Tuesday, July 22, 2014

5.12.11 After a warning (see Section 5.10 Out of Play), exiting the track whilst out of play, as a result of an immediate attempt to return to the Engagement Zone, so long as this does not substantially cut the lap distance short.

Like everything I’ve posted lately, today’s rule comes from the Skating Out of Bounds section. It’s yet another No Impact / No Penalty for skating out of bounds. This rule is newly added to the rule set in the March 1, 2014 edition.

As every blocker knows (or should know), when you’re outside of the engagement zone a pack referee will yell “out of play!”, a warning that you need to immediately stop blocking (even positionally) and return to the engagement zone immediately. Failure to do so nets an immediate penalty, so blockers must immediately get out of the way of a jammer trying to get through. So they step aside, and perhaps find themselves on the other side of the track line. Alternately, they may be partially around the track apex, so they skate out of bounds to “cut the apex” on the way back to the engagement zone.

Today’s rule specifies that these actions are legal. After an “out of play” warning, a skater can legally exit the track provided they do so 1) immediately (defined as “at the first legal opportunity”), and 2) in an attempt to return to the engagement zone.