Thursday, March 13, 2014

5.9.15 Any block by a stopped or clockwise-moving skater that forces the receiving opponent off balance, forward, backward, and/or sideways, but does not cause an opponent to lose relative position, or the initiator or a teammate to gain relative position.

Today’s rule comes from the Direction of Gameplay penalties section. This is a kind of a new rule in the most recent version of the rules. That is, this rule is modified from the previous version, as well as moved to a new section. Prior to this version, a clockwise or stopped block that included physical contact was a penalty if there was any impact to the receiving opponent, regardless of level of impact. If a skater was skating clockwise and made contact with the shoulder of an opponent, pushing them off balance even a little, that skater would receive a penalty. Now, any clockwise or stopped block - those which include physical contact and also positional blocks - that only forces the receiving skater off balance is no longer a penalty. This change was made to bring the impact spectrum of clockwise blocks inline with the impact spectrum of most other contact penalties.