Rule of the Week - Time

Rules of Derby (according to WFTDA) ask our all-knowing officials whatever you like.
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Blind Io
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Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Blind Io » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:23 pm

Hey pals,

Mags thought it would be a good idea for someone to write a Rule of the Week from the NSO’s perspective, so here I am!

This post is going to be about how we time periods and jams in roller derby, which — I get it — sounds like the most boring topic ever, but it’s a) incredibly important to NSOs, and b) potentially very powerful knowledge in the hands of your captains & bench staff. Let’s dive in!


Period Time
1.9.2.4 - The Official Period Clock must be highly visible to Referees, teams, and audience members.

1.4.1 - The period begins when the designated Official blows the jam-starting whistle.

1.4.2 - The period ends when the last jam reaches its natural conclusion (see Section 1.5 - Jams). This may extend past the point when the period clock reaches 0:00.

1.4.3 - If 30 seconds or fewer remain on the period clock when a jam ends, there will not be another jam started in that period unless a timeout or Official Review is called by one of the teams (see Section 1.7 - Timeouts).
O.K. This is straightforward stuff! If a jam is still in progress when the period clock hits zero, the jam will continue until it is called off by either the jam timer or jam referee, at which point the period will end. If the jam ends and there’s only 10 seconds left on the period clock, there will be 10 seconds of lineup time after which the period will end — unless a team uses either a Team Timeout (TTO) or Official Review (OR). Plenty of teams hold onto a TTO or OR so that they can secure an extra potentially-game-winning extra jam in just this way.

…But, wait: what’s this about a “natural conclusion” in Rule 1.4.2? If we go deep into the WFTDA rules, we come to the section on ‘Officials: Duties’, which states
8.2.6.3 - In the event that any jam (including an overtime jam) is called off prior to its natural conclusion (for example Sections 8.2.6.1.2–8.2.6.1.8) with time remaining on the jam clock but not on the period clock, the points from the jam will remain and an additional jam may occur at the Head Referee’s discretion…
Essentially, if the last jam of the period (after the period clock has hit zero) is ended prematurely due to a serious injury or track invasion by the crowd (amongst other things), the Head Ref may allow one more jam to take place in order to make things right.

There is one other circumstance where an additional jam can be granted even though the period clock has run out, and that’s the OVERTIME JAM:
1.6.1 - A game may never end in a tie score. If the score is tied at the end of a game, an overtime jam will determine the winner. After one minute, the teams will skate a full two-minute jam. This jam will have no Lead Jammer. Penalties will be called. Jammers will begin scoring points on their initial pass. The team with the most points at the end of the overtime jam is the winner. If the score remains tied, additional overtime jams will be played until the tie is broken. Additional overtime jams will begin one minute after the end of the previous jam.
What we have to take away from these rules is that you shouldn’t assume the game (or period) is over just because the period clock has run out (or is about to). To further complicate matters, teams are allowed to use their Official Review immediately after the conclusion of the last jam of the period by Rule 1.11.1.1:
1.11.1.1 - To request an Official Review, in between jams or immediately following the conclusion of the last jam of the period, the Captain or Designated Alternate will signal the Officials with the appropriate hand signal. Officials will signal for the clock to stop.
This means there may be a number of minutes before the final score becomes official, or there might even be an unexpected Overtime Jam!

For a great example of some of the ways in which a game can be extended, I highly recommend watching the last ten minutes of this game. Bonus points if you can correctly follow the use of Official Reviews here!


Jam Time, and Lineup Time
1.9.3.3 - The Official Jam Clock must be highly visible to Referees, teams, and audience members.

1.5.1 - A period is divided into multiple jams. There is no limit to the number of jams allowed in each period.

1.5.2 - A jam may last up to two minutes. Jams begin at the jam-starting whistle and end on the fourth whistle of the jam-ending signal (see Section 1.10 - Whistles).

1.5.3 - There are 30 seconds between jams.
We’re all fairly happy with these rules right? I want to focus on Rule 1.5.3. here, because it affects when people are allowed to call Team Timeouts and Official Reviews, and in practice it’s actually more nuanced than it looks (it’s only one short sentence!)

Thanks to Rules 1.9.2.4 and 1.9.3.3 both quoted higher up, we know that the Jam Timer must use the period & jam times displayed on the scoreboard when calling off the jam, or ending the period. This is great, because it means anyone can see *exactly* how much time is left in the jam/period, and plan their call-offs and TTO/ORs accordingly.

However, there is no such thing as an Official Lineup Clock. What this means in practice is that some games might use an old laptop to run their scoreboard software, and this software might have a 3 second time lag when starting the lineup time.
So we have a jam that ended 5 seconds ago, but the scoreboard says we’re only 2 seconds into lineup time!
When this happens, most officials will advocate using Rule 1.5.3 to start the next jam when the scoreboard says “lineup = 27 seconds”, because 27 + 3 = 30 seconds between jams. This means that any team planning on calling a Team Timeout at 29 seconds (as shown on the scoreboard) is going to be severely disappointed! Instead, listen for the Jam Timer shouting “5 seconds!” — you now have 5 seconds, no matter what the scoreboard shows, because the scoreboard does not show the Official Lineup Clock — because there is no such thing as the Official Lineup Clock.


