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Author Topic: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)  (Read 34207 times)

Offline Treble Damage

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Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« on: February 25, 2009, 03:21:15 am »
What is the authority in the Rules for the "point of no return"?

When I am operating as a penalty timer, my understanding is that I am not to begin timing a skater's penalty if she passes the box and then enters it from the clockwise direction, having passed the "point of no return," i.e. the end of the box.  I know that this is my responsibility because the Best Practices document tells me so, on page 5, stating: "If not timing a skater for any reason (skater is not sitting, skater entered the wrong direction) the timer should inform the skater of this." 

In both of the leagues with which I regularly officiate, the penalty box is positioned alongside the track, situated between the team's benches, as well as between the jammer and pivot lines.  Although this layout is not mandated by the Rules, I think it's common in WFTDA leagues.  In our leagues, we delineate the "point of no return" with a line of tape on the floor in the ref lane, perpendicular to the straightaway. 

To observe a skater pass the box, turn around and sit down, and then tell her, "You are not being timed because you passed the box," is one of the closest things to "making a call" that I do as a penalty timer.   It is also very frustrating, because of its uneven effect.    It usually occurs because the skater misjudged her speed, and so she is skidding along the floor, grabbing at the chairs, as she slides past the box.  Almost invariably, this only happens to skaters on the team that sits on the side of the box closer to the pivot line.  The skaters on the other team, unless they're going really, really fast, even if they skid and grab for their seats, will still be in the penalty box (in front of / entangled with the other team's chairs) when they stop.

The frustration finally got the better of me.  And it turns out that, aside from the indirect reference in the Best Practices that I already mentioned, I can find no support in the Rules for refusing to time a skater's penalty if she passes the "point of no return."

The best I can find in 3.1 is this:
Quote
6.4.2 When a skater is sent to the penalty box, she must immediately exit the track and
skate to the penalty box in the counter-clockwise direction.
6.4.2.1 Additional penalties will be assessed if she cuts the track or approaches the
penalty box from the wrong direction.

This would support giving the skater an "additional penalty" (presumably a minor?) for skating clockwise to sit in the box after passing the point of no return.  I don't see that it justifies refusing to time the penalty, despite what the Best Practices document says.  Under 6.4.3, "The penalty clock starts when the skater is seated in the penalty box...." 

I am pretty sure I have not been "calling" this incorrectly - by which I mean: if it is incorrect, it's an incorrectness that is widespread and supported by the WFTDA official Best Practices.  At a recent sanctioned bout at which I had to make this "call," it was challenged by the affected team and upheld by the Head Ref.  But I am honestly troubled not to find more support for it in the Rules.  Is it somewhere I just haven't looked?

-Treble Damage

Offline Rev. Riot

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 04:16:50 am »
There are other penalties than minors or majors. Refusing to time a penalty until the skater takes a lap penalizes the skater, no? If a skater has passed the point of no return, she will need to either take a lap, or will need to approach the box from the wrong direction. I agree that it's not ideal that the typical point of no return is advantageous to one team. I can suggest two solutions:

1) make two points of no return, one for each team

2) What we've done here in Madison is, from the far edge of the penalty box, imagine a line out to the track (this is your typical point of no return), from the point that it actually intersects with the TRACK, start a line heading forward at a 45 degree angle, and make that the point of no return line. Yes, it extends the box past the penalty box, but it evens things out in that either team can step out while at the box without needing to take a lap. Beyond that I can't explain it verbally, it really demands trying to understand, but our skaters have really liked it.

Riot
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Offline Treble Damage

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 04:33:07 am »
There are other penalties than minors or majors.

Not to be facetious, but O RLY? 

Refusing to time a penalty until the skater takes a lap penalizes the skater, no?

Yeah, but so would tying her skatelaces together.  I agree that the Rules support the existence of a "Point of No Return," and that if the skater passes it, she must either (a) skate around again, or (b) enter the box from the wrong direction.  But is there anything in the Rules that suggests that, if she chooses option (b), her "penalty" should be that her penalty timer does not start?

The solutions you have proposed work fine to eliminate the inequity problem.  And I don't really quibble with the concept of not starting the penalty timer, as a Thing that Ought to Be Done.  And clearly it is sanctioned by WFTDA, since it's in the Best Practices (if only kind of in passing).  I'm just kind of disturbed to not actually find it in the Rules.

-Treble

Offline L8R SK8R

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2009, 12:11:32 pm »
I believe the "Point of no Return" is basically just a name given in the Best Practices for the point at which the skater is no longer skating to the box in the counter-clockwise direction. If a skater passes the box even by a foot, and turns around to get back, they are now skating in the clockwise direction, and thus must make another lap. I've watched many skaters slide on their knee pads right past the "Point" and get all pissed off that they have to take another lap. My answer to this is: stop sooner, or skate slower. Its better to spend an extra 6 seconds getting to the box, than an extra 23 taking another lap. Don't think of the "Point of no Return" as something made up in the Best Practices. Think of it as a way to make sure we properly penalize skaters who approach the box from the wrong direction.

