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WhirlyBall Nationals 2017

UPDATED ON 4/16/02

Table of Contents
1.   Scoop
2.   Apparel
3.   Cars
4.   Five Second Key Clock
5.   Thirty Second Possession Clock
6.   Fifteen Second Violation
7.   Possession
8.   Legal Shot
9.   Delay of Game
10. Harassment
11. Timing of the Game
12. Ramming
13. Charging
14. Pushing Off
15. Pinning
16. Scoop Violation
17. Scoop Throwing
18. Obstruction
19. Leaving/Entering Car
20. Goaltending/Extension
21. Concealment
22. Hand Violation

National team regulations and limitations


  1. Scoop
    a) A scoop may not be modified in such a manner that it exceeds its original length.
    b) No metal or hard plastic objects which represents any element of physical danger to other players are allowed to be add to the scoop. Illegal scoops under this rule are to be immediately withdrawn from the game.
    c) A scoop may not have any white markings or color, as it may be mistaken for the ball.

  1. Apparel
    a) The center management reserves the right to rule on any safety issues regarding player apparel.

  1. Cars
    a) A player must keep his seatbelt tight enough so that he is restricted from sliding forward off the seat. If directed to tighten the seatbelt by the referee, you must immediately comply or face disqualification from the game. A player must fasten his seatbelt before the start of play. A player will receive a warning for the first violation and a two-point penalty for any further violations.
    b) A player may request replacement of his car as to mechanical malfunction, seatbelts or any other defect that might prevent the player’s ability to play competitively. The referee must be notified prior to the start of the game or when that player’s team has possession of the ball. At that time, the car is inspected and changed if Center management agrees with the defect. If the car is inspected and nothing is found wrong with the bug, the team that stopped play is charged with a penalty and the opposing team is awarded two points. A bug that is somewhat slower does not qualify as a defect.
    c) All play resumes with teams beginning at their respective defensive ends of the court and a new thirty second clock.
    d) All players must remain on their respective side of the court until the game has begun. Violation of the rule is a technical foul and one point to the other team.

  1. Five Second Key Clock
    a) When the offensive team enters the key area they have five seconds to either score or clear the key area. As long as there is a continual presence of an offensive car in the key, the key clock will not reset. If called for this violation you must IMMEDIATELY yield possession to the opposing team by dropping the ball straight to the floor. Failure to do so will result in a delay of game penalty. (1 point) 
    b) ***Can you hold a player in the key for more than one 5 second violation??? We will debate this at nationals during the rules meeting.

  1. Thirty Second Possession Clock
    a) A team has thirty seconds to score or the ball is turned over to their opponent. The clock is reset on each possession change or clock violation as soon as a player has or could have had possession of the ball (refs discretion).
    b) If a ball is thrown out of bounds or crushed, both the game and thirty second clocks are stopped and power is shut off. The team closest to the ball when power is shut off gains possession. The thirty second clock will only be reset and respective sides will be called. Any attempt to throw the ball out of bounds or invoke a crushed ball will result in the loss of possession.

  1. Fifteen Second Violation
    a) A player cannot hold the ball for more than 15 consecutive seconds of the thirty second possession clock. Intentionally throwing the ball off the wall or ceiling to yourself is not yielding possession.
    b) Penalty for a 15 second violation is loss of possession. The ball must be dropped beside the car immediately or delay of game is called.

  1. Possession
    a) A team has possession when they have control of the ball with their scoop. Control includes when a players scoop covers the ball, no matter where the ball is.
    b) A player touching a ball with his scoop does not meet the requirements of control.
    c) On change of possession, the thirty second clock is reset when an offensive player has or could have had possession of the ball.

  1. Legal Shot
    a) A legal shot is any ball that enters and lights up the goal area without rebounding off the ceiling or walls. (referee has final say)
    b) Two points for each goal. Three pointers are goals shot beyond half court.

  1. Delay of Game
    a) Delay of game occurs when a team is to surrender the ball and they hinder their opponents from gaining possession.
    b) If a player touches the ball with his scoop after his team has scored, it is an automatic delay of game violation. A player may stop a rolling ball on the court with is car as long as it does not impend his opponent from gaining possession.
    c) If a player is called for a delay of game, he must immediately drop the ball (Straight Down) to the floor alongside his car and move immediately away.
    d) If a player crosses over the half court line after the ref calls for respective sides.
    e) If an intentional delay of game is called on a team with a lead of 3 points or less, in the last 30 seconds of a game, that team is disqualified and the other team will be declared the winner. -The penalty for violation of this rule is one point for every three seconds of the violation.

