Direction of Gameplay penalties covers clockwise blocks, stopped blocks, clockwise assists and stopped assists.
Yeah, I've never heard anyone calling a stopped assist either. Don't worry!
5.9.1 - Skaters must be skating and/or stepping in the counter-clockwise direction when executing a block. Skaters may not skate in the clockwise direction while executing a block. Skaters may not block while stopped on the track. These illegal blocking techniques include positional blocking. Clockwise movement is measured by the skates moving past a line perpendicular to the track boundaries.
Counter-clockwise direction is normal derby direction. In the UK we tend to use 'anti-clockwise' but the rules are in US English
The final sentence can be broken down like this:
Image you are looking at a 2D drawing of roller derby on a flat piece of paper. Skaters can only move from right to left or left to right. The 'depth' of how they move (infield to outfield or vice versa) doesn't count - only if they are moving to left or right or stopped.
For example, here is lovely zebra:
The zebra is moving clockwise, or against derby direction. Naughty Zebra.
The bolded part means that if you are stopped on track and you shove your jammer as she passes, you will receive the penalty! HOWEVER, if your jammer takes a whip off of your hips and you are stopped, *she* will get the penalty! Remember that the initiator can be either whip giver or taker, but whoever initiates is key. However, there is an exception to this:5.9.2 - Skaters must be skating and/or stepping in the counter-clockwise direction when giving an assist. Skaters may not skate in the clockwise direction when giving or receiving an assist. Skaters may not give assists to skating teammates while stopped on the track. The initiator of the assist is responsible for the legality of the assist. Clockwise movement is measured by the skates moving past a line perpendicular to the track boundaries.
18.104.22.168 - A stopped or counter-clockwise stepping/skating Skater may legally assist a stopped or downed teammate.
So if you are stopped, and your teammate falls over, you can help her to her feet. Also, if you are skating around and see someone has stopped on track, you can give them a wee shove to get them going
All this doesn't mean you can't skate in basically any direction you want!
You see this a lot with skaters running back to force a jammer/blocker to re-enter behind. This is perfectly legal.5.9.3 - Skaters are permitted to skate clockwise on the track provided they do not engage with other Skaters (e.g., block opponents or assist teammates).
5.9.4 - Skaters are permitted to stop on the track provided they do not engage with other Skaters (e.g., block opponents or assist teammates).
Note, it is accepted that naturally you will sometimes come to halt!
Note - a lot of skaters seem to think that if they raise their hands in the air while continuing to push their butt against the opposing skater, they are 'disengaging'. This isn't true! Disengaging means completely stopping engaging the skater! As little touching as possible, not bracing and actively trying to return to skating. You can still counterblock though - if you are stopped and someone hits you, it's ok to counterblock because this is for safety.22.214.171.124 - A Skater who is engaged in a block who then comes to a stop for any reason must cease all engagement until there is another legal opportunity to engage.
5.9.5 - Skaters may skate clockwise out of bounds when exiting the Penalty Box, but must return to play from the back of the pack
5.9.6 - Skaters may block and/or assist while their body is facing any direction as long as they are moving in the counter-clockwise direction.
The first one hopefully you are all aware of. You don't get any skating out of bounds penalties for returning from the penalty box and can go in ANY direction (Just try to not crash into a ref...)
Watch this black blocker. Notice how she basically blocks in EVERY direction? But she is always moving in derby direction so it's ok!
Examples of Legal Play
5.9.7 - Skating in the clockwise direction in a way that does not affect other Skaters.
5.9.8 - Skating clockwise while out of bounds in order to avoid a Cutting the Track penalty.
5.9.9 - A Skater who, while stopped, helps a downed teammate to an upright position.
5.9.10 - A Skater who, while stopped, assists a stopped teammate.
5.9.11 - A Skater coming to a stop as a result of giving an assist.
Straight-forward hopefully! But ask away if it doesn't make sense.
No Impact/No Penalty
No Impact/No Penalty means you've done something naughty (tsk tsk), but it's not actually had an impact on the game, so you will not get a penalty. You might get a disapproving look from your favourite ref though
5.9.12 - Incidental contact from a Skater getting spun around as a result of another block.
