New Rules Roundup

Our friend Wernher Von Bombed of the Minnesota RollerGirls took the time to write up all the changes in the new WFTDA rule set so you don’t have to look for them yourself. Some may be missing but here’s his list of changes to the rules or lack of changes. I think my favorite might be 6.16 which basically makes apex jumps awesome! (Jams): codified a RulesComm clarification that said you must be entirely in-bounds in order to participate in a jam.

2.9 (whistles): changes the jam start whistle to “one short” and removed extraneous whistles (such as jammer-release and 4th minor whistles).

3.1.2 (and elsewhere – Blocker): Pivot must be upright and touching the Pivot Line in order to force blockers to line up behind her hips. No more laying down on the Pivot Line.

3.2.1 (Pivot Blocker): A Pivot with a Pivot cover in-hand is just a blocker with no special abilities except she can don the cover; she’s not a Pivot until the cover goes on her helmet. No such thing as an inactive Pivot, only a Blocker who can become a Pivot, but isn’t. (Pivot Blocker): if a Pivot loses her helmet cover, she can skate in any direction to recover it. (Lead Jammer): codified a RulesComm clarification that if both jammers simultaneously earn the right to be lead jammer, the skater furthest ahead will be declared Lead. (Lead Jammer): Added that if a teammate removes the jammer’s helmet cover, she will lose lead jammer status or become ineligible to become lead.

3.5.5 (Passing the Star): Says that the transfer of the jammer status is completed once the Pivot is wearing the jammer cover with the stars visible. So if the cover in inside-out, the pass is not complete. (Passing the Star): If a star pass is incomplete, and the cover falls to the ground, the jammer or pivot may skate in any direction or out of bounds to pick it up. (Uniforms): if skaters have numbers on their helmets, they must match their roster numbers.

4.1.1 (Pack Definition): Added “or standing” (as opposed to skating) as an option for pack definition. (Pre-Jam Positioning): codified a clarification by RulesComm that the majority of a team’s blockers must be lined up between the pivot and jammer lines at jam start. (Pre-Jam Positioning): Stops players from taking positions that deliberately make forming a pack slower (such as lying on the back or dog-piling on their own teammates).

4.4.1 (Starts): Acknowledges that at the jam-start the pack does not have to skate. No real change.

6.1 (Blocking to the back): No changes in major penalties; minors have all been downgraded to no impact.

6.2 (Blocking to the Head): No changes

6.3 (Low Blocking): Added that intentionally taking a knee to avoid a block is a major; otherwise all major penalties are the same, and minor penalties have been downgraded to no impact.

6.4 (Elbows): No changes in major penalties; minors have all been downgraded to no impact.

6.5 (Forearms): Extended touching (three seconds or more) has been upgraded to a major penalty. Otherwise all other minors have been downgraded to no impact, and majors are all intact.

6.6 (Blocking with the Head): No changes in major penalties; minors have all been downgraded to no impact.

6.7 (Multi-Player Blocks): Removed the major for the block causing a player to lose position, but upgraded the minor multi-player block that impedes or blocks an opponent for any time to a major.

6.8 (Out of Bounds Blocking): Added a clause (6.8.13) that a player who re-enters the track from out of bounds while down, but doesn’t make contact to any opponents or force them to lose relative position, is not blocking out of bounds. Otherwise no changes in major penalties; minors have all been downgraded to no impact.

6.9 (Direction of Gameplay):
• Clockwise or stationary positional blocks that don’t cause a skater to lose relative position are now no impact (was minor).
• Clockwise or stationary blocks that involve physical contact are all majors.
• Clockwise assists are all majors.
• A skater who comes to a stop while blocking an opposing skater but does not start skating/stepping again at the earliest opportunity will receive a major (new).

6.10 (Out of Play Penalties):
• Players out of the Engagement Zone who do not immediately attempt to re-enter, after being warned, will be given a major (was minor first, then major).
• Failure to reform a pack in a No Pack situation will receive a major (was minor first, then major).
• Blockers who have lapped, or been lapped by, the pack will get a major (was minor)
• Otherwise minors have been downgraded to no impact, and majors remain.

6.11 (Cutting the Track):
• Cutting one in-play teammate is now no impact (may still affect Lead Jammer awards)
• Cutting any opposing in-play skater is now a major.
• Cutting more than one in-play teammate is a major.

6.12 (Skating out of Bounds): skating out of bounds to avoid a block or to maintain or increase speed have been upgraded to majors. Note: this affects people who skate out of bounds (a common instance is “skating the diamond”) and push off – even if just straddling.

6.13 (Illegal Procedures):
• Jammer attempting to call off a jam while not lead jammer is no impact, unless the jam was called (then a major).
• Skater exiting the penalty box (or waived off from a full box) and re-entering in front of an opposing in-play skater or multiple in-play teammates is a major.
• A teammate or bench support person who enters the penalty box to communicate with a penalized skater has been upgraded to a major (if a non-skater, penalty goes to Captain).
• A penalized skater in the box who removes safety equipment will now get a major.
• False Start penalties are majors if the skaters fail to yield (was minor, upgraded to major if she failed to yield).
• A fouled out skater who returns to the track area has a major assigned to the team captain.
• Players who take positions that deliberately make forming a pack slower (such as lying on the back or dog-piling on their own teammates) will get a major.
• Pivot will receive a major if the majority of the team’s blockers are not in the correct position between the jammer and pivot lines (was a clarification by RulesComm).

6.14 (Insubordination): Moved abusive/obscene language or gestures to officials from Misconduct to Insubordiantion. No change in how it’s enforced.

6.15 (Delay of Game): New rule. Majors for:
• failure to be on the track for a new jam when in queue for the penalty box.
• failure to field any blockers for a jam (assessed to captain).
• successfully calling a time out when they have none remaining (assessed to captain).

6.16 (Misconduct):
• contact with both skates off the ground is only a major if it’s to an opponent and sends her out of position.
• Major for entry to the penalty box that forces another person (not just skaters) to vacate their position to avoid being contacted.
• Major for habitually damaging the seats in the penalty box from skater entry.

6.17 (Gross Misconduct):
• Entry to the penalty box that forcibly contacts another person (not just skaters).

7.1.3 (Penalty Enforcement): a referee may stop the jam if there is an Illegal Procedure that gives an unfair advantage and it is not yielded.. (Scoring): a jammer that is in-bounds but down may earn points when opposing blockers that were ahead of the her skate clockwise behind the jammer.

9.2.11 (Officials’ Duties): There is no limit to what can be brought up for an official review. Although there may be limits of what can be changed (such as points awarded for a blocker sent incorrectly to the penalty box). (Protective Gear): non-form-fitting face shields can be used, if designed for use with the helmet (think Detroit).

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