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Author Topic: Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested  (Read 577 times)

Offline Stony Hawk

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Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested
« on: June 15, 2018, 05:27:58 pm »
0
Zebra's

I couldn't find a definitive clarification to the below question within the 4 corners of the current rule-set and casebook.   Maybe I'm just missing it.  I'm looking for the current accepted theory as to who the 'initiator' a block should be in the below gameplay example:

• White Jammer approaches the engagement zone at high speed and misjudges the effort needed to check her speed as she enters the pack.   
• White jammer makes forceful contact with a white blocker who was not ready for the contact (assume to a legal target zone for the moment)(not sure that matters with teammates)
• the contact by white Jammer to white blocker causes the white blocker to move forward into the back of a red blocker
• Red blocker falls as result of white blockers illegal contact

Who is the initiator in this case?  Who should be penalized?   Does it matter if White Jammers contact with white blocker is to a legal or illegal blocking zone?

My thinking is that white jammer is fully responsible for the 'initiation' of that track action in this example and should considered be the initiator, regardless if the contact with the teammate was to a legal zone.

The closest case book example that I could find seems to suggest that a skater (in this case, a jammer) can retain the initiator status and be responsible for what happens to secondary skaters after her initial contact.  But, there are caveats regarding legality of the initial contact.

WFTDA Rule/Clarification:
Scenario C4.1.1.G
White Jammer skates fast and directly into Red Blocker’s back, who was not prepared for the contact. Red Blocker falls wildly and slides into the skates of the wall of White Blockers in front of them, who fall.

Outcome: White Jammer is penalized. Red Blocker is not penalized.

Rationale: White Jammer made illegal contact to the Red Blocker. Due to this illegal contact, Red Blocker was unable to avoid committing their illegal action. As such, Red Blocker should not be penalized.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer had pushed Red Blocker forward into a White Blocker’s back, causing said White Blocker to fall but not Red Blocker, nobody would receive a penalty. In this case, the White Jammer’s illegal action is what caused their own teammate to fall. Red Blocker should not be penalized for this.
 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2018, 07:25:03 pm by Stony Hawk »

Offline Bluebeard

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Re: Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 09:51:22 pm »
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In your situation:  Back block to white blocker.

A skater is always responsible to be in control of their own bodies.  The only exception is if an illegal block from an opponent forces the player to unavoidably commit an illegal act.  And that was only put into the rules in the 2017 edition.  The old saying is to penalize the bullet, not the gun.

Offline Stony Hawk

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Re: Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 10:33:11 pm »
0
Thanks Bluebeard,

Do I have to look at the 2017 version to see this rule?  Or, can you help me find where this is stated in the current rule-set.   I couldn't find it in the 2018 version.

I didn't realize that the casebook would be describing 'exceptions'.  I thought these were introduced to provide clarifications of the rules

Also, if I can ask a follow up question on the exception regarding illegal contact that the case C4.1.1.G describes.

If I alter Scenario C4.1.1.G to be:
•  White Jammer skates fast and directly into Red Blocker’s back, who was not prepared for the contact.
•  Red Blocker falls wildly and slides into the skates of another Red Blocker

Is white jammer is responsible 2 penalties?   (One back block to the first red skater and one low block to the second red skater) 

I know the second part is a teammate taking out a teammate.  But, are we holding white jammer responsible for this second action based on this case (rule?, clarification?, exception?) 



Offline Bluebeard

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Re: Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 05:13:02 am »
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The rationale section of C4.1.1.G is where that "domino rule" is described. 

In your follow up, one back block penalty to white jammer.  The additional skater getting knocked down could be taken as evidence of the recklessness of the action should someone decide to make a case for expulsion for white jammer for the block in question.

Offline General Hellativity

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Re: Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 09:47:56 pm »
+1

• the contact by white Jammer to white blocker causes the white blocker to move forward into the back of a red blocker
• Red blocker falls as result of white blockers illegal contact

Who is the initiator in this case?  Who should be penalized?   Does it matter if White Jammers contact with white blocker is to a legal or illegal blocking zone?


The rule you're asking about is 2.4: "Blocks and Assists."

