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Non-Skating Officials => General NSO Discussion => Topic started by: jmhgn on November 30, 2012, 08:09:26 pm

Title: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: jmhgn on November 30, 2012, 08:09:26 pm
Has anyone been messing with NSO positioning with the new rule set?  I'm asking if anyone has tried to do Penalty Tracking outside the oval.  Or using fewer whiteboards.  Or any other configuration.

We will be doing a bunch of different things in December during bout practices and scrimmages.  I was just wondering if any other leagues have been experimenting.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: FNZebra on November 30, 2012, 08:31:53 pm
I have heard of and seen a few different things tried. Things are very localized right now (no 'standard' practices have emerged yet, on a wider level, of which I am aware).

Realize that a lot may also depend on the people you have available in your crew or on a given day, constraints of your venue (space, sightlines, crowd noise, ...), and so forth.

So feel free to play around with things during scrimmages, and try new stuff.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Samuel Bergus on November 30, 2012, 08:37:33 pm
There is some discussion of that in this thread (http://www.zebrahuddle.com/index.php?topic=2995.0).

From the general consensus, there will be fewer whiteboard, possibly no white board other than the PW (if you use one) and the PBM to retrieve queued skaters.

I would be interested in testing out a middle which is as naked as you can make it, move the JT out, move the PT out, throw away the IWB, and possibly keep a PW. I don't know if this would work well, but I would like to play around with it.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Eject You Later on November 30, 2012, 08:38:58 pm
I'm going to recruit the local track team to see if we can get an outside tracker/wrangler.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: reflmao on November 30, 2012, 08:45:41 pm
We've now tried an outside tracker inside wrangler during a couple scrimmages.   
One of our very experienced trackers was the tracker, I was the wrangler even though I'm not particularly experienced in that role, I was the best option available.  The tracker was stationed next to the penalty box with was between the benches on the front straight. 

This is the report I wrote up for our crew.

1) The tracker generally couldn't directly pick up penalties that were called on the far side of the track, she described it as basically from apex to apex.  I began turning and echoing the hand signs of the called penalties.  This allowed the tracker to get them and then separately get the color number when the skater approached the box.

2) Echoing the penalty handsign worked fine for single penalties but when it got bursty there was no mechanism to report which skater got which penalty.  I kept the full list for the jam on my board and if there was an issue I was able to fill in the missing data.

3) At one point a whistle was blown but the ref changed their mind and made no call.   This was not easy to communicate to the tracker who was waiting for an echoed hand sign and a skater to come in.

4) I was concerned about indicating to the tracker that a skater coming in was being returned after being waved off.   The tracker was comfortable getting that information from the box.

5) We missed an immediate reaction to a fouling out.  A Jammer gets her second penalty in the same jam on back straight.  I (as wrangler) didn't have an indication that she was at risk for fouling out as we generally only track that a skater is one trip away.  I turn and signal the penalty but the tracker doesn't have the number until the jammer comes around the corner.  The pack stops for the power jam and I have turned back to watching the refs when the tracker has figured out that the skater fouled out.  Neither I nor the refs noticed the tracker trying to signal the foul out.

So general points:
* Tracker visibility was reduced so she was unable to catch all penalties directly. 
* There wasn't a strong correlation between penalty signal and skater number.  That was OK when it was just a single skater heading in.  But it was a problem if there was a burst of penalties from an area the tracker did not have a clear view of.
* Unusual situations such as a surprise foul out or a mistakenly blown whistle could not be addressed in a timely fashion. 
 
After further discussion we decided to keep the wrangler and a single tracker on the inside.  We are also keeping the whiteboards in the middle.

As for jam timer, we have moved them to the outside for several scrims at this point and we have been happy with the results.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Eject You Later on November 30, 2012, 09:20:35 pm
Awesome reflmao!  Please keep posting results (and others too!).

Quick question:  Were you using an inside whiteboard during these scrimmages and, if so, was that part of the visibility issues for the tracker?  Or was it the distance and OPR calls being obscured by the pack skaters?

A couple of suggestion: 

Since minors aren't being tracked, would it be difficult to have the wrangler keep track of skaters with 5 penalty box minutes or more?  Having 2 penalties in a jam is not terribly uncommon.  3 is less common, not to mention there will be more time served/more time to catch it so I think it would be less of a problem.

