Flat track roller derby is the latest incarnation of the sport. Harder, faster and 100% REAL, this version is here to stay. Missing the banked track? Not for long. Flat track roller derby brings the audience up-close to the action (roller girl in your lap anyone?) and allows us to play wherever we want.
So what’s the point of it?
Each team has a jammer: the one with the star on her helmet. It’s her job to get through the pack and score points. The other four players on each team, the blockers, block and hit the opposing jammer to keep her from scoring, while helping their own jammer get through.
Bouts are made up of two 30-minute halves, broken into “jams.” Each jam can last up to two minutes, or be as short as a jammer wants. See, the first jammer to get through the pack without getting any penalties, earns “lead jammer” status, which allows her to call off the jam at any time. She does this by placing her hands on her hips. She can call it off for many reasons, like to keep the other jammer from scoring.
Our international governing body, WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association), was formed in 2004 to help “promote and foster the sport of women’s flat track derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among member leagues.” They’re responsible for our rules and rankings. As of january 1, 2015, there are 302 member leagues worldwide, and 71 apprentice leagues.