Shortly before the Heartland Havoc, WFTDA ratified version 2.1.1 (PDF, 200kb) of the official flat track roller derby rules. This revision includes only a handful of minor changes to the 2.1, mostly intended to fix typos and close loopholes. All Heartland Havoc bouts were played under version 2.1.1.
The key changes/clarifications:
- Teams are now allowed to bring up to 20 skaters to a tournament. No more than 14 may play in any given bout during the tournament, but successive rounds may use different groups of 14 skaters, with the caveat that a skater who plays a bout but not the following bout is done for the tournament. This follows a general trend in WFTDA to allow the best skaters available to a team to play, and allow more to participate in a given event.
- Minor penalties are no longer whistled. This reflects a decision voted on previously by WFTDA but which didn't make it into the 2.1 document due to a production or editing error. Only major penalties are whistled, minor penalties only get a hand signal.
- Tweaks to the lead jammer qualifications to better account for situations raised by "any-pass" type scoring.
After the extended labor pains leading from WFTDA rules 1.0 through the stillbirth of 2.0 to the eventual emergence of 2.1, it's nice to see a few changes clear the process with relative easy. I'm very excited to be around for the evolution and refinement of what's essentially a new sport. It's great to watch the process of small (or larger) innovations tested out by individual leagues gaining acceptance as an improvement and eventually being incorporated into the standard document... reminds me of the open source software development model in ways I intend to write more about one of these days.
Written by Hurt Reynolds
Wednesday, 22 August 2007
And from Justice Feelgood Marshall (which, BTW, is my husband's favorite ref name):
IMHO, the biggest change in 2.1.1 is that it's now specified that a jammer going out out of bounds for any reason before getting within 20 feet of the pack becomes ineligible for lead jammer... at Havoc I saw a LOT of jammers attempting to take advantage of this rule by immediately blocking the opposing jammer after the start whistle rather than sprinting all-out towards the pack. From a personal perspective, I'm not 100 percent certain I like rule changes that make the game even more jammer-centric than it already is, but it does appear that derby audiences like jammer-on-jammer action, so from that perspective it's an excellent clarification.