In the beginning of each jam, four players from each team (made up of three Blockers and one Pivot) line up on the track between the Pivot and Jammer lines.
One Jammer for each team lines up behind the Jammer line. Positions are designated by the designs on their helmets, Blockers’ helmets are plain, Pivot’s are striped and Jammers have a star on each side. The Jammer scores points by making their way through the pack, scoring a point for each opposing skater they pass. The Pivots set the pace for the pack and serve as a “last line of defense” for their teams. Blockers serve to block the opposing Jammer and to help their own Jammer through the pack.
One whistle blast from the ref starts the pack and Jammers going. Four rapid whistle blasts end each jam.
The first time though the pack no points are score, however, the Jammer who makes in through the pack first becomes lead Jammer for that jam (two-minute period.) The lead Jammer can call off the jam at any time until the two minutes are up by placing their hands on their hips. Points are scored on all subsequent passes through the pack. Bouts are usually broken down into two thirty minute periods and made up of jams which last two minutes each unless the lead Jammer calls it off early.
Penalties are part of the game. The players are assessed for illegal blocking, fighting and general unsportsmanlike behaviour. A penalty results in a trip to the penalty box for the offending skater for a set period of time, or in more serious cases, the skater can be ejected from the bout entirely.
For official Roller Derby rules please visit www.wftda.com.