The Rules of Roller Derby
Roller Derby is played on quad-skates. Five skaters from each team are allowed on the track at once. Skaters move in a counter-clockwise direction. Each roller derby bout consists of a series of Jams, each lasting as long as two minutes.
Each team has one scoring position, called the Jammer. At the start of each Jam, the Jammers, which are designated by stars on their helmets, start behind the other skaters. The other four positions on each team are called Blockers and make up what is known as the Pack. When the initial whistle is blown, the Jammers race each other to get through the Pack. Blockers try to keep the opposing team's Jammer from getting through the Pack while simultaneously helping their own Jammer to get past the other team's Blockers.
The first Jammer to legally get through the pack is the Lead Jammer. The Lead Jammer wins the ability to call off the jam at any time, by placing their hands on their hips repeatedly. On the second pass through the Pack, Jammers score a point for each member of the opposing team they pass legally.
Throughout a Jam, you may hear a single whistle, indicating a penalty issued to one of the skaters, who will then leave the track and serve their penalty in the penalty box. 2 short whistles indicate Lead Jammer. 4 short whistles indicate the end of the Jam (which can last a maximum of 2 minutes).
To read more about the rules of roller derby and the various penalties incurred, please visit: www.wftda.com/rules, or ask one of our skaters at your first bout!