Here’s how it works:
- At the start of the jam, each team fields five players – one jammer, one pivot and three blockers
- On the whistle the pivots and blockers skate in a tight formation (the pack).
- The jammers sprint and attempt to pass through the pack once – at which time no points are scored – but a lead jammer position can be established.
- On the second lap the jammers can start scoring points – one for each opposing skater they pass (whilst in bounds and without penalties).
- The blockers job is to stop the opposing jammer from scoring points by using tactics such as impeding their momentum and using hips or shoulders to deliver body blows.
- The blockers are also simultaneously trying to assist their own jammer through the pack.
- The jammers may continue to race and score points for two minutes or until the lead jammer, calls off the jam (by putting her hands on her hips).
- The teams then reset, field another five skaters, and the fun begins again.
- The team with the most points at the end of the bout wins!
Roller derby is a full contact sport where players can bash other players out of the way but… like any sport there are many fine print rules and strategies – here are a few illegal moves that will result in a major penalty and one minute in the sin bin!
- Back blocking (pushing a skater from behind)
- Use of elbows or forearms to gain advantage over opposition skater
- Re-entering the track in front of a skater who knocks you out of bounds (cutting)
- Blocking 20 feet ahead or behind the pack
- Deliberate falling in front of another skater
If you like watching women with serious roller skating skills kick ass on the track then you need to check out our events page to see when the Hellfire Harlots are competing next.
Or maybe you’d rather get involved, learn to play or become a ref!