Furthermore, if the tracker catches the foul out between jams, would she be comfortable leaving the penalty box to get the attention of an OPR and request an officials time out so that the HR can administer the foul out?

Another off the wall suggestion would be to give a whistle to the penalty box manager and empower them, like the Jam Timer, to call an OTO when needed instead of doing jumping jacks in the penalty box trying to get a referee's attention.  Generally I've found that when the penalty box staff needs an OTO, they need an OTO.  I think I'd be comfortable with this but concede I haven't thought it through beyond responding to this post.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: reflmao on November 30, 2012, 10:04:16 pm
In order.

1) We did not have whiteboards in the middle.   We generally don't run whiteboards during our scrims.  The visibility problem was seeing the IPR and JR handsigns as they were facing away from the tracker and also seeing the OPR handsigns through the wrangler, 4 inside refs, and pack.

2) It would not be a problem for the wrangler to track skaters on 5 or 6 instead of just six.  But I don't think that's a complete solution.  You know some jammer is going to get 3 trips in a single jam.  And what was that at regionals last year?  Something like 5 penalties in a single jam leading to a foul out.

3) Having the tracker enter the center between Jams would be OK.  Again I don't think that solves our problem.  When a skater that fouls out in the first seconds of a jam there's plenty of time for that penalty to expire before the jam ends.  We need to make sure that that skater is removed before she returns to the track.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Eject You Later on November 30, 2012, 10:24:41 pm
For my comments below, please don't take it as nit picks or suggesting that *you* take this back to your league and redo your scrimmages in any such way.

We're doing an open scrimmage tomorrow and will be doing various scrimmages in the next couple of months and my intention is to run different trials with NSO set ups.  So I'm asking questions/making suggestions to invite discussion to generate ideas for ways I can try things in my league without reinventing the wheel.

So please take these comments in that fashion.  :)

1) We did not have whiteboards in the middle.   We generally don't run whiteboards during our scrims.  The visibility problem was seeing the IPR and JR handsigns as they were facing away from the tracker and also seeing the OPR handsigns through the wrangler, 4 inside refs, and pack.

Great!  Good to know.

Quote
2) It would not be a problem for the wrangler to track skaters on 5 or 6 instead of just six.  But I don't think that's a complete solution.  You know some jammer is going to get 3 trips in a single jam.  And what was that at regionals last year?  Something like 5 penalties in a single jam leading to a foul out.

Correct.  The difference though, to me, is that if the fouled out skater's penalty time is not going to expire before the end of the jam, then it can wait and be taken care of between jams.  A 2 minute penalty means that she will still be in the penalty box when the jam ends and the HR can remove her at that point, instead of leaving the pack understaffed to handle it immediately.

Quote
3) Having the tracker enter the center between Jams would be OK.

She wouldn't need to enter the center, only get the attention of an OPR that should be reasonably close to your penalty box set up anyways.  The OPR can then call an OTO and inform the HR of the foul out who can then administer it.

 
Quote
  Again I don't think that solves our problem.  When a skater that fouls out in the first seconds of a jam there's plenty of time for that penalty to expire before the jam ends.  We need to make sure that that skater is removed before she returns to the track.

If it is a foul out due to a single penalty then wouldn't your wrangler already have that (you were keeping track of 6 trips)?  The HR can be informed and leave to foul the skater out.  If it is due to 2 penalties or more then the skater will remain in the penalty box through the entire jam and it can be handled when that jam ends.

The rule for fouls outs states that when a skater has fouled out she must immediately leave.  However, I would argue that she has only fouled out when the HR has administered it.  As far as advantage, her team skates short for the jam (ie., the player is not allowed to return to play).  If her penalty time will extend past the current jam then there is no chance that her team will gain an advantage by postponing the foul out administration until the jam ends.  However for safety and game play there is a great advantage in keeping the HR (ie., second pack referee) on the pack for the duration of the jam.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: FNZebra on November 30, 2012, 10:36:50 pm
I think we are also free to experiment somewhat, perhaps with new variations on the official-to-official communication.

