What is roller derby?
Roller derby is a contact sport based on formation roller skating around a track. The type of derbying the NEO Rock ’n’ Roller Girls do takes place on a flat-surface track, with each skater wearing quad-skates, not inline. [For details on the NEO Rock ’n’ Roller Girls, see related story above.]
There are always two teams on the track at once. Each can have no more than five skaters on the track at one time.
Each team is comprised of one pivot that controls the pace of the pack, three blockers and one jammer that scores points. A bout consists of three 20-minute periods. Each period is composed of an unlimited number of jams that can last up to 2 minutes.
A jam is a two-minute countdown period where teams attempt to score points. Points only can be scored by jammers, who attempt to pass the pack and lap around as many times as possible.
To impede the progress of the opposing team’s jammer, players can block using body parts above the hips, excluding their hands and head. Blocking with forearms is allowed, although blockers must use care with their elbows, which may not be used in blocking.
For more information on the rules of roller derby as followed by the NEO Rock ’n’ Roller Girls, visit the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Web site at www.wftda.com.
— By Mike D’Agruma