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Non-Skating Officials => Working with Referees => Topic started by: ShoNuff on April 20, 2012, 05:24:53 pm

Title: Conflicting directives
Post by: ShoNuff on April 20, 2012, 05:24:53 pm
I ran into this problem in scrimmage and was wondering if there is a general viewpoint about how to handle it.

I was jam timing.  Head ref was front IPR.

Prior to jam start the blockers are spread out from the pivot line to about 20' behind the pivot line.

First whistle blows and the pack begins to accordion out.

Eventually the rearmost blockers are about 3 feet behind the pivot line and the foremost blockers are at the apex of turn 1 and 2.  Both IPRs are signalling that all skaters are part of the pack.

The rearmost blockers come to a stop and a gap begins opening across the pivot line.  The Front IPR (The head ref) is up at the turn 1-2 apex, the rear IPR moves to the center of the expanding gap and is standing just a little in front of the pivot line.  I'm a foot or two behind the pivot line but several feet away from the track edge.

The front IPR continues to signal that all skaters are part of the pack.  From my perspective I agree with that call but the gap is very close to 10 feet.  The rear IPR who is standing directly at the gap calls that the rearmost blockers are no longer in the pack.

Which IPR should I give priority to for releasing the jammers?

In this case I followed the rear IPR since he was best positioned to evaluate the situation but I was also told after the jam by the head ref that I released the jammers too early.

The situation has created another entry on my list of things to ask about in pre-bout meetings but figured here I could ask a whole ton of IPRs all at once how they would want that situation handled.
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: Insane Troll Logic on April 22, 2012, 11:55:25 am
In general, it's not your job to second guess the pack refs, and you should release the jammers when when any ref signals "no pack". If you are certain that the "no pack" call was given in error, then you could hold off on the jammer whistles, but only if you're certain.
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: Darkjester on April 22, 2012, 01:21:33 pm
Not quite..

Once the Rear most members are no longer 'in pack' there is still the possibility that the 'pack' has already passed the Pivot line, meaning the Jam timer SHOULD in fact blow the Jammer start whistles.

As a HR I try and teach my Jam timers to understand pack definition, however in cases of confusion I will say "Pack is Here" showing they are the group ahead of the line and to start the jammers.

Remember, The pack is the largest group of skaters, containing members of both teams, skating within proximity (10ft) of each other.   Skaters are still In Play within 20ft of the pack. So it IS possible to have In Play, but not IN Pack skaters behind the pivot line.

Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: Bratty Cardia on April 22, 2012, 02:38:07 pm
This one's difficult. I would say that because the rear IPR's call was made last, it would be the one to follow, but that seems like "shifting the blame", so to speak. I assume you knew full well how the pack was meant to be defined, and you knew that the rear IPR had a better view of the situation. This is a question of one official overriding another's call, and is something that ought to be discussed among officials. It should only be done with good reason, because it's effectively saying, "I disagree with what you've called; I'm making my own decision."

Sometimes, this disagreement can be good, because an official has truly missed something, but if they're watching a certain situation intently, it's usually better to let them handle it. I'm speaking of the logic that should be going through the rear IPR's head in this case. I assume from the way you've described your situation that you are meant to release the Jammers based on pack definition from the IPRs, and so unless you could see that the call was blatantly wrong, you were probably justified in releasing them when you did.

And again, while it does seem like shifting the blame, I think the issue here was between the IPRs, and I don't feel that you released the Jammers early, because you released them in response to pack definition from an official who was meant to be defining the pack. If I were an IPR in that situation, I'd talk about how I wanted to share pack definition with my other IPR so that such disagreements don't happen. I would interpret you as having released the Jammers precisely when you were meant to. In my opinion, you give priority to both IPRs in a situation where either one could be correct in their interpretation. Because you were given the "pack is across" instruction by one of them (because both are watching pack definition), you would release the Jammers at that moment.

Sometimes, crews will split up the pack definition responsibilities, saying that the back IPR, for instance, should do most of the pack definition, just so situations like this can be avoided. The front IPR would only take up pack definition if there's something the back IPR misses, either due to being busy calling a penalty, dropping off a penalty, or whatever else. In that case, the front IPR shouldn't say anything, and watch for infractions near the front or skaters exiting the Engagement Zone in the front. The back IPR in this case would say something like, "Pack is all. Pack is all. Pack is all. Pack is across!" upon which you would blow the Jammer start whistle.