Potential experiment:

The PBM should have easy access to the recorded number of trips by a given skater. Are you using the newest PB Timing sheets? If not, work to make that happen.

Presuming that is happening, have the PBM write the number of the skater in danger of fouling out on the PB whiteboard in a way that clearly differentiates it from any other signal used with that board. Then it is shown the the HR, with as much timeliness as possible -- either mid-jam, or between them.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Eject You Later on November 30, 2012, 10:43:47 pm
Presuming that is happening, have the PBM write the number of the skater in danger of fouling out on the PB whiteboard in a way that clearly differentiates it from any other signal used with that board. Then it is shown the the HR, with as much timeliness as possible -- either mid-jam, or between them.

[brainstorming]

In danger of?  Perhaps write the skater number and draw a triangle around it (only number = has time to serve, circle = a penalty is necessary... triangle could = danger Will Robinson!)

Has fouled out (and no one has come over):  Write the skater name with a big F.O. underneath it.  Maybe draw a quadrangle around it.

[/brainstorming]
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: ShoNuff on December 01, 2012, 04:45:02 am
Basing everything from the penalty box will require someone in the center to be looking at the box with great regularity.

Up until now the best bet for that has been the inside whiteboard but unless you have a very good inside whiteboard operator it is usually a significant challenge for the penalty box to get the attention of the inside during a jam.

With the previous ruleset staffing it was not uncommon to go several laps before anyone in the center would notice the penalty box signalling for attention and with fewer people in the center, that is likely to become worse rather than better.

The center staff was the communications hub for the NSOs.  It's reduction is likely to require some creativity in determining how to sustain that information flow.  Consolidating penatly tracking, lineups, and penalty box into the same area will certainly make internal communication amongst those positions very easy, but letting the referees know that something is up is likely to be very difficult with only one person in the center to collect all the penalties and receive any communication being directed to the referees.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: The Gorram Reaver on December 01, 2012, 06:47:26 am
Question for you, reflmao.  We're referees still expected to actively report the penalties to the penalty tracker?  If so, did they know where the penalty track was positioned?  Also, if so, were they actively reporting those penalties?

Speaking from experience, if the penalty tracker is in a different place from where I'm expecting they will be, especially if I haven't been told where they will be, causes me to just leave off the "now I need to tell someone else what I've just said five times at the top of my lungs".  I wouldn't be surprised if it were the same for other refs.

If refs weren't actively reporting penalties to the penalty tracker (or wrangler), this could have contributed to having a higher number of missed penalties.  Yes, inside to outside communication such as a whiteboard will help make sure the penalties from the inside refs gets communicated properly.  But there's little reason penalties from OPRs shouldn't be getting reported to an outside penalty tracker.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: reflmao on December 01, 2012, 02:11:57 pm
Question for you, reflmao.  We're referees still expected to actively report the penalties to the penalty tracker?  If so, did they know where the penalty track was positioned?  Also, if so, were they actively reporting those penalties?

The crew knew where the tracker was but in her location she had almost nothing reported directly to her.  I, as inside wrangler, either got it immediately or was able to ask for confirmation and get it noted down.
There was no inside white board, we don't have that as scrims and even beyond that we we talking about moving that out to be near the tracker if this had worked.  There were no outside white board.

In most cases everything worked fine.  Where we had problems was a stopped packed on the back straight.   The tracker couldn't get the calls directly and put them together from skater approaching and the wrangler echoing the hand sign.

We did not have a scheme for signaling full penalties from the inside so when a lot of penalties happened in that back straight stopped pack they got lost or muddled to the tracker.  As long as the wrangler noted them all down correctly they could be reconciled between jams.

I (wrangler) was using a white board as a notepad to get all this down.  At busy times I did not have time or board space to write the penalty large enough to flash to the tracker.  It would be possible to work out a signing scheme to hand sign the number across the track but even if we had that I would be reluctant to turn my back on the refs long enough to make the sign.

The rest of this is my thoughts and not the conclusions we reached as a group:

Most of the time in most cases this worked just fine.  It was only in a burst of penalties in certain locations on the track that we couldn't get it right during the jam. At which point we could reconcile between and take an OTO if we needed.

Even with a full crew all inside situations happen where a thing occasionally get lost and they need some time to reconcile things.  We didn't have problems full squads don't have.   We had more of the same problems.

