Zebra Huddle™

Non-Skating Officials => Working with Referees => Topic started by: mick hawkins on July 07, 2010, 12:47:02 am

Title: counting down
Post by: mick hawkins on July 07, 2010, 12:47:02 am
apart from the whistles, what does your jam timer do to start the jam?

over here in the antipodes, there's all manner of things people do and dont do -- so ive been watching a heap of footage to try and see what's standard in WFTDA bouts. it's not always easy to see, but i think ive seen...

• jam timers hold their right arm up at 25 seconds, and at 30 seconds make a "chop" type motion at the whistle (this is what we usually do - got it from the yahoo group sometime ago)

• others hold up an arm at 25 seconds, and use their fingers (held high) to count down 5,4,3,2,1) then whistle

when starting the jammers ive seen
• some point at the jammers at their whistle
• others bring their out stretched fist in close to their body, and
• some do nothing

so realising things change (and what we've been doing might no-longer be standard) and that im looking at footage tht might be a little out of date...

what should jam timers do to visually signal the countdown and/or start of the jam?
and is there a visual signal for the jammers?
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Stegoscorus on July 07, 2010, 01:09:14 am
Mostly I've seen the Jam Timer put their hand up with 5 seconds left before the whistle.  I would discourage counting down with the fingers; it's too easy to be off by a second and cause false starts if the skaters are watching the fingers rather than listening for the whistle (which is their own fault, of course, but why not just avoid it?).

As far as what they do when the blow either the pack or the Jammer whistles, that's all personal style.  Some people get really into it, others just blow the whistle.  In general I'd say discourage officials from calling TOO much attention to themselves, but a bit of Jam Timer flare is pretty normative, can be amusing to the skaters and audience.  ;)
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: mick hawkins on July 07, 2010, 01:16:00 am
thanks stego  :)

I would discourage counting down with the fingers; it's too easy to be off by a second and cause false starts if the skaters are watching the fingers rather than listening for the whistle (which is their own fault, of course, but why not just avoid it?).

yeah, there's a few leagues here who do this - and the skaters use the count down to try and get a jump on the opposition (literally) - with mixed success

im not sure im a fan of the finger countdown, but a few of our skaters have seen it recently and like it

hence me asking

Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Dave Brawlings on July 07, 2010, 02:10:48 am
I am a fan of "arm up with the first whistle", and "arm down with the second whistle." Particularly in a loud, close venue, I think a visual cue as well as the whistle is a good idea.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: dodge sportsman on July 07, 2010, 04:52:46 am
hi.

I've been lurking for some time, but after having this same conversation at training last night, I thought I'd weigh in with my very first post...

I think we do it pretty similar to you guys, mick...

In past bouts we have just had our jam timer yell "ten seconds" (that would be for ten seconds left obviously) and put his hand up, then drop the hand along with the regulation whistle for the start of the jam, followed by a plain two whistles for the jammer start.

Some of our girls like the  finger count after having seen it in Adelaide at the great southern slam and so they've requested we follow suit. Personally i'm against it as i think it overcomplicates something that i see as fairly simple.

I agree with stegoscorus.The five finger count seems to me to encourage the skaters to get the jump on the pack by anticipating the whistle based on the position of the fingers, which, unless the jam timer can guarantee finger - stopwatch synchronisation every time, is likely to lead to heaps of false starts and possible confusion from the skaters as to what is the actual start of the jam (even though they should know it's the whistle).

I see it as analogous to the "take your mark - set - gun" start in track athletics. Reaction time is still a factor, but there's less room for confusion. If the skaters are struggling to hear the whistles for the start of a jam, I think that's something that needs to be addressed seperately (maybe get the music turned down), because if they're not hearing the start whistles,
 it's likely they're not hearing penalty or jam-end whistles as well.

