So, what IS roller derby?

Posted on March 13, 2011 by


My first impression of roller derby was that it was a bunch of tattooed chicks on wheels trying to beat each other up – like a smash ’em up demolition derby on skates!  But there’s a whole lot more to it than that.

Strangely, when people find out about my new obsession, most ask “where’s the ball”?  It seems a lot of people identify roller derby with the 1975 Rollerball movie (which I’ve never seen but am now tempted to just figure out what the hell they’re on about!)

So, for all you derby virgins, here’s a run down on roller derby.

First up – there is NO ball ok?  And no, you’re not allowed to elbow people in the face, although I’m sure it does happen “accidentally” from time-to-time.

Roller derby is a predominantly female contact sport that is played on quad roller skates.

Australian roller derby is governed by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) which provides the play rules and regulations.

A game or “bout” is comprised of two 30 minute halves which are divided into multiple “jams”.  Jams (which may last up to 2 minutes) are races between the two teams to score points.

Each team is comprised of a Jammer, a Pivot and three Blockers.  Points are scored by the Jammer passing members of the opposite team, the opposing Pivot and Blockers aim to block the Jammer on the way through to limit their score while simultaneously making a path for their own Jammer.

This page gives a good run down on the positions and the following diagram details how the game works.

Now you know what we’re on about, do yourself a solid and get along to a local game and pop your roller derby cherry! 

Here’s our local ADRD 2011 bout schedule – get yourself there!  Don’t forget to enter our roller derby tipping competition first though – only $5 for the whole season!

To buy a ticket to the first 2011 Adelaide Roller Derby League bout visit OzTix and derby wannabes will see you there!

Posted in: LimboLand