Thursday, June 12, 2014

5.9.4.1 A skater who is engaged in a block who then comes to a stop for any reason must cease all engagement until there is another legal opportunity to engage.

Today’s rule comes from the Direction of Game Play penalty section. This rule directs a skater who is properly engaging an opposing skater in the counter clockwise direction, and then comes to a stop for any reason, to stop all engagement until they have another legal chance to engage again.

The first element of this rule is that one skater is engaging another skater. That means some sort of blocking, whether positional or physical, is happening. If that skater comes to a stop for any reason, they must stop any engagement. This could happen for a whole variety of reasons. The most common I have seen is the backwards facing blocker, moving in the counter clockwise direction, who comes to a stop while engaging an opposing blocker. When that skater stops, they must stop engaging the opposing blocker.

The final element is when that blocker can begin to engage again. A “legal opportunity to engage” is when the skater is moving in the counter clockwise direction again. While there might be other factors in deciding when a “legal opportunity to engage” has occurred, for the purposes of this rule, I will focus on legal direction of game play. The basic idea is, if you stop skating in the counter clockwise direction while you are engaging an opposing skater, stop all blocking until you can legally move in the proper direction again.

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