Ok, that makes sense, right? Confused what a pack is/where the Engagement Zone is? That's back a few pages in the rules:Out of Play penalties are applied for actions occurring in front of and/or behind the Engagement Zone and for actions that illegally destroy the pack (putting all previously in-play Blockers out of play). Out of Play actions include but are not limited to blocking, assisting, destroying the pack, failure to reform a pack, and failure to return to the Engagement Zone. A penalty will be applied to each offending Skater for each action.
Doesn't matter if you stick your arms out, we're looking at the HIPS!3.1.1 - The pack is defined by the largest group of in-bounds and upright Blockers in proximity and containing members from both teams.
18.104.22.168 - The Jammers are not part of the pack.
22.214.171.124 - Proximity is defined as not more than 10 feet (3 meters) (as measured from the hips) in front of or behind the nearest pack Skater.
And the Engagement Zone:
This is the best diagram I could find, although it's in German. Fuss means footThe zone in which Blockers may legally engage and be engaged. The Engagement Zone extends from 20 feet (6 meters) behind the rearmost pack Skater to 20 feet (6 meters) in front of the foremost pack Skater, between the inside and outside track boundaries. Jammers may engage each other outside of the Engagement Zone.
Ok, so we know what the pack and the Engagement Zone are. So how does Out of Play come into it?
Once you're out of the Engagement Zone, you'll get an Out of Play warning. We'll yell 'out of play' and do this hand signal.5.10.1 - A Blocker who is in front of or behind the Engagement Zone may receive an Out of Play warning from a Referee
Natural game play is allowed. Sometimes packs just fall apart. However, if your team are beading and you are the bead nearest the pack, and you run back to intercept the jammer, this will count as destroying the pack. Basically it will be a *marked* change in speed or trajectory, or stopping actively skating when the other team are sprinting or something like that.5.10.2 - Illegally destroying the pack is the illegal creation of a “No Pack” situation. When two or more groups of Blockers equal in number are on the track, are more than 10 feet (3 meters) from one another, and no single group meets the pack definition, no pack can be defined. If the actions of a Skater, team, or group of Skaters create a “No Pack” situation, one penalty for destroying the pack will be applied to a single Skater who is most responsible or the Pivot (see Section 6.1.5). Both teams are responsible for maintaining a legally defined pack.
126.96.36.199 - Examples of illegally destroying the pack may include but are not limited to a Skater, Skaters, or a team running away, braking or coasting to drop back more than 10 feet (3 meters) behind the opposing team; taking a knee; intentionally falling; or intentionally skating out of bounds in such a manner that the legally defined pack is destroyed.
188.8.131.52.1 - The rules do not define pack speed. Gradual deviation from the speed of the pack as established through game play is legal, unless said deviation is sudden, rapid, and marked, leaving the opposing team no opportunity to adjust and maintain a pack.
It doesn't matter if you unintentionally destroy the pack. If you have, due to suddenly braking for example, then you are responsible and will be penalised.184.108.40.206 - A Skater or group of Skaters is always responsible for the consequences of their actions. If their actions create a No Pack situation (excepting those covered in Section 220.127.116.11 and Section 18.104.22.168.1) they must be penalized as directed in Section 5.10.17, regardless of intent. When determining responsibility of a No Pack situation, per Section 3.1.2 and Section 5.10.2, both teams are responsible for maintaining a legally defined pack.
So, Violet is the last black team skater on track. EmKa knocks her down. EmKa has technically destroyed the pack, but as it is a part of normal gameplay she wouldn't be penalised for it. Blocking is still legal!22.214.171.124 - Pack destructions as a result of normal game play are not to be considered illegal pack destructions and should not be penalized. Skaters still must reform a pack immediately or be subject to Out of Play penalties (see Section 5.10.6 and Section 5.10.7). Examples of normal game play that should not be considered illegal pack destructions include:
126.96.36.199.1 - Forcing an opponent down or out of bounds.
188.8.131.52.2 - A pack being destroyed as the result of a missed block. This is not the same as intentionally skating out of bounds to destroy a pack, which should be penalized according to Section 184.108.40.206.
