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Banked Track Governing Body Updates Ruleset

Excerpted from Banked Track News.

In a test ruleset, the Roller Derby Coalition of Leagues, the primary governing body for banked track roller derby, has adopted many of the changes made to the rules for the Roller Derby Xtreme competition in Australia last November, and added a number of further refinements and changes.

One of the biggest concerns in the banked track world over the past year has been the effect that importing the “passive offense” (AKA “conga line”, “the sausage”) from flat track has had on banked track. Formerly known for its faster games and continual forward movement, banked track games were brought to a near standstill every time there was a Power Jam over the last year, and long time fans turned off by the tactic complained. Or just stopped coming to games.

For this year's rules, the RDCL was under pressure from the leagues to fix the game. The RDX rules were revised from the 2012 RDCL rules by players from LADD and Gotham Girls Roller Derby, along with an expert ref representative who had been around the rules drafting block before. And the RDCL rules return the favor of revision by marching forward from the RDX rules, taking into account how those rules performed during the three game RDX series between two of roller derby's winningest leagues on their respective tracks.

For detailed highlights of the changes, see the full article on Banked Track News.


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My favorite change

and it won't translate well into Flat Track:

Teams must field pivots
The pivot position is no longer penalized with the player. Pivots who go to the penalty box will sit as blockers. There will always be two pivots on the track in every jam.

I really think pivots are entirely misused in (Flat Track) roller derby, and this would encourage some great pivot strategies. But since Flat Track goes to the box immediately and Banked goes in between jams, I don't see a good way to port this rule over.

They could just as easily

They could just as easily have used "one blocker from each team" instead of pivots. The idea is to separate one player out from the back wall so the pack doesn't start the jam with two walls divided along team lines, and it diffuses immediate scrums off the line by forcing at least one team member to move back or the rest of the blockers to move forward to form a team wall.

The pivot position was invented for TV, and only USARS/MADE/OSDA uses them for the purpose for which they were intended: to stop effective defense that slows the action by allowing them to take off when the jammer gets stuck in the pack, no matter where that jammer is in relation to the pivot. The "star pass" is something wholly invented in the modern derby era.

So the WFTDA could accomplish the same result as the RDCL gets with a pivot box, by either just saying any blocker from each team, or by requiring on track pivots to start in the pivot box, when available, and substituting a blocker when the pivot isn't available.