|Just in case you feel like you'll need this at the end of this blog.|
Last week, the new rule set was released by the WFTDA: huzzah! This is a momentous occasion because for some players, these are the only rules they have ever known. The WFTDA took a long time to release this set, in hopes that the rules would be well thought out and not chock full of loop holes that slow the game down even more. I know I was looking forward to seeing how no minors would impact the game, but instead of thinking about what kind of impact the new rules would have for skaters, all I heard about was how skaters and coaches are joining in and trying to anticipate loopholes so they can be the first people to take advantage of the newly found loopholes.
Why aren't you working on learning the new rules, and for some, the old rules, so you can skate cleanly and effectively? I guess that's too boring now; all of the cool kids seem to be trying to be on-track lawyers instead of amazing players. Compare the idea of people focusing on the potential loopholes in the ruleset to the kid that isn't allowed to touch you by parental decree, but who stands there with his hand in front of your face saying "I'm not touching you!" Yes, legally the one kid isn't touching the other one, but we all know he's ignoring the spirit of the law to honor the letter.
Personally, I feel like coaches should be focused on how to tweak their training programs to deal with things like one whistle starts, cutting an opponent being a major, and whether or not your team is going to get thrown into the penalty box for the hyper vigilant multi-player blocking calls that are going to happen now. Those things are the BIGGER picture! Whether or not you can be the first to game the rules really shouldn't be your primary objective, at least in my opinion. Should your team ignore the fact that there are ways to "game the system?" No. Let's face it, I'm sure there are hoards of people meeting feverishly to find the new "passive offense" in the rule set. Good for them, but wouldn't it be even more amazing for your team if you put all of that kind of effort into planning your training regime instead of focusing on the one tiny, stupid aspect of it all? I know many people say, "Other sports do it all of the time."
I don't care about other sports; I care about derby. I have no control about how football strategy happens, or the newest d-baggery in soccer, but I would like for derby to have fewer "masterminds" and more talented skaters please. I'm not going to actually shun you for getting together and putting all of your time and energy into figuring out what the newest "passive offense" crap might be, but for most leagues, putting that time and energy into training better skaters might be a better investment. In the end, which would rather be remembered for, your amazing skating or how you figured out how to do the new "back block flop?" Just my two cents.
Now. if you need to, go and fill out that butt-hurt form I posted up top and let's move on to a less controversial topic, like sparkly helmets!