First of all, jammers are going to have to give up cutting anyone! We all know that jammers sometimes would say "eff it" rather than deal with a particularly tenacious blocker, and cut the track. Now if you're going to say "eff it" then you might as well say it on the way to the box. Enjoy telling that to your coach you decided to say "eff it" as he or she is pulling his or her hair out. Also, jammers, stay the hell away from the outside! I know, you're fast and it's worked out for you in the past, but now if a blocker takes you out of bounds, they have the quicker path to get behind you. Don't give them that advantage!
|Theme of 2013|
Coaches, you get the joy of possibly losing your prime jammer due to box trips; I know a lot of leagues have been relying on a three to four jammer rotation. Gone are those days, folks. Are you training up new jammers in your league? Are you working on everyone getting those jammer skill drills? Being a jammer is no longer an exclusive position; everyone should be ready to grab the star and GO GO GO! Does that mean you have to work more on footwork or endurance? Hell yes. HELL YES! I'm getting derby rabies. I need to take it down a notch, or wash my mouth guard.
Finally, there are the referees. Let's all take a moment to thank the zebras who now have to become experts on the fly during scrimmages and early season games. Right now, there are a million discussions going on in the ref world, and most of them are so esoteric that no derby skater would ever come up with those scenarios in a million years, but the refs are ready, JUST IN CASE. The first game I played in this season actually had a jammerless jam; welcome to the future of derby, everybody! Many refs are focusing hard on calling those cut tracks; I'm sure they feel a lot of pressure to get that call exactly right because it has such a giant impact on the game. In fact, from the couple of games and scrimmages I've played in so far, it seems like that's the call they are the most focused on. Just remember, Zebras, there are other calls to be made out there. You have a plethora of ways to make derby girls and guys cry!
As the season progresses, I'm sure some team will figure out a way to "game the system" and ruin it for everyone, but right now it's great to be at the beginning of something exciting! Rules don't change often in derby, so just imagine how cool it is to be at this point in history with our sport!