The sport of Roller Derby consists of two teams of four defensive players and one jammer – the point scorer. The game begins with the pivots and the blockers (defensive players) skating in front in a tight formation (the pack).
The jammers race to pass through the pack once, at which time no points are scored – but a “lead jammer” position can be established. They continue to race around the track a second time and attempt to pass the pack again. The jammers score one point for each opponent they lap as long as they pass that player in bounds and without penalties.
The jammers may continue to race and score points for two minutes or until the lead jammer “calls off the jam” (by putting her hands on her hips). Generally, a jammer scores four points each time she makes it through the pack within bounds and five points if she laps the other jammer! Like any sport, Roller Derby has many fine print detailed rules, penalties and strategies! And obviously, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins!
The jammer is considered a “sprint” skater and is designated by wearing a star on thier helmet. The jammers must break through the pack once and lap it before scoring. Both jammers can score on their second time through the pack, at which time they get one point for each opponent passed legally in bounds.
The lead jammer is the first jammer to break through the pack passing all the opposing blockers and pivot in bounds and without penalties. As lead jammer they may, at a strategic time, call off the jam to prevent thier opponent from scoring more points (by putting thier hands on thier hips)
Pivots are blockers that can receive a ‘star pass’ from the jammer. That is, the jammer can transfer thier jammer status to the pivot by taking off thier helmet cover and giving it to the pivot to put on. This then makes them the active jammer and they can continue to score points.
Other than the pivot, each team has three blockers on the track. Blockers play vital offensive and defensive roles, helping their jammer get through the pack while simultaneously working together to block the opposing team’s jammer.