the start of that jam. Thus, if they are in the box when the jam starting whistle is blown, when they are released from the box they are eligible to become lead jammer, as long as the other jammer has not already been declared the lead jammer. This rule does not apply to a jammer who begins a jam on the jammer and is sent to the penalty box after the start of the jam.

Something to note, even if a jammer begins a jam in the penalty box, is released from the penalty box, and is eligible to become lead jammer, they become ineligible if they are sent back to the penalty box in that jam.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

2.6.1 Each team is allowed 3 one-minute timeouts per game.

Today's rule comes from the Timeouts section. There isn't very much to explain about this rule. Each team gets three timeouts per game. This not to be confused with official reviews, of which each team gets one per half. A couple of important reminders regarding timeouts. First, they may only be requested by a team's captain or designated alternate. If a skater or support staff who is not the captain or designated alternate requests a timeout, it will be ignored by the referees. A timeout is requested by making a "T" shape with the hands. Second, if a team with no more timeouts left requests a timeout, and it is granted, that team's captain will be issued a major penalty, per new Delay of Game rule 6.15.4.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 When the Jammer finishes serving a penalty, the Jammer continues their scoring pass exactly where the Jammer left off. For example: If the Jammer has scored on opposing Blockers A and B when sent to the penalty box, the Jammer retains those points. When the penalty finishes in the same jam, the Jammer remains on the same scoring pass and can only score on opposing Blockers C and D. (See Section 3.4 Lead Jammer for Lead Jammer details.)

Today's rule comes from the Points part of the Scoring section. This rule explains what happens when a jammer returns to the track from the penalty box. While the rule says that a jammer continues scoring where they left off, if they haven't begun a scoring pass yet, then they don't score at all when they return to the track until they complete their initial pass. If, however, the jammer has already completed their initial pass and scored one or two points, then when they return they may not score those points again. Points that a jammer earns are scored only once per scoring pass, and are not removed even if the jammer goes to the penalty box. It is for this reason that jammer referees must pay very careful attention to which skaters were passed in a scoring pass in case their jammer goes to the penalty box. IF, like the example in the rule say, the jammer has passed opposing blockers A and B before going to the penalty box, then when they return they may score points on opposing blockers C and D as well. However, if they return from the box and only pass blocker C, and fail to pass D, that jammer's referee needs to know not to award the point for blocker D.

Friday, April 5, 2013 Standard scoring rules and requirements apply to opponents returning from the penalty box that skate ahead of the Jammer before the Jammer is able to earn their first point in that scoring pass.

Today's rule comes from the Points part of the Scoring section of the rules. This rule references, the part of scoring section that covers Not On The Track points. As the NOTT section explains, jammers earn points for skaters in the penalty box, and those who are returning from the penalty box, when they score their first point on an opposing blocker in each scoring pass. However, if the skater in the penalty is able to return to the track and skate ahead of the jammer before the jammer has been able to score their first point on an opposing blocker, then the jammer will not earn a NOTT point for the returning skater. That skater will become a normal point, and all standard scoring rules apply, which means that the jammer must pass them legally and in bounds.

Monday, April 1, 2013

6.9.16 A clockwise skating and/or stepping skater giving an assist that affects the recipient, regardless of whether or not it improves the recipient’s relative position. The penalty is given to the initiator of the assist.

Today's rule comes from the Direction of Gameplay section. It is a major penalty. If a skater is skating and/or stepping clockwise, and they give a teammate an assist, then they will receive a major penalty, regardless of whether or not the teammate's relative position was improved. This could look like a clockwise skating skater giving a whip to a teammate, or a clockwise skating skater giving a teammate a push. After all, the Glossary defines an assist as: "Helping a teammate by giving a push or whip." Where this gets interesting is when a clockwise skating skater "assists"a teammate by pulling them. I put "assists" in quotes, because, technically, a pull isn't an assist, according to the Glossary. So, if a blocker were to block a jammer out of bounds, then skate clockwise to draw the jammer back, pulling a teammate with them, they wouldn't - by the letter of the rules - be making a clockwise assist. However, if the same blocker turned around and pushed a teammate clockwise, then they would be making an assist, per the Glossary.

Where I question this rule is whether a skater should be penalized if they take an assist off a team while skating clockwise, or if they take an assist off a clockwise skating teammate. After all, this rule does say "a clockwise skating and/or stepping skater giving an assist". If a skater takes an assist while they are skating clockwise but their teammate is skating counterclockwise, that wouldn't fit the language of the rule. Similarly, if a skater were to take an assist off a clockwise skating teammate, then the clockwise skating teammate wouldn't technically be giving the assist, although that is my own personal interpretation, and I could be swayed to accept that having an assist taken off of you would mean you're giving an assist. Personally, I wouldn't call that penalty, but I could understand a referee who would.