Monday, July 21, 2014

5.12.8 Cutting across the infield in order to legally re-enter the track behind an opponent (for example, one Jammer attempting to return to the track after the other Jammer has skated clockwise).

Today’s rule comes from the Skating Out of Bounds section. It continues a series from early last week on newly defined legal reasons a skater may exit the track and/or skate out of bounds.

This rule states that so long as a player is trying to re-enter behind an opponent (often to avoid cutting the track), it’s legal to skate across the infield. Simple, really.

5.12.16 says it’s illegal to skate out of bounds in a manner that cuts short the lap distance. Prior to today’s rule, some referees interpreted that cutting across the infield to avoid a cut was also cutting short the lap distance and therefore a penalty. Others disagreed, pointing out that the player is backtracking and not doing laps at all.

Today’s rule settles the debate -- no penalty. The priority here is to get the player back on the track so they can continue playing, not to run them through a mini-obstacle course on the track infield.