Roller Derby 101 

Derby 101

The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby

All bouts that the IE Derby Divas participate in are governed by the rules set by the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) which can be found at the WFTDA Rules Central - Click Here!

Basic Bout Structure

A bout is 60 minutes in length, consisting of two 30-minute periods. There are several jams within a period. A jam may last up to two minutes. There are two teams competing to earn points. Each team has one Pivot, three Blockers, and one Jammer. The Pivots and Blockers form what is called “the Pack.”

The Jammer is the designated point-scorer for each team. The first Jammer to legally pass through the Pack may retain a special privilege called Lead Jammer status. The Lead Jammer is the only player able to call off a jam before a full two minutes has passed. Any Jammer may legally pass their helmet cover to their designated Pivot, which transfers the role as the point-scorer to the Pivot for the remainder of the jam. If a Lead Jammer is called on a penalty or she passes her helmet cover to a Pivot, that team will lose Lead Jammer status for that jam (the ability to call off the jam before the two minutes is up).

After the initial pass, a Jammer will earn a point for each opposing player she legally passes. She must lap the track for each scoring pass.

All players are subject to illegal gameplay penalties, which result in a 30-second trip to the penalty box. Penalties include, but are not limited to: grabbing or use of hands; blocking with forearms; tripping, kicking, or blocking with feet/legs; pushing, shoving, punching or holding; swinging or jabbing elbows; blocking with the head; blocking a jammer while twenty feet ahead or behind the Pack (outside of the Engagement Zone); hitting from behind, etc.

The team that earns the most points at the end of a 60-minute bout is the victor.


Pivot – The Pivot is a designated player on each team who wears the helmet cover with the stripe. The Pivot may skate in the front of the pack, controls pack speed and serves as a last line of defense against the opposing jammer. If the Jammer legally passes the helmet cover to the Pivot, the Pivot may become the Jammer for the remainder of that jam and is eligible to score points. However, the Pivot may not retain Lead Jammer status.

Blockers – Blockers work with the Pivot to assist their Jammer through the Pack, as well as stop the opposing jammer from passing.

Jammer – The Jammer is the designated point-scorer for each team who wears the helmet cover with the star. One point is earned for each skater she legally passes on the opposing team. The Jammer must lap the track for each scoring pass (her initial pass is not eligible for points).


One short whistle blast signals the start of a jam.

Two short whistle blast signals when lead jammer has been established.

Four whistle blasts signal the end of the jam (this occurs at the end of a two-minute jam or if the Lead Jammer calls off the jam.).