Monday, December 19, 2011

Blocker love: Blocker hate

As promised, I gave the blockers a chance to respond to what really annoys them about jammer behavior on the track, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the list be so small.  Even though it is a much thinner list, most of the suggestions have a common theme to them, so they seem to be universal complaints!  So, let's all hunker down and try to solve some of these issues.


#1 Take the hole  That sounds filthy, but it's about your blockers trying to open up holes for their jammers. Blockers are trying to do two jobs at one time, and they are hustling!  They have to stop the opposing jammer and get their own jammers through the pack, and manage not to get blindsided by another blocker.  If your blocker is working for you and she opens up the inside line, do not hesitate!  Skate skate skate!
She works hard for her jammer!  All photos by A Boy Named Tsunami


#2 Don't just wait  Blockers are ok if you get a little pushy with them; blockers by nature don't have personal space issues the way jammers do, so if you need them to get out of your way or block a particularly persistent blocker, give them a little shove.  Do be mindful though that sometimes the blocker you're about to move might just have the other jammer locked down; to quote Rigor Morticia "do not yank me off booty blocking the other jammer just to get a little more speed...me keeping the other jammer sucked in the pack is getting you your 15-0 jam, sis."  Remember, sometimes the blockers' other job is destroying that other jammer.

Working hard to keep that jammer from messing up your grand slam.


#3 Pick the right side  Most blockers, when doing offensive blocking, will try to indicate to their jammers which side they are pushing the other blocker to.  It's safer for a jammer to try to pass a pair of blockers locked in mortal battle by passing on the side of their blocker.  This usually means that if your blocker is on the outside, you pass on the outside so she can contain that other blocker and keep her away from you!  Sometimes jammers get tunnel vision and they don't see the "set up" their blockers are giving them. 


#4  Don't give up control too quickly  I see this one a lot; sometimes jammers call the jam too quickly.  Either they lose track of the other jammer, or they're just so happy to be able to call the jam, they do it.  Watch your bench coaches; they should be the ones telling you whether to keep going or to call it  Trust that they understand the bigger picture, and look to them for guidance.  If your team has a comfortable league and a blocker in the box, you not calling the jam until the other jammer is about to score may eat up some of that penalty time.  Conversely, if you're not paying attention to the bench coaches and you SHOULD be calling the jam and you're not, that is just as bad.


#5  Don't give up  This is a big one, and I know how it is to be a jammer who is struggling either because she's just exhausted from running through the pack a million times (perfect scenario) or she's stuck in the pack behind a Cthulu-like blocker.  It takes the wind out of all of your blockers to give up; I will throw my body in front of a million blockers for a jammer who is digging in and trying with all of her might, but if she starts giving up, it kills the morale of the pack. 

#6  Thank your blockers  No blockers wrote this on my post of Facebook, but I really do think that jammers should always thank the blocking paths.  If I am lucky enough to have a couple of grand slams on a jammer run, I ALWAYS thank my blocking pack, because they gave me the room to do my job.   

I'm lead?  Sweet!  Thank you blockers!

#7  Stay out of the box  Nuff said on that one.

#8 Jammers, you can hit too  Jammers, make that opposing jammer regret the rule that you can engage her anywhere on the track.

Once again, we're all in this together.  Jammers aren't infallible; they aren't cyborgs.  Nobody expects anybody to be perfect, but we should all strive to be a better and play a more productive game.

Thank you for your input!
Riva Derci
Holly Gohardly
Busty Rhymes
Poisonberry Shortcake
Magikly D'Vicious
KGBebe
Aurora Thunder
Kat A. Killzem
Feelin' Froggy
Lisa Cherry







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