Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A worksheet to help introduce the March 2014 new WFTDA rules

Screenshot of the new rules worksheet
To facilitate leading sessions introducing the new March 2014 WFTDA rules to my league's skaters and officials, I created a worksheet that introduces many of the rules changes via a few dozen scenario-based questions.  Yes, I'm a teacher at heart.

I e-mailed this worksheet to the entire league, asked everyone to download the new rules and do their best to answer the questions, and then we met a few days later to go over the scenarios.  I think it worked beautifully; everyone came prepared, had thoughtful questions, and within a few minutes we were going over complicated scenarios without anyone getting (too) lost or confused.  Skaters volunteered to get up and act out some of the scenarios, and I feel confident that everyone left understanding more than when they started.

Since it worked so well with my league, I wanted to share the worksheet publicly.  I've Creative Commons licensed this, so feel free to modify it to your heart's content (see the end of the post for full licensing details).

Worksheet download

The worksheet is available in three different formats:
  • PDF version (downloadable & ideal for printing; select "file" then "download" to save it)
  • GoogleDoc version (editable; select "file" then "Make a copy ..." to get your own copy)
  • Web-readable version (see below!)

Teaching notes

I've also created a one page handout to facilitate use of this worksheet in live, in-person sessions; it has a few questions to focus people's efforts during the session.  Contact me if you want a copy of that.

Web-readable version of the worksheet

March 2014 New Rules!
A worksheet to get discussions started, by Marc “F-Stop” Perkins

Before coming to our session, please look over the new rules (or at least the major changes to the new rules), and do your best to answer the following questions.  If you can’t figure something out, just write “I don’t know, yet.”   Links to the new rules, summaries of the changes, and more can be found here:

Pro tip: Include the section number of the rule(s) you’re citing when answering each question, to facilitate sharing during our session.  For example, section 1.3.2 tells us who wins, while section 1.6 deals with ties.  

Sections 1 & 2:
1) How many official reviews can a team take per game?  What (if anything) does this number depend on?  (Bonus: how does a team signal for an official review?  Hint: see the official hand signals document.)

2) At what exact moment is the status of jammer transferred from the jammer to the pivot during a star pass?

3) At what time(s) during the pass of a jammer helmet cover does it matter if the pivot and jammer are in the Engagement Zone, down, or out of bounds?

Sections 3 & 4:
4) If a blocker lines up with one foot touching in their proper starting location (between the jammer and pivot lines), and one foot touching behind the jammer line, what will happen at the jam starting whistle?

5) If a blocker lines up so that all parts of their skates are touching behind the jammer line, what will happen at the jam starting whistle?

6) Does an action have to be intentional to be considered a block?

Section 5:
Background: While not new, the rules have made it explicitly clear that judging a loss of relative position includes more than just the two skaters involved in an individual action.  See 5.1.3 for a good example of how the idea of relative position will be enforced for nearly all penalties now.  Also, note that many penalty sections now have “examples of legal play” included.

7) Purple blockers A1, B2, and C3 are forming a wall.  Black Jammer B00M approaches the Purple wall and, placing her folded-in forearms on the middle of B2’s back, pushes B2 forward and out of her position in the wall (but not down).  This push opens up a hole in Purple’s wall that B00M briefly moves into, allowing her hips to pass A1’s and C3’s hips.  Meanwhile, Purple B2 recovers and slows, forcing Black B00M backwards, back behind the wall.  Should B00M receive a back block penalty, even though she never passed B2?  Does B00M earn the points for passing A1 and C3?

8) What are the ways of joining together that make a multiplayer block illegal when an opponent physically challenges them?  What is the difference between them?

G___________     L___________ I_________ ________

9) Purple 321 comes to a complete stop on the track.  Purple 321 then skates clockwise to ram her shoulder into the side of Black 987’s torso.  Purple 321 disengages, Black 987 stumbles, but does not fall, and no opponents pass Black 987 as a result.  Was this a penalty?  What would you need to change in the scenario to change your answer?

