What is Roller Derby?
Roller Derby is a tactical, full contact sport played on quad roller skates.
The sport re-emerged in Texas in 2001 and there are currently more than 1,100 women’s Roller Derby leagues around the world, including around 100 in England, with this number ever growing. Gone are the staged theatrics of the 1970’s, now it is a serious athletic sport which requires players to be fit, healthy and have high endurance.
Roller Derby is played by 2 teams of 5 skaters each skating in shifts called Jams. These players are divided into three positions. At the front of the pack are the Pivots and the Blockers. All together, they form the Pack. At the back are the Jammers, the ones that will be scoring the points.
The Jammers try to make their way through the pack, helped by their own Blockers and hindered by the other Blockers. The first Jammer out of the pack obtains lead Jammer status. On the second pass, the Jammers score points for every opposing Blocker or Pivot she passes, while in bounds and without penalties. The lead Jammer can strategically call of the jam by placing her hands repeatedly on her hips. The four whistles end the jam, and 30 seconds later we start again!
JAMMERS wear a star on their helmets. Their job is to get through the pack and pass as many opponents as they can to score points.
PIVOTS wear a stripe on their helmets. They set the pace of the pack and call out strategies. They can also become the point scorer instead in a move called a 'star pass'.
BLOCKERS play vital offensive and defensive roles to help their own Jammer get through the pack, while working together to block the opposing team's Jammer.
Check out the handy video below for a visual demonstration of the basics of Roller Derby!