If there was a need for visual signal to the jammers, then perhaps the above could be modified to:
yell "ten seconds" and raise arm.
blow the jam start whistle
then blow the jammer start whistle while simultaneously lowering arm.

we'd also be pretty keen to hear if there was some radically different, and radically awesome method employed across the pond that we're unaware of.

 anyway that's my two cents and cherry popped
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: teapotahedron on July 07, 2010, 06:05:59 pm
I've also seen the jam timer do a countdown at the end of the 2 minute jam time limit. Seems like a good idea to let the referees know that a call-off is imminent, which is especially important for jam refs to accurately count points.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: JoeXCore on July 07, 2010, 06:08:24 pm
I've also seen the jam timer do a countdown at the end of the 2 minute jam time limit. Seems like a good idea to let the referees know that a call-off is imminent, which is especially important for jam refs to accurately count points.

Scoring should happen until the 4th whistle of the jam ending signal. They have (barely more than an instant I know) 3 blasts to prepare.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Gravity Kills on July 07, 2010, 07:11:45 pm
I liked the way they were doing it at ECE.  Chop down for the first whistle, point to the jammers at the second.  It was simple and clear.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Neil's On Wheels on August 01, 2010, 04:13:39 pm
I've seen the "hand up at :25/hand down at whistle" and the "hand-up-countdown-start at :25/hand down at the whistle".  I don't care for the countdown, feels too much like "coaching".  Officials aren't supposed to tell a team "You only have x seconds to get it together/on the track/extra players off/etc." and I feel like letting them know they have 5(ish) seconds left borders on, if not crosses, that line.  Technically, the hand up at :25 does a very similar thing, but I'm not opposed to it because venues are often loud, even when the music isn't.  A visual cue that it's time to start skating is not a bad thing.  (That's part of why we use hand-signals when issuing penalties.) I would think the most logical (once people got used to it, anyway) way to signal and not coach would be hand up at the start whistle, hand down on the Jammer whistle.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Cliquework on August 01, 2010, 07:47:34 pm
I do not feel it is coaching to "notify at five by raising the hand" for this reason:

[rule]2.8.2.4The official period clock must be highly visible to referees, teams and fans.[/rule]

As such, it is information readily available to all, nor are we giving an advantage to only one team. All it does is allow everyone to be in sync, particularly between Jam Timer and Scoreboard Op, depending on your configuration.

Though I will say that, having done plenty of jam timing, "counting with the fingers" can possibly lead to error for the reasons stated already. So not a "coaching" thing, but an error thing.



Title: Re: counting down
Post by: JoeXCore on August 01, 2010, 08:01:55 pm
I do not feel it is coaching to "notify at five by raising the hand" for this reason:

[rule]2.8.2.4The official period clock must be highly visible to referees, teams and fans.[/rule]

As such, it is information readily available to all, nor are we giving an advantage to only one team. All it does is allow everyone to be in sync, particularly between Jam Timer and Scoreboard Op, depending on your configuration.

Though I will say that, having done plenty of jam timing, "counting with the fingers" can possibly lead to error for the reasons stated already. So not a "coaching" thing, but an error thing.





While that is a good point... time between jams is NOT required to be visible, and some score boards don't show that.

(I just realized this implies I think counting down is a good idea, I don't)
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Judge Knot on August 01, 2010, 08:03:36 pm
I do not feel it is coaching to "notify at five by raising the hand" for this reason:

[rule]2.8.2.4The official period clock must be highly visible to referees, teams and fans.[/rule]

As such, it is information readily available to all, nor are we giving an advantage to only one team. All it does is allow everyone to be in sync, particularly between Jam Timer and Scoreboard Op, depending on your configuration.

Though I will say that, having done plenty of jam timing, "counting with the fingers" can possibly lead to error for the reasons stated already. So not a "coaching" thing, but an error thing.





It's a coaching thing if it's not consistent. The skaters know to look to the official clock. If you are giving optional information that varies from crew to crew, it starts to cross the line.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Cliquework on August 01, 2010, 08:42:31 pm
It's a coaching thing if it's not consistent. The skaters know to look to the official clock. If you are giving optional information that varies from crew to crew, it starts to cross the line.

Is this to say it should not be practiced? I've had nothing but good results and feedback on it and many crews Iv'e worked with use it or have adopted it, but it's certainly not a set standard.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Judge Knot on August 01, 2010, 11:24:23 pm
It's a coaching thing if it's not consistent. The skaters know to look to the official clock. If you are giving optional information that varies from crew to crew, it starts to cross the line.

