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What is Roller Derby?

The GAME:​​​​​​​​​​

Roller derby is a full-contact, competitive sport conducted on four-wheeled skates.  The game is divided into two 30 minute periods, during which many 2 minute jams are played.  Roller derby is played on a flat, oval-shaped track on which skaters skate in the counter-clockwise direction while working as a team to simultaneously play offense and defense. Points are scored by the jammer when she passes an opposing skater.

The Players:​​​​​​​​​​

During each jam, a team may field up to 5 players. The players on the track each play specific roles, such as:


Jammers are identified with a star helmet cover, and they are the only players eligible to earn points. They score one point for each opposing skater they pass after the initial pass. The jammer who breaks through the pack first without penalties becomes the lead jammer. The lead jammer can call off the jam by placing her hands on her hips anytime at her discretion.

Blockers are the skaters who form the pack. Their job is to prevent the opposing jammer from scoring, while assisting their jammer successfully through the pack.

Pivots are a special blocker position identified with a striped helmets cover. They set the pace for the pack and are the last line of defense to prevent the opposing jammer to score. They are also eligible to become the jammer in certain circumstances.


There are plenty of ways to land massive hits in the game of roller derby, but there are rules to define legal contact that keep gameplay competitive and safe. The use of elbows, pushing or tripping opposing skaters, and blocking opponents by linking arms with a teammate are among the prohibited actions that can earn skaters a seat in the penalty box for 30 seconds.

Illegal contact: blocking to the back, above the shoulders, or below the mid thigh, or the use of hands, forearms, or elbows.

Illegal blocking methods: multi-player blocks, blocking out-of-bounds or outside the engagement zone, and clockwise blocking.

Non-contact penalties: cutting the track, skating out-of-bounds, insubordination, delay of game, and various illegal procedures.


​​​​​​​​​​Women's Flat Track Derby Association

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