I came across this sport because i felt like throwing myself on the floor, bruising my coccyx and bumping my way around a track of girls with hard core derby names.
Newbie is the term for a player that still looks like Bambi on skates, that’s me for like the first 5 minutes of practice.
The aim of roller derby is to score as many points legally as your team jammer can, whilst blocking the opposing team from scoring. The on track team is made up of 4 blockers and 1 jammer. The jammer is the only person that can score by skating past each of the opposing players. The jammer must first win the position of lead jammer by breaking through the pack and skate one full lap of the track. On return the jammer can then score a maximum of 4 points as she passes each opposing blocker. A jam lasts for 2 minutes, however the lead jammer has the power to call off the jam in order to store her points gained and stop the opposing jammer from scoring.
Game time lasts for 60 minutes, split into two 30 minute halves.
Something that happens multiple times within a bout is the amount of penalties given out to players for foul play, out stepping the boundaries or touching an opposing team member in the wrong body zone. My new trick to accumulate penalties is to try out new moves during a game. A apex jump and transition past the opponent got me a low block and forearm penalty. I can also stock up a bag full of penalties just from falling on my arse and taking the player out behind of me.
Its also quite easy to get carried away and roll to far ahead on the track, therefore getting a penalty for causing a ‘no pack’ situation is also a very high probability in my book.
The bout is umpired by 3 refs, as well as various NSO’s that watch the clock, keep track of penalties etc. The whole roller derby experience is a very loud one, mainly a jumble of girls shouting at each other and the most high pitched screech erupting from the ref’s whistle.
Finally every derby player/official has to have a roller derby name and number. This can be as crazy, hardcore, scary and completely insane as you want it to be, but must be accepted by the registration process. I am currently residing with Sno Wipeout, as that is my forte.- my graceful falls!