5.9.13 - A stopped Skater giving an assist that affects the recipient but does not improve the recipient’s relative position.
5.9.14 - A clockwise-skating or stepping Skater giving an assist that affects the recipient but does not improve the recipient’s relative position.
For the first one, if you get blocked and go flying and your arm brushes up against an opposing skater, we're not going to penalise you It's physics, it's not knocked anyone down. It's ok.
For the second and third ones, imagine you are stopped on track and you give your skating jammer a wee shove. But she doesn't overtake anyone. That's a NI/NP.
5.9.15 - Any block by a stopped or clockwise-moving Skater that forces the receiving opponent off balance, forward, backward, and/or sideways, but does not cause an opponent to lose relative position, or the initiator or a teammate to gain relative position.
If you skate clockwise and hit a skater and she simply wobbles, but there is no other impact (example - your jammer gets past her/she is stopped from passing someone), then it's a NI/NP. If she goes down, out of bounds, rolls back behind someone or is prevented passing someone, you will receive a penalty. You will also receive a penalty if you do not affect her position, but it allows someone to go past.
5.9.16 - A Skater who, while blocking an opponent, momentarily comes to a stop, but resumes counter-clockwise skating and/or stepping at the first legal opportunity.
126.96.36.199 - If there is no legal opportunity to skate and/or step in the counter-clockwise direction, no penalty will be assessed as long as the stopped Skater does not continue to engage.
The second bit seems kind of convoluted, but let's work through this - so you're blocking a skater from team white, facing her but going derby direction (so you're skating backwards). You are right on the inside line. One of your team skaters is crammed up against you (nice wall!) on the other side. Another team skater is anchoring you (she's behind your back, so technically in front of you on the track). You roll to a stop. You're not going to step out of bounds, and your teammate/wall is so close you can't move that way. You can't skate in normal derby direction, because of the blocker bracing you, and you have no way to turn around anyway. You can't skate clockwise without risking a penalty. Referees don't expect you to teleport (we're nice like that). As long as you disengage (see above, although you are allowed to legally counterblock so you're not a sitting target!), we're not going to penalise you. I hope this makes sense!
5.9.17 - A block by a stopped Skater that includes physical contact that forces the receiving opponent to lose relative position, allows the initiator or a teammate to gain relative position, or puts the opponent severely off balance.
So, 'severely off balance' here means something like completely spinning them around. Imagine a skater who takes up to 10 seconds to regain control. This does not mean that she has to fall! But she is impacted enough that she may has well have fallen and got back up.
5.9.18 - A clockwise block that forces the receiving opponent to lose relative position, allows the initiator or a teammate to gain relative position, or puts the opponent severely off balance.
5.9.19 - A clockwise skating and/or stepping Skater giving an assist to a teammate who is neither down nor stopped that improves the recipient’s relative position. The penalty is given to the initiator of the assist.
5.9.20 - A stopped Skater giving an assist to a teammate who is neither down nor stopped that improves the recipient’s relative position.
5.9.21 - Actively maintaining a stopped position (e.g., via braking or receiving an assist), or maintaining clockwise momentum, while impeding an opponent.
Impeding can be holding back, or forcing to move backwards on track. It could also mean something like a skater has to actively stop skating to try and regain balance. If you hit someone clockwise and she majorly flails and then you continue to skate clockwise at her, you'll get a penalty
The following egregious acts will be automatic game expulsions. Expulsions will be issued for a conscious and forceful attempt to block an opponent in an egregious manner while executing a clockwise or stopped block, whether or not the action was successful.
5.9.22 - Negligent or reckless contact with an opponent while executing a clockwise block.
5.9.23 - Negligent or reckless contact with an opponent while executing a stopped block.
Sprinting backwards down the track at someone and hitting them full force would probably be expulsion worthy (in fact both expulsion worth clockwise blocks I have seen have been this exact scenario). Remember - A block need not be intentional to warrant an expulsion!
Hopefully this was all helpful! Please feel free to post any questions/queries you have.
Remember: There are no stupid questions