WFTDA Officiating Procedures Update

WFTDA has made minor updates to the WFTDA Officiating Procedures document. These changes are effective immediately and should be used in WFTDA’s post-season Regional Championships.

This update moves procedures that have long been a part of the TOSP post-season tournament procedures to a publicly visible document that all Officials are able to access, practice, and incorporate into their officiating. There is also a small change to the Timeout Hand signal procedures that allows for more flexibility and accommodations for Officials.

You can check out the updated Officiating Procedures here:


Any chance an HTML version and/or a diff against the previous version might be made available?


These changes are incompatible with Rule 1.4 “Critical game information must be displayed in a manner that is highly visible to Teams, Officials, and spectators.

There is no requirement anymore for an official to signal the type of timeout once the correct type is displayed on the scoreboard. But also the scoreboard now must not switch away from displaying the type of timeout when the timeout ends and lineup starts. Thus it is no longer visible at all if the next Jam is about to start or if we are still in a timeout.

This is especially problematic for deaf people who cannot hear the rolling whistle but it can be a problem for everyone if the rolling whistle is not blown very loud relative to venue noise or if there is whistle-bleed from a neighboring track.

In addition, the phrasing of 4.8 is likely to cause operators to operate the scoreboard in a way that causes exported stats to be wrong. (And enforcing such a hotly debated procedure in a “minor update” effective immediately, while at the same time forgetting to contact CRG devs ahead of a change that affects the scoreboard as WFTDA had promised to do leaves a very bad taste.)


Agreed. A version showing the changes would be great, like is done with the rules updates.


Here is the Change Guide as requested: WFTDA Officiating Procedures - Change Doc.pdf - Google Drive


ad 2.7: CRG indicates that no more jam will be played when the period clock at the end of the previous jam is below 30s but not when it is exactly 30s. Introducing this change without a corresponding change to CRG means that instead of relying on that indicator everybody (officials, teams, announcers, …) will have to manually calculate if there is another jam.

ad 4.8, especially when combined with the changes in 4.1-4.4, see my comment above

ad 4.9: That implies that any officiating decision announced more than 30s after the last jam ends is not reviewable. (In practice that’s probably closer to 20s than 30s given that it will take a bit of time for a team to process the announcement and decide to review it.) Is that intended?

ad 8.4: This requires box officials to be aware that the skater has 7 penalties before they arrive at the box at a time when the box is rather busy. While I can see postseason NSO crews to be able to achieve this most of the time, I am less optimistic about the average crew in regulation play.
And what is supposed to happen, if the skater is still in the queue at the end of the jam? May the substitute start the jam on the track or are they to wait near the box?
The language of the procedure also suggests that the penalty clock is supposed to be started as soon as a seat is free, not when the skater actually sits. Is that intended?

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Personally, I believe that the 30 seconds of awkward dead air after each period does not serve an overall positive goal. Because:

  1. They are rare. Having a “do this every time for something that rarely happens” approach is not great if the “do this” is itself not great. In this case it either adds 30 seconds to every halftime, or it subtracts 30 seconds from the officials’ experience of halftime or halftime performance, which is a negative.

  2. An outcome that requires full attention is even rarer. Any last-jam-of-period-1 issue can be addressed discretely during halftime and announced at the beginning of the next half. Almost every last-jam-of-game OTO does not (actually, CANNOT per rule 1.1) result in an additional jam, so it can also be held discretely after the game and reflected in the statsbook (whenever the game is not close enough for the winner/loser to change).

  3. The change in procedure doesn’t achieve the goal. Actually, I don’t know the goal. Is it to have a calm clear track during the review? This doesn’t really happen: People leave at halftime and then you have to get them back, even if the JT is standing lonely waiting to blow the whistle. Fans run up to the track for slappytime when the game ends because they know the game is over. Even when the announcers remember to say “don’t rush the track” they still do, because they know the result of the game; the game is over. (Unless the game is close.)

  4. When the procedure is valuable (end of game for a close game), it is extreme, because almost every time I’ve seen a team attempt to get another jam with an OTO after the game ends, they are on the track IMMEDIATELY. 30 seconds is far longer than necessary.

Together, I think the suggested policy change for JT’s should only apply to the second period when there is a 45 point differential or less, which would potentially allow a new jam to change the winner/loser (per rule 1.1).

I think this would achieve all of the goals because fans could know/learn the “45 points” rule so the announcers and them would remember not to rush the track.

The above is my personal opinion and does not reflect any role I hold in the wftda. I have personally JT’d with both the proposed and my personal preference of procedures, which have reinforced my belief that this procedure provides no benefit at all in the vast majority of games, which does not justify its overall cost to skaters, officials, and fans.


Separate post for a separate issue. :slight_smile: Other than this one I love all of the changes (especially 4.7)!

2.8.2, I don’t think this is allowed by the ruleset. If there is another jam, the lineup clock is 30 seconds. If a timeout is called, then after the timeout, teams have up to 30 seconds, and the jam can start earlier. A similar procedure that would be allowed by the rules would be to have the HR call an OTO and for the JT to ensure that the total lineup time is at least one minute long before ending the OTO. Perhaps this was the intent? But there is no discretion allowed as far as I can see, to just extend a lineup clock.

To provide some more information around the additions, these procedures have long been a part of WFTDA post season Officiating requirements. While created and written by TOSP, they have also been reviewed for approval by numerous iterations of the Rules committee, Tournament Heads, Crew Heads, and hundreds of other Officials over the years. In an effort to provide better transparency and no longer have “secret squirrel” procedures the decision was made to move these to a public facing document. This allows everyone to see the long performed procedures for post season.

With that said, the procedures were simply moved to this doc and doesn’t change the fact that they have been used for many years previous without issue and will continue to be used for this year’s postseason tournaments.

