Monday, February 3, 2014

2.8.4.1 Each game must have enough time clocks to time all penalties simultaneously (see Section 7.2.4 for details on penalty timing procedures).

Today's rule comes from the Clocks section of the rules. Having enough clocks is very important. At first thought you may think this means six clocks, a jammer and two blockers for each team, as that is the number of seats in the penalty box. In reality, it is absolutely best to have right clocks available in the penalty box. After all, a team can potentially have two blockers standing with another seated, or one standing with two seated. Throw in a jammer as well, and that team could require four clocks to make sure every skater's penalty is timed accurately. If you are using stopwatches, this is a relatively easy thing to do; you just make sure there are eight stopwatches for the penalty box officials (and hopefully enough officials to operate them all). However, if you're using a smartphone app to time penalties, then it isn't as easy. Every penalty timer smartphone app that I know of has up to six clocks on it, a jammer and two blockers for each team. So if only one smartphone is used, then there won't be enough clocks to time all penalties simultaneously, thus this rule won't be followed. The easy remedy there is to have two smartphones, and have one person time the blockers on each team, while the jammers can be timed on the same phone, or on separate phones. The benefit to timing jammers on the same phone is that the penalty timers apps have all the rules from section 7.3 programmed in. Regardless, whichever method you use to time penalties, it is best to make sure you have the ability to time eight individual skaters at the same time. While it won't be for more than ten seconds, it's nice to make sure those ten seconds are accurate.

Another option that some people use to time penalties is the single clock option. When the first skater enters the box, the officials start timing up with a stopwatch, and let that skater go at one minute. If a second skater enters during that time, they make a note of when that skater entered and when they need to leave, so that only one clock needs to be started and stopped. This is a more accurate method of making sure all skaters have their penalty clocks started and stopped at the same time, however it is certainly a more difficult method of timing penalties and requires practice.

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