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WFTDA => Officiating Ethics => Topic started by: llama of death on January 27, 2016, 07:15:42 am

Title: Downgrading penalties
Post by: llama of death on January 27, 2016, 07:15:42 am
Ok so for those of you who have not noticed I am a bit of a letter of the rules guy, or at least started off as one. I'm slowly loosening up, a bit.

This one has me questioning myself.

I had the pleasure of reffing with some cert refs for the very first time. (names don't matter other than to say I am glad to have met them and had a chance to work with them and I am lucky to have had that chance given my geographical location and availability to travel)

So at what point do we call it as we see it? IE: Illegal action which meets the requirements for a penalty, versus: seeing and action which meets all the requirements but 'doesn't have an effect on the game' or 'is too small to have mattered'.

I'll put an example just for kicks:
Jammer is working though the pack on her way through she uses an arm to push on a skater. It causes the skater to move a little but doesn't immediately allow her to pass, so probably had no real effect on the game.

Downgrade to no-impact no-penalty?

[rule]
8.3.1 - The consensus of the Officials will be the final decision on any disputed point that is not clearly spelled out in these rules. An Official may increase the severity of a penalty at their discretion. Similarly, an Official may decrease the severity of a penalty to a warning as the Official sees fit.

8.3.1.2 - Officiating discretion is intended only to allow Officials to keep the game safe, fair, and consistent in the event that an unexpected situation arises. Discretion does not allow Officials to change rules.

8.3.2 - If an Official is in doubt on a call (e.g., they see the effects of a hit but do not see the action), a penalty must not be called.

8.3.3 - If an Official is in a position where intent must be inferred but is not clear, legal intent must be presumed.

8.3.4 - If an Official is not sure whether an action warrants a penalty, a penalty will not be assessed.
[/rule]

Being the black and white rules 'lawyer' I am I feel like strict is best and and the rules don't let us downgrade to No Impact only to a Warning. However in this example and others along it's lines we could argue the spirit of the rules side here. I dunno, just looking to measure consensus I guess.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: Axis of Stevil on January 27, 2016, 07:22:44 am
Jammer is working though the pack on her way through she uses an arm to push on a skater. It causes the skater to move a little but doesn't immediately allow her to pass, so probably had no real effect on the game.

Downgrade to no-impact no-penalty?

Being the black and white rules 'lawyer' I am I feel like strict is best and and the rules don't let us downgrade to No Impact only to a Warning. However in this example and others along it's lines we could argue the spirit of the rules side here. I dunno, just looking to measure consensus I guess.

There's nothing to downgrade.  This is a No Impact / No Penalty action.

[rule]No Impact/No Penalty
5.5.5 - Illegal forearm or hand contact to an opponent that forces the receiving opponent off balance, forward, and/or sideways but does not cause the opponent to lose relative position or the initiator or a teammate to gain relative position. For example, a slight but observable push with the hands or forearms.[/rule]

An illegal action does not automatically mean that a penalty is warranted.  In the "olden" days of derby, illegal actions with little impact on the jam were minor penalties.  Minors were eliminated in the January 1, 2013 rule set, after which most were reduced to No Impact / No Penalty while a few were upgraded to penalty.

In each section for illegal blocking penalties, you'll see a list of No Impact / No Penalty actions.  If the situation as described fits into one of those and does not fit into one of the rules for a penalty, then no penalty is to be issued.

Edit: fixed a grammatical issue
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: llama of death on January 27, 2016, 07:33:00 am
[rule]5.5.10 - Any pushing with the hands or forearms that significantly alters an opponent's established position, trajectory or speed.[/rule]

The only difference from memory is the word significant.

Her speed and trajectory was changed. So atleast for the example we have to wonder was it "significant"

The real point isn't the example though.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: Vanilla VICE on January 27, 2016, 03:05:56 pm
5.5.10 is a very blatant thing to watch. Usually a "oh shit" type of a push.

For other forearm penalties the word you should be focusing on is the word "Cause"

In the game you are asking yourself did these small things CAUSE the pass or gain or loss of RP. Was that one small thing the cause? Was it the primary reason for the gain, pass, loss? When the rules committee ruled on forearms and said the phrase "materially aided", to me they are basically saying, "IT WAS THE PRIMARY CAUSE for the effect"

So if you can look at a borderline action and go "Was that the primary cause for the effect"?  If the answer is yes, then you have met the "materially aided" or "causes" metric and should issue the penalty.

When I read your example "
Quote
It causes the skater to move a little but doesn't immediately allow her to pass
When you add "but doesn't allow her to immediately pass" then you are basically saying it isn't the primary reason for the pass, or the causation was very low, which usually are what I think most referees judge as No Impact No Penalty. The time element you added is a real thing because time can help us Referees decide what is a penalty.

Contact to back, skater allows recieving blocker to reset, then passes the opponent they just hit.

In this example we rule it as No Impact because of that reset timing. The delay shifts the cause from being primary to being much more minor.

I hope this helped, and didn't make things worse for you. You should still be a rules lawyer, but hone in on being the best you can be at knowing when what you are watching is the CAUSE of the loss, pass, gain.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: Axis of Stevil on January 27, 2016, 05:11:47 pm
I think his example derailed the intent of his original question.  If I may be pardoned a bit of reframing, I believe his question was this:

When should 8.3.1 be used to downgrade a penalty to warning?
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: Vanilla VICE on January 27, 2016, 05:25:35 pm
I think his example derailed the intent of his original question.  If I may be pardoned a bit of reframing, I believe his question was this:

When should 8.3.1 be used to downgrade a penalty to warning?