It's another thing altogether if you're expected to define the pack yourself as a Jam Timer and release the Jammers based on your own interpretation, though.
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: bassamfareiha on July 07, 2012, 06:19:52 am
The situation has created another entry on my list of things to ask about in pre-bout meetings but figured here I could ask a whole ton of IPRs all at on this suction .So if conflicting directives.It should be only be done with good reason because its effectively saying.
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: Statsquatch on July 09, 2012, 06:20:29 pm
I ended up working a bout where I had the FIPR and RIPR both visually specifying a pack with no verbal cue at the same time an OPR shouted No Pack in front of one of the benches. I completely ignored the OPR, and that resulted in an official review due to the bench(and skaters from that team) believing I should have blown the jam.

Because of all that, I now prior to every bout ask the head ref:
-Do you want the OPRs making pack definition calls? If so, when?
-Who should be the "pack definition" ref? Will all refs have equal weight in this regard?
-If refs conflict, how do you want that handled?

Sometimes, depending on the answers to those questions, it can be really difficult. In your situation, I definitely would have blown it, because one of the pack refs had made a definition and they were in the best visual position to make that definition.
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: beertester on July 18, 2012, 07:01:40 pm
as an NSO it is not my job to decide what is a no pack situation so if a ref calls no pack i blow the second whistle whether the ref is correct or not
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: Riff Reff on July 19, 2012, 09:43:37 am
Great points Statsquatch!

This is definitely something you should talk about before the bout when you are Jam Timing!

Usually I trust my jam timers to make that judgement if the pack has crossed the line or not unless they are rather new then I ask them for a "pack is here" indication. However "No pack" has to be determined and called by a referee. (A jam timer usually cannot see that maybe that one skater's knee isn't down).

Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: bjmacke on July 21, 2012, 05:53:46 pm
Realize that can go in the opposite direction, though. Jam Timers can sometimes have a view of a scrum pack that refs don't have and might be the only ones not seeing all the knees down.

And, rather importantly, only a Jam Timer knows the exact moment when the jam start whistle is going to happen.
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: Riff Reff on July 21, 2012, 09:04:40 pm
And, rather importantly, only a Jam Timer knows the exact moment when the jam start whistle is going to happen.
It is the referee's job to do the pack definition and the jam timer is not a fall-back for refs not noticing. It will go wrong (it has gone wrong for me) at some point either way and then it should be a ref's mistake not an NSO's mistake  :-[
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: ShoNuff on July 23, 2012, 08:28:24 pm
Clear lines of communication and clear lines of responsibility are essential to successfully officiating a bout.

It's not about who is to blame when things go wrong, it's about making the bout run smoothly and consistently.

If 10 foot and 20 foot calls are off by a little, it's not ideal, but so long as they are always called at the same distance, it's okay.  If they get called one way one jam and a different way the next jam, that's a big problem.

Having too many people making the calls doesn't help communication, it tangles it up and creates the kind of inconsistency that leaves the skaters unable to know when they are in the pack and when they are out.

You can think of the rules as the physical laws of the bout universe and the officials as the manifestations of those laws.  What the skaters need is for the officials to be as relentless and as predictable as gravity.  If they know that out of play is going to be at 22 feet and out of pack is going to be at 11, they can work with that as long as it is always at 22 feet and 11 feet. 
Title: Re: Conflicting directives
Post by: Kilty Conscience on July 24, 2012, 11:38:26 pm
There is so much variation in officiating styles and practices out there. Some Head Refs allow their Jam Timers more discretion than others. Some allow the Jam Timer to blow for "No Pack", some don't. Some are very strident about which individual ref the call is to come from.
As a Jam Timer, I've found it best to introduce myself to the Head Ref, clarify who is making the "No Pack" calls, going into OTOs, how quickly/how many seconds they would like to get rolling coming out of a time out, eye contact, etc.
Some Head Refs have been better to talk to at the pre-bout meeting, some better in a one-on-one chat.
However you do it, it saves some confusion for the bout and all of them have seemed to appreciate my taking the initiative.