RCRD NSO Manual – Penalty Box Manager

This document was written based on the rule set established by the WFTDA Rules Committee for the 2019 season. It contains the policies and procedures used by the Rainy City Roller Derby Officiating Crew, and is not endorsed by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.

General Description

Box Manager is someone with experience working in the Penalty Box and is knowledgeable regarding the rules of seating and Jammer timing. The Box Manager will stand between the two Timers, or may have to work as a Timer as well as fulfilling their own duties.

Equipment Needed

  • Whiteboard
  • Marker
  • Eraser
  • 2 Stopwatches


The Box Manager will be supplied with a whiteboard and marker for communication with the inside of the track and Referees. Also, the Manager may have a clipboard with scrap paper if they choose too.

Before the game starts use coloured markers to divide the whiteboard into two halves with the colours of the teams across the top. Match the positioning of the teams in the Box so that it is clear to the Referees when the board is held up. During the game, only a black marker is needed.


Communication with the two Penalty Box Timers is very important. Prior to the game, meet with the Box Timers and get an understanding of their experience level. It is a good idea to discuss how the communication will work before the start of the game. Make sure their paperwork is correct and provide any assistance they might need.

During the game, Managers will assist the Timers with their paperwork and verbal cues as needed. They will also be aware of skaters being waved-off and use the whiteboard to call them back to the Penalty Box.

The whiteboard should be used as follows:

  • If a skater needs to return to the Box after being returned to track by an official (e.g. the Box was full and there is now space), indicate this by writing the skater’s number on the whiteboard.
  • For a penalty occuring in the Box, write the skater’s number on the board with the correct penalty code underneath the number:
    • If the penalty has been issued, draw a circle around the penalty code.
    • If the penalty has not been issued for a reason (the Manager is not authorised to do this, or the skater has left the box), do not draw a circle around the code so that a Referee can issue this.

If a skater is still in the queue for the Box at the end of the jam, the whiteboard should be displayed for the entire lineup time, regardless of whether there is now space in the Box.

Communication with the infield is important to ensure that the correct number of penalties are recorded on the box paperwork. There are hand signals for 5, 6 and 7 penalties. Communication should be done by the Box Manager where possible rather than all box staff repeating the same thing. Once confirmed with the infield, check this information with the appropriate Box Timer.

If a skater has entered the Penalty Box to serve their seventh penalty, and has therefore fouled-out, they should continue to serve their time as normal. Once they are instructed to Stand, move the skater to an area in or next to the Box where they will not block any chairs or skaters. At the end of the jam, check to see if an Official Timeout or Official Review is requested. If not, instruct the skater to collect any personal belongings from their team bench and then leave the bench area. If the jam ends before the penalty time has expired, the team will need to substitute the fouled-out skater. Work with the Referees and Teams to do this as quickly as possible before the next jam starts. Retrieving the jammer or pivot helmet cover of the fouled-out skater helps to identify the position the substituted skater needs to serve as, and ensures that it is returned to the Team.

If a skater has entered the Penalty Box to serve their penalty but the Head Referee has expelled them from the game, they may be removed from the Box before their time has expired. The chair should be marked to show that it is still ‘occupied’, and timing should continue as normal. Another skater should not sit in this chair until there are fewer than 10 seconds remaining. If the jam ends before the penalty time has expired, the team will need to substitute the expelled skater.

Skaters should not be released from the Box at the end of the game until the score is Final.

Jammer Penalties

When a Jammer enters the Box, they will serve their time as if they were a Blocker. However, the Manager will do the timing and the Timer will not document STAND or DONE until the Jammer is released and information is provided by the Manager. Update the Penalty Box Timer when a Jammer has sat, especially if it is in between jams so they can mark this on the paperwork.

If a second Jammer enters the Box while the first Jammer is still serving time, the first Jammer will be released and the second Jammer will only serve the same time as the first did. (i.e. Red Jammer is sat in the Box and has served 17 seconds of their penalty when the Green Jammer enters and sits. The Red Jammer is immediately released, and the Green Jammer only serves 17 seconds). This information should be communicated to the Timers and reflected in the paperwork.

If the first Jammer (red) returns to the Box in the same jam, as the second Jammer (green) is still serving the 17 seconds, both will remain in the Box with the second (green) finishing their 17 seconds, and the first (red) now serving a full 30 seconds.

In a situation where both Jammers are sent to the Box and they are seated simultaneously, then both Jammers will be released immediately. If this occurs in between jams, both Jammers will be released on the start whistle for the next jam.

If any jam ends with one Jammer (red) in the Box and the second Jammer (green) skating toward the Box after being sent off the track, the penalty time for the Jammer (red) who is already in the Box will end with the fourth jam-ending whistle. That Jammer (red) will start the new jam from the Penalty Box as their team’s Jammer, and will be allowed to return to play behind the rearmost pack skater after the jam-starting whistle in the new jam. Instruct the first Jammer (red) to stand once the second Jammer (green) is seated. The second Jammer (green) will begin the new jam in the Box to serve their required time.

When a Jammer (red) has been issued two penalties and must sit for 60 seconds:

  • If during the first 30 seconds the second Jammer (green) enters the Box, the second Jammer (green) is immediately released after sitting, and the remaining time on the first Jammer’s (red) is reduced by 30 seconds.
  • If during the second 30 seconds the opposing Jammer (green) enters, then the first Jammer (red) is released and the second Jammer (green) serves the equivalent of the time spent of their second 30 seconds.

