I haven’t seen Whip It, the roller derby movie with Drew Barrymore, but now I want to. We’ve been to our first roller derby match, and it was awesome!
You gotta love a sport where the players have names like: Mental Block, Divine Wreckage, Assay Kicker, Clara Form, Crimes New Roman, Judy Additudy, Hellen Bed, Ashlee Juggz (#34DD), Jane Scayre, Katherine Hipburn, Asalt N Pepper…
This indoor track sport has a set of rules that is easy to understand on a basic level. What’s harder is to figure out what’s legal and what’s not legal.
Basically, there are two teams. Each team starts with four blockers (or rather, three blockers and a pivot), and one jammer. The jammers start skating behind the blockers, and try to pass them. For each blocker from the other team that the jammer passes, the jammer’s team gets a point. The match consists of two 30 minute rounds, and within each round is a series of two minute (or less) “jams.” The lead jammer (the one who gets out first) can end the jam by flapping her arms like a chicken. Here's a summary of official rules.
While they are skating around, the blockers do their thing by hip checking, elbowing, holding hands, and doing what they can to prevent the other team’s jammer from passing.
If you're looking for roller derby in California, there are teams in San Jose and San Francisco, as well as Redwood City, Antioch, Monterey, Modesto, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Stockton and more. The kids had a blast watching too.