Ever wonder what the point of Roller Derby is?

When you hear the phrase "Roller Derby", what comes to mind? A bunch of angry butch women on rollerskates, throwing punches and flying across the track, right? Me too.

Then one afternoon I was struck with genius. Maybe Roller Derby is more than angry butch women trying to knock each other's teeth out!

Turns out, there are like, rules and stuff!

First of all, a Roller Derby competition is actually called a bout, which is three separate periods of 20 minutes each. It's played between two teams of five women apiece. The team with the most points at the end of all three periods is the winner.

A team can have up to twelve women in it, but only five can be on the track at one time. The positions of the five are as follows: One pivot (marked with a stripe on her helmet), three blockers, and one jammer (marked with a star on her helmet).

At this point, we have ten women on the track. Two pivots, six blockers, and two jammers. Everyone begins the period in pack formation, which is the two pivots in front, twenty feet ahead of the six blockers, who are ten feet ahead of the two jammers. A long whistle blow signals the beginning of the period.

PIVOT: Designated by a striped helmet cover, this player begins twenty feet ahead of the pack and determines the pace of the pack. They can never be more than twenty feet ahead of the pack or they may be disqualified.

BLOCKER: Three players on each team are blockers. They make up the 'meat' of the pack and their job is to block the jammers from passing them. Blockers cannot fall more than twenty feet behind the pack or they can be disqualified.

JAMMER: Each team has one jammer. Jammers are designated by stars on their helmets and start ten feet behind the pack. After the first whistle blow, the pack starts skating and the jammers wait until the referee signals that the jammers can go. Both jammers take off at a dead sprint and try to break through the pack first. Whoever passes all the other players first is the Lead Jammer. No points are scored until the jammers break through the pack once and start lapping players. Every player passed is one point.

So essentially, the pivots control how fast or slow the pack is skating, the blockers try to keep the jammers from passing them, and the jammers try to pass everyone so they can score more points for their teams.

These are just the very basics of Roller Derby rules, they go more in depth and get more complicated but they are difficult to explain. If you're interested in finding out more about Roller Derby, go online and search for Tucson Roller Derby, AZ Roller Derby, Texas Roller Derby, or anything similar.

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