Up until last week, I practically had no idea what roller derby really is. All I knew was that it’s a female-dominated sport played on roller skates and that was it. But last Friday I came across an interesting article about the increasing popularity of roller derby in South Africa, which kindled the fire of curiosity in me and got me researching and gathering information about this unique sport. So, if you are interested in learning the basics of roller derby, then you are exactly where you need to be.
The Rules of Roller Derby
Every sport comes with its own rules, and roller derby is no exception. One roller derby match is made up of a series of two-minute countdown jams during which the two teams try to score as many points as possible. At the beginning of each jam, the two teams send five players onto the elliptical track: one point scorer and four blockers (one of which – the pivot – is a special kind of blocker).
The players are identified by their helmets – the jammers (or the point scorers) wear helmets with one or two stars, whereas the pivots wear striped ones. The active jammers score points by legally passing opposing skaters on their second and subsequent passes.
The most remarkable thing about this sport is the fact that the blockers are both defensive and offensive players, as they are trying their best to protect their jammer from the opposing players and stop the opposing jammer from scoring points at the same time. That’s precisely what makes this sport a high-adrenaline one.
Roller Derby Gear
When it comes to gear for roller derby, you should know that professional derby skaters are always well-equipped and protected, which means that you should be as well if you want to fully experience the beauty of this incomparable physical activity. Given the fact that roller derby is a very dynamic and aggressive sport (the players are allowed to shove their opponents and hit specific parts of their bodies), playing it without the right gear for roller derby is never a smart idea. A careful derby skater owns and uses a tough and comfortable helmet, a nice mouth guard, quality knee pads, elbow pads, and of course durable roller skates that fit them perfectly. Wearing stable yet agreeable roller skates means having a great base, for in this game everything starts and ends on skates.
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to see a roller derby bout soon and enjoy everything it has to offer. Who knows, maybe the whole watching experience will inspire me to become a skater myself. I’ll let you know if that happens.