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What is Roller Derby?

The Basics of Roller Derby
 

Roller Derby is a full contact sport played on quad roller skates. Two teams of five women skate around a small track, with the “jammer” gaining points by passing opposing players legally. Opposing players (“blockers”) attempt to stop the jammer by creating physical obstacles, or knocking her over.


View "The Basics of Flat Track Roller Derby" video at:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2W2b1WBmm4
Produced and edited by Paul D. Pitch


THE GAME
Our flat-track bouts consist of two thirty-minute periods. Each period is made up of scoring periods called 'jams'. Each jam can last up to 2 minutes. Both teams may have 5 players on the track in each jam. Four blockers from each team skate together in a 'pack'. The blockers with a stripe on their helmet are called 'Pivots' and they control the pace of the pack. Each team also has one point-scoring player per jam. This skater is called the 'Jammer' and she wears a star on her helmet.

SCORING
A Jammer scores a point for each opponent she passes legally (i.e. without fouling or stepping out of bounds). Points are not scored on the initial pass; Jammers must lap the pack and scoring begins on their second pass. Once a Jammer passes an opponent, that skater cannot be scored upon again until the Jammer makes another lap around the track. The Jammers can lap the pack several times during each jam to rack up points. The advantageous title of "Lead Jammer" is awarded to the first Jammer to skate out of the pack without committing any penalties. The Lead Jammer has the right to "call off the jam" at any time to end the jam and prevent her opponent from scoring. When you see a Jammer place both her hands on her hips, she is "calling off the jam".

PENALTIES
Players receive minor penalties by committing fouls such as using their hands and arms for blocking, blocking out of bounds or blocking 20 feet outside of the pack. Each time a skater accrues four minor penalties, she must serve one minute in the penalty box and her team skates with one less skater on the track. Major penalties are given for more grievous offenses such as dangerous illegal blocking. One minute must be served for each major penalty committed. A skater is ejected from the game after her fifth trip to the penalty box.


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