There’s been a lot of chatter on the internet about the sausage this week. I don’t care for the sausage*. It sucks to watch in large doses. Do I think we need a rule change to get rid of it? Probably, but not definitely. Until that time, though, what are skaters supposed to counter this roller derby strategy?
I’ve posted some simple anti-sausage strategy before. If you don’t feel like clicking over, it’s basically this: try to get the jammer out of bounds, move forward as little as possible, and don’t go to the box.
Since I wrote that, though, you have teams that will move backward to leave you no legal space to work in. Somehow, it’s then YOUR fault of you choose to engage the jammer. I don’t really get that, but that’s how it’s called. What’s a skater supposed to do?
Here are some half-baked ideas. Please help me bake them. (Now I want a cookie.)
Potential anti-sausage strategies
1) If your jammer goes to the box, never stop skating forward. If you keep the same speed, in theory, the other team will get penalties if they slow to a halt. Of course, you can still get penalties for blocking out of play if there’s no pack.
2) If you have a blocker returning from the box, make sure she enters well behind the pack, matches her speed to the opposing jammer and attempts to slow her down 20 feet behind the stopped pack.
3) Don’t hit the jammer down on the track unless she’s already tired. Most of the time, she’ll just pop up ahead of you and be on their way. Trap her or hit her out of bounds.
4) In olden times, the pervasive strategy to speed up slow opposing blockers would be to hit them. Ideally, they would want to hit you back. Try a blitzkrieg on the opposing blockers. It would be satisfying, if nothing else. Try NOT to hit these blockers out of bounds, since that just forces them to waste time and move backward again.
5) Try to get behind the sausage and create a back wall. You’ll have to be very fast about it. You might even let the opposing jammer past you for a scoring pass while doing this – 5 points is better than 35. Don’t let the opposing blockers past you. Now you have room to work.
6) Say rude things to the jammer; make her cry.
7) Realize when a blocker penalty is worth it – almost never, in this situation. Think of yourself as one point on the floor, and five points in the box. That’s how much easier it can be for a jammer to get around two people rather than four. That’s not a strategy, but it’s worth thinking about.
Like I say, these are mostly half-baked, unrefined, and untested. What do you think? Would any part of this work? Worth a try at practice, at least? Missing anything?
8) Come to a gentlewomanly agreement before the game that there will be no sausaging by either team.
This one HAS been used successfully in the past.
(BTW, this is a friendly discussion about the WFTDA/MRDA game. If you don’t skate WFTDA, or if you prefer another rule set, that’s cool, but that’s not what’s up for discussion here today. Thank yooooou.)
*If you don’t know what the sausage is: other people call it “patient offense” or “passive offense.” Passive offense is more accurate and less eyeroll-inducing. It’s a player jam strategy where blockers stop skating and engaging to allow their jammer to get through the pack on out-of-play or pack destruction calls. Click through the link above or in my “most popular posts” to learn more.