Hey, how do you win the game?
The team with the most points after two 30 minute periods wins the game.
Well how do you score points?
The sprinting skater with a star on her helmet is the jammer. Each team has one jammer. The jammer is the only skater who can score points by passing blockers on the opposing team. If jammers are not in bounds or make
illegal contact with opposing skaters, they do not score points. Jammers do not score on their first pass through the pack. Jammers score 1 point for each opposing blocker they pass.
Who are the blockers?
There are four blockers from each team on the floor at one time. Together, the eight of them make a pack. Blockers play offense by assisting their jammer at the same time they play defense and block the opposing jammer.
Why does that one girl have a stripe on her helmet?
The girl with the stripe is called the pivot. The pivot is a blocker who sets the pace of the pack. She watches for the opposing team’s jammer and calls out plays accordingly. If a jammer passes her star helmet cover to the pivot, the pivot can take over the jammer position.
What’s this lead jammer thing the announcers keep talking about?
The lead jammer is the first jammer to pass through the pack legally. The lead jammer is the only person who can call off a jam prior to the full two minutes. She calls off the jam by repeatedly placing her hands on her hips. The lead jammer is identified by a jammer ref pointing to her with “L” shaped arms while following beside her inside the track. Sometimes there is no lead jammer and the jam lasts the full 2 minutes.
Why are girls sent to the penalty box?
Girls are sent to the penalty boxes because they have committed a penalty. A penalty is a violation that causes a “change in play.” The standard time in the box used to be one minute, and has recently changed to 30 seconds, but girls do extra time for getting sassy with the refs. You should always BOO loudly when your FAVE skaters are sent to the box.
Why isn’t anyone blocking?
When the pack does not skate together, this is called a split pack and no one is allowed to block or assist. At this point in time, you should begin to yell, “Pack it up!” If a jammer is 20 feet behind or 20 feet in front of the pack, blockers should NOT engage her. Hence, everyone yells, “20 feet!”
What are the no-no’s in blocking?
- No back blocking
- No “clothes-lining”
- No forearms or elbows
- No grabbing, holding, pulling or tripping
- No intentional falling in front of opposing skaters
- No fighting
- No biting
This SOUNDS easy enough, but I still get lost sometimes watching the game.
We don’t blame you, there are over 60 pages of rules that referees and players must know! Our governing body, WFTDA, has a whole section devoted to rules on their website (link at the top of this page). And you can always ask your favorite derby girl to explain it . . . after she’s done playing of course!