Thursday, January 16, 2014

6.10.6.1 A skater ahead of the Engagement Zone is compelled to skate clockwise to return to the Engagement Zone if the pack is stopped or moving clockwise.

Today's rule comes from the Out Of Play section. It has become common enough knowledge that skating clockwise is not inherently illegal in the sport of roller derby. There are specific actions that a skater may not do while skating clockwise, but otherwise it is legal to do so. As well, it became common knowledge that the rules did not ever compel a skater to skate clockwise. This was true up until the WFTDA released an Official Q&A on the topic, which has since been incorporated into the rules, as of the most recent version. This rule explains the two situations in which a skater would be required to skate in the clockwise direction. Both involve a skater that is out of the engagement zone ahead of the pack. If a blocker is situated outside of the engagement zone ahead of the pack, and 1) the pack is moving clockwise, or 2) the pack is stopped, then that blocker is compelled to skate clockwise to return to the engagement zone. If the pack is moving counterclockwise, then even by standing still that blocker is making an attempt to reenter the engagement zone, because at some point the edge of the EZ will reach them. However, with a stopped pack the out of play blocker will remain out of play until the pack moves counterclockwise again. And with the a clockwise moving pack, the out of play blocker will just become even further out of play, to the point where the pack may even lap that blocker in the clockwise direction. Since blockers are required to attempt to reenter the engagement zone immediately after going out of play, these two situations require a blocker to skate clockwise to make that attempt.

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