So why is skating out of bounds a penalty?
Makes sense (hopefully!). Out of bounds is basically a 'no-go' zone, unless blocked out there or on your way to the penalty box!Skaters must remain in bounds. No part of the Skater’s skate(s) may touch the ground outside the track boundary. Skaters may not pick up momentum for a block until in bounds. Skaters may not use the out-of-bounds section of the track in order to decrease the distance needed to travel. Skaters may also not exit the track in order to avoid game play under their own power, even if due to poor judgement of speed.
Obviously you can skate to the penalty box!5.12.1 - Maintaining or increasing speed while out of bounds in the outfield to travel to or from the Penalty Box.
Lots of times when it's fine to leave the infield - notice that you're allowed to exit the track to avoid downed skaters! You can also leave to fix equipment problems or if you're injured.5.12.2 - Exiting the track of one’s own accord in order to avoid an obstacle (e.g., spills, debris, or downed Skaters).
5.12.3 - Exiting the track as a result of receiving a block.
5.12.4 - Exiting the track as a result of executing a block, or missing a block.
5.12.5 - Exiting the track of one’s own accord as a result of injury.
5.12.6 - Exiting the track of one’s own accord to address an equipment malfunction.
5.12.7 - Exiting the track of one’s own accord to retrieve a helmet cover that is out of bounds (if allowed to do so; see Section 2.6 - Helmet Covers).
Be aware, this doesn't mean you can slam into refs/nsos while you do so! They still have right of way!5.12.8 - Cutting across the infield in order to legally re-enter the track behind an opponent (for example, one Jammer attempting to return to the track after the other Jammer has skated clockwise).
No Impact/No Penalty
"Wait!" I hear you cry, "What is straddling?!". For this, I have drawn this handy graphic (I am not a graphic designer, and I did this in paint. It ain't pretty).5.12.9 - Intentionally adopting a straddling state, for any reason, so long as the Skater does not fully exit the track.
Note: you have to have a reasonable belief that you have reason to be out of bounds legally - you can't claim you believed that an opponent had hit you out of bounds when they're 20 feet away!5.12.10 - Exiting the track due to the belief that one had reason to be out of bounds legally.
188.8.131.52 - Mistakenly exiting the track due to mishearing an Official’s instruction (e.g., a Skater thinking that they have been called on a penalty when in fact they were not).
184.108.40.206 - Exiting the track after a maneuver that the Skater believes brought them out of bounds (e.g., an apex jump).
In all honesty, I've never seen this happen and can't really think of a situation you could pull this off without cutting the lap distance short!5.12.11 - After a warning, exiting the track whilst out of play, as a result of an immediate attempt to return to the Engagement Zone, so long as this does not substantially cut the lap distance short.
Just because you are legally allowed to be off track, doesn't mean you're not subject to other penalties. Be aware!5.12.12 - Exiting the track at any point during the four jam-ending whistles.
5.12.13 - Exiting the track due to a loss of balance (even if the Skater remains upright). This Skater is still potentially subject to penalties under Section 5.11 - Cutting the Track.
5.12.14 - Exiting the track due to a failed apex jump. This Skater is still potentially subject to penalties under Section 5.11 - Cutting the Track.
5.12.15 - Being propelled fully out of bounds by a teammate. The out-of-bounds Skater is still potentially subject to pack destruction penalties.
Note - 220.127.116.11 does not mean you can stand out the way on the infield before you exit the track to the penalty box (as some skaters do). However, it does mean you can't use the infield to decrease the amount of distance to the penalty box.5.12.16 - Skating while out of bounds in a manner that significantly cuts the lap distance short. For example:
18.104.22.168 - Cutting across the infield on the way to the Penalty Box.
22.214.171.124 - Repeatedly cutting small amounts of the lap distance short, which together add up to a significant portion of lap distance having been cut short over the course of the game.
This doesn't mean if a hit is so big that you slide that distance. This means, for example, being hit out in the outfield, then crawling back across the track to re-enter from the infield.5.12.17 - Crossing the track while down, from the outfield to the infield.
Remember, this doesn't count for the penalty box5.12.18 - Skating while out of bounds to maintain or increase speed. For example, performing a crossover while touching out of bounds.
Hopefully these all make sense, but please let me know!5.12.19 - A Skater fully exiting the track, perhaps straddling along the way, entirely under their own power (except where defined as legal or no-impact, above), including while down.
126.96.36.199 - A Skater who returns from the outfield to the track and misjudges their speed, causing them to exit the track on the infield, has left the track entirely under their own power.
188.8.131.52 - A Skater who fully exits the track in order to avoid receiving a block is considered to be exiting the track entirely under their own power.
So, skating out of bounds. Make sense?