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WFTDA => General Ref Discussion => Topic started by: llama of death on September 28, 2016, 07:55:19 pm

Title: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: llama of death on September 28, 2016, 07:55:19 pm
[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.[/rule]

Now me being a recovering "rules lawyer" I still hesitate to use the rules in a way they are explicitly not written.

I have been seeing (on other forums and venues) a trend in reffing, some refs would like to downgrade penalties which are a clear penalty but had not effect on the game. I also feel I see this on a regular basis in high level officiating, to a point where I doubt all of the "no calls" are due to not seeing the whole action, nor due to not meeting the definitions for a penalty.

Personally, I like the idea of not penalizing actions which had no REAL effect on the game. IE: a penalty destruction of pack where no jammers are effected and neither team gained any advantage from doing so. OR a forearm penalty from one player to another which had no measurable impact on the play [did not effect points nor relative position or even necessarily involve jammers]. These are what I would call "technical penalties," they ARE a penalty due to the wording, but had not ACTUAL effect on the game.

Is it a fair use of 8.3.1 to just let the players play and let the players determine the outcome by not penalizing actions which meet the written metric but have no effect on the outcome OR safety?

I would like to imagine yes, but my habits of rules lawyering says no.

###############################################################
So the questions:

When is it appropriate to downgrade a penalty worthy action to a warning?

When one does so mid jam, how do you issue the warning required by WFTDA 8.3.1? This is the big one for me, I currently do not understand how to "do this correctly.
" IE: How do we issue a warning for an action which we saw but chose not to call as a penalty?



**edited for clarity**
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: The Sharmanator on September 28, 2016, 10:31:03 pm
[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.[/rule]

Now me being a recovering "rules lawyer" I still hesitate to use the rules in a way they are explicitly not written.

I have been seeing (on other forums and venues) a trend in reffing, some refs would like to downgrade penalties which are a clear penalty but had not effect on the game. I also feel I see this on a regular basis in high level officiating, to a point where I doubt all of the "no calls" are due to not seeing the whole action, nor due to not meeting the definitions for a penalty.

Personally, I like the idea of not penalizing actions which had no REAL effect on the game. IE: a penalty destruction of pack where no jammers are effected and neither team gained any advantage from doing so. OR a forearm penalty from one player to another which had no measurable impact on the play [did not effect points nor relative position or even necessarily involve jammers]. These are what I would call "technical penalties," they ARE a penalty due to the wording, but had not ACTUAL effect on the game.

Is it a fair use of 8.3.1 to just let the players play and let the players determine the outcome by not penalizing actions which meet the written metric but have no effect on the outcome OR safety?

I would like to imagine yes, but my habits of rules lawyering says no.

###############################################################
So the questions:

When is it appropriate to downgrade a penalty worthy action to a warning?

When one does so mid jam, how do you issue the warning required by WFTDA 8.3.1? This is the big one for me, I currently do not understand how to "do this correctly.
" IE: How do we issue a warning for an action which we saw but chose not to call as a penalty?



**edited for clarity**

Correct,  If an illegal action had no effect on the game it's not a penalty.  If there was a penalty issued by by an official and the HR determines it had no effect on the game the HR would and should remove the penalty and chalk it up to officials error.
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: llama of death on September 29, 2016, 07:05:58 pm
Correct,  If an illegal action had no effect on the game it's not a penalty.  If there was a penalty issued by by an official and the HR determines it had no effect on the game the HR would and should remove the penalty and chalk it up to officials error.

Rephrased for clarity, at least the way I am reading that: 'An illegal action [which meets the criteria for a penalty action, but] had no effect on game play [or safety] is not a penalty.'

Ok, short and succinct about your view of this, though it is clear we have a few silent decenters. I would love to hear what they do not like about your post/opinion instead of just silently licking the - button.

Personally, I don't think this gives us the ability to say it is not a penalty at all. Specifically, I don't think lack of effect takes away its penalty status.

Regardless of effect, a forearm contact which causes a loss of potential movement IS a penalty. My question is does 8.3.1 allow us to downgrade this action to a warning IF it did not have measurable effect on the game [or something like that]. If so, how do we apply said warning?
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: Bluebeard on September 29, 2016, 08:22:57 pm
I recently downgraded a track cut to ni/np.  I was jam reffing.  My jammer got knocked out of bounds to the infield. As the other team was running her back, the other jammer/jam ref was coming through.  The other jam ref pushed my jammer out of his way.  My jammer ended up in bounds as a result of that contact.  She was still in front of the player who knocked her out of bounds.  She immediately exited the track and resumed skating clockwise re-enter the track legally.

