Change Summary for The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby Jan. 1, 2019

The following is a summary of the changes in The Rules for Flat Track Roller Derby January 1, 2019 edition. Leagues may begin playing sanctioned games under the new rules immediately, and all sanctioned games must use these rules starting February 1, 2019.

Please note that the following table is not a comprehensive listing of new and changed rules. It is only provided as a convenience to highlight the most significant changes. For a line-by-line review of all changes, download our change detail document: Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby Line-by-Line Change Detail.

Skaters, Coaches, Officials and fans are encouraged to read through the new rule set in its entirety, as no summary can capture every change.

Removed Jammer Lap And Not-on-the-Track (NOTT) Points

Old Rule New Rule
Summary - The two Jammers start each Jam behind the Pack, and score a point for every opponent they lap, each lap.

3.1 - Jammers score one point every time they lap an opponent. A Jammer laps an opponent if they pass that opponent twice in a row (without that opponent having passed that Jammer), but score a point only if the lapping pass is earned (see Section 2.5).

All Blockers are considered to be on the same trip, including former Jammers who have passed the Star.
Summary - The two Jammers start each Jam behind the Pack, and score a point for every opposing Blocker they lap, each lap.

3.1 - Jammers score one point every time they lap an opposing Blocker. A Jammer laps a Blocker if they pass that opponent twice in a row (without that opponent having passed that Jammer), but score a point only if the lapping pass is earned (see Section 2.5).

Only Blockers can be scored upon. All Blockers are considered to be on the same trip, including former Jammers who have passed the Star.

Contact To An Opponent’s Back

Old Rule New Rule
4.1.1 - For safety reasons, any forceful contact to the head or neck should be penalized regardless of impact. 4.1.1 - For safety reasons, avoidable forceful contact to the back, or any forceful contact to the head or neck, should be penalized regardless of impact.

Failed Star Passes

Old Rule New Rule
2.2.4 - If the Pivot comes into control of the Star through any other means (for example, by picking up a fallen Star), a Star Pass has not taken place. Accordingly, the Pivot does not attain the position of Jammer and thus may not put the Star on their own helmet. They may hold the Star in their hand, drop it, or return it to the Jammer. 2.2.4 - If the Pivot comes into control of the Star through an unsuccessful Star Pass or any other means (for example, by picking up a Star that had fallen to the ground), they will be warned that they are not the Jammer. Accordingly, the Pivot may not put the Star on their own helmet, but they may hold the Star in their hand, drop it, or return it to the Jammer. Only the Jammer or Pivot may recover or control the Star.

The initiator of an illegal Star Pass (or Star recovery) that impacts the game should be penalized.

Additional Jam For Officiating Errors

Old Rule New Rule
1.1 - If a Jam is called off due to officiating discretion (see 5.2 Duties) or there is an officiating error that potentially impacted the outcome (as in winner/loser) of the game, and there are less than 30 seconds remaining on the period clock at the end of the game (including when the period clock has expired), an additional Jam may be run at the discretion of the Head Referee. This additional Jam will have the same form (Overtime or not; see 1.5.1 Overtime) as the Jam that ended and be part of the same period.

Jammer Helmet Cover Recovery

Old Rule New Rule
2.2.4 - If the Pivot comes into control of the Star through any other means (for example, by picking up a fallen Star), a Star Pass has not taken place.

Scenario C2.2.4.A

White Jammer removes their helmet cover and directly hands it to a White Non-Pivot Blocker. White Jammer releases the helmet cover.

Outcome: White Jammer should be penalized for initiating a Star Pass to an illegal recipient.

Rationale: White Jammer may only pass the Star to their Pivot. They may not pass the Star to a Blocker, regardless of the reasons for which they pass it.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer had not let go of the Star, or if White Blocker had refused to accept it (by letting it fall to the track rather than taking control of it), this would be an incomplete Star Pass rather than an illegal one. Incomplete Star Passes are not penalized.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer were holding the Star and White Blocker wrested it from their grasp, it would have been White Blocker who initiated the illegal Star Pass, and thus White Blocker would be penalized.
2.2.4 - If the Pivot comes into control of the Star through an unsuccessful Star Pass or any other means (for example, by picking up a Star that had fallen to the ground), they will be warned that they are not the Jammer.

