Last night we did a 90 minute Black/White scrimmage with the beta rule set.
I went into the scrimmage having studied the beta rules and tried to go in with no prejudices. I’ve been in the vocal “I don’t mind Minors” camp for awhile but I wanted to give this an honest go.
I didn’t hate what I experienced.
I started off Jam reffing. It took a few jams to settle into the rhythm of not having to count minors. I liked not having to spend the 30 seconds between jams verifying previous minors on jammers had been recorded and getting the number for the next jammer or having to hold my arm out before the whistle.
Jam reffing wasn’t too tough. The change in the cut-track rules just made doing a little bit different calculation on sending someone off. There were definitely more box trips for cuts than under the other rule set. Skaters were playing conseratively, feeling out the new rules. Not alot of big elbows or flagrant douchebaggery. I did notice one Jammer adapting very well to using no-impact forearms to her advantage as she navigated the pack through for a grand slam.
For the second half I moved to the Outside. Not many big real differences but it was nice not to worry about having to relay too many minors into the middle. I think the new ruleset still needs OPR’s, especially with the emphasis on track cuts. Communicating with inside pack refs on what’s happening behind the meat curtain on the outside is still a necessary part of facilitating the sport.
Overall, I do not think the new rules detracted from the game. Packs still played strategically. Blockers still worked to get their jammer through a pack. Speed control was still an important element. As a Ref, I noticed my job felt easier. With everything having to be Major Impact or nothing, my thought process was much more binary than the spectrum of evaluating that goes in with the current rule set of No Impact, Minor Impact and Major Impact.