A roller derby bout consists of two thirty-minute periods. Each period has an unlimited number of up to two minute “jams.” There are always two teams on the track. Each team is made up of one jammer, one pivot, and three blockers.
The first whistle blows and the pack (the pivots and blockers of both teams skating in close proximity) takes off, keeping the pace set by the pivot. When the last member of the pack crosses the pivot line, the second whistle blows and the jammers take off. Roller derby is essentially a race, with each jammer juking, dodging and sprinting her way through the pack. Her team’s blockers help her get through the pack and attempt to knock out of bounds or stall the opposing jammer, while the opposing blockers try to do the same. The first jammer to make it through the pack is “lead jammer” and can call off the jam at any point by placing her hands repeatedly on her hips. The jammers will not score points on their first pass through the pack, but instead have to sprint around and re-enter the pack again. This time, they earn a point for every opposing blocker they pass. The jam runs for two minutes, or until the lead jammer calls it off.
I am primarily a blocker, meaning I do my best to keep the other team’s jammers from scoring points. I have been an occasional Pivot in scrimmages, and am always up to play recreational Jammer. Check out the FAQ section of the first link below for more rules of the game:
Women’s Flat Track Derby Association — Home of everything roller derby.
Think You’re Clever? Odds are someone already has that derby name you thought up last week in that bar with your friends after watching “Whip It.”
Back in the Day — Roller Derby History — Everything you want to know about the game as it was, and how it got to be what it is.
Keep checking back here. I’ll probably post some good photos of yours truly bouting throughout the season.
|This is my derby face. You don’t want to get in it.|
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