Roller derby is a full-contact team sport played on roller skates on a flat oval track, normally marked out in a sports hall or roller rink. Skaters wear quad skates (not rollerblades), knee and elbow pads, wrist guards, mouth guard and a helmet.
Each team has five members skating anticlockwise around the track, with one member of each team designated as the point-scorer (the ‘jammer’); the other four members are ‘blockers’. The aim of the game is for each team’s jammer to score points by overtaking the other team’s blockers. All blockers, of both teams, stay together in a pack, which the jammers pass through. Blockers will use body contact and changing positions to help their jammer score points while hindering the opposing team’s jammer. One blocker can be designated as a ‘pivot’, who directs the rest of the team. The jammer wears a helmet cover bearing two stars and the pivot wears a striped cover.
There are rules determining how points can be scored and what kind of hits and blocks are allowed; referees call penalties and penalised skaters have to leave the track to spend time in a penalty box.
A competitive match, or bout, lasts for an hour, divided into two-minute plays known as jams, with a half-time break. Bout teams consist of up to 14 skaters, and the 5 skaters on track will change between jams – the rest will be on the team bench. The skaters designated as jammer and pivot can also change between jams
We follow the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rule set: www.wftda.com