EVERYONE is responsible for keeping the pack together. Except the jammers. They don't count for pack stuff.220.127.116.11 - When no Skater or team can be clearly found responsible for illegally destroying the pack, no penalty for illegally destroying the pack may be enforced; however Skaters and teams are still responsible for immediately reforming a pack.
Now, here's a tricky one - you cannot block a Skater who is out of play. THIS APPLIES TO JAMMERS. For realses. If you're a jammer and you see an OOP blocker and you hit her down - YOU'LL GET AN OUT OF PLAY PENALTY. Lots of people don't seem to know this, so bear it in mind!5.10.3 - No Skater may initiate a block while out of play, or to a Skater who is out of play. It is, however, legal to counter-block in such a situation.
Remember that derby direction is anti-clockwise (counter clockwise for our American pals!).5.10.4 - Blockers who are outside of the Engagement Zone will be warned to return to the Engagement Zone, and will be penalized if they do not immediately attempt to return to the Engagement Zone.
18.104.22.168 - Blockers ahead of the Engagement Zone are compelled to skate clockwise to return to the Engagement Zone if the pack is stopped or moving clockwise.
You have to immediately attempt to reform the pack. For the rear group that means accelerating until you catch up. Front group MUST STOP ACTIVELY SKATING.5.10.5 - During a No Pack situation, Skaters will be warned that there is no pack and will be penalized if they do not immediately attempt to reform the pack. For Skaters in the rear group, this includes stepping or skating in the counter-clockwise direction. For Skaters in the front group, this includes coasting, braking, or coming to a complete stop.
So if you knock someone out of bounds, and she's the last blocker on track, she can't just hang out of bounds for as long as she wants. HOWEVER, she doesn't have to skate behind you. Tricksy, huh?22.214.171.124 - A Blocker who is out of bounds must attempt to return in bounds if doing so would be legal and would reform the pack. Said Blocker is not, however, required to skate clockwise in order to find a legal re-entry point.
Even tricksier! If everyone (or that one blocker) is out of bounds and you run back, the skaters OOB don't need to skate backwards to come in. In fact, you have to skate forward to let them in legally. Bet you didn't know that! It comes up very rarely, but it is *very* important to know.126.96.36.199 - If all of one team’s Blockers are out of bounds and cannot legally re-enter in bounds, the opposing team must immediately begin moving in a counter-clockwise direction. The out-of-bounds team will then be responsible for returning in bounds to reform the pack as soon as it is legal to do so
Basically, go whichever way you can to reform a pack. It's that important!188.8.131.52 - If a Blocker is “in between” potential packs, such that skating clockwise or counter-clockwise would potentially reform a pack, a Blocker may skate either clockwise or counter-clockwise (per Section 5.10.5 or Section 5.10.6).
You speed up, and a pack still isn't formed, you gotta go faster. If you're in the front group and you coast and it's still not reformed, you have to start actively braking. The pack is the most important thing. You hear 'no pack' then you better start trying to reform!5.10.6 - An attempt to reform is considered “immediate” if the action is taken as soon as legally possible. If an immediate action is not sufficient to reform the pack, however, additional effort is required. If a Blocker is in the rear group, they must accelerate (until sprinting) toward the front group until a pack is reformed (coasting, stepping slowly, or stepping in an only somewhat-counter-clockwise direction are insufficient). If a Blocker is in the front group, they must actively brake until they come to a complete stop (coasting is insufficient).
Imagine looking at the straight of the track. Black team is in front of the pivot line. White team is behind the jammer line. (So they're 30 feet apart). The black team have come to a stop. They've done everything they need to. It's up to the white team to accelerate forward!184.108.40.206 - During a No Pack scenario, the front-most group is never required to skate clockwise to reform a pack.
220.127.116.11 - When pack reformation is imminent, the rear group may slow in order to avoid unsafe contact.
Cause you'll get a penalty, and we get to do this cool hand signal.5.10.7 - Skaters may not assist teammates while out of play.
Ok, so that's a lot of information already. BUT NOW WE GET TO THE PENALTIES. Excite.
