Friday, July 11, 2014

3.2.7 Skaters who line up completely outside of their legal starting area will be issued a penalty (see Section 5.13.10)

Today’s rules come from the “Pre Jam Positioning” section of rule 3, “The Pack”, and from the “Illegal Procedures” section of rule 5, “Penalties”

While yesterday’s rule was about what position a skater must take in order to get a false start warning, today’s rule is what earns an “Illegal” positioning penalty.

The legal starting area for a blocker is between the pivot line and the jammer line, with only the pivot being able to touch the pivot line ( and 3.2.2). The legal starting area for a jammer is on or behind the jammer line (3.2.4) If a skater is on the track (in between the track boundary lines) but are not touching anywhere within their legal starting area, they are immediately issued a penalty for “Illegal Positioning”. Also remember that this penalty is only issued if the skater is in that position at the Jam Start whistle.

This is a very different change from the previous rule set. In the past, a blocker could line up behind the jammer line and receive a false start warning. This was generally done if a skater was in a rush to get on the track and wasn’t going to make it to the legal starting area in time. The thought was “get on the track, take the appropriate action to yield, and you are good”. That thinking no longer applies. Now that action is penalty

5.13.10 Illegal Positioning: A skater who commits a false start (see Section 3.2.7) by touching completely outside of their legal starting area at the jam-starting whistle.

5.13.10 uses the term “False Start” because that is what the action was in previous rule sets and I believe is to help understand what specific action causes the penalty. If you are in bounds and not touching your legal starting area, you are issued a penalty under this rule.

Remember that in order for this penalty to be issued, the skater must be completely in bounds. If any part of the skater is touching beyond the track boundary, that skater is not in the jam and cannot be on the track. There is no penalty for that, simply an instruction to return to the bench.