Monday, January 6, 2014 Forcing an opponent down or out of bounds.

Today's rule comes from the Out Of Play section. It is a subrule of which explains that there are actions which are considered part of normal gameplay, and if the pack is destroyed as a result of these actions, no penalty will be issued. The first of these actions is the pack being destroyed by a skater forcing an opponent down or out of bounds.

This action is common when a team is goating a skater; which means they are holding an opposing blocker behind their wall, while the other opposing blockers are ahead. If the group of opposing blockers is more than 10 feet ahead of the wall with the goat, then the wall with the goated skater will be considered the pack. If the goated skater is blocked down or out of bounds, then there would be no pack. If that happens, then no penalty is to be issued, since blocking opposing skaters is a normal part of gameplay. When the pack is destroyed, both teams are responsible for reforming the pack, and must attempt to do so or else earn failure to reform penalties. However, no illegal destruction penalties would be issued for that pack destruction.

This rule, however, only mentions forcing an opponent out of bounds, not forcing a teammate down. Of course, a skater intentionally destroying the pack may result in a penalty if the intentional destruction meets the criteria for illegal destruction. Therefore, if a skater accidentally knocks down a teammate and the pack is destroyed, they may not receive a destruction penalty. But if a skater knocks down a teammate intentionally to destroy the pack - something left to the judgment of the referees - then they may receive a destruction penalty.