Flat Track Roller Derby is the next generation of the 1970’s sport of roller derby. It is a high speed full contact team sport which requires skating skill, strategy and a high level of athletic ability. It can be played on any flat surface which is suitable for skating and is approximately 90′ by 135′ is size. This includes hockey rinks, most basketball courts, some parking lots, large warehouses and even retasked aircraft hangers. The DIY nature allows any group of skates to start a league, learn about roller derby, practise, and start playing.
© 2011 Ann Recsky
To play roller derby, each team fields 4 blockers and one jammer (who scores the points). On the first whistle the blockers start rolling and then on the second whistle (which is actually two fast whistles) the jammers go. After an initial pass to establish lead jammer (who has the privledge of calling off the jam) the jammers try to pass as many opposing blockers as possible to score as many points as possible.
Players are not allowed to make illegal contact with the opposing team. Illegal contact includes elbows, use of forearms/hands, low blocking, back blocking, blocking with the head or contact above the shoulders. Players must also attempt to stay inbounds during the jam and may not use the out-of-bounds area to pass other skaters (called “cutting” the track).
Check out this amazing video (courtesy of the Hammer City Roller Girls) about the basics of Flat Track Roller Derby.
For more on the ins and outs of roller derby can be found at WTFDA.com.