All You Need To Know About The New Rules

New rules – CAN YOU HANDLE IT?

The WFTDA voted in a new rule set that goes into effect right now. Right this moment, whenever you’re reading this. Just kidding – however – it will be in effect for our December 1st bout, so you’ll want to know the very basics.

There are two big changes:

  1. One Whistle to Rule/Start Them All
  2. No more minors

Let’s talk about what this means.

One-whistle starts

You’re used to hearing one whistle blast to start the pack, and two whistle blasts to start the jammers. That’s over.  In order to bring you from one to 120 extra seconds of action in each and every jam, all the players on the track can now move forward at one starting whistle. In the past, it was possible to have jams in which the jammers were never released. This was boring and not fun to watch or do. We threw that possibility out the window.

Skaters can still start on a knee, but really, why would they? They did that to make jams start faster, and that will no longer be an issue. You’ll see the blockers lining up anywhere between the pivot line and jammer line, but probably not on a knee.

Lying down on the track at the beginning of the jam is no longer allowed. I wasn’t aware that this was a problem, but there you have it. Relax later, ladies!

No more minor penalties

Some have been downgraded to non-penalties, and some are upgraded to major penalties, but no one will go to the penalty box for four accumulated minor penalties. Ever. Again. This should streamline penalty tracking, cause less penalty box confusion, and make the job of bench managers 3345907 times easier. You won’t see any more “poodling” or “cougaring” – standing out of position at the beginning of the jam to pick up an intentional fourth minor. We’re putting a few non-skating officials out of business for each game, which means a better view of the track for you.

Now, when you hear someone say we have “no more minors” they mean no more minor penalties. We still have our Rosebuds running around, and now the Rose Petals for girls aged 7-11.

More of these minors:

Photo by Masonite Birn

No more of these minors:

Photo by Skippy Steve

Other changes? Well, there are kind of a lot of little ones that you won’t notice too much. One to remember is that now jammers have to be upright on their skates to score points. No scoring while sliding past someone on their knees, or by jumping past someone if they don’t stick the landing.

Derby News Network has a roundup of the major changes, or read the whole thing from the WFTDA.

Rose City skaters have been playing with one-whistle starts for a couple of weeks at league scrimmages, and the league held a town hall meeting to discuss the new rules.

As fans, you’ll have the opportunity to give the WFTDA feedback on these new rules after we’ve had the chance to play with them a little while. We live to skate – and serve.

You can see the new rules in action at Memorial Coliseum on December 1st.

Any questions?

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