About Roller Derby
Pikes Peak Derby Dames (PPDD) is a member league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Assocation (WFTDA), the international governing body for the sport of women’s flat track roller derby and a membership organization for leagues to collaborate and network. The WFTDA sets standards for rules, seasons, and safety, and determines guidelines for the national and international athletic competitions of member leagues. The WFTDA is split into four regions, with PPDD being located in the Western region. More about WFTDA.
How the Game is Played
Two teams compete in a series of "jams" in which each team has a Jammer who attempts to pass as many of the opposing team's players as possible. One point is scored for each opposing team member they pass during a jam.
Games between two roller derby teams are called "bouts." Each team has five skaters on the track at a time. There are three positions: Pivot, Blocker, and Jammer.
The Pack - Each team has one jammer and five blockers on the track during a jam. The group of blockers are called "the pack."
The Pivot - Wears the striped helmet cover. The pivot is a blocker who leads and controls the speed the pack, and is the last line of defense.
The Jammer - Wears the helmet cover with the star. The jammer attempts to break through pack and score points for her team by passing the opposing team's players.
The Blockers - Prevent the opposing team's jammer from passing by providing a physical barrier or forcing them out of bounds.
All players are allowed to block and hit within the engagement zone (20 feet before or after the pack).
Jams can last up to two minutes. There are as many jams within a period as time allows, with 30 seconds between jams to allow the pack to reassemble. Bouts consist of two 30-minute halves.
The Start of the Jam
The jam starts on the first whistle, with the pivots and blockers for each team starting out in a pack, and the Jammers waiting until the second whistle is blown. When the second whistle is blown, the Jammers try to break through the pack in an attempt at being the "Lead Jammer." The first Jammer to pass the opposing team's Pivot in bounds and without committing any fouls is considered the Lead Jammer, and can call off the jam at her discretion by repeatedly placing her hands on her hips. If there is no lead Jammer, the Jammers must skate the entire two minutes, trying to score as many points as possible.
No points are awarded with the first break through the pack; points begin accumulating once a Jammer has lapped the pack.
Concluding a Jam
A whistle is blown four times to signal the end of a jam for any of the following reasons:
- The maximum two minutes is expired
- The lead Jammer calls off the jam
- An emergency/injury is called
- An official timeout is called by the Referees
If the period clock expires during a jam, play continues until the jam is called.
Activities that result in a skater being sent to penalty box are:
- illegal blocking (e.g. blocking to the head or back)
- illegal use of hands
- deliberately falling as a method to block
- grabbing a skater from the ground
- fouling a skater who is down
- cutting the track
- insubordination to referee
- other minor penalties are called at the discretion of officials
You can download the official rules from the WFTDA website.