Roller Derby is a full-contact sport on roller skates- Without a ball! Without rackets
In Roller Derby, two teams compete on an oval track, each with a maximum of 15 players. A game (bout) lasts two times 30 minutes, with each half (period) being divided into jams of a maximum of two minutes. Five players per team start in each jam. The four blockers of both teams form a pack during the jam and try to prevent the opposing jammers from passing and scoring. After the initial round, which determines the lead jammer, each jammer gets one point for each opponent legally lapped.
Competitions will be held under the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) rules.
NSO’S & SO’S
Being part of the roller derby community doesn’t always mean just being on track as a player: Above all, our team relies on dedicated Referees. The referees’ job is to make sure the game runs as fairly and smoothly as possible at a roller derby bout. There are two types of Referees: Skating Officials (SOs) and Non-Skating Officials (NSOs). Usually, three to eight SOs whistle at a bout—these skaters are distributed in the infield and outfield. The main tasks of the SOs are the awarding of penalties, the granting of points, and, very importantly: ensuring fair gameplay. The SOs wear classic black and white striped jerseys. That is why they are also called zebras. On the other hand, the tasks of the NSOs are also very versatile. They are not on skates and stand distributed on and off the field. Among other things, they start and time jams, record penalties, stop the time the players have to spend in the penalty box, or inform the teams about the score with the help of the scoreboard. NSOs often wore pink in the past, so they were also called flamingos. Now, the usual NSO color is black.
We have training and practice opportunities for our referees. Interested people can participate in our newbie courses, where they learn the basics of skating and the game. During internal practice games, they can prove their knowledge and give feedback to the players: inside for a clean flow of the game. In addition, we also try to organize boot camps specifically for SOs and NSOs. Referees are full members of our team. They can participate in decision-making processes and projects and get involved in different working groups.
As a Referee, there are many opportunities to network with the national and international community and gain experience in bouts and games outside of the home league. In general, our team is always looking for SOs & NSOs who feel like becoming part of our team.
To prevent injuries, we play derby with special protective gear: we use quad skates, a helmet, a mouth guard, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads. It is essential to get the right fit because equipment that is too big/loose or too small/tight is not only uncomfortable but can even pose a risk of injury. There is a guide to check the fit of your equipment from the WFTDA that you can access here (available in English).
If you are a beginner (newbie) and don’t know how to choose the right equipment for you, you don’t have to worry, because in our newbie course we will give you tips and recommendations for the purchase. Since complete derby equipment can be expensive, there is the possibility to rent equipment for the first time. Even after that, we support players with the purchase of new equipment.
Blocking is an essential part of the game, and there are some rules to ensure the safety of all players. Each position (Jammer, Pivot, and Blocker) can block intentionally or unintentionally. Still, in any case, they may only use certain parts of the body (the so-called block zones) and only target specific parts of the opponent’s body (the so-called target zones).
The block zones are the torso, arms above the elbow, and legs above the middle of the thigh.