Penalty Calling Practice

Objective: For refs to practice calling penalties and for skaters to become more familiar with handsignals.
Typical length of drill: Variable
Materials needed: Taped out track, numbers on skaters’ arms.

Skill level required: Basic skating skills, knowledge of handsignals, knowledge of verbal cues


  • Drill is run as jams, with all ref positions filled (if possible). At least four skater/refs should be on the track (two in pack, two as jammers) with coloured shirts and numbers on arms.
  • All refs are to maintain correct skating position and make all calls using correct (whistle)/colour/number/penalty/(major) pattern.
  • Drill is non-contact.
  • Pack skaters and jammers start as for a jam. As they skate on the track they do handsignals and verbal cues. Closest refs call penalty using correct pattern. If skater calls it as a major, ref calls it as a major, directs skater off track. Skater does one lap and re-enters legally.
  • Correct calling procedures should be followed re: jammers. That is, all refs can call majors on jammers but only JR can call minors on jammer. If a pack ref sees a jammer indicating a minor they should relay this information to JR using ‘inside track ref only’ voice and allow JR to pass on penalty.
  • All ref calls should be made to skater then repeated to NSOs (even if the imaginary) and handsignals should be used for every rule communication.

Additional notes:

  • Can be mixed up with refs on the track and skaters as refs. This would work well for skaters who are very unfamiliar with handsignals as the refs can do full calls from on the track and then skaters can mirror it back.
  • Difficulty of this drill depends on speed of pack skaters, speed of jammers, number of calls made. Start out with slow pack and minimal calls and escalate.
  • Can be made easier for skaters who are unfamiliar with handsignals by assigning each skater on the track on penalty to ‘commit” and making sure that more experienced skaters/refs can take calls with multiple verbal cues.

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