This page is a companion to the newly published ruleset for 2015. V4.5 can be found here: http://www.nahardcourt.com/rules/
Over the winter the rules committee has been drafting rules, discussing ideas for the future and play-testing early versions of rules. In January a call was put out for clubs to play-test a version of the crease rule, and Boston and Portland both responded with excellent feedback. In addition to that, we utilized this ruleset in two non-NAH events: Fixcraft’s PHBP Momentum event, and Toronto’s GLWC. We used these opportunities to gather real-life feedback from the players who are pushing these rules to their limit. We are confident that we have successfully built upon the foundation of last years comprehensive ruleset in such a way that work can be focused on specific rules efforts such as these. We no longer need to overhaul an entire document and can pour our minds into heavy topics such as the crease and obstruction. We will continue to gather feedback and improve the language of the entire ruleset.
The voting was open to the regions for the period of 7 days and after some lengthy discussion the vote came back unanimously in favor of enacting this ruleset for the 2015. We gave the voting options of: Affirmative. Affirmative with Comments. Negative with Comments. Abstain.
Great Lakes: Affirmative with comments
Great Plains: Affirmative
South East: Affirmative
South Central: Abstained
South West: Affirmative with comments
For transparency, here are what the various regions responded with for feedback from club representatives:
South West Feedback:
minor penalty too harsh – delayed turnover instead,
size of crease too big, also prefer a half circle shape
doesn’t like the no contact against the goalie rule
how will the 3 seconds be counted?
Needs fleshing out a bit and more precise language before people can get on board completely
Should be contingent on having more than one ref per court
Worries about subjectivity of refs and how that will affect differences in calls from game to game
Interfering with another player’s mallet when off-ball should be penalized similar to the way off-ball body contact is. Slashing could be called but it’s too limiting an infraction.
Great Lakes Feedback:
Perhaps add some more clarity that it’s extended offensive off-ball screens that are elimated. A fair amount of people assumed that while on defense you couldn’t screen someone from receiving a pass. This really just boils down to players not understanding the rule.
I would highly recommend adding an appendix (I realize it makes it longer) that describes the type of play that is illegal. I think eventually it could be eliminated but right now it’s just not natural enough for players to understand. When I’ve explained to people what are the type of plays that are now illegal they’ve almost all agreed that it’s ok. Some additional clarity with a list of a few examples would go a long way.
Consider adding an off ball ref for semi-final and final matches. I realize that we already run short on quality refs but if we’re talking about qualifiers, NAs and World’s we can hope that this would be possible. Usually at this point we’ve moved to one court which would make it easier.
We will continue to refine the ruleset and there will be an update this week and potentially more updates before or during the qualifier season as more play-testing is done. As always, plase contact email@example.com if you have constructive input!
Below is some additional clarification on the obstruction rule and some various scenarios that have been brought to our attention over the past months. Thanks to Mr Do for the video used to make the clips.
NAH Ruleset V4.5 – Obstruction Rule
§8.7.1 – An obstruction penalty will be assessed when a player actively impedes the movement of an opposing player who is attempting to make a play on the ball.
§22.214.171.124 – This movement, referred to as “screening” or “picking,” will be defined as blocking an opponent to gain access to the ball, blocking them from challenging the player in possession of the ball, or preventing them from free and open movement to gain a defensive position on the court.
§8.7.2 – If a “screen” is set that is stationary, momentary and in a safe manner an obstruction penalty will not be assessed, however, legal bodily contact as described in §10.3 is possible.
We’ve taken clips of games from last year to provide examples of what is legal, what isn’t and some calls which are on the border to best understand that the line is very fine and will only grow more clear over time. There was no such rule when these games were played, so we aren’t suggesting any of these plays were illegal at the time.
Legal – Eddy (in red) has the opportunity to screen harder but holds back. This is an example of an equally effective block without impeding movement.
Legal – Henri (in blue) nearly screens out Daren (in black). He occupied the space early enough to allow the T-Bone to be avoided. Daren accelerated into the screen. This is a great example of being in the way, rather than getting in the way.
Legal – Joey (in black) has the ball, therefore Luca (in gray) had the right to stop short on him.
Legal – David (in red) pivot turns, plants his rear tire and inadvertently causes a screen while moving into position to defend or make a play on the ball carrier. David was merely playing the ball without intention to screen.
Legal – All of the players involved are continuing their movement in order to avoid any active impeding of movement.
Illegal – Eddy (in red) uses his brakes to ‘screen’ Luca (in gray) from making a play on the ball/ball carrier. This is an example of when it’s illegal to prevent a player of moving towards an open ball. If Eddy choses to move towards the ball himself, and uses a screen only to give himself space, then it can be done legally.
Illegal – Prolonged impeding of movement by Sean, but it’s also in the crease.
Illegal – Obstruction on Will (in gray) but not Polo (second screener in gray). Polo just happens to be in the way while Will put himself in the way by using his brakes.
Illegal – Obstruction on Henri (in blue), he rides to the front of the net and stops directly in front of the Mosquito’s player. This is also potentially inside of the crease.
Illegal – Obstruction, LML (in turquoise tanktop) cut off line from behind the net while braking hard causing a dab. LML needs to continue rolling forward.
Illegal – Obstruction and Tail Whip on Forrest (in turquoise), this could potentially be a Minor penalty if it results in a shot on net.
Illegal – Obstruction, Polo (in gray) stops short, with eyes off ball and on Joey (in black) which results in a breakaway. Polo has to let Joey attempt to make a play on the ball carrier.
Illegal – First Eddy (in red) interferes, at which point Polo (in gray) protests for a call. Then Eddy Obstructs Polo by cutting his line and stopping short. This results in a 1-on-1 situation with the goalie which means this obstruction could be considered a Minor penalty.
The factor’s at play here are the duration of the screen and intensity of braking, but essentially Polo (in gray) is preventing a player without the ball from getting up court into a position. This is illegal, but since it has little effect on the play a referee could let it go with a warning.
This is a clear obstruction on Polo (in gray) as he accelerates into a position to deliberately force physical contact with the player in red. If he were already in the position to block, it’s legal, but since he had to move deliberately and held the screen, it’s Obstruction. Moreover, it results in a shot on net that wasn’t fairly won..