What is Roller Derby?
A full contact sport played on quad roller skates. Skaters from two teams play against each
other on an elliptical track. And no, there are no balls, bats or motorcyles!
The sport of Roller Derby consists of 2 teams, of a maximum of 14 players.
Each bout lasts 60 minutes, and is broken down into two 30 minute halves. Each half is further broken down into jams, which last for no more than 2 minutes.
For each jam, 4 Blockers and 1 Jammer (the point scorer) from each team, go on the track. The game begins on the whistle, with the pivots and blockers skating in a tight formation (the pack) whilst the jammers race to pass through the pack once, at which time no points are scored – but a “lead jammer” position can be established.
They continue to race around the track a second time and attempt to pass through the pack again. The jammers score one point for each opponent they lap as long as they pass that player in bounds and without penalties. The players continue to race and score points until the jam is over or until the lead jammer “calls off the jam” by repeatedly tapping their hips.
Like any other sport, Roller Derby has many fine print detailed, rules, penalties and strategies, and obviously the team with the most points at the end of the game wins. For the full official WFTDA rules, go to www.wftda.com/rules.
On the Track
What do the Helmets mean?
The point scorer can be identified by the star on her helmet. She scores by lapping members of the opposing team.
This is a blocker with the extra privilege of being able to take over the position of being the Jammer for their team by accepting a Star Pass.
The offensive and defensive players who form up the pack. Their goals are to hold up the opposing jammer and assist their own jammer.
What not to do!
- No tripping
- No back blocking (pushing from behind)
- No deliberate falling in front of another skater (low blocking)
- No use of elbows or forearms
- No blocking 20 feet in front of or behind the pack (the engagement zone)
- No grabbing, pulling or holding an opposing player
- No blocking to or with the head
- No insubordination
Any of these will earn you a trip to the Penalty Box!