My post was directed toward this:

Quote
So at what point do we call it as we see it? IE: Illegal action which meets the requirements for a penalty, versus: seeing and action which meets all the requirements but 'doesn't have an effect on the game' or 'is too small to have mattered'.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: llama of death on January 28, 2016, 02:10:53 am
@Stevil, yes this has gone on a bit of a moose trail.

The rule I quoted is the nearest thing to a black and white rule involving the kind of discretion by the acting referee in the implementation of the rules. The fear is that with a game who's rules are written as mostly cut and dry [narrowly defined] would this kind of discretion give referees too much power over the game, effect the opinions of the people for which we volunteer, undermine the trust relationship we have formed with the skaters leagues and fans.

My post was directed toward this:

Quote
So at what point do we call it as we see it? IE: Illegal action which meets the requirements for a penalty, versus: seeing and action which meets all the requirements but 'doesn't have an effect on the game' or 'is too small to have mattered'.

What I am after is to gauge consensus on this concept of making no calls for any given penalty not just forearms or back-blocks or any other single rule. It is also why I placed the topic in "Ethics," as I believe this is a question of ethics as relating to the application of the rules.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: General Hellativity on January 28, 2016, 11:44:18 am
When should 8.3.1 be used to downgrade a penalty to warning?

8.3.1 says "The consensus of the Officials will be the final decision on any disputed point that is not clearly spelled out in these rules." So I think the kind of thing they're talking about there is coming to agreement on the dreaded "illegal actions not specified."

Suppose a referee calls a penalty on one of those and it is ORed. And also suppose that every single ref saw the action and the facts aren't in dispute. Since the action is not specified ("clearly spelled out"), the consensus of the officials should determine the level of severity (Legal, NINP, Penalty, Expulsion) of that action.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: llama of death on February 01, 2016, 04:06:17 pm
So this (http://"http://www.zebrahuddle.com/index.php?topic=4963.0") thread actually hold an article that while not about derby is almost exactly what I am talking about. Does no one want to touch this topic (related to WFTDA) with a 10' pole or am I missing something?


---long link version-- http://www.zebrahuddle.com/index.php?topic=4963.0
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: Major Wood on February 01, 2016, 04:17:16 pm
So this (http://"http://www.zebrahuddle.com/index.php?topic=4963.0") thread actually hold an article that while not about derby is almost exactly what I am talking about. Does no one want to touch this topic (related to WFTDA) with a 10' pole or am I missing something?


---long link version-- http://www.zebrahuddle.com/index.php?topic=4963.0

I'm honestly a bit confused as to what topic you are trying to get some kind of response to. I understand from your original post and subsequent posts that you want to know about if it's OK to downgrade something that clearly meets the criteria of a penalty, but you feel has no game impact. Is that correct?

I don't personally do that. I weigh the action against what my understanding of the impact level required for the penalty. If it meets that metric, then I call the penalty. There may be the occasional penalty where it is right on the line and I might allow some other bit of information to influence the decision.
For example, I'm right on the edge of calling a destruction penalty, but the pack was destroyed right as the jam was ending. I might allow that to sway my opinion as to whether it met the metric of impact the rules require. I'm not sure that I would do that if it were a blatantly obvious penalty.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: llama of death on February 01, 2016, 04:35:59 pm
I'm honestly a bit confused as to what topic you are trying to get some kind of response to. I understand from your original post and subsequent posts that you want to know about if it's OK to downgrade something that clearly meets the criteria of a penalty, but you feel has no game impact. Is that correct?

Yep, that is exactly what I am getting at. Thanks Major Wood. One down 'umptine-million' refs to go to form consensus for me to feel out if I need to change my reffing.

In all reality I try and ref by the book like you are describing, Major_Wood. I just have doubts now and then about if "letter of the rules" is the way to go or not and this recent tourny pushed it to the forefront. It is particularly troublesome in a rec-league area where they are striving to play "competitively." This makes for A TON of sloppy and unpredictable play, when compared to the relatively clean skating of a charter travel team seen on WFTDA.tv.

This is my attempt to gauge how many feel/ref like Major_Wood and I (I try to), and how many let things go based on effect on game-play like the article talks about.
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: Anton Deck on February 02, 2016, 08:30:08 am
You may be interested in the latest WFTDA beta testing anouncement which is looking at adressing some of the concerns around what is really is no impact.

 https://wftda.com/news/wftda-launches-beta-testing-program-to-review-cutting-the-track-and-initiation-proposals
Title: Re: Downgrading penalties
Post by: llama of death on February 08, 2016, 03:36:36 pm
You may be interested in the latest WFTDA beta testing anouncement which is looking at adressing some of the concerns around what is really is no impact.

 https://wftda.com/news/wftda-launches-beta-testing-program-to-review-cutting-the-track-and-initiation-proposals

I see only two changes and they are not removing no-impact from the contact penalties at all from what I can tell (in fact the second one would add to them).

On Topic:
Is everyone pleeing the 5th on this one?