Well, it’s finally happened! We’ve all heard the rumors and speculation about WFTDA eliminating minor penalties from their ruleset but today it was announced in a official press release that effective as of January 1st, 2013, there are no more minors!
Part of me likes this call. If I’m completely honest I’ve always found that the WFTDA ruleset has been too convoluted for it’s own good. Many of the rule descriptions are not very clear, despite there being so much written, and the very thin line between a major or minor penalty is often difficult to call. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been part of discussions where the wording of penalties was debated to death due to the many ways some of them can be interpreted. Hopefully this will bring a lot more clarity to what is and isn’t illegal.
That being said, with simpler rules comes easier ways for skaters to work around them. I mean let’s be honest here, you ladies sure know how to push the boundaries of play and argue calls due to wording! And let’s not forget that there will absolutely be an intense adjustment period as well for all of your volunteer referees. Hopefully all will be able to adapt but I wonder if some might not. Many have been working on the current ruleset since it’s inception 2 years ago.
I also can’t help but wonder, pending exactly how it will play out in January, will the need for refs and NSOs decrease? Will we still require 7 skating officials and 10+ non skating officials or will games be able to operate more smoothly with less? Furthermore, will the gap between no contact and a major become so wide that it allows for more reckless gameplay?
Perhaps it’s too early to worry about any of this but I do forsee an equally large adjustment period for skaters in which bouts may see injuries more frequently if teams do not take it upon themselves to thoroughly edjucate their players right away. No more learning the rules as you go girls! Be safe and make sure you get on studying the new ruleset alongside your officials as soon as it is made available!
What are your thoughts? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
EDIT: Thanks to vmstar for providing a direct link to the beta no minor ruleset changes!
I’ll admitt I hadn’t really bothered to look for them before as a lot of the zebras in my area did not believe minors would be completely eliminated any time soon (as in this year or next… go figure!) and only slight adjustments would be made to the existing ruleset. As this is my first season as a referee I’ve been more concerned with ensuring I am well versed on the existing rules as those are the current standard. Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned convoluted nature of what currently exists I frequently find myself needing to read through them in order to clarify things before and after a bout. Especially when I’m confronted with unique situations each and every game. Then there’s always that “gray area” that constantly keeps you returning to the book later to check the wording of things again to ensure you’re making the right calls.
But I’m glad I took the time to read through them because many of the changes sound like they will alleviate a number of these frustrations and confusions (on an aside: some of the illegal procedure changes are especially interesting). Plus, as Margie RedLips mentions in here comment below (give it a read, it’s great) these new rules will also likely make the sport much more enjoyable for fans. Many of the audience members I have talked to after a bout who were watching derby for the first time said they had a pretty good evening but were completely lost with what was going on. I had the same experience at the first game I ever watched last winter and if it weren’t for the new friends I had made within the derby commnity I’m not sure if I would have come out to many more games. The improved accessibility is reason enough to be excited.
Besides, less paperwork after a bout will be great!
Keep the comments coming!