Minimum skills. And other updates.

Yes! New league, revised rule set and exciting times!

I moved leagues just in time to be around for the scheduled league-wide minimum skills tests. I like the fact that the minimum skills tests and checks are league wide, this way everyone is together and it is a positive way of reinforcing the minimum skills regardless of which level you skate at.

I undertook my first night of mins on Tuesday, along with the rules test. I have yet to find out if I passed the rules test, I did wear my lucky jammer pants for extra luck and revised really hard as it took me 3-4 tries to pass last time I took a rules test! There were 3-4 rules questions I was a little unsure on and just hoped for the best so I know there are definitely crosses instead of ticks, but I am hoping my derby knowledge was sufficient!! Friday night is the second night of mins testing, I feel happy after Tuesday but I am hoping I have no hiccups on track! I managed to pull my stomach, side and upper arm carrying a box at work on Wednesday so I have been trying to relax and soothe the aches and pains since!

It has felt good going back to basics and revising these skills, especially as it has given me the opportunity to observe others around me and see the various ways in which they find it best/easiest to undertake a skill.

I am still nervous about 27 in 5. I previously used to get 29-28 laps, but I have still only really just got over being poorly and I haven’t done any fitness work outside of derby because of this! Hopefully I will be able to keep my strides strong, skate the diamond, keep my crossovers up and hit 27. I am more nervous about this than usual, I think this is because it will be my first time skating this trial infront of new people. I have tried in the last few months to not focus on what others may be thinking of me or judging me and whilst I know that practice is a safe place, I am still bricking it.

I am also excited as I will be attending a rather exciting event with the league, a special Harlots evening which requires full on black tie attire! Eeeeee!! I am excited at the idea of dressing up in beautiful dresses and looking ladylike (for once) as well as the opportunity to get to know people outside of practice. I am honoured to have so far been welcomed with open arms with ladies being just so genuinely lovely and relaxed! I have also bought too many dresses. I need to sell stuff. STAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHF!!

Otherwise life is just life. Work is the norm. House is the norm. Oakley is somewhat norm..!

Til next time BlueMonsters x


WFTDA 4/1 Ruleset

So at the start of the week WFTDA let the Derbyverse know that the ruleset was changing.

Now. I am very much Garth from Waynes World. I do not like change. Change makes me feel uncomfortable. And the rules have come at a point when I had just gotten used to the rules we already have been playing with through 2013 (compared to the 2009/2010 rule set I originally learned). When you feel most confident, things have a fine tuned habit of changing.

BUT – I will give credit where it is due. I do like the new rules.

For instance… 30 second penalties – FREE THE JAMMERS!
Also. Flopping/diving. Thank. You. – I have seen alot of this and I cannot explain how much it makes me just want to explode! We play a hard hitting contact sport, we are not footballers.

Yes. I admit I do like the rules, I am not Queen of the Rulebook, but I do know them and appreciate them. I am a player who strongly believes in playing clean, I would rather lose by playing fair, than win by cheating my butt off.

So when new rules were announced, my mind combusted like a Spinal Tap drummer. I admit. I had not read the new ruleset at this point. So I hopped onto WFTDA and got my head around most of them. Thankfully alot of it is just clarification with the addition of a sensible penalty for flopping/diving and the reduction to 30 second penalties (WOOOOOO!) The new rule set also covers:

  • multi-player blocksClarification:impenetrable walls to be penalized when/if challenged physically by an oposing skater
  • OOB skatingClarification: You may legally exit: avoid spills, debris, downed skaters/result of being hit/through a hit or a missed hit/injury/equipment malfunction/pick up covers if P or J/legal reason ie penalty,jam end, etc/failed apex jump or similar/out of play to return to play if not cutting track/during any of the four jam end whistles/due to loss of balance/intential straddling on the grounds you do not fully exit the track/cutting OOB infield to return behind avoiding the NSOs/shoved by another teammate. This is illegal: Repetitive or obvious cutting lap distance short/crawling from out to infield/crawling from in to outfield/skating OOB to maintain or increase speed/exiting through your own will which are not legal/avoiding a block – hey scaredy cat…
  • cutting track – Clarification: No cut call if: only if only briefly in bounds, unintentional, only made with one skate (not two) and immediately removed in an attempt to stay OOB and return behind skaters who held relative position
  • star passesChange: Both pivot/jammer must be upright, inbounds, and hand to hand pass to be legal. (No throwing, dropping etc) Jammer cover must be on to score points – but – does not have to don cover before leaving engagement zone. Grab panty and run dammit.
  • false startsChange: No more dangerous turn and skate clockwise a lap idiocy. Sense! Now: yield. Yield to those skaters around you, stop all forward motion. Now carry on. Didn’t do this? Failure to yield penalty.
  • direction of gameplayChange to stop block contact, only a stopblock if downs a skater/causes to lose relative position
  • failure to reformClarification: Rear skaters move your butts, foremost skaters stop/slow but no need to skate clockwise
  • jammer do-si-doChange: Solutions for two (silly) problems. Leaving too early, either by error of the jammer or NSO. Where jammer A leaves too early before jammer B arrives, naughty jammer A, jammer A must return and serve the remainder of the original penalty along with the time jammer B served in the box . Where jammer A leaves NSO instruction, no additional penatly for jammer A but can be reviewed. No full clarification. Jammers. Behave. NSOs. SillyBillys – but we love and need you!
  • illegal reentry – Clarification : If return to track from the box/equipment malfuncation/other which is classed as a cut in normal gameplay – do not pass go, do not collect £200 and get your seat in the sin bin.
  • no pack scoring passesClarification: if the jammer is already ahead of all blockers on a no pack, scoring pass is over.
  • penalty box communication Change/clarification?: Medical staff are allowed to talk to you in the penalty box. But only for medical reasons. No SWAT team super secret agent shizz ok??
  • major penaltiesChange: No more minors, so why keep majors? Just penalties now. Stop getting them!
  • official reviewsChange: Still garaunteed one official review each period. However – if you win your first official review of the period…. you get another! Sort of like gambling?
  • Flopping/diving Addition: Hey. You. You play roller derby. NOT football (or soccer for you guys/gals over the pond!). Stop with the namby pamby flopping/diving to make the referee think that skater backblocked or downed you illegally. Man up princess or get your butt to the box.
  • 30 second penalties Change: Awesome. Firstly. Avoid penalties. Ok? Secondly if you do happen to get a penalty, it will only be for 30 seconds. So take a deep breath, cheer and dance, but this is going to be a game changer, it will hurt power jams and make the game a little more interesting – it will also up the level of derby you are playing whether you realise or not! Work harder and be stronger folks. Oh. And free the jammers!

So…. that is pretty much my understanding of the rules from the WFTDA change summary and any other interpretation such as RDJunkies Tumblr. Obviously interpret the rules how you can in whatever way they make sense to you. I would highly recommend reading the WFTDA page over and over to get the official terms into your brains, but also RD Junkies lists the changes in GIF format over HERE which I think are fantastic examples.

In the wise words of RDTOM :

Turn left and learn the rules!