NOTE: You are viewing the March 1, 2014 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.
Some words or concepts used in this ruleset hold a specific or technical meaning. Those are defined in this section. Any words used in the rules that are not defined herein should be treated as colloquial use. If more than one reasonable interpretation of a colloquial term exists that has measurable impact on the game, it will be determined by consensus of the referees for that game (see Section 8.3 - Referee Discretion).
An attempt to legally shorten the distance travelled around the curve of the track by leaping over the track boundary and landing back in bounds.
Helping a teammate. Examples include, but are not limited to, a push or a whip.
Improving one’s position by passing an upright and standing or skating skater. A skater who improves their position while out of bounds by passing an upright and standing or skating skater who is in bounds and returning to the track in front of that skater is subject to Cutting the Track penalties.
The positional skaters who form the pack. The Pivot Blocker is one of the four Blockers per team allowed in each jam (see Section 2.1 - Blocker).
Blocking to the Back
Any contact to the back of the torso, buttocks, 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.
The skater identified to speak for the team. Only the Captain and the Designated Alternate may confer with the referees (see Section 8.2.10.) If the Captain must leave the game, they can transfer their status to a teammate.
Any motion/movement toward an oncoming block by the receiving opponent designed to counteract an opponent’s block. Counter-blocking is treated as blocking and held to the same standards and rules. Standing up, turning away, ducking, etc. are not considered counter-blocking (see Section 4 - 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. They must be one of the 16 individuals described in Section 1.2.4. 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, nor are skaters who are falling but have not yet met the above criteria.
The zone in which Blockers may legally engage and be engaged. The legal Engagement Zone extends from 20 feet (6 meters) behind the rearmost pack skater to 20 feet (6 meters) in front of the foremost pack skater, between the inside and outside track boundaries. Jammers may engage each other outside of the Engagement Zone.
Any sort of interaction with another skater on the track during a jam (see also “Assist” and Section 4 - Blocking).
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.
Removal by the Head Referee of a skater from the remainder of the game for serious illegal action, such as physical violence or any action deemed by the Officials to cause an extraordinary physical threat to others (see Section 6.4 - Expulsion and Fouling Out and Section 5 - Penalties).
A skater is said to have “fallen small” if they fall with the arms and legs controlled, tucked into the body, and not flailing.
Removal, by the Head Referee, of a skater from the remainder of the game for excessive turns served in the Penalty Box (see Section 6.4 - Expulsion and Fouling Out).
The skaters who are actually suited up and eligible to play on game day.
Physically holding onto something with a clenched fist. For example, grabbing a teammate’s uniform, or holding hands. The grasping skater’s arm, from the hand up to (but not including) the shoulder is considered to be part of the “grasp”. The teammate is not considered part of the grasp, unless the teammate is independently grasping.
Any behavior that occurs three or more times over the course of a game.
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 skater or set of teammates is considered impenetrable from a certain direction when, to achieve a pass on one or more of the skaters, an opponent would need to physically break said teammates’ bones or joints. The parts that would need to be physically broken in order to pass are considered the “impenetrable” parts. For example, if two teammates are skating forwards with their arms around each others’ backs, the arms constitute an impenetrable wall, so that an opponent could not pass between the pair without breaking said arms.
A skater is in bounds at the beginning of the jam if they are in position at the beginning of the jam (see Section 3.2 - Pre-Jam Positioning). A skater remains in bounds until they adopt a straddling or out-of-bounds position. Once out of bounds or straddling, a skater is considered to be in bounds once again once all parts of the skater that are touching the ground are touching within the track boundary.
When a Blocker is positioned within the Engagement Zone, the Blocker is in play. Jammers are always in play.
When a skater is on the track, in bounds, and in the designated area for their position, when the jam-starting whistle is blown (see Section 3.2 - Pre-Jam Positioning).
A skater designated as the Jammer who is not wearing the Jammer helmet cover in such a way that the stars are visible (see Section 2.3 - Jammer).
The first pass a Jammer makes through the pack. It begins when a Jammer first legally enters the rear of the Engagement Zone (See Pass and Scoring Pass). No points are scored on this pass; the exceptions being Jammer lap points and during overtime.
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.