Scenario C2.2.4.A

White Jammer removes their helmet cover and directly hands it to a White Non-Pivot Blocker. White Jammer releases the helmet cover. White Non-Pivot Blocker immediately drops the helmet cover.

Outcome: No penalty

Rationale: While White Jammer may only pass the Star to their Pivot, because the White Blocker immediately dropped the Star, there has been no impact on gameplay.

Keep in Mind: If White Blocker did not immediately relinquish control of the helmet cover, a penalty would be issued to White Jammer.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer were holding the Star and White Blocker wrested it from their grasp, it would have been White Blocker who initiated the illegal Star Pass, and thus White Blocker would be penalized.

Skater Requirements During a No Pack Or When Out Of Play

Old Rule New Rule
2.3 - It is the responsibility of all Blockers to maintain a Pack, and intentionally destroying the Pack is illegal. When the Pack is moving in the derby direction or stopped during a Jam, clockwise skating which destroys the Pack is illegal. All Blockers from both teams must act to reform a Pack. Blocks on or by Blockers which have impact while there is no Pack should be immediately penalized. 2.3 - It is the responsibility of all Blockers to maintain a Pack, and intentionally destroying the Pack is illegal. When the Pack is moving counterclockwise or stopped during a Jam, clockwise skating which destroys the Pack is illegal. All Blockers from both teams must act to reform a Pack. For Skaters in the rear group, this includes stepping or skating in the counterclockwise direction. For Skaters in the front group, this includes coasting, braking, or coming to a complete stop. If an immediate action is not sufficient to reform the Pack, additional effort is required. If a Blocker is in the rear group, they must accelerate (until sprinting) toward the front group until a Pack is reformed (coasting, stepping slowly, or stepping in an only somewhat-counterclockwise direction are insufficient), but they may slow in order to avoid unsafe contact when the Pack reformation is imminent. If a Blocker is in the front group, they must actively brake until they come to a complete stop (coasting is insufficient), but they are not required to skate clockwise.
2.3 - The Engagement Zone is the area in which it is legal for Blockers to engage or be engaged. The Engagement Zone extends forward and backward 20 ft (6.10m) from the foremost and rearmost Pack Skaters, respectively. Any Blocker outside of the Engagement Zone is out of play and cannot engage or be engaged. If there is no Pack, the Engagement Zone is said to stretch from the foremost Blocker to the rearmost Blocker (relative to the prior Pack); however, it is still illegal for any Blockers to engage or to be engaged. Skaters who are illegally blocked while out of play may legally counter-block. 2.3 - The Engagement Zone is the area in which it is legal for Blockers to engage or be engaged. The Engagement Zone extends forward and backward 20 ft (6.10 m) from the foremost and rearmost Pack Skaters, respectively. Any Blocker outside of the Engagement Zone is out of play and cannot engage or be engaged. Blockers who are outside of the Engagement Zone will be warned, and will be penalized if they do not immediately attempt to return to the Engagement Zone. Blockers ahead of the Engagement Zone are only compelled to skate clockwise to return to the Engagement Zone if the Pack is stopped or moving clockwise. Skaters who are illegally blocked while out of play may legally counter-block.

Star Pass and Scoring

Old Rule New Rule
Scenario C3.1.A

Red Jammer approaches the Pack for their second trip while White Jammer is still in the Pack. Red Jammer passes all opponents except a White Non-Pivot Blocker, who blocks Red Jammer out, forcing Red Jammer to re-enter behind the Pack. Before Red Jammer re-enters the Pack, White Jammer passes the Star to White Pivot. Red Jammer re-enters the Pack, passes all opponents again, and exits the Engagement Zone.

Points: Five points.

Rationale: Points are earned for lapping opponents, not specific positions. What matters is that the White Skaters in question were lapped only once each during Red Jammer’s second trip through the Pack.

Keep in Mind: Were it White Pivot who blocked Red Jammer out, and White Pivot exited the Engagement Zone before being passed, Red Jammer would have earned only four points even though they had passed the original White Jammer once while they were a Jammer and then again while they were a Blocker.
Scenario C3.1.A

Red Jammer approaches the Pack for their second trip. Red Jammer passes all opponents except a White Non-Pivot Blocker, who blocks Red Jammer out, forcing Red Jammer to reenter behind the Pack. Before Red Jammer reenters the Pack, White Jammer passes the Star to White Pivot. Red Jammer reenters the Pack, passes all opponents again, and exits the Engagement Zone.