Additionally, this document is slated for a major revision later this year, after the Rules votes, and all procedures will be re-evaluated at that time. WFTDA is not asking for any adjustments or changes to be made to CRG at this time. As we update the document later we will reach out to work with CRG developers if any changes or modifications would be needed.

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You may not have intended to but in practice you are. It is CRG policy that default settings align with requirements for WFTDA sanctioned games.

And while I applaud the intention of being more transparent with post season procedures, by making this policy “effective immediately” you are enforcing it for every sanctioned and regulation game, not just post season.

I know that European officials have only begrudgingly accepted 4.8 for post season events as something we have to endure for this one event before we can return to the procedure we find more appropriate. And that was without the changes to 4.1-4.4 that bring it at odds with the rules and make it reduce accessibility.

Further, the fact that procedures that require a high level crew to properly execute have been accepted by post season crews is no indication that people consider them acceptable for general play.

Finally, the fact that the document will get a major revision later this year is more of a reason to not make disruptive changes mandatory at this time.

In summary: Please declare the additions as only mandatory for post season until the major revision. (And please allow for community feedback in that major revision.)


While all this commentary of “this is standard at post season”, TGSS is 5 weeks away and you’re dropping this on Australian officials, the VAST majority of which have NOT been to a post-season event before, and expecting them to be able to just pickup and run with these changes with virtually no time to practice implementing them?

I agree with Speedy that if there’s a full rules review coming later in the year, why complicate matters further for officials where some of these are NOT standard.

Like Speedy, for most of Australia 4.8 is the opposite of general practice [but I do acknowledge that it does vary across the country…]

I like 4.7, but have concerns about Captains/Alts initially requesting it at a specific time, but it’s not noticed and then there becomes a level of debate over when it was actually requested. (“Do we add 5 seconds to the time? 7? 10? 2?”)

8.4 Agree with Speedy again on this - while most seasoned PBMs will have a good knowledge of who is on 5/6/7, it’s not always going to happen. I have the same question about the substitute and the starting of their time


Regarding 6.1.1, consider the following scenario:

Red 23 is in the queue as pivot, does not line up, jam starts, officials realise their mistake but do not stop the jam following 6.1.1, the jam ends naturally with red 6 in the box as a pivot.

This is nothing new and we can handle it to some extent by waiting until a jam ends with no red pivot in the box. It can also result in an unfair advantage for team red if happening in the final jams, since 23 has two penalties to serve while 6 only serves one, then returns to play in the final jam, then the game is over. Since these procedures will be reworked later this year, maybe this could be discussed then? Keeping in mind that this is an officiating error, which allows for another jam if said error has an impact on the outcome of the game.

I agree with Speedy that 4.8 diminishes visibility of game state and may be problematic for skaters who use the scoreboard to support their preparation for an upcoming jam (regardless of why they do so).

I would love to understand the driving force behind that practice of not entering a lineup period following a time-out. What does doing it that way support?

speedy: don’t we already do this by highlighting the period clock “red” if there is insufficient time to start another jam per the existing rulebook?

Agree on this point wholeheartedly.


The rulebook doesn’t specify if exactly 30s at the end of a jam is sufficient time to start another one. CRG assumes that it is, this procedure decides that it isn’t. Thus the highlighting is not reliable.

Using scenario C2.2.4.F in the casebook as guidance I feel like the correct way to handle this would be to have Red 6 serve all 3 penalties before they could return to play. While still having the two penalties recorded on Red 23.

Based on the “penalty assigned to skater, penalty time assigned to position” rationale.


I had another thought on 2.7 last night

To OffEd - what about when the period clock has 30.45 seconds (so is displayed as 30 on the scoreboard) when the line up time starts. This would also show as 30 on the scoreboard, and so we should not have another Jam? Or because the hidden milliseconds of the Period Clock are greater than the hidden milliseconds of the Lineup Clock, we SHOULD have another Jam?

But if we have another Jam, and the two times are for all intents and purposes 30 seconds… :person_shrugging: You can see where I’m hoon with this, right?

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Countdown clocks are rounded up, so 30.4 will be displayed as 31.
And countup clocks are rounded down. So with default settings (period count down, lineup count up, sync enabled) period clock and lineup clock will always add to 30 or less exactly when there were 30s or less at the end of the jam. Changing the “exactly 30s” case in CRG makes more sense than changing this procedure.

The only nitpicky problem with this procedure per se is that it implicitly assumes that the scoreboard is set to these defaults. If one of the clocks runs the other way, the wording does not make sense anymore. And the best way to address this is probably to define clock directions in the procedures (as part of the major overhaul). Which makes sense as a standard procedure anyways given that this is done the same way across WFTDA rules derby and if any host were to divert it would probably cause quite a bit of confusion.

But the Rules Committee has answered this question.

September 25, 2010

Q: Should an Official Timeout (a time out initiated by the referees) that is taken after the previous jam ends with 30 seconds or less left in a period trigger an additional jam to be run?

A: No. If the previous jam ends with 30 seconds or less remaining in a period, the Head Referee should not call an Official Timeout and should let the game clock run to zero (0:00) if neither team uses a timeout or an Official Review. Only a team timeout or an Official Review initiated by a team (if a team has either to use) can trigger an additional jam per 2.3.4. If the Head Referee must call an Official Timeout during that time, the remaining time on the clock will expire after the Official Timeout and the period and/or game will end.

(This was posted by Rules Committee as a public clarification. It was prior to the major re-write, when older clarifications were archived, but the direction was maintained and added to post-season officiating practices.)

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I believe rules should always have a clear reason and improve things, but i can’t figure out on my own what the benefits of 4.8 are. Can someone give me a pointer please?