Offline Major Wood

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2009, 01:22:38 pm »
I personally like the idea that a skater either skates another lap, or gets an illegal procedure penalty for skating clockwise to the box.
That penalty is there for a reason and if the box timer just doesn't time them until they take another lap, they aren't getting the minor penalty they earned.
That said, I understand why the method of only starting penalty time after properly reporting to the box is used by so many. It is often a difficult rule to enforce because it would require a ref to happen to be looking at the penalty box to see a skater turn around and skate in the wrong direction to the box. Many of these instances get missed.

As far as one team being at a disadvantage for this penalty, I like the idea of two points of no return. It seems like a simple, but effective method to prevent this inequity.
I have seen one other method; Teams switch at the half. So both teams have that disadvantage for one period. In a three period game, this does not really even things up.
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Offline Darkjester

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2009, 02:47:33 am »
That or position your penalty boxes in such a way there isn't an advantage to either team.

A) In the Infield.
B) At the edge of 1 of the corners, or if the teams are on opposing corners the 'midway' in between the two team boxes along the straight away.
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Offline Rev. Riot

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2009, 04:14:17 am »
Wood, the problem with using the switch at the half to even things out is that, inevitably, skaters go to the box more in the second half (as a whole). So one team is still at an advantage.
Matthew Mantsch - Reverend Riot
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Gotham Girls Roller Derby - NYC

Offline Major Wood

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2009, 04:21:43 am »
Wood, the problem with using the switch at the half to even things out is that, inevitably, skaters go to the box more in the second half (as a whole). So one team is still at an advantage.

I agree. Even if the 2nd period weren't typically more penalty-heavy, one of the periods would likely be . I was offering it as another option that I have seen.

I do really like the 2 points of no return though. I can't seem to find a way that it would give either team an advantage.
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Offline Treble Damage

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2009, 05:44:50 am »
I do really like the 2 points of no return though. I can't seem to find a way that it would give either team an advantage.

I like it too, but there is a possible lopsided advantage - but in this case, it's the jammer-side team rather than the pivot-side team who gets impacted, and also I don't feel as bad about it.  The issue is that skaters often get confused and come in and initially sit on the wrong side of the box - especially near the start of the bout.  If there were two points of no return, jammer-side skaters who went and sat on the pivot-side of the box would have missed "their" box, and be told to skate around again, while pivot-side skaters who sat on the jammer side could just slide down the bench. 

But although the lopsided impact is a worry, my initial concern really was not with the inequity, but rather with the authority for the punishing missing the box by refusing to start the penalty clock until you do another lap around the track.  Does anyone know where this practice originated? 

-Treble

-Treble

Offline L8R SK8R

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2009, 12:24:05 pm »
But although the lopsided impact is a worry, my initial concern really was not with the inequity, but rather with the authority for the punishing missing the box by refusing to start the penalty clock until you do another lap around the track.  Does anyone know where this practice originated? 

6.4.2 When a skater is sent to the penalty box, she must immediately exit the track and skate to the penalty box in the counter-clockwise direction.

6.4.3 The penalty clock starts when the skater is seated in the penalty box (with exceptions see Section 6.4.2.3). The penalty clock only runs when the jam clock is running. If a penalty spans multiple jams, the penalty clock will stop between jams.

That's pretty cut and dry. The skater must skate to the box from a counter-clockwise direction. If she skates clockwise she must follow the rules and take another lap so she is skating to it from a counter-clockwise direction. When she does this properly she may then sit down, which is the only way her time will start. So if a penalty timer is starting the penalty time before all of this happens correctly then they are breaking the rules and hurting the game.

Offline noidd

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2009, 01:28:45 pm »
That's pretty cut and dry. The skater must skate to the box from a counter-clockwise direction. If she skates clockwise she must follow the rules and take another lap so she is skating to it from a counter-clockwise direction. When she does this properly she may then sit down, which is the only way her time will start. So if a penalty timer is starting the penalty time before all of this happens correctly then they are breaking the rules and hurting the game.

I don't think anyone disagrees that that is how it is supposed to happen.  The question for me is, what instructions do you give to a penalty box NSO who, when they instruct a skater to skate around again has the skater refuse and just sit down.

Should they not start the timer and it turns into a battle of will between the skater and the NSO until the NSO is able to flag down an OPR to make that call?

Before the last bout that I NSO'd the penalty box I would have said yes.

fwiw, I've never had a skater refuse to go around again.  The closest I've come to that is that I've told a skater to go around again and she started to.  When she got to the first outside pack-ref "skate and wait station" the pack-ref stopped her and escorted her back to the box the wrong-way telling me that he blocked her entry so she doesn't need to go around again.

At the end of the Jam the head-ref came over and chewed on me for not sending her around.  After I explained what happened he chewed on the OPR  ;D

Anyways, I don't believe the NSO would be breaking the rules by starting the timer as the rules state:
6.4.2.1 Additional penalties will be assessed if she cuts the track or approaches the penalty box from the wrong direction.

