The Rules of Roller Derby
You can find the official WFTDA rules at the WFTDA site here: WFTDA Rules
The short and sweet version of roller derby's rules:
Pivot - Skates in the very front of the pack, controls pack speed and serves as a last line of defense against the opposing jammer. Can become jammer IF jammer passes the helmet cover to her.
Blocker - One of three blockers on her team, works together with other blockers and her pivot to help her jammer through the pack while stopping the opposing jammer. This includes moving opposing blockers out of the way, assisting her jammer, and blocking the opposing jammer.
Jammer - Point scoring player. Starts 20 feet behind the rear of the pack at a dead start. She has to skate through the entire pack one time and lap the pack before she can begin to score points. She receives one point for each skater on the opposite team that she passes legally. Can strategically pass her helmet cover to her pivot if she gets stuck in the pack..
A bout consists of 60 minutes of play, either in three 20-minute periods or two 30-minute periods. Each period is composed of an unlimited number of jams which can last up to 2 minutes. After each jam, the teams have no more than 30 seconds to line up for the next jam. If a skater is not on the track when the whistle is blown, her team must skate short.
- There are always going to be two teams on the track at once, no more and no less.
- Each team can have no more than five skaters on the track at one time.
- Each team is made up of one pivot, three blockers, and one jammer.
- The pivot is designated by a striped helmet cover, while the jammer is designated by a helmet cover with a large star on both sides. Blockers do not wear helmet covers.
Illegal maneuvers to watch for:
- One long whistle blast signals the beginning of a jam and for the pack to start skating.
- Two short whistle blasts are blown to signal the jammer start.
- Four whistle blasts signal the end of the jam, which can happen because the two minutes elapsed or because the lead jammer called off the jam.
- The lead jammer is the first jammer to get through the pack without passing any opposing blocker while out of bounds or committing a penalty on any opposing blocker while passing them. The lead jammer can call off the jam anytime she wants after lead jammer status has been earned. Referees will signify lead jammer status with one short whistle blast and by pointing to the jammer.
- Grabbing or use of hands
- Blocking with forearms
- Tripping, kicking, or blocking with feet/legs
- Pushing, shoving, punching or holding
- Swinging or jabbing elbows
- Blocking with the head
- Blocking a jammer while twenty feet ahead or behind the pack
- Hitting from behind