If a penalised Jammer exits the Penalty Box before being officially dismissed by an Official, that Jammer will be required to return to the Box and serve any unserved time, no matter how small. That Jammer will also be assessed a penalty, so will need to serve the remaining time plus an additional 30 seconds. (Note: if the penalty time was complete, there is no penalty for leaving the Box without being dismissed by an Official).

  • If the other Jammer (green) is seated in the Box before the first Jammer (red) has returned to the Box to serve their time, the second Jammer (green) will remain in the Box until their penalty is complete, or until the first Jammer (red) is once again seated, whichever comes first. When the original Jammer (red) is once again seated, they will serve the remainder of their first penalty, plus the amount of time served by the second Jammer (green). This combined penalty time will be served by the original Jammer (red) regardless of the other Jammer’s (green) actions from this point forward.

If a penalised Jammer is incorrectly dismissed early from the Penalty Box by an Official, that Jammer will be required to return to the Box and serve any unserved time, no matter how small. This Jammer will not be assessed a penalty.

  • If the other Jammer (green) is seated in the Box before the first Jammer (red) has returned to the Box, they will serve as many seconds as the original Jammer (red) had served. The original Jammer (red) is thereby excused from their unserved time, and is no longer required to return to the Box. If they report to the Box anyway, instruct them to return to the track.

If one team’s Jammer (red) is serving time in the Box and the other Jammer (green) removes themselves for injury (and the Referees determine that they will not return to track), or the Jammer (green) quits the game, the jam will be whistled dead by the referees. The penalised Jammer (red) will begin the new jam in the Box serving any remaining time, and the other team may field a new Jammer (green). This does not apply to Jammers who remove themselves for equipment malfunction.

If the first penalised Jammer (red) has fouled out of or has been expelled from the game, when the second penalised Jammer (green) is seated in the Box the jam will be whistled dead by the referees. The first penalised Jammer’s (red) team will field a new Jammer in the new jam. The substitute Jammer (red) will start the new jam in the Penalty Box, and will be released upon the jam-starting whistle. The second Jammer (green) will remain in the Box at the start of the new jam and will serve an amount of time equal to the first Jammer (red).


Illegal Procedure

Rule 4.4

Nobody may enter the Penalty Box except for Officials and Skaters who are serving penalties.

  • All medical support staff will be allowed into the box as necessary, but may only communicate with penalized Skaters regarding medical matters.
  • If a team’s non-skating bench staff enters the Penalty Box, this penalty will be issued to their team’s Captain.
  • If a skater or bench staff accidentally enters the Penalty Box but does not communicate with penalised skaters, nor interferes with the running of the Box, no penalty is to be issued.

Rule 1.2 and Scenario C4.2.4.C

If a penalised Skater removes safety equipment while in the Penalty Box. A penalised Skater may remove their mouth guard while in Penalty Box whether sat or stood. Merely adjusting safety equipment while in the Penalty Box is not to be penalised.

Scenario C4.2.4.D and C4.4.1.B

A Skater completely exiting the Penalty Box before they are released by an Official. (Note: If a Skater unintentionally leaves the box due to venue constraints while moving around (e.g. instructed to change seat or allowing another Skater to sit behind them) then the Skater should not be penalised.)

  • If the Penalty Box Official instructs the Skater to leave early, this penalty does not apply.
  • Scenario C4.2.4.D: Skaters who leave without being dismissed but have completed their time are not to be penalised.


Scenario C4.2.3.A

Failure to be on the track for the next jam at jam start, in the appropriate position (Pivot or Blocker), when currently in the Penalty Box queue. One penalty will be assessed to each offending Skater.


Scenario C4.2.4.E

Throwing objects which could cause harm (e.g. water bottles, tools) into the box is to be penalised.

Scenario C4.3.A

Imitating an Official to confuse other skaters.

Scenario C4.3.F

Profane, abusive, and obscene language is unsporting and degrading to the sport, but should not always be penalized. If said language was audible to the audience or via broadcast, [the skater] is penalized. If [the skater]’s profanity was directed at an Official, [the skater] is penalized. Otherwise, a few choice words directed at a teammate or opponent should result in a warning and be penalized if the behavior continues.

Scenario C4.5.B

Entering the box in an uncontrolled manner which causes impact to an Official or Skater in the Box, or forces them to vacate their position.

The Penalty Box Manager will be able to issue these penalties themselves unless the Head Referee says otherwise, this will be clarified before the start of the game. If the penalty should be issued to the Captain, this should be reported to the Head Referee who will issue this.

Issuing penalties must be done in accordance with Officiating Discretion. The correct verbal cue and hand signal must be used, these can be found in WFTDA Officiating Cues, Codes And Signals.

End of First Period

Consult with Box Timers, Inside Whiteboard, Penalty Tracker and Lineup Trackers to make sure all penalties are accounted for and to clear up any discrepancies.

Ensure information is carried over to the paperwork for the second period as needed and notify the Outside Pack Referee before play resumes, if necessary.

NOTE: During halftime and at the end of the game, the Head NSO will record the penalty tallies of each team before getting signatures from the Team Captains.

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