About Flat Track Derby

Roller Derby aka Flat Track Roller Derby is a contact team sport that evolved in 2001. Very much different from it's original "Sports Entertainment" incarnation, but still retaining some of the former's mainstays such as player names, wardrobe, team names and terminology. It has quickly grown to encompass a great array of leagues throughout the world.

How The Game is Played

Click Here For The Official WFTDA Rules

The skaters wearing a helmet cover with a star on it are the jammers. After making it through the pack of blockers once, the jammer begins scoring points for each opposing blocker she passes legally and in bounds. She can also score points on opponents who are in the penalty box. Blockers are trying to stop the opposing team’s jammer while helping their own jammer get through.

The Track:

Inside: 148’6”
Outside: 236’ 6”

Designed Areas
Inside Arc Compass
Outside Arc Compass
First Straightaway
Second Straightaway
First Curve
Second Curve

Note: For safety and visibility the track surface, boundaries, safety zone and Penalty Box must be clearly lit.

The Game:

Game is played with two 30 minute periods with a break of at least five minutes between periods

Period ends when the last jam reaches its natural conclusion. This last jam may extend past the expiry time on the period clock.

If 30 seconds or less remain on the period clock when a jam ends there will not be another jam unless a timeout or Official Review is called by one of the teams

Jams last up to two minutes, there are 30 seconds between jams.
A game may never end in a tie score if the score is tied at the end of a game an overtime jam will determine the winner. After one minute a full two minute jam will be skated.

Each team is allowed three one minute timeouts per game
Officials can call an Official Time Out at any point

Penalty Box (aka Sin Bin)
Penalty box must have seats to accommodate six skaters and must be in a neutral area.

Official Period Clock
Official Jam Clock
Penalty Clocks

Jam Starting Whistle One short
Lead Jammer Two rapid
Penalty One long
Jam Called Off/Ended Four Rapid

Official Reviews
A teams is guaranteed one official review per period
The Head Referee will conference with both team captains and/or Designated Alternates
The Head Referee’s Decision is final.
Only the immediate preceding jam is subject to Official Review

The Skaters Positions

Blocker: Positional skaters that form the pack usually four one of who may be a Pivot Blocker. Blockers do not score points. Blockers line up behind the Pivots and ahead of the Jammers

Pivot Blocker (Pivot): A special subset of a blocker. They must wear a Pivot Helmet cover to have any of the Pivot position rights and privileges. Their privileges include lining up on the pivot line and in certain circumstances take over the position of the Jammer (passing the star). A Pivots Helmet cover must have a single solid stripe (min 2 inches wide) running from front to back and must be high contrast and visible.

Jammer: A Jammer’s role is to score points. Each team is permitted one Jammer per Jam. Jammers line up on or behind the Jammer Line. A Jammer’s privileges include lead jammer status which enables them of calling off the jam prior to the expiration of two minutes and may pass their position to The Pivot (passing the star). A Jammer’s Helmet Cover must have two stars that are a minimum 4 inches (10cm) across from point to point.

Lead Jammer: A lead jammer is the only skater that can call off a jam prior to the two minute jam clock ending. Their position is established on the Jammer’s initial pass through the pack during a jam and they must be in bounds to obtain Lead Jammer Status as well as being ahead of the foremost in-play blocker.

Passing The Star: A Jammer can pass their position to their own pivot, allowing the pivot to become the scoring skater for the duration of the jam. The pivot must be grabbing the star when the jammer releases it and must be in the engagement zone.

The Pack: The pack is any group of in-bounds, upright blockers. Blockers must maintain a pack at all times.

All players must display their number on each sleeve or arm and must display their unique number on the back of their uniform.

Quad skates must be used.


Blocking is any physical contact made to an opposing player or placement of a player’s body to impede another opponents speed or moving.

Legal Target Zones:
- arms and hands
- chest, front and side of the torso
- the hips
- the mid and upper thigh

Illegal Target Zones
- Above the shoulders
- The back of the torso, back of the buttocks or back of the thigh
- Below mid-thigh

Legal Blocking Zones
- the from the shoulder to the elbow
- the torso
- the hips and buttocks
- the mid and upper thigh

Illegal Blocking Zones
- The elbows
- The forearms and hands
- The head
- Below mid-thigh

A Jammer does not score points on their first pass through the pack. This initial pass is to determine lead jammer status.

