Thursday, June 27, 2013

8.5.1.1.3 A skater who removes themselves from the track will be scored on as though they were on the track, until it has been determined they have removed themselves from play, after which point they will be considered a Not-On-the-Track (NOTT) point until they return to play, if they are allowed (see Section 10.3.3).

Today's rule comes from the Points part of the Scoring section of the rules. This rule is a subrule of 8.5.1.1, which explains when a skater becomes a Not On The Track point, meaning when they are scored upon when they aren't physically on the track. Normally, skaters are not allowed to skate out of bounds intentionally, thanks to section 6.12. However, there is a rule that makes exceptions.

6.12.4 Exiting the track as a result of injury, equipment failure, or to avoid unsafe track conditions including but not limited to fallen skaters, debris, and spills.

So, this rule explains that when a skater has removed their self from play, they become a Not On The Track point, and are scored upon once the opposing jammer earns a point on a block in a scoring pass. Now, it isn't entirely clear exactly when a skater has gone from "exited the track" to "removed themselves from play", but discretion can be used. If a jammer exits the track and is immediately lapped by the opposing jammer, that would likely be a Jammer Lap Point. However, if a jammer exits the track and sits down to fix a toe stop, and is lapped by the opposing jammer then, that would be a NOTT point, which the opposing jammer would only score after passing one of the blockers on the out of bounds jammer's team. A jammer won't get scored on over and over while fixing an equipment issue (at least not as a Jammer Lap Point), but they don't become a NOTT point immediately when they leave the track, and may be scored on after they have left the track as they are going to fix an equipment issue.

Thanks to the last bit of 8.5.1.1.3, they don't become a JLP again until they return to play - a phrase which isn't made very clear in the rules, but can be understood to mean "return to the track", based on its usage in other rules. Therefore, if a jammer has completed fixing their equipment, and has yet to return to the track, and is lapped by the opposing jammer, but returns to the track before the opposing jammer scores a blocker point, the jammer will be neither a JLP or a NOTT point. This appears to be the only way the rules allow a skater to prevent themself from being scored on without physically remaining legally in front of the opposing jammer.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/566783980027129

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

3.1.2 Prior to the start of a jam, Blockers line up behind the Pivots, if the Pivot is upright and on the Pivot Line, and ahead of the Jammers (see Section 4.2 Pre-Jam Positioning). Prior to the start of a jam, if a skater coming onto the track commits a penalty, they will serve as a Blocker.

Today's rule comes from the Blocker part of the Skater Positions and Identification section of the rules. This rule has been revised in the most recent version of the rules. The first half of the rule is effectively unchanged. However, the second half is new. Previously, there was no direction as to how to penalize a skater with a pivot helmet cover on who commits a penalty before a jam starts. While some may have penalized that skater as a pivot, that would have been technically inaccurate, since a skater doesn't become pivot until a jam begins. Yet, that wasn't very clear. Now, however, it is clear how to penalize a skater lining up as pivot who gets a penalty before the jam-starting whistle.

Note, this rule specifies that it applies to skaters coming onto the track, this doesn't mean it only applies to to skaters in the act of skating onto the track. Although there isn't a specific rule specifying that skaters who commit penalties after the fourth whistle, having skated in the preceding jam, are to be penalized as the same position they played in that jam, today's rule makes a contrast between the two situations by omission. Thus, this rule only applies to skaters who are preparing to skate in a new jam, as opposed to those who have just skated in a jam.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/565929863445874

Monday, June 24, 2013

6.11.13 A skater cutting only the initiating skater, when the initiating skater exits out of the Engagement Zone at any time after the initiating block.

Today's rule comes from the Cutting The Track section. It is a new rule in the No Pass / No Penalty portion of the Cutting section, in the most recent version of the rules. Previously, the only rule in this portion was that it is a NP/NP when a jammer cuts one teammate. This rule helps clarify an action associated with 6.11.1.4. That rule explains that a skater who is blocked out of bounds may return in front of the opposing skater that blocked them out if the initiator exits the engagement zone after the block. What this rule clarifies is that once the initiator has gone exited the engagement zone, they have lost advantage on the receiver, regardless of whether they return to the engagement zone before the receiver returns to the track. Put more clearly, if a skater blocks an opponent out of bounds and exits the engagement zone (goes out of play), then even if that skater returns to the engagement zone (goes back in play) before the opponent returns to the track, and the opponent returns in front, the opponent will not receive a Cutting major. If the opponent happens to be a jammer, then they will also not be credited for a point since the pass was made while out of bounds.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/565202103518650

Friday, June 21, 2013

6.11.12 A skater cutting only the initiating skater, when the initiating skater goes down or falls at any time after the initiating block.