I think this was simply because we had less people involved in the chain of information from call to sheet.  The outside and inside whiteboards, and wrangler all act to hold and smooth the flow of penalties to the trackers and to ensure redundancy; the tracker themselves directly getting things acts is additional redundancy.

Inside trackers also allow instant communication back letting them request a repeat or a clarification or push back info about number of trips.

In our test configuration, the tracker could only directly get half of the penalties and could not request clarifications.  The wrangler was the only buffer in the chain and while they could record and buffer everything there wasn't a good path for getting complex info to the tracker except between jams.

Also by reducing inside staff there were less people able to watch the box area for messages and those that were inside were watching the pack so they would have their back to it much of the time. 
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: reflmao on December 01, 2012, 02:16:08 pm
I'm honestly surprised no-one asked about this bit...

As for jam timer, we have moved them to the outside for several scrims at this point and we have been happy with the results.

Today will be our second actual game with an outside jam timer.

The first went fine and I'll write up my comments about this change tomorrow.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Samuel Bergus on December 01, 2012, 03:16:16 pm
I don't think moving the jam timer to the outside is a big deal, since the pack and the jammers should be watching the jam timer, no matter where they are located.

One of the main things I would look at for positioning the jam timer is where your scoreboard is located. The jam timer should be keying off of the scoreboard, and in the set up we normally use, an outside jam timer would have a really hard time watching the scoreboard, the pack, and the refs.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Eject You Later on December 01, 2012, 03:19:52 pm
The jam timer should be keying off of the scoreboard, and in the set up we normally use, an outside jam timer would have a really hard time watching the scoreboard, the pack, and the refs.

I'm not certain why the JT will need to be watching the pack given single whistle starts.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: bjmacke on December 01, 2012, 05:18:56 pm
Remember that was works in a scrimmage can be disastrously bad in an actual game. The outside JT might work okay because you have a low-noise scrimmage. If you've got a 2-minute calloff and every pack ref is on the opposite side of the track; you might get a late-called jam if the refs can't hear the whistle.

Also remember that all jam start and stop whistles start from the infield at the moment. It would be a change of perception to have a jam stopped from the outside.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: jmhgn on December 01, 2012, 08:57:30 pm
Just a couple of responses...

...As far as it being OK for the fouled out skater to be removed from the track between jams, I have to disagree.  I believe it should be done immediately.  Yes, the team has a disadvantage by skating without her but she is also taking up a spot in the penalty box.  If she is removed immediately there would be no need to postpone a third blocker penalty.

...I had thought about moving Jam Timer outside but than I probably over thought this.  The pack is lined up before the jam starts and the first thing they will be doing is making a left turn.  Their focus is probably to the left and (with us at least) as well as blowing the whistle to start the jam, our jam timer drops his hand as a visual cue.  Having him on the inside keeps him in the sight line of the pack.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Numb3r Crunch3r on December 01, 2012, 11:51:09 pm
Just a couple of responses...

...As far as it being OK for the fouled out skater to be removed from the track between jams, I have to disagree.  I believe it should be done immediately.  Yes, the team has a disadvantage by skating without her but she is also taking up a spot in the penalty box.  If she is removed immediately there would be no need to postpone a third blocker penalty.

Actually, even after removing a fouled-out skater, their seat is considered 'occupied' for all purposes. I have even heard of leagues keeping a traffic cone in the penalty box to place on a fouled-out seat that they were timing.

The reason for this is to avoid a situation where a fouled-out skater has been removed, but still has 15 seconds left on her time at the end of the jam. In the meantime, two other blockers have entered the box and are both seated (leaving one blocker still on the track). Jam ends and the team is allowed to make a substitution in the box for the fouled out skater - except they can't, because she has nowhere to sit.

