Monday, October 29, 2012

Rule change still coming?

I'll open with the sarcasm: it's still on its way?  This is kinda like the little time on the satnav ticking down, but at a much slower rate than the usual clock.  "Go on, you're only 5 minutes away!" it says.  Funny thing, I was 10 minutes away 2 hours ago.

I love that they're stringing us all along with these announcements every few months.  It's like working a job on commission with the whole "oh, it'll pick up soon, I promise" from the boss.

Alright, sarcasm aside.

I'm excited!!!  I truly am excited by this announcement.

I know that the WFTDA are giving us a bit more info every announcement, to keep people enticed and following them closely, but this info is great:

Single whistle starts

Read that line again, if you'd like.  The jammers and the blockers will all be released simultaneously.  What will this help with?  Well, quite a few things.

First, the slow start.  Remember gaming the system so that your blocker who's standing in the box will be released before the jammers are?  That bored the tears out of the audience, and your competitors, and likely your teammates.  Sure, they did it because they though it would help, but they probably didn't like standing there slowing the game down.

Slow starts mean less derby will involve skaters in motion.  And what's the point of derby without skating?

Second, the scrum start.  One team has to take a knee, leaving them at a disadvantage.  Single whistle fixes that.  Most jams now start with the jammers being released less than ½ second after the blockers.  Single whistle makes that standard.

Now I don't know if they'll institute the "blocker box" a la USARS and MADE, but they don't necessarily need to.  If a team doesn't want a traditional scrum, just have their jammers back up about 5 feet.  Also, a blocker box doesn't necessarily kill the mad-dash-for-the-jammer-line which risks injury.

So, this is a large step forward.  Single whistle AND no minors, and derby will be much smoother running and easier to officiate, learn, and play.  Sure, tactics will have to change, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, that's an opportunity for some new teams to be the ones that come up with the clever play to take the derby world by storm.

Who knows what else may be hidden in those rules.  All I can say is, I'm a bit more excited.  Roll on!

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