Roller Derby Basics
ROLLER DERBY LINGO
BoutThe game. Composed of 2 teams vying to score points.
JamThe individual sessions of play. May last up to 2 minutes.
The point scorer. One per team each play. Designated by a star on the helmet.
The defensive and offensive players. Three per team each play. They form the Pack.
The lead Blocker. At the head of the Pack, they designate speed and communicate with their teammates. Designated by a stripe on the helmet.
ROLLER DERBY LINGO
HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED:
- A Roller Derby Bout is played in two 30 minute periods broken down into Jams.
- A Jam sees the two teams put 5 players on the track: 1 Jammer, 3 Blockers, and 1 Pivot.
- At the beginning of the Jam the blockers and pivots line up together in front of the “Jammer Line” and form what is known as the Pack.
- The Jammers start behind the pack, behind the “Jammer Line”.
- At the whistle signalling the start of the jam, the jammers begin moving towards the pack, trying to make their way past the opposing team’s blockers.
- The Blockers’ goal in the Pack is to prevent the opposing team’s Jammer from navigating through the Pack while assisting their own Jammer to make their way through the Pack.
- The Jammer’s goal is to break through the pack in order to score points for his or her team.
- After a Jammer has successfully broken through the pack the first time, he or she skates around the track to catch up with the back of the Pack and break through again.
- The first Jammer to pass through the Pack cleanly is awarded “Lead Jammer” status. This allows the Jammer to call off (end) the Jam at any point before the 2 minutes is up. Lead Jammer status is retained for the entirety of the Jam -unless the Lead Jammer gets called on a penalty, in which case there is no more Lead Jammer, and the Jam continues for the entire 2 minutes.
- If neither Jammer is able to pass through cleanly, there is no Lead Jammer and the Jam will be played for the full 2 minutes.
- Upon the Jammer’s second pass, points are scored for each opposing player the Jammer passes. Points accumulate in this fashion for the duration of the Jam.
- After the Jam is finished, teams have 30 seconds to field 4 more Blockers and a Jammer before the next Jam starts.
Penalties, how do you get those?
Most penalties are assessed and given when:
1) A skater’s actions are illegal and cause their team to gain advantage in game play,
2) When a skater causes danger to other skaters, officials, or others, or
3) When a skater or coach’s actions are unsportsmanlike.
Low Block: contact with an opposing player below mid thigh that causes the opposing player to fall or the initiating player’s team to gain advantage.
Back block: contact with an opposing player’s back that causes the opposing player to fall or the initiating player’s team to gain advantage.
Hands and forearms/Elbows: a player who makes contact to an opposing player with their hands, forearms, or elbows that causes the initiating skater’s team to gain advantage or the affected player’s team to lose advantage.
Cutting: This penalty is given when a player from one team legally causes a player from the opposing team to leave the track boundaries. That skater must re-enter the track behind the skater who knocked them out, failure to do so results in a cutting penalty.