NOTE: You are viewing the January 1, 2013 revision of The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby, which is officially retired.
The current version of the rules can be found at Rules Central.
Helping a teammate by giving a push or whip.
Bettering your Position
Improving your position by passing an upright and skating skater. A skater who improves their position while out of bounds by passing an upright and skating skater who is in bounds and re-entering the track in front of that skater is subject to cutting the track penalties.
Any movement on the track designed to impede or dislocate an opponent. Blocking includes the possible counter-blocking motion initiated by the opponent to counteract the block; counter-blocking is treated as a block and held to the same standards and rules. Blocking need not include contact. Impeding the movement of an opposing skater by hitting that skater or positioning yourself in their path is considered blocking.
The positional skaters that form the pack. The Pivot Blocker is one of the four Blockers per team allowed in each jam. (See Section 3.1 - Blocker)
Blocking to the Back
Any contact to the back of the torso, booty, or legs of an opponent. It is not considered blocking from behind if the Blocker is positioned behind the opponent (as demarked by the hips) but makes contact to a legal target zone.
Areas of the body that may be used to hit an opponent when performing a block. (See Figure 2 in Section 5 - Blocking)
The skater identified to speak for the team. Only the Captain and the Designated Alternate may confer with the referees. (See Section 9.2.10)
Areas of the body that may be used to give or receive a hit. (See Figure 2 in Section 5 - Blocking)
Any motion/movement toward an oncoming block by the receiving skater which is designed to counteract an opponent’s block. Counter-blocking is treated as a block and held to the same standards and rules. Standing up, turning away, ducking, etc. is not considered counter-blocking.
The Captain selects an additional person to act in their stead; this person is the Designated Alternate. The Designated Alternate may be another skater, coach, or manager. The Designated Alternate must be one of the sixteen individuals described in Section 2.1.4. A team shall only have one Designated Alternate.
Skaters are considered down if they have fallen, been knocked to the ground, have either or both knees on the ground, or have both hands on the ground. After going down or falling, a skater is considered down until the skater is standing, stepping, and/or skating. Stationary standing skaters are not considered down.
Any sort of interaction with another skater on the track during a jam. (See also "Assist" and “Block”)
The zone in which skaters may legally engage. The legal Engagement Zone extends from 20 feet (6 m) behind the rearmost pack member to 20 feet (6 m) in front of the foremost pack member, between the inside and outside track boundaries. Jammers may engage each other outside of the Engagement Zone.
Where a skater is physically, an area of the track where the skater has secured their place. Examples: up, in bounds, down, out of bounds, in play, and/or out of play.
To remove a skater from the remainder of the game for serious physical violence or any action deemed by the officials to cause an extraordinary physical threat to others. (See Section 7.4 - Expulsion and Fouling Out)
Falling with the arms and legs controlled, tucked into the body, and not flailing.
To remove a skater for the remainder of the game for excessive turns served in the penalty box. (See Section 7.4 - Expulsion and Fouling Out)
A bout or game is composed of 60 minutes of play divided into two periods of 30 minutes played between two teams.
The skaters that are actually suited up and eligible to play on game day.
An indiscretion so serious that it justifies the instant expulsion of a skater, even on the first occurrence.
Any behavior that occurs three or more times over the course of a bout.
The laterally projecting prominence of the pelvis or pelvic region from the waist to the thigh. The central point of this area determines a pass, regardless of the direction the skater is facing.
A technical infraction that gives the offending team an advantage but does not directly impact a specific opponent.
The first legal opportunity in which a skater may complete an action.
A foul has an impact on safety or game play when a measurable physical force or effect can be observed. (See Major Penalty)
A skater previously designated as the Jammer who is no longer wearing the Jammer Helmet Cover. (See Section 3.3 - Jammer)
A skater is in bounds as long as all parts of the skater’s body and equipment that are in contact with the ground are within or on the track boundary. If a skater jumps and ceases all contact with the ground, their prior in bounds/out of bounds status is maintained until contact with the ground re-establishes in bounds/out of bounds status. In bounds skaters are not necessarily in play.
Initiator of the Assist
The skater who reaches for, grabs, and/or pushes a teammate in order to help that teammate. A skater may also take an assist off of a teammate’s body, and would be initiating their own assist.
Initiator of the Block
The skater who makes contact with a target zone of an opponent is the initiator of the block. The initiator of a block is always responsible for the legality of the contact.
**Initial Pass **
The first pass a Jammer makes through the pack. No score is awarded on this pass; it is only used to establish the Lead Jammer. It begins when a Jammer first legally enters the rear of the Engagement Zone. (See Pass and Scoring Pass)
When a skater is positioned within the Engagement Zone and is in bounds, the skater is in play and may legally block and assist. Downed skaters are not in play. Jammers may engage each other anywhere inside the track boundaries for the duration of the jam, but must be within the Engagement Zone in order to legally initiate engagement with Blockers.
When a skater is on the track, in bounds, and in the designated area for their position, when the jam-starting whistle is blown. Skaters may still be moving and will still be considered in position as long as all other criteria are met. Pivot Blockers are in position when they are in bounds on the track between the Pivot and Jammer start lines or on the Pivot Line at the jam-starting whistle. Blockers are in position when they are in bounds on the track between the Pivot and Jammer start lines at the jam-starting whistle. Jammers are in position when they are in bounds on the track behind the Jammer Line at the jam-starting whistle.
Willfully failing to comply with a referee’s orders.
Races between two teams to score points that can last up to two minutes.
