Sunday 13th November 2011
At this session Gib gave us some more detailed descriptions of the on- and off-track roles as well as a glimpse into what CRD aims to become once we are all trained up (no pressure there then!).
A league is essentially a team e.g. CRD, LRR, LRG etc etc. It is NOT a league in the football sense of the word.
Larger leagues with more skaters, such as LRR and LRG, have intra-league teams e.g. (for LRG) Harbour Grudges, Suffra Jets, Steam Rollers, UltraViolent Femmes. This means that they can have intra-league bouts, which is great for training and for staging open door bouts to bring in more revenue for the League. CRD ultimately aspires to be the third big London team and have it’s own intra-league teams (so we need to get good!! J).
Each league also has it’s own travel team(s). The travel team is made up of the best skaters from each of the intra-league teams, and this is the team that plays against other leagues’ travel teams in home and away open door bouts.
Open and Closed Door Bouts
An open door bout is one that is open to spectators from the general public - the ticket sales from which go towards generating revenue for the league. All open door bouts get officially recorded.
There are usually 16 skaters on the roster for a particular bout.
A team is made up of 14 skaters and the extra 2 skaters are on reserve. The list of 14 skaters is submitted in advance of the bout, but up until two hours before a bout begins, a team may swap out a team member for one of the two reserves (in the case of injury for instance).
A maximum of 5 skaters will be on the track at any one time (so 9 are off track).
Of these 5 skaters, one is a jammer and four are blockers. One of the blockers is also the pivot.
The track is oval in shape, 108 foot long (which includes the 10 feet ‘safety’ zone around the track for the outside pack referees etc) and 73 feet wide (again including the safety perimeter). The inner oval is slightly tilted so that the entrance to each bend is narrower than the exit)
The minimum height of the track boundary is ¼ inch, maximum is 2 inches(!).
*Gib’s advice: always remember to step over the track boundary, esp. at away bouts, for fear of tripping up and falling on your arse!!
Around the track:
Penalty Box/Sin Bin
Consists of 6 seats, 3 for each team: one for the Jammer and two for the Blockers.
Only 2 Blockers from each team can be in the penalty box at any one time, if a 3rd Blocker is penalised she will carry on skating (in play) until a seat becomes free.
A Bout lasts 60 minutes and is made up of 2 Periods lasting 30 minutes each, plus a 15-20 minute break between Periods (basically a 15-20 minute half-time).
A Jam lasts 2 minutes. There is a break of 30 seconds between Jams (there are exceptions to this 30 second break – Official/Team Time Out).
Bench Manager – stands at side of track and shouts on-track strategy and instructions to the players.
Line-up Manager – manages the line ups! S/he holds a list of the line ups (which have generally been decided before play begins) and sends the specified players to the line before each Jam. S/he distributes the panties/helmet covers (star - Jammer/stripe - Pivot) and can discuss strategy with the players.
Team Time out
A Team Time Out can last up to one minute and there are a maximum of 3 TTOs per bout. A skater that is in the box during a time out cannot leave the box to join a team talk etc. This is also true for an ‘official time out’
Official Time Out
This is called by one of the referees or head NSO to discuss any technicality of the bout, and can last as long as necessary. An Official Time Out called during a Jam ends that particular Jam. After the OTO a new Jam begins if there is time left.
There are ideally 3 clocks used during a Bout:
Jam Timer – times the Jams
Bout Timer – times the Bout
30 second timer – which times the 30 second gap between the end of one Jam and the start of the next.
Penalty Box/Sin Bin
Each penalty lasts one minute, but in some circumstances, a penalty can be 2 minutes long.
A player serving a penalty will hear the instruction “colour, number, stand” (e.g. “Black, 792, stand”) 10 seconds before penalty ends and “colour, number, done” when they are allowed to leave the penalty box.
A player rejoining the game after serving a penalty must join in behind the pack or they will have performed an illegal procedure and must return to the penalty box. That player is not allowed to block as they enter the track.
Blockers play both offensive and defensive roles. Their job is to prevent the opposing Jammer from getting through the pack and thereby scoring points, whilst simultaneously assisting their own Jammer through the pack to score against the opposing team. (easy peasy, lemon squeezy, no?!)
Hitting is a last resort!!
The Pivot is a Blocker who wears a striped pantie (helmet cover). She keeps the pace and form of the pack and follows instructions shouted out by the Bench Manager.
When a Pivot has her toe-stop on the line/part of body touching the line (even if lying on the floor if I recall rightly), all non-pivot blockers must be positioned behind her hips at the start of the jam - this does not include the opposing Pivot. Some referees also interpret the rules that same team blockers also have to start behind their own pivot’s hips – and it should ideally be up to the pivot to know which interpretation the head referee is using….
A Pivot can become a Jammer should the Jammer hand over her star pantie (must be hand to hand pass, the pivot may not remove from Jammer’s head!!). This is called a Star Pass. There may only be one Star Pass per Jam. If the Jammer making the pass was Lead Jammer, then Lead Jammer status is lost after the Star Pass is made.
The Jammer is the point scorer for the team. She must get through the pack legally on her first pass to become Lead Jammer. As Lead Jammer, she may end the Jam by touching her hands to her hips before the 2 minutes on the Jam Clock expires.
There is one Jam Ref per Jammer (2 in total), they skate around the inside of the track and their job is to count the Jammer’s points, penalise the Jammer when necessary and indicate whether she has attainted Lead Jammer status or not.
And so to the next thrilling instalment…
By Amy Orsini J (Please don’t put horrific pic of me up Gib!)