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Author Topic: Low Block?  (Read 8509 times)

Offline MyBabyDaddy

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Low Block?
« on: July 25, 2016, 08:16:59 pm »
I'm hoping to get some concrete feedback on this one. It seems pretty clear to me, but I'm left scratching my head at a lot of the comments I'm seeing about this clip.

https://www.facebook.com/bob.noxious2/posts/10154437461070739?hc_location=ufi

My opinion:
5.3.7 - Any contact outside of the normal skating motion that lands below the legal target zone and causes an opponent to fall or lose relative position.
Green jammer gets a low block.

Green jammer ducks low enough to make contact with Black jammer's knee. Isn't this a cut and dry low block? Everyone is talking about initiation and counter blocking etc. Seems a lot simpler than that...

Offline The Sharmanator

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 08:21:21 pm »
I'm hoping to get some concrete feedback on this one. It seems pretty clear to me, but I'm left scratching my head at a lot of the comments I'm seeing about this clip.

https://www.facebook.com/bob.noxious2/posts/10154437461070739?hc_location=ufi

My opinion:
5.3.7 - Any contact outside of the normal skating motion that lands below the legal target zone and causes an opponent to fall or lose relative position.
Green jammer gets a low block.



Green jammer ducks low enough to make contact with Black jammer's knee. Isn't this a cut and dry low block? Everyone is talking about initiation and counter blocking etc. Seems a lot simpler than that...

No because the green jammer did not make contact below the knee of the blocker.  There was contact but the blocker is the one making the contact with the area of his leg below his own knee with the green jammer.  Blocker is the initiator, blocker is the one making contact.   IF the jammer would of fell I would seriously be contemplating a penalty against the blocker.

[rule]4.1.2 - The Skater who initiates contact to an opponent is considered the initiator of a block. The initiator of a block is always responsible for the legality of their contact.[/rule]

« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 08:27:07 pm by The Sharmanator »

Offline MyBabyDaddy

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 08:32:58 pm »
I know that "Standing up, turning away, ducking, etc. are not considered counter-blocking" as per the glossary, but the action that happened is:
The green jammer ducked as a blocker was coming toward him, which results in the blocker getting taken out at the knees. How can that be legal? Seems to fly in the face of the purpose of a low block penalty.

Offline The Sharmanator

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 08:42:14 pm »
I know that "Standing up, turning away, ducking, etc. are not considered counter-blocking" as per the glossary, but the action that happened is:
The green jammer ducked as a blocker was coming toward him, which results in the blocker getting taken out at the knees. How can that be legal? Seems to fly in the face of the purpose of a low block penalty.

Yes the blocker did get taken out at the knees but the jammer did not take him out.  The blocker took himself out.  I'm not trying to be a smart a$$ but do you see the difference?

Offline MyBabyDaddy

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 08:54:02 pm »
I do. Though it seems like a loophole in the rules.

Yes, it seems that the letter of the law states that the jammer didn't initiate anything and therefore isn't liable.

But, in reality, he DID duck down, and that is what caused the action to occur the way it did. His action of ducking was the final action (even if it's not technically a counter-block...).

What if the green jammer ducked in such a way that the black jammer tripped over his leg, rather than his back? As in, one leg was trailing behind him as he ducked and the black blocker missed his body and instead tripped over his leg.

Assuming you agree that's a penalty via 5.3.8: Why does this action count as initiation -> penalty, but the action we are discussing doesn't?

I appreciate this discussion. I'm not trying to be stubborn, I'm just trying to find an answer I'm comfortable with :)

Offline Vanilla VICE

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2016, 09:00:31 pm »
I can see how people are looking at the ducking down as being more temporal than the slice to hit, but I just don't watch this at game speed and think that getting lower is the beginning of initiation sequence even if it fits the glossary definition of a counter block.  I think you might be able to make a case for the low block if the slice wasn't that hard, or if the countering forces were more clear initiated. And even if you do rule this as a counter block, I think I would still no call it because with contact penalties your ruling an initiator, a receiver, and causation. I think when most people watch this, if I asked them "Did the jammer cause the blocker to fall? I think most would answer "no, it was self inflicted" So even if you think the duck is the beginning of initiation sequence, I still can see many no calling it based on a lack of causation. Even if you felt there is causation, I would still think that the amount of doubt that forces you to "no call" something based on section 8 would even then still be present. All of these things together to me, make this a no call.

