Roller Derby Primer: An Introduction To Derby Rules And Terms

Brush Up On Your Derby Knowledge

Sonja Dewing
1 min read
Roller Derby Primer
Derby name: Author of Pain, Affiliation: Albuquerque Roller Derby, Position: Jammer/Blocker (Eric Williams
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Two teams travel clockwise around the track and field the following three positions:

Jammer: Think of them like a human football—one person who attempts to get past the opposing team. They score one point per opposing team member they pass. They wear a star on their helmet.

Blockers: Four teammates bent on keeping the other team’s jammer behind them, and if they can, helping their own jammer through.

Pivots: One of the blockers who sets the pace for the others. The jammer is also allowed to pass the star to a pivot so the pivot can take up the jammer position. This is generally done if a jammer is having trouble getting through. The pivot has a stripe on their helmet.

Other terms:

Pack: The group of blockers from both teams. They must stay within 10 feet of each other, or members can be called out for being “out of play.”

Bout: A one-hour roller derby game divided into two 30-minute periods.

Jam: The actual game-play of roller derby. It lasts 2 minutes at a time, unless it is called off by the lead jammer.

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