Today's rule comes from the Cutting The Track section. It is a new rule in the No Pass / No Penalty portion of the Cutting section, in the most recent version of the rules. Previously, the only rule in this portion was that it is a NP/NP when a jammer cuts one teammate. This rule helps clarify an action associated with 6.11.1.3. That rule explains that a skater who is blocked out of bounds may return in front of the opposing skater that blocked them out if the initiator goes down after the block. What this rule clarifies is that once the initiator has gone down, they have lost advantage on the receiver, regardless of whether they return to an upright position before the receiver returns to the track. Put more clearly, if a skater blocks an opponent out of bounds and goes down, then even if that skater gets up before the opponent returns to the track, and the opponent returns in front, the opponent will not receive a Cutting major. If the opponent happens to be a jammer, then they will also not be credited for a point since the pass was made while out of bounds.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/563431683695692

Thursday, June 20, 2013

6.11.11 A skater cutting only the initiating skater, when the initiating skater goes out of bounds at any time after the initiating block.

Today's rule comes from the Cutting The Track section. It is a new rule in the No Pass / No Penalty portion of the Cutting section, in the most recent version of the rules. Previously, the only rule in this portion was that it is a NP/NP when a jammer cuts one teammate. This rule helps clarify an action associated with 6.11.1.2. That rule explains that a skater who is blocked out of bounds may return in front of the opposing skater that blocked them out if the initiator goes out of bounds after the block. What this rule clarifies is that once the initiator has gone out of bounds, they have lost advantage on the receiver, regardless of whether they return to the track before the receiver. Put more clearly, if a skater blocks an opponent out of bounds and also goes out of bounds, then even if that skater returns before the opponent, and the opponent returns in front, the opponent will not receive a Cutting major. If the opponent happens to be a jammer, then they will also not be credited for a point since the pass was made while out of bounds.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/562920230413504

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

4.2.6 The pack and Jammers may begin rolling at the jam-starting whistle from the Official.

Today's rule comes from the Pre-Jam Positioning section of be rules. This is a new rule in this section in the most recent version of the rules. Previously, this rule sort of existed in the now removed Starts section. However, in the previous version it said "the pack may begin rolling", which didn't mention the jammers at all. And in the version before that, it said "the pack begins rolling", which made it seem as if it was not legal to not begin rolling at the jam-starting whistle. While this is definitely semantics, it is nice to see language like this cleared up.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/562459150459612

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

2.10.1 Official Review. A team request for a review of an Official’s decision. There is no limit to the type of objection brought up during an official review.

Today's rule comes from the Official Reviews section of the rules. This is a brand new section in the most recent version of the rules. This rule helps explain what can be brought up in an official review. According to the rule, there is no restriction on what may be reviewed in an official review. While this seems an odd rule to have, it appears to be in response to questions about what may be reviewed in an official review, such as penalties, points, mistakes by officials, other calls in question, etc. Now, the fact that there is no restriction on what can be asked to be review in an official review doesn't mean that a review will be found in favor of the team requesting it.

Note that while this rule puts no restriction on what can be reviewed in an official, rule 2.10.3 limits the topic of an official review to only the prior jam. This is not a limit of the type of objection that may be brought up in an official review. So long as the type of action under review happened in the previous jam, it will be reviewed by the officials.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/561972677174926

Monday, June 17, 2013

2.3.4 If 30 seconds or fewer remain on the period clock when a jam ends, there will not be another jam started for that period unless a timeout or Official Review is called by one of the teams (see Section 2.6.5). If an Official Timeout needs to be taken with 30 seconds or fewer remaining on the period clock, the remaining time on the period clock will expire after the Official Timeout and the period will end.