A) Jammer not the initiator and didn't counter block
B) Counter Block held to the same standard as the Initiator, but no illegal causation, receiver fell, but wasn't caused by the hit the initiator landed
C) Illegal causation BUT too much doubt to make the call


For me any of these 3 are outcomes I can get behind, but its tough to see this any other way. Perhaps a good counter argument could sway me. What do yall think?
« Last Edit: July 25, 2016, 09:13:22 pm by Vanilla VICE »
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Offline MyBabyDaddy

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2016, 09:06:47 pm »
I guess I feel strongly that the green jammer absolutely DID cause the black skater to go down (and in a pretty unsafe way to boot). Derby would quickly become very unsafe if everyone just started ducking down below the knees as someone comes to hit them.

If I was officiating it, my reason for a no-call would have been that I couldn't have been certain that contact was at the knee and not above.

Offline Vanilla VICE

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2016, 09:21:12 pm »
I guess I feel strongly that the green jammer absolutely DID cause the black skater to go down (and in a pretty unsafe way to boot). Derby would quickly become very unsafe if everyone just started ducking down below the knees as someone comes to hit them.

If I was officiating it, my reason for a no-call would have been that I couldn't have been certain that contact was at the knee and not above.

Your answer makes you just as right to me. Causation and Doubt are two things that officials will see differently on. We all measure it differently, and that fact will make people argue to the death on that video. We could say if the slice was less aggressive, they wouldn't have fallen or if he had stayed upright he still would have been knocked off balance but we will never know, all we can do is make a decision on causation and doubt the best we can and try to stay in sync as best as possible with other officials.
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Offline Mav'Ricky

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 11:02:53 am »
Per the current ruleset I don't see a penalty here. That was a hard landing though. I agree with Sharmanator & Vanilla VICE on everything above.

It's probably hard to see in the video, but the jammer looks to be moving away from the blocker. Had the jammer veered into the blocker when he bobbed, this might change one's opinion of the action.

I would also be mindful this high level derby, not a regional C team. The rules are the same regardless of your skill level, however there are some actions performed here that come very close to the edge of the rules. This is not an action we see week in week out. So you could compare this to Texas Brace (was it called that?) where blockers bent over with their heads facing the jammer. That was pioneered by a few people, became popular, then resulted in a rule change for safety. So it's important to keep it all in context. In terms of this action, derby is not broken.

Yet.

Also, I believe they refer to it as a Bob, not a duck. Slight difference but I'm certain it comes from ice hockey parlance where "ducking" (verb) has negative connotations, unlike bobbing (and it's friend weaving)
Be fair. Be clear.

Offline Stray Taco

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2016, 11:22:12 am »
Also, I believe they refer to it as a Bob, not a duck. Slight difference but I'm certain it comes from ice hockey parlance where "ducking" (verb) has negative connotations, unlike bobbing (and it's friend weaving)
The reason it's being called a "duck" here is because that's part of what specifically makes it not a penalty.

I was in one of the discussions and it was that term that made me shift from a penalty to a no call. The green jammer can be seen changing his stance, which COULD be considered an initiation of a counter block (that was the discussion anyway). Except the glossary definition says otherwise:
[rule]Counter-Block
Any motion/movement toward an oncoming block by the receiving opponent designed to counteract an opponent’s block. Counter-blocking is treated as blocking and held to the same standards and rules. Standing up, turning away, ducking, etc. are not considered counter-blocking (see Section 4 - Blocking).[/rule]

Because green jammer was ducking, it wasn't a counter-block, and therefore not a penalty.
Mike "Stray Taco" Straw

I know some things, but there's a lot more I don't know.

