Tuesday, August 19, 2014

1.5.4 Any skaters who are not completely in bounds at the jam-starting whistle will not be permitted to join the jam in progress. No penalty will be issued.

Today’s rule comes from the Game Parameters section of the rules. It is one of the limitations defining who is and is not allowed to participate in a jam.

Under this rule, a player must be completely in bounds at the jam-start whistle in order to join in the jam. In bounds should be interpreted as not having an out of bounds status, which is defined as touching beyond the track boundary with any part of your body, skate, or gear (exception: one hand/arm is permissible).

There is a notable exception to today’s rule. 5.13.1 states that a player who is established a legal starting position and is then blocked out of bounds before the jam begins may return to the track and rejoin the jam in progress.

Referees may use their discretion for rare and unexpected events as well. For example, if an opposing player grabbed the jammer’s helmet cover, threw it off the track, and the jammer stepped out of bounds to retrieve the cover then the jammer would be allowed to participate in the jam.

Assuming that exceptions apply, any player on the track in an out of bounds state at jam start will be instructed to return to the bench. No penalty will be issued for this offense, although failure to comply can result in an insubordination penalty or even a gross misconduct expulsion (“5.16.13 - “Illegal interference in game play by skaters or support staff not involved in the jam.”).