To score a jammer must pass the opponent hips while inbounds and upright. Points are awarded when a jammer passes each opponent. Points are announced by hand signal once the jammer has exited the front of the engagement zone. Jammers can score points while in the air provided they land in bounds on the jump.


Head Referee: The Ultimate Authority. Assigns positions and duties to the other referees and Non-Skating Officials (NSOs)

Jammer Referees: Two Referees responsible for observing the Jammers. One per team.

Pack Referees: The Remaining Referees that observe The Pack

Each game will have no fewer than three referees and nor more then seven.

Non-Skating Officials (NSOs)

Scorekeepers (2)
Penalty Trackers (min 1)
Penalty Timing Officials (min 2)
Scoreboard Operator (1)
Jam Timer (1)

Acronym Meanings

HR - Head Referee
IPR - Inside Pack Referee
JR - Jammer Referee
OPR - Outside Pack Referees
ALT - Alternate

HNSO - Head Non-Skating Official
PT - Penalty Tracker
PW - Penalty Wrangler
IWB - Inside White Board
SK - Scorekeeper
SO - Scoreboard Operator
JT - Jam Timer
PBT - Penalty Box Timer
PBM - Penalty Box Manager
LT - Line-up Tracker
LTS - Line-up Tracker Sheet
ALT - Alternate

Safety Personnel

The hosting team must provide at least two licensed or certified medical professionals with expertise in emergency and urgent medical care. Captains are responsible for supplying medical personnel with skaters’ medical and/or emergency contact information.

Penalty Codes

B - Blocking to the Back
A - High Block
L - Low Block
E - Elbows
F - Forearms/Hands
H - Block with the Head
M - Multi-Player Block
O - Out of Bounds Blocking
C - Direction of Gameplay
P - Out of Play
X - Cutting the Track
S - Skating Out of Bounds
I - Illegal Procedure
N - Insubordination
Z - Delay of Game
G - Misconduct

Officiating Verbal Cue: “Team Colour, Skater Number, Penalty Type”

Approved Verbal Cues

Blocking to The Back: “Back Block”
Blocking to The Head/High Blocking:” High Block”
Low Blocking: “Low Block”
Use of Elbows: “Elbows”
Use of Forearms and Hands: “Forearms”
Blocking with the Head: “Blocking with the Head”
Multi-Player Blocks: “Multi-Player Block”
Out of Bounds: “Out of Bounds Assist” “Out of Bounds Block”
Direction of Game Play: “Clockwise Block” “Stopped Block” “Clockwise Assist” “Stopped Assist”
Out of Play: “Failure to Return” “Failure to Reform” “Out of Play Block” “Illegal Return” “Out of Play Assist” “Destroying The Pack”
Cutting The Track: “Cutting”
Skating Out of Bounds “Skating Out of Bounds”
Illegal Procedures: “Failure to Yield” “Too Many Skaters” “Illegal Call-off” “Illegal Re-entry” “Illegal Engaging” “Penalty Box Violation” “Uniform Violation” “Star Pass Violation” “Bench Staff Violation” “Equipment Violation” “Interference” “Stalling” “Illegal Positioning”
Insubordination: “Insubordination”
Delay of Game: “Delay of Game”
Misconduct/Gross Misconduct: “Misconduct/Gross Misconduct”

Penalty Box Verbal Cues

“Team Colour, Skater Number, Stand”
“Team Colour, Skater Number, Done”
“Timing Stopped for Team Colour, Skater Number”
“Team Colour, Skater Number, You’re in The Queue”

Other Verbal Warnings

“Out of Play”
“No Pack”
“Pack is Here”
“Five Seconds”
“Jam is On”
“Team Colour, Skater Number, False Start”
“Team Colour, Skater Number, Remain on The Track”
“Team Colour, Skater Number, Report to The Box”
“Team Colour, Skater Number, Return to Your Bench”
“Team Colour, Skater Number, Remove Your Cover”

Click Here For The Official WFTDA Rules

Click Here For a Glossary of Official Terms and Other Terms Used In The Sport