Roller Derby Rules

Roller derby players in full flight. Credit: Pelle Sten from Stockholm, Sweden, CC BY 2.0. via Wikimedia Commons.

Introduction to the Rules of Roller Derby

Roller derby is an exciting and full-contact sport with a rich history. It originated in the United States in 1935 and has since become popular all over the world. Roller derby is played on a flat track and involves two teams of five players skating in the same direction around the track. Each team has one jammer, who is the only player that can score points. The other four players are blockers who try to help their jammer score points and prevent the opposing jammer from doing so. The rules of roller derby are designed to ensure fair competition and safety for all participants.

The rules of roller derby are designed to keep the sport fun and safe for all players. They are also designed to promote competitiveness and strategy. The rules are constantly evolving to meet the needs of the roller derby community, and to ensure that the sport remains exciting and challenging.

Roller Derby Rules


The jammer is the only player that can score points. Points are scored when the jammer passes opponents on the track. Points are also awarded for legal hitting, assists, and penalties. A jammer can score a maximum of five points per pass. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

Points can be awarded for assists when a blocker helps the jammer pass an opponent. Penalty points are awarded when a skater commits a penalty such as illegal hitting or cutting the track. If a team has committed more penalties than the other team, they may be penalized and the opposing team can be awarded points.

Team Composition

Each team consists of five players: one jammer, three blockers, and one pivot. The jammer is the only player that can score points. The blockers are responsible for helping the jammer score points by blocking opponents and creating openings for them to pass through. The pivot is the third blocker and is responsible for leading the pack and controlling the speed of the game.

The team composition can change during the game depending on the strategy of the team. Some teams may choose to have a larger team with more blockers, while others may opt to have a smaller team with more jammers. It is important for teams to have a balanced composition and to have players that can cover all the roles needed in order to be successful.

Game Play

The game is divided into two 30-minute periods, with a break in between. During each period, each team has two 30-second timeouts that can be used for strategy and coaching. The game starts with a jam, which is a two-minute period of play where the jammers try to score points. After each jam, the teams switch roles and the next jam begins.

Players must stay in bounds at all times and are not allowed to cross the pivot line. Illegal contact is not allowed and any player that commits an illegal hit may be penalized. If a player is fouled out, they must leave the track and can not return until the next jam. If a team has committed more penalties than the other team, they may be penalized and the opposing team can be awarded points.

At the end of the game, the team with the most points is the winner. Roller derby is an exciting and fast-paced sport and the rules are designed to keep the game fair and ensure the safety of all participants.

Protective Gear

Required Gear

Rollerderby is a full-contact sport, so protective gear is a must. Players must wear a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, and knee pads at a minimum. Helmets must be certified and should be replaced when they become worn or damaged. Wrist guards help protect against falls and hand injuries and should fit snugly. Elbow and knee pads should be lightweight and comfortable, and should be checked for wear and tear regularly.

It is also important for players to wear clothing that fits properly. Loose clothing can get caught in wheels or skate components, causing serious injury. Players should choose clothing made of lightweight, breathable materials that allow for maximum mobility.

Optional Gear

In addition to the required gear, there are a variety of optional items that players can choose to wear. Padding, such as chest and back protectors, can help players avoid injuries from falls and collisions. Specialized rollerderby skates, with stoppers and toe guards, can help players stay safe while skating. Shin guards may also be useful for players who want extra protection.

Players should always use caution when selecting optional gear. While some items may provide additional protection, they can also limit range of motion or be uncomfortable to wear. Players should choose items that are lightweight, comfortable, and provide the most protection possible.

Joining a League

Types of Leagues

There are a variety of different types of rollerderby leagues. Some leagues focus on recreational skating, while others focus on competition. Some leagues are co-ed, while others are all-female or all-male. Other leagues are open to all ages, while others are restricted to adults. Before joining a league, players should research the type of skating and the rules of the league to make sure it is a good fit.

Finding a League

Finding a rollerderby league is easy. The best place to start is by searching online for local leagues. Many leagues have websites where players can learn more about the league and contact the league manager. Players can also search for leagues on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Another way to find a league is by attending local events, such as skate jams, rollerderby tournaments, and community fairs. These events provide players with an opportunity to meet other players and learn more about the sport. Players can also ask friends, family, and coworkers who may be involved in rollerderby for recommendations.

Finally, players can contact their local skating rink. Many skating rinks have rollerderby leagues and may be able to provide information about how to join. Players can also ask the rink staff for advice on where to find other leagues in the area.

Roller Derby Rules – Conclusion

Roller derby is a full-contact sport with a rich history dating back to the 1930s. It is a sport that relies heavily on teamwork and strategy, and at its core, it is a game of pushing and shoving. As the popularity of the sport increased, so did the need for rules and regulations. The rules of roller derby have evolved over time to create a set of guidelines that players must follow in order to compete and remain safe during gameplay.

The rules of roller derby are simple and straightforward. The game begins with two teams of five players each. Each team has a jammer, three blockers, and one pivot. The jammer is the only player who can score points for their team. The blockers’ job is to help their jammer get through the pack of players and score points. The pivot’s job is to set the pace for the pack and help the jammer and blockers navigate the track. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

The rules of roller derby have been created to ensure the safety of all players. Roller derby is a fast-paced and physical sport, so it is important that all players follow the rules and stay within the boundaries of the game. The rules also ensure that all players have an equal chance to compete and that the playing field remains fair. Following the rules of roller derby is essential for the sport to remain safe, exciting, and fun for everyone involved.