Playtesting proposed rule changes – Obstruction


With a number of the most experienced NAH approved refs, and players from around North America attending the Great Lakes Winter Classic in Toronto this weekend, we are using it as a chance to playtest the proposed new Obstruction and Crease rules.

Thanks to Joe and Mark for their hard work in drafting this, and to the players of the PHPB for their input, and testing it. Thanks to Mr Do for the video used to make the clips.

Obstruction Rule Latest Draft

  • §8.7.1 – An obstruction penalty will be assessed when a player utilizes a ‘screen’ to actively impede the movement of an opposing player who is not in possession of the ball in a manner deemed by the referee to be prolonged or dangerous.
  • § – ‘Screening’ 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 position on the court. This includes, but is not limited to, the following types of movement:
    • Significant change in direction or speed of the players bike.
    • Acceleration/deceleration of the players bike.
    • Changing directions while moving forward, or moving backwards.
    • Lifting and turning of the players front or back wheel.
    • Lateral movement by leaning or hopping.
  • §8.7.2 – If a ‘screen’ is set that is stationary or momentary and in such a way that legal bodily contact as described in §10 is possible, an obstruction penalty will not be assessed.


We’ve taken clips of games from last year to provide examples of what is legal and what isn’t. 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 has the opportunity to screen harder but holds back. This is an example of an equally effective block without impeding movement.


Legal – Henri nearly screens out Daren. He occupied the space early enough to allow the T-Bone to be avoided. Daren accelerated into the screen.


Legal – Joey has the ball, therefore Luca had the right to stop short on him.


Legal – David pivot turns, plants his rear tire and inadvertently causes a screen. David was merely playing the ball without intention to screen.


Illegal – Eddy drew the contact from Luca with the sudden change of direction.


Illegal – Prolonged impeding of movement by Sean


Illegal – Obstruction on Will but not Polo. Polo just happens to be in the way while Will put himself in the way.