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false starts

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false starts

Postby hambone » 11.05.06 2:02PM

Hambone here with a 'rules tip' for the day

At friday's bout (Nov 3rd) there was a jam where a Brooklyn jammer 'false started,' but later in the jam was declared "Lead Jammer". Some noted at the time that this seemed highly suspect.

This was in fact proper and in line with GGRD's bouting policies.

The rules themselves are pretty vague; they just say a False Start is a minor penalty. They do not call for a re-start of the jam nor say anything explicit about Lead Jammer status.

Our own added policy this year has been that if the jam can be salvaged such that the 'honest' jammer can make up the lead she lost to the 'dishonest' jammer, without disrupting game play, the jam should continue and the 'dishonest' jammer should be assessed with a minor penalty. (Otherwise, the crowd gets to watch a very boring jam re-start, and more time drains from the period clock -- why bother?)

WFTDA rule 3.4.5 states: "In order to remain eligible for lead jammer status, a jammer must pass opposing skaters legally, without committing penalties against them."

Our interpretation, all year long, has been that a False Start does not constitute a foul against an opposing skater -- it's more of a procedural snafu and isn't really a relevant reflection of a jammer's ability to get through the pack cleanly.

The call at the bout was consistent with our policy of allowing a False-Starting skater to 'back off' and still remain eligible to gain Lead Jammer status.

And that's.... one to grow on.
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Postby Hewlett Smackard » 11.07.06 1:42PM

Doesn't this give the jammer who jumped a slight advantage? If she doesn't like what she sees up ahead, she can just zoom ahead and force the jam to be called off. Right? Or am I missing something painfully obvious?
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Postby Ana Bollocks » 11.07.06 2:32PM

What I think you're missing is that this:

"Our own added policy this year has been that if the jam can be salvaged such that the 'honest' jammer can make up the lead she lost to the 'dishonest' jammer, without disrupting game play, the jam should continue and the 'dishonest' jammer should be assessed with a minor penalty. (Otherwise, the crowd gets to watch a very boring jam re-start, and more time drains from the period clock -- why bother?)"

basically translates to "the jammer who false started has to return to the line or let the other jammer catch up before accelerating."
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Postby hambone » 11.07.06 3:47PM

I think Andrew is imagining a slightly different scenario:

- Jammer A jumps the gun slightly
- Jammer A gets yelled at by the referees to fall back and to allow Jammer B to take the lead
- Jammer A assesses the movement of the pack, personnel packages, etc., and decides, 'screw it, i'm going to keep skating, take a minor, force the jam to re-start, and drain some time off the clock.'

Then before the re-start, some of her teammates could swap in and out of the pack. Sort of like an extra 'time-out' for Jammer A's team, at the expense of a minor, plus it might tick a few seconds off her teammates' penalty time in the box.

Yes this is a nefarious embedded option for Jammer A. It's never happened.

Some leagues would put the lost time back on the period and penalty clocks. That's not explicitly not in our rules, but it's a good idea and I would support an executive decision by any head ref to do it, especially if Jammer A attempted such a nasty tactic to preserve a lead with time ticking down at the very end of a bout. Also missing from the rules is any prohibition on swapping out blockers in between starts in cases like this; you could certainly make a strong argument that teams should not be allowed to do this.

Referees also always have the option to assess penalties for unsportslady-like conduct. And minors assessed to jammers can be pretty costly as well.
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Postby Ana Bollocks » 11.07.06 3:57PM

Hm, methinks you are right. My bad.
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