It doesn't state that she isn't considered in the box for timing purposes unless she enters in the correct direction or anything to that affect.  This reminds me of the Illegal vs Incomplete star-pass situation all over again.

So, as an NSO I would tend now to start the timer and flag down an OPR and let them assess the additional penalty or penalties for this action.  The question I would ask would be what penalty would that be?  IP Major?  Also, would the OPR take me at my word to the point of giving a major that the skater crossed the line and refused to go around again?

Still, as an NSO I would ask the head-ref for the game before the game how he would like me to handle it.
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Offline L8R SK8R

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2009, 01:55:39 pm »
I don't think anyone disagrees that that is how it is supposed to happen.  The question for me is, what instructions do you give to a penalty box NSO who, when they instruct a skater to skate around again has the skater refuse and just sit down.

Should they not start the timer and it turns into a battle of will between the skater and the NSO until the NSO is able to flag down an OPR to make that call?

To me, refusing to listen to an NSO is, in certain instances like this, on par with refusing to listen to a ref. The penalty timer is there to enfore the penalty timing procedure. Skaters must follow this procedure, as it is in the rules. If a skater refused to listen to a penalty timer I would hit them with an insubordination major. Repeated offences would merit expulsion.

Anyways, I don't believe the NSO would be breaking the rules by starting the timer as the rules state:
6.4.2.1 Additional penalties will be assessed if she cuts the track or approaches the penalty box from the wrong direction.

It doesn't state that she isn't considered in the box for timing purposes unless she enters in the correct direction or anything to that affect.  This reminds me of the Illegal vs Incomplete star-pass situation all over again.

So, as an NSO I would tend now to start the timer and flag down an OPR and let them assess the additional penalty or penalties for this action.  The question I would ask would be what penalty would that be?  IP Major?  Also, would the OPR take me at my word to the point of giving a major that the skater crossed the line and refused to go around again?

Still, as an NSO I would ask the head-ref for the game before the game how he would like me to handle it.

The rules do say that the skater approach the box from the counter-clockwise direction, and thus anything other than that is not allowed. 6.4.2.1 says additional penalties, but not specifically what type of penalties. As Rev. mentioned earlier, making a skater take an extra lap before she can sit down is definitely an additional penalty. While the rules don't specifically say "If a girl enters the box in the clockwise direction, send her around again" the rules do say that a skater must approach the box from a CCW direction. If she approaches CW then she is breaking the rules and must follow them properly. Since she is not allowed to cut the track, the only way for her to follow the rules is to take another lap. If a penalty timer refuses to enforce this rule they, too, are guilty of hurting the game.

It is a good point of thought to make sure that when penalty timers are positioned, that this practice is explicitly explained to them, and that they understand they are not to stray from this procedure under any circumstances. If a skater decides to ignore the penalty timer and sits in the box for 30 seconds, they must still take the extra lap before the time can start.

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2009, 02:17:45 pm »
I understand why this is an accepted alternative by many leagues.
However, the rules make no reference to any way that a skater can be penalized except minor, major, ejection, expulsion and suspension. That suggests to me that the penalty suggested by the rules would be an illegal procedure. If you use the logic of, "skating another lap is a penalty in itself" to be sufficient for the "additional penalties", it wouldn't be far fetched to say that they must skate 2 or 3 laps before reporting.
I know no one would do that, but it is a feasible interpretation using the same logic.

So my questions:
Where did the practice of sending a skater back around start, and why?
Why would it not be appropriate to simply get an outside pack ref (or inside if the box is in the infield) to report a penalty?
What authority would an NSO have in this situation? Are they authorized to notify a referee that a penalty has occurred involving the penalty box?
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Offline Jessticular Fortitude

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2009, 02:23:07 pm »
Has anybody tried putting the penalty boxes on opposite straightaways, with like a huge ass blinking neon sign above each saying which team goes in which one? How did that work out?
Hey look, a search function! Right up there! No on the left

Perhaps we should all spend a little more time reading and a little less time making shit up.

Offline Riff Reff

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Re: Point of No return / Clockwise entering penalty box (merged)
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2009, 02:30:13 pm »
Quote
Why would it not be appropriate to simply get an outside pack ref (or inside if the box is in the infield) to report a penalty?
This is interesting to me since we are on this island here... I never heard of nor ever thought of sending away a skater approaching the box from the wrong direction.

So that is how we instruct the penalty timers: If a skater comes from the wrong direction, leaves the box early etc. - get an OPR, tell her/him to report this. OPR or Head Ref will issue an IP penalty to the respective skater.
Nothing in the rules says, send her away to approach from the right directions. (To me this is like telling a skater who committed a false start to get back behind the line and start again) It says it is a foul to do so and it has to be punished. It is an illegal procedure therefore IP penalty. I would even give her a Major for it, so 2 minutes in the box.
Is this wrong?
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