Points: Four points.

Rationale: As a result of the successful Star Pass, the White Jammer and White Pivot exchange status in terms of scoring and being scored upon. Since the Red Jammer had already scored on the original White Pivot before the Star Pass, they have the point for the White Blocker (originally the White Jammer) in this trip and cannot score it again.

Keep in Mind: Were it White Pivot who blocked Red Jammer out, and White Pivot received a Star Pass and exited the Engagement Zone before being passed, Red Jammer

C3.3.J - Red Jammer begins a scoring trip and is ahead of White Jammer. Red Jammer earns passes on three White Blockers but remains behind White Pivot. White Jammer successfully passes the Star to White Pivot, but remains behind Red Jammer. Red Jammer completes their scoring trip having never earned a pass on the original White Jammer (now Blocker).

Outcome: Four points.

Rationale: Red Jammer must have at least one opportunity to earn a pass on all opposing Blockers on every trip through the Pack, including a Jammer-turned-Blocker as a result of a Star Pass. When the Jammer becomes a Blocker, they are considered a Blocker returning to active gameplay (see Section 2.5 Passing).

Blocking an Opponent Into a Downed Skater

Old Rule New Rule
Scenario C4.3.K

White Blocker is in a downed position on the track, directly at the skates of White Pivot. Red Blocker initiates contact to White Pivot, causing White Pivot to fall onto and over White Blocker.

Outcome: Red Blocker is penalized.

Rationale: It is dangerous to block a Skater onto or over another downed Skater.

Keep in Mind: If Red Blocker had committed to their block before White Blocker had fallen down, a penalty would not be warranted.

Keep in Mind: If contact between White Pivot and White Blocker was not directly caused by Red Blocker’s actions (for example, there was a significant distance between White Pivot and White Blocker), a penalty would not be warranted.

Glossary Changes

Old Rule New Rule
Forceful Contact

Abrupt contact (such as hitting or striking) with a significant amount of strength and energy or any contact that either has the potential to harm the recipient or significantly alter their position, balance, speed, trajectory, etc. (regardless of whether that potential is actualized).
In Bounds

A Skater is in bounds if the only points at which they are touching the floor are in between the track’s boundary lines. Once touching outside the track boundary lines, a Skater is considered to be in bounds again once all parts of the Skater that are touching the ground are touching within the track boundary. A Skater who is touching out of bounds with only a single hand is still considered to be in bounds.
In Bounds

A Skater is in bounds if the only points at which they are touching the floor are on or in between the track boundary lines. Once touching beyond the track boundary, a Skater is considered to be in bounds again once all parts of the Skater that are touching the floor are on or between the track boundary lines. A Skater who touches the floor beyond the track boundary with only one arm or hand is still considered in bounds (see also out of bounds, straddling).
Out of Bounds

A Skater is out of bounds when 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 (for example, a knee, a skate, or a hip). Skaters who are straddling are considered out of bounds, except where otherwise noted.
Out of Bounds

A Skater is out of bounds when part of the Skater’s body or equipment is touching the floor beyond the track boundary. One arm or hand touching the floor beyond the track boundary does not render a Skater out of bounds (see also in bounds, straddling).

Casebook Entries

New Entries Removed Entries
C2.2.G - Yielding a False Start

C2.5.A - Scoring on a penalized Blocker while they are still on the track

C3.3.J - Scoring on a former Jammer after a Star Pass

C4.1.1.I - New Back Block penalty standard

C4.1.1.J - New Back Block penalty standard

C4.3.K - Blocking an opponent into a downed Skater

C4.4.D - Failure to exit the track for a penalty

C4.5.C - When to start timing a penalty for a Fouled Out Skater
C3.1.C - Inconsistent definition of lapping a Not on the Track Skater

C3.2.A - Jammer Lap Point scoring

C3.2.E - Jammer NOTT scoring

C3.3.G - Jammer lapping position

C3.3.H - Jammer Lap Point scoring

Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.