Is this to say it should not be practiced? I've had nothing but good results and feedback on it and many crews Iv'e worked with use it or have adopted it, but it's certainly not a set standard.

That's a question you'll have to answer for yourself.

If 99% of people don't do it, and it's not done in tourneys, do you want to do it in sanctioned play?

That said, do what you want at home.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: JoeXCore on August 01, 2010, 11:29:57 pm
Could someone please post a detailed description of what is done at WFTDA tourneys.

I know there are motions that go along with the whistles when The Prosecutor does it.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Cliquework on August 02, 2010, 12:01:08 am
While that is a good point... time between jams is NOT required to be visible, and some score boards don't show that.

(I just realized this implies I think counting down is a good idea, I don't)

Counter: But it is visible on all scoreboards, as the period clock keeps moving, though it may require a bit of math.

It seems odd that there is a time requirement imposed on skaters, yet we argue that this shouldn't be visible or known. Even penalized skaters can request how much time they have left.

Just pointing out the counter arguement. Personally, I can live either way.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Judge Knot on August 02, 2010, 03:54:04 am
While that is a good point... time between jams is NOT required to be visible, and some score boards don't show that.

(I just realized this implies I think counting down is a good idea, I don't)

Counter: But it is visible on all scoreboards, as the period clock keeps moving, though it may require a bit of math.

It seems odd that there is a time requirement imposed on skaters, yet we argue that this shouldn't be visible or known. Even penalized skaters can request how much time they have left.

Just pointing out the counter arguement. Personally, I can live either way.

My response was directed toward the comment regarding counting down the time in the jam. Just so we're on the same page here.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Neil's On Wheels on August 02, 2010, 04:29:07 am
All good points as to why/how it's not coaching.  I've been swayed on that.

But I stand by not counting down for all the other reasons mentioned.  In fact, I was reffing a bout this evening and the jam timer would count down verbally, but he did it wrong every time.  "5-4-3-2-[whistle]"  Everyone seemed to get it, but (and probably because of this very thread), I found it a bit annoying and wished he would stop the counting part more because he was doing it incorrectly than for any other reason.

I would be interested in hearing how it's done at WFTDA tournaments, too.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: JoeXCore on August 02, 2010, 04:34:42 am
While that is a good point... time between jams is NOT required to be visible, and some score boards don't show that.

(I just realized this implies I think counting down is a good idea, I don't)

Counter: But it is visible on all scoreboards, as the period clock keeps moving, though it may require a bit of math.

It seems odd that there is a time requirement imposed on skaters, yet we argue that this shouldn't be visible or known. Even penalized skaters can request how much time they have left.

Just pointing out the counter arguement. Personally, I can live either way.

My response was directed toward the comment regarding counting down the time in the jam. Just so we're on the same page here.

Ah, I'm pretty sure that's not what any of the rest of us were talking about. Yeah, I don't know of any league that does that.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Cliquework on August 02, 2010, 04:53:17 am
Yes. Same here. I just meant holding the hand up pre-jam, 5 seconds before the Jam Whistle to begin the jam. The chop on Jam Start.

I don't know of the other here either, nor any verbal counting.

Looking back I suppose there were a few things going on at once.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: reflmao on August 02, 2010, 06:21:30 pm
Could someone please post a detailed description of what is done at WFTDA tourneys.

I was a jam timer at ECE so that's close.

Between jams I was asked to

I was asked not to judge the pack.  I started the jammers when the last skater crossed the line, when the refs called the pack in front of the line, or when the refs called no pack.

The motions are easy enough but the sideways snap did lead me the smacking the back IPR in the chest a couple of times before we worked that out. 
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Sven WillIBeFamous on August 11, 2010, 06:31:24 pm
Personally I think this is something which should be more of a signal to the refs and so should be discussed in the pre-bout ref/NSO meeting.  It should be down to the preference of the Head Ref for the bout and everyone will be on the same page for the bout.

Whenever I've been involved in a bout it's always been done like that. I've never seen the counting down done and I don't think I like the idea of it to be honest as players will start watching the jam timer too much and there's too much of a temptation to jump the gun.