Offline Stray Taco

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2016, 11:28:09 am »
I do. Though it seems like a loophole in the rules.

Yes, it seems that the letter of the law states that the jammer didn't initiate anything and therefore isn't liable.

But, in reality, he DID duck down, and that is what caused the action to occur the way it did. His action of ducking was the final action (even if it's not technically a counter-block...).

What if the green jammer ducked in such a way that the black jammer tripped over his leg, rather than his back? As in, one leg was trailing behind him as he ducked and the black blocker missed his body and instead tripped over his leg.

Assuming you agree that's a penalty via 5.3.8: Why does this action count as initiation -> penalty, but the action we are discussing doesn't?

I appreciate this discussion. I'm not trying to be stubborn, I'm just trying to find an answer I'm comfortable with :)

I think you're answering your own questions in your phrasing ("loophole", "technically", etc.).  As referees, we enforce the rules as determined by the skaters, and it's not really up to us to decide if a rule is "right" or a loophole. We just enforce the rules as written in accordance with the guidance we get from the Rules Committee. Discretion comes in when the rules aren't clearly applied to a given situation, but where it's clear, we do what they say.

While under the laws of physics it's true that the shift of the green jammer's position contributed to the black jammer's fall, and the contact was to an illegal target zone on the black jammer's body, the contact doesn't fit under the definition of a low block initiated by the green jammer by the current ruleset.

I hate making no calls in areas where I feel something bad happened but if the rules don't allow for a call, I can't make a call. It's just like when I have a 95% certainty a bad penalty just happened. If I don't have 100%, I can't make the call.

I hope this makes sense and helps.
Mike "Stray Taco" Straw

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Offline MyBabyDaddy

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2016, 03:25:43 pm »
Thanks for all the responses. Much appreciated.

Offline Wernher

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2016, 05:54:49 pm »
I've been watching this a lot, and I'm starting to lean toward low-block, and the reason is that the jammer deliberately made an action that changed the point of impact and the target zone. Without the jammer dropping down, we had a legal block, and because of the action it all the force went to the legs of the blocker. That the jammer was trying to avoid the blocker, get under, or just mitigate the physical blow of it is irrelevant; he made an action to counteract the oncoming block, and it was the last action in the engagement. If you wanted to go dual-initiation, I'm OK with that, but speaking strictly for myself, I'm looking at a low block.
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Offline Vanilla VICE

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2016, 06:21:05 pm »
I've been watching this a lot, and I'm starting to lean toward low-block, and the reason is that the jammer deliberately made an action that changed the point of impact and the target zone. Without the jammer dropping down, we had a legal block, and because of the action it all the force went to the legs of the blocker. That the jammer was trying to avoid the blocker, get under, or just mitigate the physical blow of it is irrelevant; he made an action to counteract the oncoming block, and it was the last action in the engagement. If you wanted to go dual-initiation, I'm OK with that, but speaking strictly for myself, I'm looking at a low block.

When I responded above I had no idea that ducking was even in the counter block definition. That piece made me lean more legal but im curious of your thoughts on that.
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Offline Wernher

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Re: Low Block?
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2016, 08:04:13 pm »
The quick answer is that there's nothing in the rules that says a duck or avoid isn't a block. There are plenty of things that happen on the derby track that aren't meant to be blocks but aren't - falling down but not small can be considered a block; flailing arms to keep balance can be considered a block, being pushed into another skater by both legal and illegal means can be considered a block.

To me, it came down to who's making the last action before the contact, and that was the jammer. If you took any other engagement where a player changes the point of impact on a collision, we'd say the initiator is the last person. The most common example is a jammer skating into a four-wall, and was about to go legally through the outside shoulders, until a blocker at the last second put her back in the way. Despite the blocker being blown up from the contact on her back, she initiated the action. I'm not seeing much different here.

Take with a handful of salt. This is just my opinion, and there is a lot of talk out there debating this.
Wernher Von Bombed
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