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Roller Derby: the high-energy roller-skating team sport

This sport is high energy and super fun


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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Roller Derby is a contact sport played by two teams. Players wear roller skates and it’s played on an indoor track.

How do you play roller derby?

There are two teams who skate counterclockwise around the track. On each team, there is a player known as a ‘jammer’. The jammer scores points by lapping members of the opposite team. The teams try to stop the opposing jammer, while helping their own. Each team has up to 14 members but only plays 5 members at a time. All the players other than the jammer are known as blockers. One of the blockers on the team is called the pivot, who is the team captain who makes the decisions for the team.

How do you score in roller derby? 

You can only score in roller derby during a period of time known as jams. These happen during both halves of the game and can last for up to two minutes. Points are scored during the jam when a team's jammer laps members of the opposing team. To stop this from happening the other team will using blocking and body contact.The jammer scores a point for each member of the opposite team that they lap. 

Winning in roller derby

The team with the most points at the end of the match wins and there are no ties allowed. If there is a tie at the end of the match there is an overtime jam. If no team scores during the jam they will continue to play jams until someone does.

Where to play roller derby in Ireland

There are more and more clubs popping up around the country, and many will offer an introductory course to get you started. Find a list of roller derby leagues in Ireland here.

What do you need to play?

  • A pair of four-wheeled roller skates
  • A helmet
  • Wrist guards
  • Elbow pads
  • Knee pads
  • Mouth guards
  • Comfortable clothes

Who would it suit?

Roller Derby is really fast paced, so it suits people who want an exciting, energising sport. There are leagues for both men and women, but it is more commonly played by women. It’s a team sport, so a great opportunity to meet people.

The benefits of roller derby

  • Builds a healthy heart
  • Improves balance
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Builds strength
  • Improves endurances
  • Helps build confidence
  • Is a chance to meet new people
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Published Decem­ber 14th2015
Last updated Sep­tem­ber 21st2018
Tags exercise sport
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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