Machine Politics vs L'Équipe, August 2010. Photo by Steph Simcox
NAH Rules 2013 Feedback
While it's nice to see a new ruleset, I think it now has a lot of loopholes and grey areas, and important things have been removed.
I appreciate a lot of work has gone into it, but I wouldn't be able to recommend this ruleset to tournament organisers, or as a reference to new players, as it currently stands.
I'd also find it hard to ref to this current ruleset, due to the loopholes, and lack of clarifications of certain things.
I'd really like this ruleset, which some additions, to become a world standard that we call play to this summer.
I'll list all the ones I can think of so far:
1) Bicycles. No mention of what sort of bicycles are allowed. Therefore this would allow recumbents, trikes, etc...
2) Game Format, Joust. No mention of how the ref is to start the game. "3,2,1 polo" or "3,2,1 whistle" or "ready, ready, whistle" etc. Not having this can lead to inconsistant starts, and therefore an unfair situation for players. I think it should define "ready, ready, whistle" as the standard.
3) Game Format, Joust. No mention of how a player is to joust. So they don't have to maintain a straight line to the ball, they don't have to share a common mallet side, don't have to peel off to a certain side. Not having this could lead to safety issues, as it allows left on right jousts, and other undesirable situations.
4) Gameplay, Goals. No definition of what shuffles, tosses, or wrist shots are. These should be included as footnotes, otherwise new players won't know what they are, and could lead to unfair situations.
5) Gameplay, Goals. Who gets the ball after a goal? Might seem obvious, but it should be defined.
6) Gameplay, Tap in. No definition of what a tap in is. This should be included as a footnote.
7) Gameplay, Penalities. No definition of how "Incidental or situational infractions will result in a forfeiture of ball possession to the innocent team" will be implemented. I know the process when play is stopped is mentioned above, but I think mentioning a reset would clarify this.
8) Gameplay, Penalties, High-Sticking "A High Stick infraction will be called anytime a mallet is lifted over shoulder level". Really? At every single occurrence? Is that the really the intended effect? Even when there is no safety issue (for example a player on they own, with no players around, batting down a high pass). I'd like to see this clarified, if the NAH wants this called every time (IMO potentially ruining the game, for no reason), or if it's just going to be ignored (it was at Eastsides). If it's just going to be ignored, it shouldn't be in the ruleset.
9) Gameplay, Penalties, High-Sticking "Competitors will not be penalized if contact is made during their normal swinging motion". Clarification needed. Is this an exception to the High Stick rule, so if it's a swing, high sticking is ok? Or does this just mean that contact, when swinging below the shoulder, is fine, but no above?
10) Gameplay, Penalties. No mention of what contact is allowed. Only that non-like contact isn't. So for example is headbutting allowed? Is kicking allowed? Are forearms allowed? Are shoulders allowed? Are checks to the back allowed. Not having this produces lots of grey areas, and dangerous situations.
11) Gameplay, Penalties. No mention of delayed penalties. Does this mean the NAH is now not allowed referees to delay a call, while they see if the fouled team can keep possesion? I think this would be a real step backwards, delayed penalties have become part of good ref's calls.
12) Gameplay. Penalties. No mention of horizontal surfaces. Is it ok for players in goal to hold the goal? Is it ok to hold the boards? Is it ok to put feet on top of their mallet, etc...
13) Gameplay. Penalties. No mention of whether it's ok to carry a ball, by the use of gravity. Egg-and-spoon, etc. This has been banned in other rulesets.
14) Gameplay. Penalties. Toppling penalty is not included. So is it now ok to take down another player, when you are going down?
15) Gameplay. Delay of game. No definition of what a delay of game is. Is it ok to hit the ball out of court on purpose? Is it ok to trap the ball against the boards, to stop other teams getting to it? Is it ok to pickup the ball?
16) Gameplay. No mention if a game can be postponed, if a player is seriously injured, etc. This is very useful for organisers.
17) Facilities. Where should the tap in location be? Again obvious, but should be defined.
I'm sure more will come to me, and others may have some.