WFTDA Rule/Clarification:
2.4. Blocks and Assists
“Blocking” refers to any physical contact made to an opponent.... Actions that meet the above description are considered blocking, even if accidental. Contact made to teammates is not considered blocking even if it is a disadvantage to the initiator or teammate.

All contact between opponents has an initiator, though it is possible for two or more Skaters to mutually initiate blocks against one another.

What this means is that the word "initiator" has a very specific meaning in the rules of roller derby. The "initiator", first of all, is a skater who has initiated contact between herself and an opponent. And of those opponents in contact, the initiator is the one (or ones) whose body caused the action to happen.

White Jammer cannot possibly be the initiator of the block, because White Jammer never made contact with an opponent. White Blocker is the initiator of the block, because it was the motion of her body that caused the block to happen. Since the block was a penalty, that penalty goes to White Blocker. We often say, "it's the bullet, not the gun" that gets the penalty.

Thanks Bluebeard,
If I alter Scenario C4.1.1.G to be:
•  White Jammer skates fast and directly into Red Blocker’s back, who was not prepared for the contact.
•  Red Blocker falls wildly and slides into the skates of another Red Blocker

Is white jammer is responsible 2 penalties?   (One back block to the first red skater and one low block to the second red skater) 

I know the second part is a teammate taking out a teammate.  But, are we holding white jammer responsible for this second action based on this case (rule?, clarification?, exception?) 

White Jammer is assessed one penalty. Since it was Red Blocker that took out Other Red Blocker, White Jammer cannot be penalized for that. Notice that the rules always say things like "making contact with an illegal blocking zone", etc. Since White Jammer didn't make illegal contact with Other Red Blocker, there can be no additional penalty. Blocking penalties are penalties for blocks, which are defined to be contacts between opponents. White Jammer was never in contact with Other Red Blocker. Skaters are responsible for the legality of their own contact with opponents, not contact between other skaters.

We also traditionally only assess one penalty for any single given blocking action: either the contact was illegal and impactful, or it wasn't. If it was illegal in several different ways, that is an input to the expulsion metric if that is called for.

Offline Stony Hawk

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Re: Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 03:23:07 pm »
+1
thanks Bluebeard and General Hellativity for your replies.  Your comments are very helpful. 

I suppose that the root of my challenge to initially fully understand the intent of the game theory in this case is due to the actual use of the term ‘initiator’.  This term seems to have a somewhat different definition in derby than it does in non-derby usage. 

Wikipedia has the below definition for ‘initiator’:
   
Quote
A person that takes an initiative in making something happen.

This definition implies that the ‘person’ is making a willful choice for ‘something to happen’.  In derby: we seem to be expanding this term to also include scenarios where the skater is not making a willful choice.  A skater is still considered the initiator of contact with an opponent regardless if that skater ‘intended’ that action to occur.

Below is the definition of the term ‘Initiator’ from the current WFTDA ruleset:

WFTDA Rule/Clarification:
Initiator: The Skater who is responsible for contact happening to an opponent (initiating a block) or teammate (initiating an assist). A Skater can also initiate their own assist by taking a whip off of a teammate’s body, or initiate a counter-block in response to an opponent’s block. The initiator of a block or assist is always responsible for the legality of the contact.
If we scrutinize this definition, I can see that the words are trying to establish a derby specific definition, but I would argue that it doesn’t do enough to convey that ‘non-intended’ contact is still ‘initiation’ in derby. 

In the example that originally cited, one could argue that white jammer is still the ‘Skater who is responsible for contact happening to an opponent’.

So, my personal opinion is that the formal derby definition of ‘initiator’ can be improved.   It should state more specifically that non-intended contact with an opponent is included in this definition.   This is just my opinion.  I realize that others may disagree.
 
Thanks again for your help.  It’s greatly appreciated.


Offline General Hellativity

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Re: Clarification of 'Initiator' of a block requested
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 11:35:32 pm »
0
You've got the idea of what "initiator" means in derby now. There isn't any element of intent in it, and you can't be the initiator of other people's contact with each other.

Rules and definitions can always be improved, but I think "All contact between opponents has an initiator" covers it well--- certainly not all contact is *intentional*, so therefore intent can't be part of the metric.

 

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