10) Purple 5T0P comes to a complete stop on the track, facing backwards.  Purple 5T0P gets up on her toe stops and blocks Black G0, leaning into her.  Black G0 is stopped by Purple 5T0P’s action (and she stumbles, but does not fall), and nobody passes Black G0 as a result.  Is this a penalty?  Purple 5T0P then stays on her toe stops, continuing to engage Black G0.  Again, Black G0 does not fall, and nobody passes her.  Is this a penalty?

11) A no pack is called; the Purple skaters are all 15’ in front of the Black skaters.  What does each team need to do?  Note: See 5.10.5 and 5.10.6 for a very clear description of what skaters must do during a no pack.

12) Black 45 blocks Purple 32 out of bounds; Black 45 stays upright and inbounds.  Immediately thereafter “No Pack” is called.  Black 45 is now 21 feet behind all the other blockers who were a member of the last known pack.  Does Purple 32 need to re-enter behind Black 45?  (Bonus: What do Black 45 and Purple 32 need to do now?  Extra bonus: What would happen if Black 45 had blocked Purple 32 out of bounds after “No Pack” had been called?)

13) Purple D0H is jamming, and she is blocked out of bounds by Black F1R3.  Purple D0H is massively off balance as she skates past Black F1R3 out of bounds; as D0H attempts to stay out of bounds, her left foot unintentionally re-enters the track while her right foot is in the air, so that all parts of D0H that are touching the ground are touching in bounds.  This lasts only a fraction of a second, as D0H’s continued efforts to remain out of bounds carry her back out of bounds again.  Did Purple D0H cut Black F1R3?  What could you add to change this result?

14) Purple D0H thinks a referee just called a penalty on her (because her teammate D0HH was issued a penalty), and thus skates out of bounds to head to the penalty box.  Should Purple D0H receive a skating out of bounds penalty? (Bonus: Should the team’s captain get a penalty for rostering skaters with potentially confusing numbers?)

15) Purple L4ZY gets a penalty while she’s all the way across the track from the penalty box (which is on the outside of the track).  She skates into the infield and cuts across the track infield to shorten the distance to the penalty box.  Should L4ZY get a skating out of bounds penalty?  (Bonus question: does it matter if a jam is in progress?)

16) When re-entering the track after being released from the penalty box, after being waved off of the penalty box, or after an equipment malfunction, who does the skater need to enter behind?

17) Purple D0H fails to hear a referee’s penalty call on her and remains on the track.  The referee was in the proper position, used proper verbal cues and hand signals, and was loud enough.  Should Purple D0H get an insubordination penalty?

18) New in the misconduct section:

  • Can skaters do “any act that undermines the dignity of the sport”?
  • Can skaters intentionally fall to trick a referee into calling a penalty?
  • Can skaters forcibly contact an official intentionally, or when such contact was reasonably avoidable?

Section 6:
19) When does a skater’s penalty time start?  And the question everyone was waiting for … how long is the penalty time?

20) Purple Z00M gets called on an out of play penalty while she’s directly in front of the penalty box.  She stops in bounds, upright, on the track as quickly as she can, with the rearmost portion of her skates stopping just an inch in front of the counterclockwise-most (furthest forward) portion of the penalty box.  She immediately skates clockwise (backwards) on the track to a point clockwise of the penalty box, then exits the track and enters the penalty box from the normal direction.  Should Purple Z00M be directed to sit in the box, or skate around?

21) If the Purple jammer is erroneously directed to leave the penalty box early by the penalty box timer (this certainly wouldn’t happen in our league, but is interesting academically speaking ...), does she have to report back to the box?  What if the opposing jammer reports to the box before anything else happens?

Section 8:
23) Purple is lining up with 1 blocker in the box and 4 blockers on the track; Purple SL0W was the last Purple blocker to enter the track.  As soon as the jam starts, a referee directs Purple SL0W to return to her bench.  Purple Z00M hears this, and quickly skates off of the track and sits on her team’s bench before the Purple team gained an advantage from having an extra blocker on the track.  Should the referees let the jam continue (even though Purple SL0W didn’t exit the track)?  Why or why not?  Should Purple SL0W receive an insubordination penalty for failing to follow the referee’s instructions?