Today's rule comes from the Periods section of the rules. This rule has been revised in the most current version of the rules, and incorporates what has been an official Publication for some time. Previously, this rule stated that if a jam ended and there was less than 30 seconds on the period clock, the only way another jam would be played would be if a team called a timeout. Somewhere along the way, official reviews were also allowed to be used to stop the period clock and have an additional jam be played. Now, this is allowed specifically per this rule. This rule continues on to mention that official timeouts taken when a jam ends with 30 seconds or less on the period clock effectively end the period. The rule says "if an official timeout needs to be taken", which means that official timeouts are not prohibited in this situation, but should likely only be called when absolutely necessary, such as an injured skater on the track.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/561546620550865

Friday, June 14, 2013

1.1 Teams shall consist of a maximum of 20 skaters

Today's rule comes from the Teams section of the rules. Most people will notice that this rule looks shorter than they're used to, and that's because it is. This rule was revised in the most recent version of the WFTDA rules to remove the requirement that all skaters on a team have passed the minimum skills requirements (MSRs) set forth by the WFTDA. This has become a hot button issue for many people. The WFTDA has made a statement saying that the MSRs are a requirement for sanctioned bouts, as they have authority over those bouts, and can enforce that skaters in sanctioned bouts have passed the MSRs. In non-sanctioned bouts the WFTDA doesn't have the same authority. Certainly, with regulation bouts, or for all WFTDA member leagues, the WFTDA may be able to enforce a policy, however non-compliance doesn't really have a possible penalty as directly related to a bout as removing a bout's sanction.

Some question, even with that explanation, why the WFTDA would bother removing it anyway. When you think about the rules, they are intended to be rules for gameplay. As such, a rule requiring skaters to have passed the MSRs isn't directly related to gameplay. What I mean by this is that referees are almost completely unable to enforce that rule. Even if a referee asked every skater, before a bout, if they'd passed the MSRs, there's no way to verify the skater isn't lying. Besides, that's not the logical place for such a requirement. That is why the WFTDA has suggested that requirements for skaters to have passed the MSRs be put into bout contracts. As well, the same requirement can be spelled out for all scrimmages, pickup games, etc. Certainly, people can lie about having passed the MSRs, but nothing has stopped people from lying about that since the MSRs were created years ago.

Oddly, the WFTDA removed the requirement for passing the MSRs because its an internal policy, and has no place in gameplay rules, yet they left the rest of this rule, which, frankly, also has no place in the rules. Since rule 1.2 only allows 14 skaters per roster, a rule allowing a maximum of 20 skaters per team is as helpful as a rule allowing a maximum of a million.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/560451563993704

Monday, June 10, 2013

6.13.34 A skater initiating contact or engaging an opponent before the jam-starting whistle that forces the receiving opposing skater out of their established starting position. This includes forcing a skater down or out of bounds.

Today's rule is an Illegal Procedure major penalty. It is illegal for a skater to engage an opponent prior to the jam-starting whistle. Blocks may only be made while a jam is in progress. This is really self explanatory. Therefore, if a skater engages between jams, and forces the receiver out of their established position, they will given a major penalty. This includes engaging an opponent while lining up for a jam, engaging an opponent just after a jam has ended, and even engaging an opponent while skating between the track and team bench areas. It is important to note that this penalty is for forcing an opponent to lose established position, not relative position. This penalty is most usually issued for skaters that are lining up prior to a jam and knock an opponent either down, or out of bounds, whether by accident or on purpose. This penalty is also issued when a skater engages an opponent after the fourth whistle of a jam ending signal. That particular penalty is often questioned, and it is pretty much consensus that if a skater has initiated engagement before the fourth whistle, but makes contact after the fourth whistle (e.g., a skater has wound up for a block before the jam ended, but made contact after the end of the jam) then there would be no penalty. Rather, this penalty would be issued for engagement initiated after the fourth whistle. Of course, it is the fourth whistle of the jam ending signal, which means that even if the four whistle blasts are repeated, it is the fourth blast of the first set of four whistle blasts which is the official end of the jam. The official verbal cue for this penalty is "Illegal Engaging".