  1. Harassment
    a) A player may not in any way verbally or through use of colorful signals abuse the referee.
    b) Players may only say things to the referee that are relevant to the game such as key, crushed ball, ball out and ect. Players may also ask to have a ref’s call repeated. --The penalty for harassment is two point for the first occurrence, four points for the second and ejection from the game along with four points for the third. (Refs note; a warning is normally sufficient)

  1. Timing of the Game
    a) Timing will be specified before seating games begin.
    b) The team with the red cars begins with the ball at the start of each game.
    c) Any dispute will be settled by a coin flip between the two captains.
    d) Play begins with each team at their respective defensive end.
    e) Each team receives one, 2-minute timeout per game (this includes overtime). NO timeouts may be called within the last 2 minutes of the game clock. The possession clock will be reset if the timeout is called in the first 15 seconds, the clock will not change if called with under 15 seconds. The game will start from respective sides.
    --Games will begin at their scheduled time unless cleared through coordinator beforehand.

  1. Ramming
    a) A player may not hit another player’s car head on, directly into the side or into the rear end in excess of half speed. (Number-to-Number Contact) It is the offensive players responsibility to avoid these types of collisions. (referee’s judgment)
    b) A player may not hit an opponent with intent to cause physical injury (using your hips).
    c) You may not hit a player who is retrieving a ball that is between his car and near the boards, to knock the ball free or smash that player’s racquet. This is a safety issue.
    d) The referee has FINAL decision on judgment calls.
    --The penalty for ramming is two points.

  1. Charging
    a) Charging occurs when a player is in a defensive position (stopped or hardly moving) in or near the key area and an offensive player makes illegal contact in order to move the player out of position.
    --The penalty for charging is two points.

  1. Pushing Off
    a) A player may not push off against the wall or other cars with his hands or feet.
    --The penalty for pushing off is four points.


  2. Pinning
    a) A player may not pin an opponent against any wall outside of the active key for more than five seconds. You must give the player enough room to proceed away from the wall and complete a half circle before the end the five second count. The player may be pinned again immediately if he continues toward his offensive end of the court.
    b) The player that has possession of the ball may be pinned for an unlimited amount of time.
    c) A player in the open floor may be held indefinitely.
    --The penalty for pinning is two points.

  1. Scoop Violation (Slashing/Scooping)
    a) A player’s scoop may come in contact with an opponent’s scoop only when defending the player with the ball. You may not apply pressure, but touching the scoop or shooting arm from elbow to the top of the scoop is within the rules.
    b) You may not cover the back of an opponent’s scoop or arm from behind.
    --The penalty is two points for an unintentional slash and four points for intentionally hitting a persons scoop in anger or with the intent of knocking the ball free.

  1. Scoop Throwing
    a) A player may not throw his scoop in anger or in order to block a shot or pass. Dropping your scoop or having it knocked from your hand is not a penalty.
    b) A player may hand, but not throw a lost scoop to a teammate. A player may throw a lost scoop to an opponent.
    c) You may hand your scoop to a teammate, but you may not use a 2nd scoop that is in your car.
    --The penalty is two points.

  1. Obstruction
    a) A player’s scoop may only be within twelve inches of an opponent’s face when mirroring the opponents’s scoop, which is in a shooting or passing position and is within twelve inches of their own face.
    --The penalty is two points.

  1. Leaving/Entering Car
    a) A player may only exit or enter his car during a game when they are near the door area and away from active play.
    --The penalty is two points.

  1. Goaltending/Extension
    a) Goaltending/Extension occurs when a player completely leaves his seat (both cheeks) attempting to block or shoot a shot, or to catch or block a pass.
    b) Sitting on the side lips of your seat is not permitted.
    c) A player may rise off the seat to retrieve a free ball on the floor. You may not touch the floor for safety reasons.
    --The penalty is two points.

  1. Concealment
    a) A player may not carry the ball within his scoop below the top of his car in an attempt to elude the opposing team as to the location of the ball.
    b) A player must immediately retrieve a ball that has fallen into or on his car.
    --The penalty for this rule is two points for every three seconds the rule is being broken.

  2. Hand Violation
    a) A player may only touch the ball with his hands when the ball; is smashed, falls inside of his car, is stuck inside of his scoop, is stuck behind his back or on his lap, or when retrieving the ball from out of bounds.
    b) A player may not use any part of his body to touch an opponent in any way to gain an advantage.
    --The penalty is two points.

National team regulations and limitations
“D” division - is for people that have never played in the national tournament before and have less than two years experience playing whirlyball.

“C” division - is for players that have won the “D” division or have more than 2 years of experience. One B player is allowed to “stay back” and play in this division with 4 C or lower division players.

“B” division - is for players that have won the C division. One “A” player is allowed to stay back and play in this division with four “B” or lower division players.

“A” division - is the highest division and is for players that have won the B division. No more than 3 Players that have won the “A” division (unlimited players) can play on the same team.

*** Exceptions can be made for players that have limited abilities.
*** Exceptions are also made if a majority of the centers in that division vote to allow something outside of these rules. (Such as 2 players staying back in a lower division). The host center should be informed of these issues.

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