The WFTDA have published a new rules update to clarify the mechanism and impact assessment of forearm penalties.
Under current WFTDA rules it is illegal to use forearms when blocking opposing skaters.
In recent years, there have been ongoing discussions and persistent confusion about what actions should warrant a forearm penalty.
The WFTDA have now responded by publishing a roller derby rules update, including a re-definition of forearm penalties.
WFTDA spokesperson Madnitude explained:
“All contact, regardless of blocking zone, is to be re-defined as forearm contact. In some unknown portion of cases, contact with opponents will be issued with a forearm penalty. This is with the exception of any actual forearm contact, which is now legal in all cases.”
“We decided on this move to keep up with current development in roller derby game dynamics. This change simply reflects the status quo, as this is how these penalties are being called by the majority of our officials at the moment.”
“In order to match up the content of the rule book and the way the officials make calls, it was easier to rewrite these sections of the rule book than to re-train such a large proportion of WFTDA-certified officials.”
Our member leagues are strongly in favour of this move. At least now the written rules are in line with how these actions are assessed during games. Things should now also be much less confusing for audiences.”
This move by the WFTDA is coming just prior to the upcoming WFTDA Championships. In addition to determining the top team of WFTDA Division 2, this tournament will see the top twelve Division 1 teams battle it out for the Hydra trophy.
When asked about the impact assessment of these re-defined forearm penalties, Madnitude commented: “Again, we tried to keep impact assessment consistent with how these calls are currently made so as to not confuse our membership, both players and officials. Referees will decide as individuals where they draw the impact line, just as they have done so far.”
The head of the WFTDA rules committee commented: “The phrasing of the forearm penalty section in the rules is now much improved. It clearly says:
‘When an illegal forearm or hand contact is materially aiding a skater in passing an opponent in relation to an opponent’s relative and absolute position then that selfsame skater’s actions may or may not warrant the issuing of a penalty and has anyone really been far the penalty even as decided which gain of relative position to use even go opponent want to do look more like.’
“And this is how the referees will be calling it at WFTDA champs. We hope that we have cleared up the forearm question once and for all.”
Meth Lab for a Cutie, of the WFTDA- member league Derpshire Rollergirls, commented by showing a whiteboard:
I still have no idea what a forearm penalty is anymore!