This rule has not changed from the previous version of the rules. However, what has changed is that there is no longer a penalty for illegal contact before the jam-starting whistle that has minor impact. That has become a no impact/no penalty.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/558621564176704

Thursday, June 6, 2013

6.9.21 A stopped skater giving an assist that improves the recipient’s relative position.

Today's rule is a Direction of Gameplay major penalty. While most people tend to concentrate on the penalties for illegal clockwise and stopped blocks, it is important to remember that both blocks AND assists must be made while moving in the counterclockwise position. This rule penalizes a skater that initiates an assist while stopped, that improves their teammate's relative position. There used to be a WFTDA Publication that explained which skaters on the track relative position would apply to, but it is no longer published, which means that the Glossary definition is the place to go to find out how this applies. The definition for relative position has been updated just a bit in this version of the rules. It reads:

Relative Position - A skater’s location in bounds on the track in relation to other skaters when the skater is standing, stepping, and/or skating.

The new language is that part about "when the skater is standing, stepping, and/or skating". I am not going to into detail about the change of this definition. However, it is pretty clear that relative position is the location of a skater on the track relative to other skaters.

To apply this to today's rule, if a skater is stopped and they assist a teammate, and the teammate passes either the initiator of the assist, or any other skater on the track, then the receiver's relative position has been improved, and the initiator will receive a penalty. There isn't a definition for improving relative position, however there is one for bettering relative position, and since "improve" and "better" are pretty much synonymous, it seems appropriate to use the definition for "bettering your position" to understand what it means for a skater to have their relative position improved. That definition includes returning in front of an in bounds skater. Although that refers to Cutting the Track, the part about in front can easily apply to this situation. So, if a skater receives an assist from a stopped teammate, and passes another skater on the track (including the initiator), ending up in front of them, the initiator will receive a penalty.

Now, the argument may be made that since the definition of relative position says "in relation to other skaters" but doesn't specify that the other skaters must be on the track as well, then if a skater receives a whip from a stopped teammate and they pass an out of bounds skater, their relative position has been improved and a penalty should be issued. It is my interpretation that this has not improved the receiver's position relative to the out of bounds skater. After all, in bounds skaters have an advantage over out of bounds skaters, especially out of bounds opponents, because they can engage opponents, while the out of bounds skaters may not engage opponents. If a skater goes out of bounds, they are a disadvantage, which already makes the position of in bounds skaters better than that of the out of bounds skater. Thus, an in bounds skater passing an out of bounds skater isn't an improvement, since their position is already better.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/557144477657746

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

6.9.13 A skater who, while blocking an opposing skater, momentarily comes to a stop, but resumes counter-clockwise skating and/or stepping at the first legal opportunity.

Today's rule comes from the No Impact/No Penalty part of the Direction of Gamplay penalties section. 6.9.1 says that skater's must be stepping and/or skating in a counterclockwise direction while blocking, and 6.9.15 is a penalty for a skater who make a block while stopped which includes physical contact. However, if a skater is blocking an opponent and comes to a stop, but begins stepping and/or skating in a counterclockwise direction at the first legal opportunity, they will not receive a penalty. If the engaging skater has the opportunity to begin stepping and/or skating in a counterclockwise direction but does not do so, and continues to engage their opponent, they will be penalized.

Note that the phrase "at the first legal opportunity" is the Glossary definition for the word "immediately". That means a skater who is blocking an opponent and comes to a stop may begin stepping and/or skating again immediately and not receive a penalty for blocking while stopped momentarily. Unfortunately, "momentarily" is not defined in the Glossary, and will pretty much be left to the discretion of the referees. However, it can be safely interpreted that momentarily would as long as it would take for the engaging skater to have their first legal opportunity to begin blocking legally again.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/556185301086997

Monday, June 3, 2013

6.9.15 A block by a stopped skater 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 makes it illegal to block an opponent while stopped. This includes initiating a block while stopped, and also coming to a stop while blocking an opponent. 6.9.13 allows a skater to come to a stop momentarily while engaging an opponent so long as the initiator begins moving counterclockwise at the first legal opportunity (otherwise known as immediately). 6.9.14 allows a skater who has come to a stop while blocking an opponent to discontinue their engagement and not receive a penalty. If the initiator comes to a stop while blocking an opponent and does not begin moving counterclockwise immediately, or discontinue the engagement, they will receive a major penalty.

This rule is similar to 6.9.12, a no impact/no penalty rule for a stopped positional block, however, today's rule includes physical contact whereas 6.9.12 is a positional block, which includes no contact at all.

https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyRuleoftheDay/posts/555758874462973