Thursday, August 7, 2014

5.13.20 A skater exiting the Penalty Box who re-enters the track in a manner that would constitute a penalty for cutting (see Section 5.11-Cutting the track), given that all in-bounds and upright Blockers are assumed to have superior position to a skater returning from the box.

Today’s rule comes from “Illegal Procedures” under Rule 5, “Penalties”

The main idea behind today’s rule is outlined in the last part of the rule that states “all in bounds and upright skaters are assumed to have superior position to a skater returning from the box.” Notice that the rule refers to 5.11 for the standards of what is a cutting penalty. This is the metric that all officials are to use in determining if the skater re-entered legally or not. The assumption is that if a skater is returning from the box, all skaters on the track have superior position to the skater who is returning to the track. The times where no penalty would be issued are the following (I have adapted the standards from rules 5.11.1.1-5.11.1.4 to give specific scenarios for not calling illegal re-entry)

-Skater returns in front of a skater who is “in the box”, having been sent off for a penalty
-Skater returns in front of a skater who is out of bounds
-Skater returns in front of a skater who is down
-Skater returns in front of a skater who has exited the engagement zone, or if during a “No pack”, is 20 feet from any member of the last defined pack.

The tricky one is the last one. If a skater is no longer in the engagement zone, they are not factored in to a cutting the track penalty. However with the dynamics of pack movement and judging distances at a particular moment, it is risky to assume a skater is out of the engagement zone unless you clearly see the official giving that blocker an “Out of play” warning. Even then, the pack might dynamically stop and affect where the engagement zone is.

The best course of action is to simply come in behind all the in bounds and upright skaters. Also be aware that some skaters will use techniques to “draw” a cutting penalty just when you think its legal to re-enter.

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