Stoke City Rollers

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Roller Derby 101

What is Roller Derby?

For those of you who don't know anything about roller derby, which is most people when they first start out (so don't worry) Roller Derby is a fast-paced, full contact sport played on quad skates on an oval track by two teams.

Both teams have a Jammer and four blockers. 

Jammers score a point for every player they pass from the opposing team.

Blockers  have to help their jammer get through the pack whilst stopping the other team’s jammer.

A bout starts with the four blockers from each team skating together at the front in a tight pack. Both jammers race each other through the pack, but score no points on the first pass through.

The first jammer to break through the pack becomes the “lead jammer”, which means that they have the ability to call off that jam if they feel that the other jammer might score more points. If they don’t call off the jam, it will last for a full two minutes.

Each game consists of two 30-minute periods. At the end of this time, the team with the most points wins!

As with most sports, the rules, tactics and penalties may need a little more time to sink in. For more in-depth information, head on over to our Associations page


Bout – a game
Jam – the game is made up of small sections called jams that either lasts 2 minutes or until the Lead Jammer calls it off
Jammer – the player who scores the points (identified by the star on their helmet)
Lead Jammer – the Jammer who broke through the pack legally first. They have the ability to call off a jam
Pivot – the only blocker who may become a Jammer during a jam (identified by the stripe on their helmet)
Blocker – four team mates who try and stop the opponents Jammer getting through
Pack – the largest group of blockers from both teams skating close together
Freshmeat – New skaters, we all start as freshmeat
NSO – Non Skating Official
Zebra – referee 


Because you can be a part of the team in lots of ways!

Roller Derby Players

First and foremost you will need to learn to skate.  Our Head Coach and all existing team members will be on hand at every session to give you guidance and tips.  In order to play Roller Derby you will need to pass a minimum skills test (as set out by the WFTDA) which also entails passing a written rules test.  SCR can provide some rules coaching to assist you in learning the rules however you will also need to study them in your own time.

Non Skating Officials

Non Skating Officials (NSO’s) are some of the most important people on the team. Without NSO’s no Roller Derby Bout can be played.  There are many jobs undertaken by NSO’s which come in to play on Scrim days (a friendly Bout) and Bout days (an official match), such as scorekeepers, penalty trackers, jam timers and much, much more. You will be given all the information and guidance you need to fulfill your role and will always be very much respected and appreciated for the time and input you give to the team.  However, although NSO’s will be asked to sign a Membership Agreement the membership fee will not be payable and therefore you will not have voting rights.  You will not be required to attend training sessions, however, it would be useful for you to be familiar with the structure of play and have a grasp of the rules so you are welcome to attend our free rules coaching sessions.  You will be added to our ‘Friends of SCR’ facebook page and from there we will keep you up to date with any relevant events or developments.



Referees are key to keeping order and ensuring smooth game play.  Your main challenge will of course be to learn the rules, of which there are plenty!  However, you will also need to be a proficient skater and therefore will be welcome to train with the team although you will not be permitted to take part in any contact drills or scrims.

Find out more on the 'Recruiting Now' page.


Need more information? Take a look at the clips below to learn more, or contact us.