Illegal Numbers and Really Illegal Numbers

I had an interesting offline discussion with a really good NSO last night, following up on a question on RDROTD.

What happens if you try to skate with an illegal number?

It’s all the confusions.

First off there’s illegal and then there’s illegal.

Currently there are different standards for sanctioned and non sanctioned games. This is, as you might suspect, due to WFTDA not having it’s shit together. In 2014 they decided to change the rules to make roster numbers not have letters in them. Shockingly, they gave everyone plenty of notice about it. Over a year. So skaters would have time to get in compliance.

But then they forgot about it and decided there would not be any official rule changes in 2016.

Yep. They decided there would be a rule change on a specific date and also mandated that there would not be any rule changes on that date. *facepalm*

The result of that is now there’s one set of requirements in the rules (letters and numbers only) and another in the sanctioning documentation (numbers only).*

But anyway, back to trying to skate with illegal numbers…

My first thought was that if you insisted on wearing a number that’s illegal for the kind of game you’re in the refs’ only course of action would be to give you a uniform violation penalty every time you stepped onto the track until you fouled out.

But there’s another issue.

If the number has illegal characters in it, your coaching staff and/or the head NSO for the game should not put it on the official game roster paperwork.

How this usually plays out is that you’ll either not be on the roster at all, or you’ll end up with one number on your uniform and a different one on the paperwork.

So, you’re skating not just with an illegal number, but with one that doesn’t match any of the numbers on the roster.

If that happens and you’re not part of the coaching staff, not a game official or safety personnel…you’re a spectator in a roller derby costume. And spectators aren’t allowed on the track or in the bench area. 

The HR can have you ejected from the building by security as soon as you enter a restricted area. Just like they would if a fan tries to sit on the bench. 

I’ve never seen this happen, but it would be completely within the rules and safety protocols of the game for them to do it.

*On top of that, and I should do another whole post on this, NSOs are still required to list roster numbers in alphabetical order on their paperwork and any whiteboards in use during sanctioned games even though they can’t have letters in them anymore. Yes. Numbers in alphabetical order. This is utter bullshit.

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