Allowing another skater to occupy her seat while she still has time left (at least, more than ten seconds left, after which time she would be 'standing' anyway) potentially makes the other team unable to field a full line-up in the next jam - an 'additional' punishment for the foul-out which should not have occurred.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: DocSkinner on December 02, 2012, 12:13:57 am
I am generally in favor of an outside Jam Timer, although my biggest concern would actually be communication with the head ref about the need for an official timeout. Very often the 30-second timer is getting close to 5 seconds left and the refs are still talking with a captain or a coach or among themselves. It is helpful to be able to just get their attention with a quick wave followed by a shoulder tap and a questioning look. From the outside, it would be a lot harder to get a feel for it a timeout is needed.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Eject You Later on December 02, 2012, 02:10:19 am
...As far as it being OK for the fouled out skater to be removed from the track between jams, I have to disagree.  I believe it should be done immediately.  Yes, the team has a disadvantage by skating without her but she is also taking up a spot in the penalty box.  If she is removed immediately there would be no need to postpone a third blocker penalty.

As Cruncher articulated, that seat is occupied for as long as the penalty time requires, whether the skater fouls out or is expelled.  So removing her will not "free up the chair."  It is still occupied whether she is in it or not.

Second, if you go back and re-read my post, I specifically stated that I am comfortable removing a fouled out skater in between jams if her penalty time would not otherwise expire during the jam.  So the chair would still be occupied regardless, she is in no danger of re-entering play, therefore she is a lower priority than keeping two inside referees on the pack.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: FNZebra on December 02, 2012, 04:06:18 am
As stated already, the seat of the fouled out skater is occupied until their penalty time has completed. None other from their team may be seated until the time for her to stand arrives.

The requirements of 7.4.1.1 are that the FO skater will not be permitted to return to play. 7.4.1.2 says she must immediately leave the track, and no mid-jam substitute for the FO skater may happen.

So let me do some thinking out loud for the situation where her time will end in the midst of the jam, and the HR is too busy to leave the middle.

I'm leaning toward thinking she has left the track, if she is in the penalty box. Let her sit & do her time, and to stand when instructed, so a teammate could sit, if one is penalized. Then the PBM simply doesn't release that FO skater from the box (AND should let her know she has fouled out & won't be released). She has not returned to play. At end of jam, she is escorted away.

This can all be pre-arranged when the HR is told that skater was in danger of fouling out.

If she interferes with play in any way from there, you could stop the jam in response to the major, remove her completely, and her substitute would serve an additional Insub penalty, plus any others she may have racked up during her interference.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Samuel Bergus on December 02, 2012, 05:10:42 am
I'm leaning toward thinking she has left the track, if she is in the penalty box. Let her sit & do her time, and to stand when instructed, so a teammate could sit, if one is penalized. Then the PBM simply doesn't release that FO skater from the box (AND should let her know she has fouled out & won't be released). She has not returned to play. At end of jam, she is escorted away.


I find this fairly intriguing, as it is a large shift from the standard procedures we currently use, but it would allow for all the refs to continue to keep their eyes of the skaters without any impact on the mechanics of penalty enforcement.

One issue I would raise, this would create a situation where the penalty box becomes responsible for holding the fouled out skater in a type of standing purgatory, but the penalty box does not have the official record of penalties. The only thing the penalty box knows is how many times a certain skater has reported to the box, which should be the same, but isn't always the case.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: FNZebra on December 02, 2012, 02:34:10 pm
This can all be pre-arranged when the HR is told that skater was in danger of fouling out.

The PBM is holding the FO skater under the direct instruction from the HR, they are not free-lancing, and just deciding to do this on their own.

The Penalty Timer paperwork is optional, but vital. It is easy to keep. The newest version makes verifying skater trips fast and simple. Works faster when comparing to the IWB (can happen mid-jam, then confirm certain skaters with the PT between jams; this was procedure at Big5), but even against the PT's official record, this can happen easily between jams for the few skaters who may be in danger of fouling out.

The PBM holding would only be permitted if the foul out happens in a non-inflammatory situation. With a very emotionally-charged foul & penalty or for any expulsion situation, the HR should either leave the inside mid-jam, or stop the jam.
Title: Re: NSO Positioning with New Rule Set
Post by: Samuel Bergus on December 02, 2012, 03:12:29 pm
I'm not certain why the JT will need to be watching the pack given single whistle starts.

The jam timer doesn't need to be watching the skaters in the pack as much as watching the refs who are near the pack, in order to make sure they are all ready for the next jam to start, and aren't calling a TO or OTO right before the next jam should start.