Well, it's late and I've written far more about clocks than is healthy for any sane person. Post your questions below!
Officials Co-Spokesey / WFTDA Certified Level 2 NSO / UKRDA Official

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PowerHouse
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by PowerHouse » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:47 am

No question, just a comment - overtime jams must be so exciting! :fight:
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Mags Payne
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Mags Payne » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:35 am

I thought I had posted on this? But apparently not.

Ioan! You are so good.
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Hex
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Hex » Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:18 am

Sooooo - regarding the Boro v tiger bay game .. I have been confused since that game. Is a final score final or isn't it? I mean it was super exciting so i'm not complaining.. but how Final is Final? If you could explain to me what happened here that would be amazing!
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Dead Metal
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Dead Metal » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:58 pm

Someone asked me the other day 'what happens if there is a tie' and now I know! The day I see an overtime jam will surely be an exciting day :D
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emKa
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by emKa » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:51 pm

Ans they did have a game with 2 overtime jams at Eastbourne Extreme last weekend!!!!
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Legs11
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Legs11 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:15 pm

I think the only tie we ever recorded was between the Thistles & Birmingham Blitz Dames back in the day - we refused an overtime jam on account of a near fight breaking out ha! ; we'd already started drinking cava at the bench so no one was doing any more derbying :badbanana:


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Skinner Alive
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Skinner Alive » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:29 pm

overtime jams are SO EXCITING!!!
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Blind Io
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Blind Io » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:55 pm

Sooooo - regarding the Boro v tiger bay game .. I have been confused since that game. Is a final score final or isn't it? I mean it was super exciting so i'm not complaining.. but how Final is Final? If you could explain to me what happened here that would be amazing!
How final is final? Such a good question! We're going to need some rules in order to explain this:
1.9.5.1 - The Official Score must be highly visible to Officials, Skaters, and audience members.
7.2.6.3 - If a point is awarded or denied in error, this error must be corrected prior to the conclusion of the following jam.

7.2.6.3.1 - If an error persists past the conclusion of the following jam, it will stand as part of the Official Score. Any changes made to the visible score during the following jam may be reviewed (per Section 1.11 - Official Reviews) after that jam concludes, as the score change was made during that jam, even if the original incident occurred earlier.

7.2.6.3.2 - If less than two minutes remain on the Official Period Clock during the second period, points awarded or denied in error must be corrected prior to the start, rather than the conclusion, of the following jam. Officials may take Official Timeouts as necessary to ensure that the score is correct prior to the start of such a jam.
The scoreboard shows the Official Score. Sometimes a referee or NSO may make a mistake and the Official Score will be incorrect! When this happens, there is a grace period of "up to the conclusion of the following jam" (or even less when there's less than two minutes remaining in the game) in which this Official Score can be corrected. If there was an scoring error from five jams ago, I'm really sorry but it's locked in. Because of this, scoring officials have to be vigilant at all times, and it's even a good idea for bench staff to keep an eye out for errors because no-one likes these unfixable mistakes to happen.

However, if a mistake is spotted within the grace period, the Official Score can be corrected, and this grace period includes the time after the 'final' whistle by Rule 7.2.6.3.2. So there is no such thing as a 'Final Score' until the officials are happy that all correctable errors have been corrected.



Some history for you: Rule 7.2.6.3 only came into being in the December 2014 ruleset -- before then the score could be changed at any time! Back in those days, the Jam Refs would check over the entire period's scoring paperwork for both teams after the final whistle, and make any changes to the scoreboard before agreeing that the score is now the 'Final Score' and the scoreboard operator would press the button and the winning team would cheer and everyone would go party.

Under the new ruleset Jam Refs are actually only checking the scoring paperwork for the last jam (because they cannot correct any previous jams), so the big reveal when the scoreboard operator clicks the 'Final Score' button is not actually that big of a deal anymore! Even less so when you realise that the 'Final Score' display on the scoreboard is reversible -- there's nothing in the rules that talks about a 'Final Score' display.



For Boro v Tiger: what happened was that the officials initially thought that the final score was correct at 164-163, and so the scoreboard put up the 'Final Score' display. However, Tiger's coach quickly ran in to the middle to query a missing point for their team with the HR. The HR checked with the other Refs and the scorekeepers, and the missing point was found. Which meant that the Official Score was now 164-164 (and that we were premature with the 'Final Score' button). And that meant OVERTIME JAM TIME.
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Hex
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Re: Rule of the Week - Time

Post by Hex » Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:03 pm

cool! Thanks Io! makes sense now :D
i did do a little jump of joy when i came back from the loos to see final score turn to EXTRA TIME!
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