Contributing factors I considered:
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: Vanilla VICE on September 30, 2016, 02:45:12 pm
I have only given warnings for actions that were borderline to being expulsions in which they did receive the penalty or in an instance were there is no penalty and the action can only be legal or an expulsion (like a game interference Gross Misconduct for example). The only only thing I can think of is the new rule clarification about blocking positional blocking with the head, which requires a warning first. Personally I'm not a fan of slowing down the game to give warnings for things like a destroying the pack penalty 1 second before the jam ends. I would just not call the penalty, but also wouldn't be hunting down people to explain how they lucked out on the impact spectrum or metrics to call a penalty. So when to downgrade? My gut thinks like for things where the intent couldn't have been prevented due to no fault of their own: Example: Body Sweat on floor causes skater to fall causing chairs in penalty box to structurally fail, I feel like that is a good example of perhaps invoking what you're asking.
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: BadgerBadger on September 30, 2016, 03:16:02 pm
Along the lines of what Bluebeard said, I've downgraded penalties when some type of officiating mistake was part of the chain of events. I don't think I've ever actually given a verbal warning in these situations, though.

I've also ignored penalties in situations such as a skater getting injured during gameplay. If she fell and broke her leg and players in both teams are upset about it, it might be reasonable to ignore that low block she caused after falling, for reasons of game management. But this is the type of thing that might be seen differently in a casual non-regulation game compared to high-level sanctioned play.
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: llama of death on September 30, 2016, 07:21:43 pm
Vanilla/Badger, that is where my problems lay; You are describing the rules as I understand them. A penalty is a penalty regardless of the game around the penalty.

So is my reading of 8.3.1 wrong? (I currently call things as I see them, but don't like doing it. I see many penalties which I know had ZERO effect on the gameplay)

I dunno this has always confused me because it does feel asinine to call a destruction of the pack penalty for moving to form a wall when there aren't even jammers on the track. It is like in football they [refs] have an understanding that if it does not effect the play [actions involving to ball] you generally don't call it. Example: holding on a player in the left side of the field when the action is on the right.
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: Stray Taco on September 30, 2016, 07:45:35 pm
My understanding of this has always been that the discretion here is in the context of "any disputed point that is not clearly spelled out in these rules." In other words, that caveat applies to the whole paragraph and subparagraphs, which seems to be supported by the closing sentence of 8.3.1.2: "Discretion does not allow Officials to change rules."
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: Vanilla VICE on September 30, 2016, 08:53:49 pm
Vanilla/Badger, that is where my problems lay; You are describing the rules as I understand them. A penalty is a penalty regardless of the game around the penalty.

So is my reading of 8.3.1 wrong? (I currently call things as I see them, but don't like doing it. I see many penalties which I know had ZERO effect on the gameplay)

I dunno this has always confused me because it does feel asinine to call a destruction of the pack penalty for moving to form a wall when there aren't even jammers on the track. It is like in football they [refs] have an understanding that if it does not effect the play [actions involving to ball] you generally don't call it. Example: holding on a player in the left side of the field when the action is on the right.

There is a NI/NP OOP line that allows you discresion on NI destructions (5.10.8 ), though there is a topic on this forum somewhere where the majority thought that should only apply the momment before a jam ends. (sorry to derail but the decision to not penalize in your example could fall under a written NI/NP and if not penalized wouldn't be invoking something in section 8. Your point is valid though, that line (8.3.1) in the rules doesn't really get used very much in practice.
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: The Sharmanator on September 30, 2016, 09:06:37 pm
Correct,  If an illegal action had no effect on the game it's not a penalty.  If there was a penalty issued by by an official and the HR determines it had no effect on the game the HR would and should remove the penalty and chalk it up to officials error.

Rephrased for clarity, at least the way I am reading that: 'An illegal action [which meets the criteria for a penalty action, but] had no effect on game play [or safety] is not a penalty.'

Ok, short and succinct about your view of this, though it is clear we have a few silent decenters. I would love to hear what they do not like about your post/opinion instead of just silently licking the - button.

Personally, I don't think this gives us the ability to say it is not a penalty at all. Specifically, I don't think lack of effect takes away its penalty status.

Regardless of effect, a forearm contact which causes a loss of potential movement IS a penalty. My question is does 8.3.1 allow us to downgrade this action to a warning IF it did not have measurable effect on the game [or something like that]. If so, how do we apply said warning?

Well, I don't know why they gave the -2.  I'm really not concerned about it it.  I would think those who did it are probably newer referee's and they don't understand the difference between an illegal action and an illegal action which meet the criteria for a penalty.  I would like them to comment so we could discuss it, but I doubt they will give their reasoning.
Title: Re: Applying Ref Discression to Downgrade a Penalty
Post by: BadgerBadger on October 02, 2016, 10:29:07 pm
Shermanator, I was one of those who gave your post a -1, since I felt this part was incorrect and misleading:

"If an illegal action had no effect on the game it's not a penalty."

There are TONS of actions that have no real impact on the game but which must nevertheless be called as penalties, according to the rules and officiating convention. For example, if a see a blocker cut an opponent a split second before the jam ends, I'll still call that penalty. And I believe the appropriate space for discretion to currently be extremely narrow.