Flat Track Roller Derby is an exciting, full-contact sport played on quad roller skates. It is played with two teams skating counter-clockwise on an oval track. Each game is broken up into two 30-minute periods, and within those periods, into units of play called “Jams,” which last up to two minutes. There are 30 seconds between each Jam.
Each team has 15 skaters, containing jammers and blockers. Before starting a jam, the team needs to set up 5 skaters on the track. One player is designated as the jammer. The jammer will have stars on her helmet, and she is the only player that can score points for her team.
The other skaters are called blockers. It is the blockers job to stop the other team’s jammer from scoring points, while also clearing a path for their own jammer. The blockers are able to use their hips, shoulders and torsos to prevent the jammer from passing.
The jammer’s objective is to lap as many opposing blockers as she can before the jam ends. After her initial pass she can start scoring points. The jammer will score one point for every blocker she legally passes. The first jammer to emerge from the pack is named lead jammer. Jams last for a maximum of 2 minutes, but the lead jammer may strategically call it off at any time by touching her hips.
Referees will issue penalties to players for violations, such as cutting the track or hitting another player in a non-legal manner. A skater who receives a penalty is required to serve 30 seconds in the penalty box before she may return to play.
For a full list of the official rules of Roller Derby click here.