The Short and Sweet How To Play Roller Derby – World Skate Rules Set

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The Short and Sweet How To Play Roller Derby World Skate Rules Set
  • Basic Gameplay: Roller derby games are typically divided into two periods, each consisting of multiple short games called “jams.” During a jam, both teams field five skaters: one “jammer” and one pivot, (the pivot, and the jammer are point scorers) and 3 blockers. Blockers do not score points they block opposing blockers and point scorers. The blocker’s job is to play offense and defense at the same time.
  • Scoring: The jammer is the primary scorer, distinguished by wearing a star on her helmet cover. However, in certain situations, the pivot, distinguished by a stripe on her helmet cover can also act as a scorer. If a jammer is unable to break out of the pack, her pivot has the opportunity to take over as the point scorer for their team. Once the pivot successfully breaks out of the pack, they assume the role of the point scorer and the jammer is acting as a blocker until the jam ends.
  • Start of the Jam: Jams begin with a pack of blockers from both teams starting together. The jammers start behind the pack and must maneuver through the blockers to become the lead jammer.
  • Lead Jammer & Pivot Breaks The first jammer to break through the pack legally is designated as the lead jammer. Once lead jammer has been established, this means the opposing pivot can break out of the pack and serve as point scorer for her team if her jammer has not broken out of the pack.
    The lead point scorer can call off the jam when she has passed at least one opposing blocker.
  • Penalties: Players can receive penalties for infractions such as tripping, blocking to the back, or illegal use of hands. Penalties result in the offending player being sent to the penalty box for a specified duration, leaving their team short-handed.
  • Legal Blocking Zones: Blockers can engage opponents using legal blocking zones (shoulders, arms, and hips) but are prohibited from using the head, elbows, or lower arms.
  • Pack Definition: The pack is defined as the largest group of blockers from both teams skating within a certain proximity to each other. The pack plays a crucial role in gameplay, and certain rules are designed to maintain its integrity.
  • End of the Jam: A jam ends when the lead scorers calls off the jam by placing her hands on her hips, or the jam can end after a one 90 seconds period elapses. 


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