A brief introduction
Two teams line up 5 players at the starting line
Each roller derby game is made up of a series of 2 minute jams. At the beginning of each jam, both teams line up 5 players at the starting line. When the whistle goes, they skate around the track.
There are two types of player, blockers and jammers
Jammers have stars on their helmets and gain points for their team by passing opposition players on the track. Blockers try their hardest to stop them by hitting them with their shoulders, chest or hips, or by knocking the jammer out of the track.
The first jammer to get past every player becomes 'lead jammer'
The two teams' jammers race to get ahead of all the blockers first. The winner becomes "lead jammer" for the remaining time in the jam. You can always see who's become lead jammer, as the referee points directly at them.
The lead jammer can end the jam whenever they want
The jammers now skate around and try and get as many points for their team as they can. The lead jammer can end the jam whenever they want by tapping their hands on their hips. This ends the jam early and is often used to stop the other team from scoring points.
Pivots can take over as jammers when passed the helmet cover
You'll notice one blocker for each team has a striped helmet cover. These players are called pivots and can take over from the jammer if they’re tired or in trouble. Keep an eye out for helmet covers being passed on the track midway through a jam!
Watch out for those penalties
Players will be sent to the penalty bin to sit for 30 seconds if they block with their arms or legs, or if they hit against the back. They’ll also get sent to the bin if they skate outside of the track as they pass opposition players.
Jam and repeat, and repeat
At the end of a jam, the game resets, another 5 skaters from each team line up and we go again! The team with the most points after two halves of 30 minutes, wins.
Come see for yourself at our upcoming game
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Check out the BBC's guide to Roller Derby, presented by our very own Fay Roberts
Know someone that'd love roller derby?
Come and play at Rainy City!
Our new skater program is open to women and non-binary folks over 18 who want to learn to play roller derby, whether you’re an experienced skater or you’ve never put skates on in your life. Find out when the next 6-week run is on our Events page.