Monday, February 3, 2014

What is Roller Derby?

This is what Derby used to look like to me:

Take 2 Jammers... one from each team... they're the ones with STARS on their helmets. 
Take 8 Blockers... four from each team....
OK, what the heck just happened?  It can really look like a cluster-cuss at the start of a jam...

Lemme try to break it down for you.

Starting with the Jammers... the STARS on their helmets give them special powers... ooooh.... they're the only ones who can score points. AND if you are the 1st jammer through the pack, you receive the bonus EXTRA power of being the only person on the track who can call the whole thing off.  Yowza! 

Now for the Blockers.  If you're a Jammer, 4 of these Blockers are your BFFs who are trying to make a path for you by knocking the pudding out of the other team's blockers.  Your blockers are also trying to stop the other team's Jammer.  The other 4 blockers (I'm sure they're lovely people off the track!) are trying to knock YOU down.  Boo.  And they're trying to let their own Jammer through.  The Blockers have a certain amount of wiggle room in their positions (tee hee), but basically they are known collectively as "THE PACK," and as such, must stay together... ish...there are RULES, you see...

If you notice one of the blockers with a STRIPE on their helmet, that means they are the PIVOT.  This is the "Bossy-Pants Blocker."  She is the one who can direct traffic, so to speak.  She tells her team where to go.  In the nicest way she can while yelling commands.  Well, it IS derby and not a tea party.

But, Nitro, how do the Jammers score points?  I'm so glad you asked.

Let's say the 1st Jammer is through... she has passed all opponents and her own team... she is now Lead Jammer.  She must now skate and skate and skate and catch that darn PACK.  She will now score one point for every opponent she passes, including the other Jammer (if she's still stuck behind your own blockers).  It's possible for both Jammers to score points in one jam.  It's also possible for neither to score.

But these are finer points for another day.  I hope this helps.  Let me know in the comments section if you have any derby questions you want answered.  I will totally be able to make something up at that point.

Keep all 8 rolling...

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