Let's take a small break and look at small puppies stampeding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmDDdeUGd-s
No Impact/No Penalty
5.10.9 - If you hit someone and it DOESN'T affect their relative position or an opponents relative position then it's NI/NP. For real. It has to have impact. This is why it sometimes seems like you 'get away with it'. You don't - it just hasn't had impact.5.10.8 - No Pack situations without a measurable impact on game play.
5.10.9 - Any illegal blocking while out of play that forces the receiving opponent off balance, forward, and/or sideways, but does not cause an opponent to lose relative position or allow the initiator or a teammate to gain relative position.
5.10.10 - An Out of Play assist that affects the recipient but does not improve relative position.
So, remember that hit above. If you go out of play, receive the warning and THEN go in for a hit you're going to get a 'failure to return' (as in, failing to return to the Engagement Zone) penalty. Remember *immediate* attempt. (Normally we'll give the warning and then count a beat - we don't expect you to instantly understand and react. You're probably only human.).If the Out of Play action has a measurable consequence for the game a penalty will be assessed.
5.10.11 - A Blocker who, after being warned, does not immediately attempt to return to the Engagement Zone. A penalty must be applied to each offending Blocker who does not attempt to return to the Engagement Zone.
Remember, the pack is king. You hear 'no pack' you should make an attempt to reform.5.10.12 - Immediate Failure to Reform: After a warning, a failure to immediately attempt to reform a pack . If a pack is not immediately reformed, a penalty will go to one Blocker from each team, if the team has any Blockers who made no immediate effort to reform the pack.
18.104.22.168 - A Blocker who continues a block or initiates a new block after a No Pack situation is declared will be considered to be making no effort to reform.
This is the fun bit where the refs are simultaneously trying to work out who is most responsible for a sustained No Pack, who is making an attempt, where the jammers are and what 10 feet looks like, WHILE MOVING. Feel free to sing this at us next time you see a No Pack5.10.13 - Sustained Failure to Reform: A Blocker engaging in any action (or inaction) that inhibits or delays their attempt to reform a pack, or prolongs the No Pack scenario, if prior attempts to reform were not sufficient (see Section 5.10.6). Only one Blocker from each team, at a time, who is most responsible for the sustained No Pack scenario may be penalized in this manner.
If you fall behind, you have to catch up from behind. If you go out of play at the front you have to re-enter from the front. Simples.5.10.14 - A Blocker returning to the Engagement Zone from behind, having lapped the pack. A penalty must be applied to each offending Blocker (see Section 22.214.171.124).
5.10.15 - A Blocker returning to the Engagement Zone from the front, having fallen behind the pack. A penalty must be applied to each offending Blocker (see Section 126.96.36.199).
This is the most common out of play penalty - Out of Play blocks. You've got to listen for those warnings (and in the case of venues with bad acoustics, know your distances!).5.10.16 - Any illegal blocking while out of play that forces the receiving opponent out of their established position. This includes forcing an opponent down, out of bounds, or out of relative position.
5.10.17 - Any illegal blocking while out of play that allows the initiator or a teammate to gain relative position.
Again with the Pack. The Pack is love. The Pack is life. Don't destroy the Pack!5.10.18 - Illegally Destroying the Pack: The act of illegally destroying the pack causes all Blockers to lose relative position. The Skater responsible for destroying the pack will receive the penalty.
So, you're a jammer who takes a whip off of an OOP blocker. If you initiate, you get a penalty. If you're skating past and your blocker gives you a shove while OOP, she gets the penalty.5.10.19 - An Out of Play assist that improves the recipient’s relative position. The penalty is given to the initiator of the assist.
Don't contact people who are out of play. It could go badly. You could get expelled. If you try and land a can-opener on an unsuspecting out of play person, you could easily be looking at an expulsion.The following egregious acts will be automatic game expulsions. Expulsions will be issued for a conscious attempt to block an opponent in an egregious manner while out of play, whether or not the action was successful.
5.10.20 - Negligent or reckless contact with an opponent while out of play.
5.10.21 - Negligent or reckless contact with an opponent who is out of play.
Ok this was a SUPER LONG POST and I understand that it's probably a lot to take in, so feel free to post questions or hit us stripeys up at practice