The Game of Roller Derby – Basic Guide

Posted on 26th August, by Martin in Roller Derby. No Comments

So you may be wondering (like I did) Roller Derby sounds awesome but what the heck are the rules?

If so I have put this blog post together to give you a basic understanding of the players needed, what they need to do and how you can score points.


roller derby track

roller derby track


So as you can see from this diagram the track is a sort of oval-roundy shape! It’s probably this shape as it is easy to go around in than a square and unlike a circle you don’t get a straight to pick up speed.

As a general rule of thumb all of the skaters need to skate in the anti-clockwise direction (the way the arrow is pointing).

There are two teams (in this case a red team and a green team). Each team on the track is made up of 5 girls. 3 of these lovely ladies will be blockers (indicated here as a red or green circle). Each team also has a pivot. This is depicted as the circle with a white stripe running through it she can also take the role of a blocker but is the leader of the pack and shout orders at the rest of the team. Then there is also a Jammer on each team (these are the stars on the picture they will have a star on their helmet).

So all of these ladies line up on the track in two places. At the line at the front the three blockers and the pivot for each team need to line up there they don’t have to be in the order show in the pic as long as they are behind the first line. Behind the second line you will notice the two jammers (the stars).

Once the players are ready the referee will blow the whistle once and the blockers and the pivots can all start skating away. As soon as the last player of that group has crossed the line the ref will blow the whistle twice and then the two Jammers are allowed to go.

This is where the action starts!

So now that the jammers have been set free it is there job to get past the girls on the opposing team. For each team member that they pass they get 1 point. The first Jammer to get through the pack becomes the lead jammer and then has the power to stop the jam at any given time usually when they have got more points than the other team, to increase their lead in the score.

So the blockers have to stop the jammer from passing them and scoring points. Which means…you get to block them and stop them from passing, you can knock them down, barge them out off the track or even knock them into other players. Obviously there are rules in how you do this. For example no tripping her up, punching her in the face or choking her. Sorry but they are the rules!!

Later on we will go through acceptable and not acceptable ways of blocking as well as ref hand signals so you know exactly what you are doing wrong when the ref shouts at you!

I hope this has helped you get to grips with the basic understanding of the sport and how you score points.

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