Counting down to signal the end of a jam is a no-no in my book as I think it could lead to confusion for players and refs alike.  The 4 whistle blasts (which will probably take a couple of seconds anyway) should be enough for refs and officials to realise that the jam is ending/has ended.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: PaPaROTC on November 11, 2010, 03:55:08 am
My question is that if is not stated in the rules that we have to “Raise the hand a 25 seconds” why do we?  I would venture to guess that we would have far fewer teams taking a knee prior to the jam whistle if they weren’t getting a 5 second a cue from our Jam Timers.

Your thoughts?
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: The Gorram Reaver on November 11, 2010, 04:40:32 am
My question is that if is not stated in the rules that we have to “Raise the hand a 25 seconds” why do we?  I would venture to guess that we would have far fewer teams taking a knee prior to the jam whistle if they weren’t getting a 5 second a cue from our Jam Timers.

Your thoughts?
Skaters & coaches know how to watch a clock.  If they are intent on starting a jam with a no-pack situation, they will be taking that knee at some point whether there is any sort of indication from the Jam Timer on how soon the jam will be starting.  As a referee, and particularly as a Head Referee, I often have the need to know right frikkin NOW if the jam is about to start.  Being able to look at the Jam Timer and instantly get that information can make the difference between allowing game play to flow in an appropriate manner instead of 1) calling an unnecessary Officials' Time Out when I didn't need to, or 2) whistling a jam dead immediately after it starts to resolve an issue you didn't know you didn't have time to take care of.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: mick hawkins on November 11, 2010, 04:51:05 am
My question is that if is not stated in the rules that we have to “Raise the hand a 25 seconds” why do we?  I would venture to guess that we would have far fewer teams taking a knee prior to the jam whistle if they weren’t getting a 5 second a cue from our Jam Timers.

Your thoughts?


My understanding of why...
These days rules specify clocks must be visible.
That wasn't always the case.
The hand signal was used as a visual signal to reinforce the whistle - for the refs, announcers, audience and skaters.
... and when the visible clocks were used, the hand signal stayed.

I kind of think of it as similar to the puff of smoke that starting guns give   :)

It doesn;t give any cue that a visible clock doesn't already give.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: noidd on November 11, 2010, 12:06:20 pm
My question is that if is not stated in the rules that we have to “Raise the hand a 25 seconds” why do we?  I would venture to guess that we would have far fewer teams taking a knee prior to the jam whistle if they weren’t getting a 5 second a cue from our Jam Timers.

Your thoughts?


My thoughts?

Why are you looking for ways to change how the bout is run in order to stop skaters doing things which are legal per the rules but you don't like?

Officiate the game as the rules are written.  If the skaters don't want that specific aspect of gameplay they'll change the rules.  As an official it's not your game to change.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Bishop on November 11, 2010, 03:28:59 pm
My question is that if is not stated in the rules that we have to “Raise the hand a 25 seconds” why do we? 

There are a fair number of best practices out there that aren't specified in the rules proper.  Some of these best practices are spelled out in the  WFTDA Referee Standardized Practices (http://www.zebrahuddle.com/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=13) document.  On the other hand, many are not.  For example, where is it specified that jammer referees have to show jammers how many minors they have? 

It takes a lot of effort to stay on top of the current common or best officiating practices in WFTDA roller debry.  While you don't want to be cavalier with your own officitating practices, you do want to be open to suggestions reliable sources of information when they inform you of an officiating practice.  In the case of counting down, there's enough of a precedent out there that you can adopt that practice.  That said, you still have to be open to feedback from reliable sources close to the tribal knowledge in regards to how those officiating practices evolve.
Title: Re: counting down
Post by: Darkjester on November 11, 2010, 05:20:12 pm
I can see where Woody is coming from, if not necessarily how he worded it.

The taking of a knee before the jam is a legal tactic, however, if they are using an Official signaling "5 seconds" by raising their arm as the cue, then the referees ARE unduly having an effect on the game.

Like its been said, Coaches/players can view the countdown clock, so other than for trying to wrangle the officials/referees the hand in the air is extraneous.