24) A blocker, who is legally participating in a jam, ends up with both skates touching inside the track boundary, one hand touching outside of the track boundary, and no other parts of her touching the track.

  • Is she “Down” or “Upright”?  
  • Is she “In Bounds” or “Out of Bounds”? 
  • BONUS: Can she pass an opponent, or two teammates, while in this position and not get a cutting penalty?

Okay, I wrote too many questions.  Here are some extra ones for you if you have time, to get you thinkin’ even more :)

Extra credit for sections 1 & 2:
E1) Purple F16 lines up as a jammer, with the jammer helmet cover on her helmet; she was not skating in the prior jam.  Purple F16 is issued a penalty before the jam begins; what position does she sit her penalty as?

E2) What is an inactive jammer?  Describe one situation where a jammer would change status from active to inactive.

E3) Is Z’90 a legal number?  Is 27182?  Is 3.14?  Is Ω28?

Extra credit for sections 3 & 4:
E4) If a blocker lines up up with one foot touching in their proper starting location (between the jammer and pivot lines), and one foot touching out of bounds, what will happen at the jam starting whistle?  Tip: In addition to section 3’s text, see the glossary definition of “In Position”.  Bonus: What happens if the skater is currently in the penalty box queue?

Extra credit for section 5:
E5) The black jammer is passing Purple UH0H when a no-pack is called (all of purple is in front of the black team).  UH0H then attempts to block the Black jammer before starting to slow down.  What will happen to Purple UH0H?

E6) During a no pack situation can a skater re-enter in front of an opponent who blocked her out of bounds?

E7) Purple D0H attempts an apex jump and succeeds (i.e., starts the jump while she’s in bounds, and then lands the jump completely in bounds), but she thinks she failed the jump and landed out of bounds; thus D0H immediately skates out of bounds of her own volition.  Should Purple D0H get a skating out of bounds penalty?

Extra credit for section 6:
E8) Purple K1RK, Purple’s captain (of course), has 6 penalties so far in the game. Purple’s bench coach gets a penalty called on them.  Has Purple K1RK fouled out?

Extra credit for section 7:
E9) Purple Z00M is a jammer on a scoring pass; she hasn’t yet passed Black 00PS.  Black 00PS gets a penalty called on her just before Purple Z00M passes Black 00PS.  Does Purple Z00M earn a point for Black 00PS?  (Tip: might you need more information?)

E10) Purple 28 is Purple’s jammer, and is on her third scoring pass.  Purple 28 has passed all of the opposing blockers legally on this scoring pass except for Black 13.  Purple 28 only realizes this when she’s 10 feet in front of the foremost blocker in the pack.  Purple 28 then begins to skate clockwise to return to the pack (she never exited the front of the engagement zone), but before Purple 28 gets behind the foremost blocker a no-pack is called.  Purple 28 continues skating clockwise, eventually goes behind Black 13, passes them legally, and then finally exits the front of the engagement zone.  Has Purple 28 earned a point for passing Black 13 on her third scoring pass?  Why or why not?  (Tip: The answer lies somewhere within 7.1.3)

Extra credit for section 8:
E11) May officials use skater names, abbreviations of skater numbers, or anything other than a skater’s official roster number when they are referring to a skater, even when talking “official to official”?

E12) Is 1.4 a legal referee number?  Is REF5?  Is F-14?  (Were they legal before March 1, 2014?)

Disclaimers, copyright, and licensing information

This a guide to facilitate in-person discussions of the March 1, 2014 changes to the WFTDA ruleset.  This is not a complete list of all changes, and should not be your sole guide to understanding the rules.  This guide has not been reviewed or endorsed by the WFTDA or any league or officials crew Marc is or has been affiliated with.

Written by Marc “F-Stop” Perkins.  Copyright © 2014.  This document was first published in March 2014.  

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Contact Marc if you have questions or comments regarding this document.

Last revised March 27, 2014.  Thanks to Mike SumNoyz for clarifying items on questions 15 and 20. 

[Psssst, has your head ref or team captain assigned this worksheet?  Are you short on time?  Let me help you out ... there's a webpage you can get all the answers from right here.]

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