The point scorer for the team. Each team is permitted one Jammer per jam. The Jammer is identified by stars on the helmet cover. (see Section 3.3 - Jammer)
Jammer Lap Point
If one Jammer completely laps the opposing Jammer, that Jammer will score an additional point each time the Jammer fully laps that opposing Jammer. Exceptions occur when the opposing Jammer is not on the track (see Section 8.5.7).
A complete pass through the pack; this may require more than one trip around the track.
A strategic position established on the Jammer’s initial pass through the pack during each jam. The Lead Jammer is the first Jammer to pass the foremost in-play Blocker legally and in bounds, having already passed all other Blockers legally and in bounds. (See Section 3.4 - Lead Jammer)
Loss of Relative Position
When a skater’s position in relation to other skaters on the track is lost for a sustained period of time due to the actions of an opponent, such as a legal block or an illegal block. Being forced out of bounds is always to be considered a loss of relative position, as is being forced down or out of the Engagement Zone.
Any contact which is initiated with or targets the opponent’s feet or legs, below the legal blocking or target zone, that causes the recipient to stumble or fall. (See Section 6.3 - Low Blocking)
A foul that has a measurable physical force or effect which causes harm or adversely affects the game. Assessed if the infraction has extensive impact on safety or game play.
Wrongful or improper behavior motivated by intentional purpose or obstinate indifference to the rules.
Blocking with multiple skaters via a grabbing, holding, linking, or joining fashion that impedes an opponent’s movement through the pack. Touching and assisting teammates that does not create a wall to impede an opponent is not a multi-player block. (See Section 6.7 - Multi-Player Blocks)
No Impact/No Penalty
A foul that may or may not have a measurable physical force or effect but does not cause harm or adversely affect the game, and may have limited impact on safety or game play.
There is no pack when there is not a group of Blockers (from both teams) skating within proximity to each other or when there are two or more equally numbered groups of Blockers not skating within proximity to each other. (See Proximity)
Out of Bounds
A skater is out of bounds when any part of the skater’s body or equipment is touching the ground beyond the track boundary. If a skater jumps and ceases all contact with the ground, their prior in bounds/out of bounds status is maintained until contact with the ground re-establishes in bounds/out of bounds status. Out of bounds skaters are not in play.
Out of Pack
When a skater is more than 10 feet (3 m) from the nearest pack skater but within 20 feet (6 m) of the nearest pack skater.
Out of Play
A Blocker that is positioned more than 20 feet (6 m) outside the pack, out of bounds, or down is out of play. A Jammer that is out of bounds or down is out of play. A Jammer outside the Engagement Zone cannot legally initiate engagement with out of play Blockers.
The largest group of Blockers, skating or standing in proximity, containing members from both teams. The Jammers are independent of this definition. (See also Proximity)
To move in front of an opposing skater by positioning your hips in front of the opposing skater’s hips. A pass begins with the Jammer behind the pack and ends when the Jammer has cleared the pack by 20 feet (6 m). To begin the next pass, the Jammer must fully lap the pack and catch up to the back of the pack. (See Scoring Pass and Initial Pass)
The punishment assessed for a foul.
Points Awarded in Error
Points that have not been legally earned by a Jammer and have been awarded to the team incorrectly and/or erroneously by a referee, an official, or as the result of a technology malfunction.
A.K.A. Body Blocking, Frontal Blocking, Passive Blocking. This is blocking without contact, positioning oneself in front of an opposing skater to impede the opposing skater’s movement on the track. It may also be done unintentionally if the blocking skater is not aware of the skater’s position behind the blocking skater.
A measure of distance for in play skaters that is defined as skating not more than 10 feet (3 m) in front of or behind the nearest pack skater.
A skater taking a position in front of an opponent who has already passed the skater.
The act of passing an opponent who has already been passed during the current lap. If the Jammer drops back behind an opponent that the Jammer passed illegally, by being reengaged or repositioning, the Jammer may attempt to pass the opponent again legally.
A skater’s location in bounds on the track in relation to other skaters when the skater is standing, stepping, and/or skating.
**Scoring Pass **
Any pass a Jammer makes through the pack after the completed initial pass. Points may only be earned on scoring passes. A Jammer lap point is independent of this definition. (See Jammer Lap Point, Pass, and Initial Pass)
The skater serving a penalty in the penalty box.
A skater whose posterior is in full contact with the seat of the chair or bench in the penalty box.
Using your skates to move. This can include stepping in any direction, rolling, and sliding on the wheels, as well as stepping in any direction and/or sliding on the toe stops.
A skater who leaps and/or slides and extends their leg(s) or arm(s) in order to disrupt the movement of another skater’s feet and/or legs.
A skater who is upright holding their body weight on their skates.
A skater not making any directional movement with their skates.
A skater that is simultaneously touching both inside and outside the track boundary line.
Replacing a skater on the track or in the penalty box with another skater.
To remove a skater from more than one game. (See Expulsion.)
The Jammer helmet cover, which has two stars on it, one on each side.
Area of the body on an opponent that a skater may hit when performing a block. (See Figure 2 in Section 5 - Blocking)
A formal verbal indication from the referee that play is improper and that a skater must take corrective action.
©2012 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby may not be reproduced or translated in whole or in part in any manner without the permission of the WFTDA.
Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.
Copyright © Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). Site by Spenlen Media.
All photos and content on this website are copyrighted by their respective creators. Please do not reproduce, print, or use any photos in any context without the express written permission of the WFTDA.