The basics:

The sport of Roller Derby consists of two teams of four defensive players (3 blockers and 1 pivot) and one jammer – the point scorer. The game begins with the pivots and the blockers (defensive players) skating in front in a tight formation (the pack).

The jammers race to pass through the pack once, at which time no points are scored – but a “lead jammer” position can be established. They continue to race around the track a second time and attempt to pass the pack again. The jammers score one point for each opponent they lap, as long as they pass that player in bounds and without penalties.

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). Generally, a jammer scores four points each time she makes it through the pack within bounds and five points if she laps the other jammer. Like any sport, Roller Derby has many detailed rules, penalties and strategies, and obviously the team with the most points at the end of the game wins!

The no nos:

  • No tripping
  • No back blocking (pushing from behind with your arms)
  • No deliberate falling in front of another skater
  • When using arms for blocking, the arm must be bent, not extended full length
  • No use of elbows as a weapon to the chest or face
  • No blocking 20 feet ahead of or behind the pack
  • No grabbing or pulling a skater from the ground
  • It is illegal to GRAB, HOLD or PULL an opposing player – so hands off!

For more on the rules visit: or to watch some awesome games (or bouts) footage, then check out