Basic Rules

The Roles

Jammer – Designated with a star on the side of their helmet. This is the person who scores points by lapping opposing players.

Pivot – Designated with a large stripe on their helmet. This player generally sets the pace for their team, signals strategy to the other skaters and also works as a blocker.

Blocker – Play multiple roles in both defensively trying to hold the other team’s jammer back, and offensively by trying to assist their own jammer in trying to get through the pack.

The Pack – The largest group of blockers containing members of both teams. If a player is 20 feet away from the pack, they cannot engage an opponent and must yield to the opposing jammer and rejoin the pack.

The Rules

  • The first jammer to get through the pack without any penalties is declared the lead jammer and has the option to end the jam early by tapping on her hips.
  • Both jammers score points for their team by continuing to race around the track and lapping opposing players.
  • Scoring starts during the jammer’s second pass through the pack and continues until the lead jammer ends the jam or 2 minutes elapses.
  • A grand slam occurs when one jammer laps the opposing team’s jammer.
  • A power jam occurs when one jammer is in the penalty box.

Contact

Derby is a contact sport, but there are legal target zones for hitting and legal zones for blocking. Hitting or blocking outside of these zones will result in a penalty.

The following is an image of the legal target zones where  player can be hit by an opposing skater.

image of legal derby target zones

The following is an image of the legal blocking zones that a player may use to initiate contact with an opposing skater.

image of legal derby blocking zones

A few common scenarios

A jammer is trapped behind an opposing player and is then suddenly is let go.

This happens when the skater blocking the jammer is too far away from the pack and is “out of play”. She must yield to the jammer and rejoin the pack. This usually happens when the opposing team traps a blocker behind them and slows down the pack. The skater(s) in front become out of play and can no longer engage any opponents.

A jammer or blocker stops outside of the track before re-entering.

When a player is knocked out-of-bounds, she must stop and re-enter the track behind the skater who forced her off the track. The opponent on the track has the advantage, unless she has fallen down or gone out-of-bounds herself, and will stop, slow down or skate backwards, to force the other skater to re-enter the track further behind the rest of the pack.

Ref Hand Signals – What do they Mean?