Announcers, fans, and players frequently use specialized derby terms. Check out these commonly used words to brush up on your derby lingo and have a better understanding of the game at your next bout.
An oval-shaped track that is angled toward its center. The track is more slightly angled in the straightaway, and more sharply angled in the turns.
A roller derby game
A player trying to assist her team’s jammer through the pack while preventing the opposing team’s jammer from getting through the pack.
CALLING OFF THE JAM
An action a jammer does by repeatedly putting their hands on their hips, thereby ending the play; this can only be done by the lead jammer. The official indicates the jam has ended with 4 short whistle blasts.
CUTTING THE TRACK
When a player is knocked out of bounds and advances position when they re-enter the track.
An oval-shaped playing surface on the flat ground. Often on smooth concrete, wooden floors, or sport court.
The out-of-play area in the middle of the track.
A period of game play lasting no more than 60 seconds (banked track) or 120 seconds (flat track) during which teams compete to score points. A jam may end when time elapses or when the lead jammer calls off the jam.
Identified by a helmet cover with a star, the player who scores points by passing players on the opposite team; the jammer does not score points until their second pass through the pack.
On the banked track it is simply the jammer that is in the lead once they have cleared the pack once; on the flat track it is the first jammer through the pack without penalties and maintains lead jammer status until the end of the jam. Once assigned, the lead jammer can call off the jam at any time during the jam.
The jammer’s first pass through the pack wherein no points are scored.
The largest group of blockers and pivots from both teams; upright, inbounds, and skating within proximity of each other. Blockers and pivots must stay within 20 feet of the pack in order to legally make contact with other skaters.
PIVOT – A special type of blocker, designated by a striped helmet cover, that often is the play caller and controls the speed of the pack on the track during jams. In the case of a star pass, the pivot may serve as the backup jammer.
A jam (or portion of a jam on the flat track) in which one team’s jammer is in the penalty box leaving the opposing team’s jammer the only point scorer on the track.
Proximity is defined as not more than 5 feet in banked and 10 feet in flat (as measured from the hips) in front of or behind the nearest pack skater.
A special play in which the jammer can pass her helmet cover to the pivot which then allows the pivot to be the jammer and therefore score points for her team for the remainder of the jam.
Contributing Photographer: Tristan King