After scrimmage practice a couple of weeks ago and the recent bouts (my first 2 back to back!), I thought maybe we might have a thread to discuss any discrepancies (I might have) in the rules and hope to clear up any confusion this might bring (for me). This follows after the debates I've been having with the WFTDA-certified refs on Zebrahuddle.com on being out of play during a 'no pack' scenario, which I'll get to in a bit. If anyone thinks this might be a bit of a waste of time or that it's all been covered elsewhere, let me know and I'll retreat back into my dark corner!
Right, the points I wanted to clarify are:
* Destruction of the pack: I noticed at scrimmage practice a week ago last Monday (22/8) that, during one jam, the red team sped up off the pivot line, trying to control the speed of the pack as their jammer was in the penalty box. The blue team tried to catch up, but most of them seemed to be struggling and falling behind. The one blue blocker right behind the rearmost red blocker actively slowed down using t-stops after the rest of her team started calling to her to slow down, creating a wider and wider gap between the two groups of blockers. At the time, I wasn't sure what to call it as (as per 6.10.20 of the WFTDA rules, it's Out Of Play) and as we don't have 10-foot markers on the track, it wasn't clear how far apart the 2 groups had become. Had it been called, the foremost blue blocker would have been given the penalty for actively slowing down and splitting the pack up. Just to let peeps know that, if you split the pack up this way, and the two groups become more than 10 feet apart, it's a major and off to the box with you!
At the travel team bout this weekend (3/9), I remember destruction of the pack penalties being given to the pivots (I think these might have been signalled as Illegal Procedure by Head Ref Scrim) who were calling to their team to speed up/slow down. The reasoning behind this, I think, is that, since no one individual blocker changed speed abruptly (i.e. they all did), the penalty transerred to the pivot who was controlling her team in that jam.
* 'No Pack' situation: It has been said by the WFTDA-certified refs in the States that, when a 'No Pack' is called, all blockers are immediately Out Of Play and therefore can't block or assist until a pack is formed and they are again in play. The thought behind this is that the definition of 'In Play' in the glossary in the WFTDA rules refers to being inside the Engagement Zone to be in play. If there isn't a pack, there isn't an Engagement Zone so no one's in play. And therefore, if you're not in play, you're out of play. Unfortunately, this is one of those things that isn't written anywhere in the rules and there are even some bits which seem to contradict this, making it hard to justify when called. However, with pretty much every certified ref agreeing that No Pack means Out of Play, I guess that's the way it should be called.
Again, at the weekend, there were many 'No Pack' situations going on and there was still blocking aplenty that went uncalled, leading me to think that the above Out of Play definition isn't widely circulated. So just beware!
Now, with a stonking headache and my luchtime over, back to work I go!