Roller Derby is a full contact sport, played by adults (over 18 yrs) on quad roller skates. Predominately played by women, it is the fastest growing women's sport in the world with over 1200 leagues internationally. At C-Max, we currently compete only with women's teams, but we have a brother league in Lightning City Rollers - Johannesburg's Men's Roller Derby team.
Roller Derby consists of two teams, each with a maximum of fourteen skaters. A Roller Derby bout is made up of two 30-minute periods. Each period is then divided into 2-minute jams, which can be ended earlier by a Lead Jammer (more on that in a moment).
Each team fields 5 skaters for a jam; 3 Blockers, 1 Pivot (distinguishable by a stripe across their helmet) and 1 Jammer (distinguishable by a star on their helmet). The Blockers and Pivots from both teams form one large pack on the track. The Jammer's job is to try and pass through the pack and to score points by legally passing players from the opposition team (on their second pass onwards). The pack will play offence and defence simultaneously, in order to both assist their own Jammer to get through, and prevent the opposition Jammer from scoring points.
The first Jammer legally through the pack is awarded Lead Jammer status and can end a jam before the two minutes are up. The team with the most points at the end of the bout wins.
There are lots of rules in Roller Derby, and breaking them means a 30 second stint in the SIN BIN (or penalty box as it is otherwise known). Here is a list of some of the most common penalties you will see in a bout:
BACK BLOCK: pushing or shoving into the back of a player which causes them to fall or lose position.
ELBOWS: the use of elbows, which causes an opponant to fall or lose position
LOW BLOCK: tripping a skater and making them fall or lose position
TRACK CUT: skating out of bounds (off the demarcated track) and re-entering in front of another player, to better your position
FOREARM: the use of the forearm in a block which causes an opponent to fall or lose position
HIGH BLOCK: a block that makes contact above the shoulders
STOP BLOCK: a skater engages an opponent whilst stationary on the track
DIRECTION OF GAME PLAY: a skater engages an opponent whilst skating in a clockwise direction (game play must move in an anti-clockwise direction. Skaters may skate in the opposite direction as long as they do not make contact with an opposing skater).
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