Roller Derby is a full-contact sport on wheels, played on a flat oval track.
Each game is divided into segments of up to 2 minutes called jams.
JAMMER – She is the point scorer for her team and wears a star helmet cover. She must race around the track and through the pack to score points by passing players from the opposing team. One player passed = one point. This makes her the main target for the opposing Blockers!
BLOCKER – Blockers form the Pack. Their job is to stop the opposing jammer and help their own jammer through the pack. They can be both offence and defence and can change between them in heartbeat - whatever it takes!
PIVOT – One of the blockers on each team may be a Pivot, who wears a striped helmet cover. She is a specialised blocker who can set the pace of the pack and directs her team’s Blockers on track. She can also accept the star helmet cover from her Jammer and take over as point scorer.
HOW DOES A JAM WORK?
The jam begins with the two Jammers lined up behind the jam line, and the Blockers in front of them.
When the whistle goes:
• the Jammers have to dodge and race their way through the pack and round the track
• the opposing team’s Blockers do all they can to hold the Jammer back, hit her out of the track, or just knock her down!
The first time through the pack Jammers don’t score points. They fight to be first out of the pack without committing any penalties, to become Lead Jammer for that jam.
What is the Lead Jammer?
She can ‘call off the jam’ at any point by repeatedly touching her hips. This ends the jam and no more points can be scored. This can be a huge tactical advantage – for example, she can try to get as many points as possible and stop the jam before her opponent scores.
How do I know who is Lead Jammer?
The Jam Referee blows two short whistle blasts and points at her while making an L signal with the other hand (held directly upwards). The Ref points to her for the rest of the jam, so just watch where the Referee’s pointing!
What if there’s no Lead Jammer?
Sometimes both Jammers are ineligible for Lead and there is no Lead Jammer. The jam will run for the full two minutes and both jammers score as many points as they can in that time.
Once a Jammer gets out of the pack she races back round to lap opposing players and score points.
Jammers can earn 4 precious points for a complete pass through the pack, with an extra point if they lap the other Jammer – a 5 point ‘grand slam’!
The Jammer get points for any opposing players in the penalty box as soon as she gets her first point for that pass. A good incentive to stay out of the box…
WHAT DO THE BLOCKERS DO?
A Jammer is only as good as her Blockers. They make up the Pack and she relies on them to hold back the opposing Jammer and help her get through.
Blockers can stop the opposing Jammer by:
- forming walls or skating in front of her to hold her back
- hitting her out of bounds and running back so she has to come in behind them
- knocking her over
or any other legal way they can!
Blockers can help their Jammer get through the pack by:
- breaking up opposing walls
- making spaces for their Jammer
- distracting or impeding opposing Blockers
- hitting opposing Blockers out of bounds
or otherwise causing mayhem and trying to disrupt the other team’s tactics.
REFEREES AND NSOs
The referees skate around the inside and outside of the track keeping a close eye on what’s going on. They count the points scored by each jammer and call any penalties committed by the players, sending them to the penalty box. There are 7 referees in total, two Jammer Refs (one for each of the Jammers) with the other 5 watching the pack.
The NSOs (Non-Skating Officials) work closely with the referees, recording the score and penalties committed, timing skaters’ penalty time in the box, etc.
Our Refs and NSOs are very important to the League and hugely appreciated – without them we couldn’t play!
THIS SOUNDS GREAT! I WANT TO SEE A GAME.
We have regular home and away games throughout the year! Check out our calendar, grab your tickets and we'll see you there!
THIS SOUNDS SO GREAT! I WANT TO PLAY!
Excellent! We are able to teach you through our Newbie Programme "Glasgow Roller Recruits" - a 15 week block which delivers training and instruction on all the skills needed to play Roller Derby! More info here