Saturday, June 21, 2014

5.7.9 Linking with a teammate in a manner that, upon a physical challenge by an opponent, prevents said opponent from passing between said teammates.

Today’s rule comes from the Multi-Player Block section under Penalties.

Yesterday we went over the definition of what a “link” means in terms of the rules. Today we are looking at the rule that outlines when that link becomes a penalty.

Once a link is physically challenged by a skater, the blockers engaged in that link have committed a penalty. A physical challenge means that a skater is attempting to “break” through the wall created by the link.

Skaters who are aware of their actions are really good at releasing a link as soon as a skater is coming up to challenge the link. Also, there are times where skaters can get away with a link when it cannot be seen by the official. For officials, this is why positioning yourself to see the pack and these links is crucial.

One final note…While some might parse the language of the rules in order to try and make illegal actions legal, common sense needs to apply. We all know a link or a grasp when we see it. A previous analogy that I have heard is this: If the people involved with the link or grasp are frozen, and you cannot separate them by sliding one of the frozen blockers apart from the other blocker, you are in an illegal position for blocking it if is challenged. If you can slide the blockers apart, then the skaters are in a legal position. The one exception to this will be addressed tomorrow when we discuss an “impenetrable wall”.