I abso-freaking-lutely hate this new thing where blockers think it’s ok to forcibly shove jammers backwards with their arms.
I don’t give a shit if it’s legal or not cause I’ve been elbowed FORCEFULLY in the face twice in one hour and winded by and elbow to the stomach.
You’re not being clever. You’re being a dick.
Don’t tell me it’s my fault either. If everywhere you go smells like dog shit, chances are it’s on you.
Ok so I’ve had a couple of people question the logistics/legality of this type of behaviour. What I’m talking about is a situation where a blocker has a jammer on her back (can also be her chest but this feels like it has less impact) as the jammer tries to move around the blocker she is shoved back with a forceful backwards jerk of the upper arm/elbow. This probably wouldn’t piss me off so much if blockers stopped their arm parallel to their body, in that situation I’d be taking a hit from the upper arm. It’s lame and sucky but would hurt a lot less. The issue here is when blockers shove their arm back pasttheir body and end up leading with their elbow.
So the poor jammer gets a full elbow to the face if she’s low or to the stomach if she’s upright to protect her face. It’s just a shitty move. As far as I can tell it comes under the ‘no impact/no penalty’ area of the rules.
here’s what some Refs have added to this post:
"THIS! As a head ref, I constantly get coaches coming inside between jams asking to watch for elbows and forearms. I always take it seriously, of course, but there sometimes gets to be a point where I want to tell them that yes, we are in fact watching these things occur, but there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it because none of the actions are crossing the line from no impact to penalty worthy. So frustrating!!"
“I hate this as a ref because (aside from it being in the face), it’s really hard to penalize. Like the backward blocking/jammer pushing with the forearm extended hand shoves that don’t change position or cause major impact.
Derby isn’t played with the hands (or elbows). And it sucks because it always comes back to “She pushed me!” or “What the fuck, elbows!” And we literally can not do a thing about it if it’s not a penalty worthy action (and we see the whole action, not just the aftermath). All I’ve ever seen this behavior do is escalate a normal, aggressive, well-played game into revenge hits and frustration and anger (even between teammates at scrimmages)”
So this move kind of falls into a grey area. Technically the upper arm is a legal blocking zone, if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be able to surge each other. Unless you’re hit out of play or to the ground by and elbow it’s probably not enough impact to call the penalty.
In regards to high blocks these are pretty hard to call anyways, usually all the refs end up seeing is one skater clutching her face. They’re watching so much at once and probably more focused on a skaters feet to watch for cuts rather than her face. Refs don’t call a penalty unless the see the action that caused it, not the aftermath.
I do really feel better knowing refs are aware of this behaviour and other people think it’s shitty too. The skater who repeatedly hit me in the face/ stomach was cracking it when I refused to keep jamming against her wall. She kept sooking about how it was legal but as far as I’m concerned I did not sign up to get purposefully elbowed in the face.
I think it comes down to how you want to play the sport, this is a recreational game. Even though I’m a travel team skater I make my living off skates. I need to be able to go into work the next day. I’m not a punching bag, I’m a person who deserves respect.
Sure you’ll probably dominate on the track with these tactics but is it really worth hurting someone else? And it’s pretty hard to be an awesome blocker if no one wants to jam against you.