Willfully or neglectfully failing to comply with a referee’s orders. Wrongful or improper behavior motivated by intentional disregard for the rules (see Section 5.14 - Insubordination).
The basic unit of play for the game (see Section 1 - Game Parameters).
The point scorer for the team. The Jammer is identified by stars on the helmet cover (see Section 2.3 - 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 7.2.7).
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 2.4 - Lead Jammer).
Interlocking two arms via crooked elbows. Both skaters’ arms, up to (but not including) the shoulder are considered to be part of the “link”.
Any contact that is below the legal blocking or target zone that causes the recipient to stumble or fall (see Section 5.3 - Low Blocking).
Wrongful or improper behavior motivated by intentional purpose or obstinate indifference to the rules.
Impeding an opponent from passing between a skater and their teammate (see Section 5.7 - Multi-Player Blocks).
No Impact/No Penalty
A violation of the rules of the game that has limited impact on safety or game play, and does not warrant the skater to spend time in the Penalty Box.
A situation in which no pack can be defined. This occurs 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).
Not-On-the-Track Point (NOTT Point)
A point given for an opponent who is not on the track that the Jammer earns immediately upon scoring the first point on any opposing Blocker in each scoring pass (see Section 220.127.116.11).
Any sort of shortened or otherwise modified version of a skater’s roster number, used in order to facilitate communication amongst Officials.
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, including both arms or hands (one arm or hand does not render a skater out of bounds), or any part below the skater’s waist (e.g., a knee, a skate, or a hip). Skaters who are airborne maintain their prior in-bounds (or out-of-bounds, or straddling) status until they land. Skaters who are straddling are considered out of bounds, except where otherwise noted.
Out of Play
A Blocker who is positioned outside the Engagement Zone. If no pack is defined, all Blockers are Out of Play. Jammers are never Out of Play (see Section 3.3 - Jam Positioning).
The largest group of in-bounds Blockers, skating or standing in proximity, containing members from both teams. The Jammers are independent of this definition (see also Proximity).
Any Blocker who is part of a legally defined pack.
A pass begins with the Jammer behind the pack and ends when the Jammer has cleared the Engagement Zone. The Jammer is immediately considered to be on their next pass once they have cleared the front of the Engagement Zone (see Scoring Pass and Initial Pass), if one exists, or immediately upon passing the foremost Blocker if there is no pack.
To end up in front of a skater, such that the passer’s hips went from being behind to being in front of the other skater’s hips (see Scoring Pass and Initial Pass).
Passing the Star (A.K.A., Star Pass)
The act of transferring Jammer status, which is accomplished by the Jammer handing their helmet cover (the Star) to the Pivot (see Section 2.5 - Passing the Star).
A violation of the rules of the game requiring the skater to serve time in the Penalty Box (see Section 5 - Penalties).
Point of No Return
The far edge of the Penalty Box, in the counterclockwise direction (see Section 18.104.22.168.1), including its projection across the track.
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 an Official or as the result of a technology malfunction.
Blocking without contact; positioning oneself so as to impede an opponent’s movement on the track. It may also be done unintentionally if the blocking skater is not aware of the opponent’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 meters) 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, when in bounds and upright, in relation to other skaters involved in the action. Relative position is said to be “gained” or “lost” if said location changes in a way that gives or loses some advantage (for example, one skater passing another, or being put down, out of bounds, or out of play).
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)
A skater whose buttocks is in full contact with the seat of the chair or bench.
Using one’s 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 opponent’s feet and/or legs.
A skater who is upright holding their body weight on their skates. When a skater is told to stand in the Penalty Box, the skater must stand fully erect and cannot maintain a crouched or hovering position over the seat. It must be clear to all Officials and spectators that the seat is now available for a teammate to occupy.
A skater not making any directional movement with their skates.
An out-of-bounds skater who is partially touching inside the track boundary line. Straddling skaters are considered “out of bounds”, except where otherwise noted.
Replacing a skater on the track or in the Penalty Box with a teammate.
The Jammer helmet cover, which has two stars on it, one on each side.
Any skater who is not considered “down” (see Down).
A formal verbal indication from the referee that play is improper and that a skater must take corrective action.
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