Basics of gameplay

Take 2 teams, of 5 players each, and place them on an oval-shaped track.
In each team, you have:

  • a jammer (scorer),
  • three blockers (defenders) and
  • one pivot (last defense line).

The pivots and the blockers together form a ‘pack’. On the referee’s whistle, the pack, led by the pivots, will start skating anti-clockwise. The pack is followed by the jammers, who try to get through it with the help of their own blockers and pivot, while also trying to avoid the other team’s blockers. For each blocker/pivot the jammer passes, a point is scored. Note that the scoring only starts on the jammer’s second pass!

A roller derby ‘bout’ consists of two 30-minutes periods made of several 2-minute games called ‘jams’. Between each jam, teams have 30 seconds to put new players on the track. The skaters may physically and legally block their opponents using only their hips, bottom, shoulders, and upper arms. The use of hands, elbows, nasty foot tricks, and any hit to the head are strictly illegal. The skater will be penalized for 1 minute if illegal blocks are used.

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