Friday, June 27, 2014

5.10.6 An attempt to reform is considered “immediate” if the action is taken as soon as legally possible. If an immediate action is not sufficient to reform the pack, however, additional effort is required. If a blocker is in the rear group, they must accelerate (until sprinting) toward the front group until a pack is reformed (coasting, stepping slowly, or only stepping in a somewhat-counter-clockwise direction are insufficient). If a blocker is in the front group, they must actively brake until they come to a complete stop (coasting is insufficient).

Today’s rule comes from the Penalty section of the rule book under “Out of Play”

Today’s rule helps clarify what skaters should be doing in order to not get a penalty for failure to reform the pack. While 5.10.5 covers what to do to meet the standard of “Immediate”, 5.10.6 covers what to do if there is a sustained no pack.

The first thing that must happen is that the skaters must be given a warning of “NO PACK” from the officials. Once this happens, the skaters must take immediate action to reform the pack. If skaters take immediate action, no penalty will be issued. If after that immediate action, there is still no pack, skaters must continue to take action in order to not get a penalty.

If you are a skater in the front of the group of skaters, this means you must continue to actively brake and slow down. Simply coasting is not enough to avoid a penalty if there is a sustained no pack scenario. Actions would include, plow stops, T-stops, tomahawk stops, hockey stops, or any other action that is clear to the official that the skater is actively slowing down. Also note that not every skater needs to do this, as long as one member of the team is taking action, no one should receive a penalty (unless one of the team members is actively blocking during the sustained no pack per rule

If you are a skater in the back of the group of skaters, this means you must continue to accelerate until you are sprinting until a pack is reformed. Skaters often will take a few strides and coast in order to meet this standard. This is not sufficient action. During a sustained “no pack” scenario, as an official, I am looking for continued acceleration. I should be seeing a continual change in speed all the way until a pack has reformed. Like the front group, only one member of the team needs to be taking this action in order to not receive a penalty. (unless is possibly in effect again).

Bottom line is this, when there is a no pack, until you hear “Pack is here”, both sides must take continual action to reform the pack or be subject to out of play penalties.