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The game of Flat Track Roller Derby is played on a flat, oval track.
Play is broken up into two 30-minute periods, and within those periods, into units of play called “Jams,” which last up to two minutes. There are 30 seconds between each Jam.
During a Jam, each team fields up to five Skaters. Four of these Skaters are called “Blockers” (together, the Blockers are called the “Pack”), and one is called a “Jammer.”
The Jammer wears a helmet cover with a star on it.
The two Jammers start each Jam behind the Pack, and score a point for every opposing Blocker they lap, each lap. Because they start behind the Pack.
they must get through the Pack, then all the way around the track to be eligible to score points on opposing Blockers.
Roller derby is a full-contact sport;
however, Skaters cannot use their heads, elbows, forearms, hands, knees, lower legs, or feet to make contact to opponents. Skaters cannot make contact to opponents’ heads, backs, knees, lower legs, or feet.
Play that is unsafe or illegal may result in a Skater being assessed a penalty, which is served by sitting in the Penalty Box for 30 seconds of Jam time.
A common Jam might go like this:
Blockers line up behind the Pivot Line and in front of the Jammer Line.
Jammers line up behind the Jammer Line.
At the Jam-Starting Whistle, the Blockers skate forward and compete for superior position. The Jammers skate forward and try to get through the Pack. Each Blocker simultaneously tries to prevent the opposing Jammer from getting past, and to help their own Jammer get through.
One Jammer exits the Pack and is declared Lead Jammer, earning the right to end the Jam when they decide. This Jammer races around the track to get into scoring position.
The same Jammer begins to work their way through the Pack for the second time, and the opposing Jammer makes their way out of the Pack for the first time.
As the second Jammer to escape the Pack comes around into scoring position, the first Jammer calls off the Jam.
The first Jammer has scored points (up to four), and held their opponent at zero points. Meanwhile, the opposing Jammer (by getting into scoring position) held the first Jammer at only those points, as they could have scored more points on subsequent passes.
2.1. The Track
The track boundary, the Pivot Line, and the Jammer Line may be of any pattern or color so long as they clearly mark the edge of the track.
Near the track, an area must be marked out for each team (the Team Bench Area) and for the Penalty Box.
The boundary in these cases must also be high contrast and counts as part of the relevant area. For example, the boundary for the Penalty Box counts as part of the Penalty Box.
Only Skaters who are actively serving a penalty may enter the Penalty Box Area.
For each Jam, a team must field one Jammer, and at most four Blockers. One of these Blockers may be designated as the Pivot Blocker.
Any Skaters who are not completely on the track at the Jam-Starting Whistle may not participate in the Jam, and thus do not count toward these limits.
Skaters serving penalties (in, or on their way to, the Penalty Box) are counted toward these limits. Teams must field at least one Blocker who is not serving a penalty. Skaters may not change positions during a Jam, except in the case of a Star Pass (see below).
When a Jam begins
the Jammers must be touching on or behind the Jammer Line. All Blockers must be behind the Pivot Line, ahead of the Jammer Line.
and all Non-Pivot Blockers must not be touching the Pivot Line.
If either Pivot is positioned touching the Pivot Line at the Jam’s start, all Non-Pivot Blockers must be behind that Pivot’s hips.
Any Skaters who are completely on the track, but partially illegally positioned (for example, a Jammer who is touching past the Jammer Line) .
are required to yield their position to all other Skaters in the immediate vicinity.
Any Skaters who are wholly illegally positioned are immediately penalized. Blockers who are required to yield are not considered for Pack definition until they have done so.
Jammers who are required to yield cannot earn passes until they have done so.
The Jammer is denoted as the Skater in visible possession of the Jammer helmet cover (a.k.a. the Star) at the beginning of the Jam.
If a Skater is serving a penalty as their team’s Jammer, no teammate may begin the Jam in possession of the Star or behind the Jammer Line.
If there is neither a Skater serving a penalty as the Jammer nor a Skater with a visible Star, then the team has failed to field a Jammer for the upcoming Jam and will be penalized accordingly.
Unless they are serving a penalty
the Jammer must start the Jam on or behind the Jammer Line. Jammers may be stopped or coasting, but may not be actively gaining speed in the counterclockwise direction at the Jam-Starting Whistle.
The Star may only be carried by the Jammer wearing it on their helmet.
or by that team’s Jammer or Pivot holding it in their grasp.
Other Skaters may not control the Star, and the Jammer and Pivot may not hide the Star (examples include putting it in a pocket or hiding it in a uniform).
2.2.2. Lead Jammer
The Lead Jammer is the first Jammer who establishes a superior position to the foremost in-play Blocker, having already earned a pass on all Blockers excluding those ahead of the Engagement Zone (see Section 2.5). When one Jammer is determined to be the Lead Jammer, this is indicated by two short whistle blasts.
A Jammer becomes ineligible to earn Lead during a Jam if they commit a penalty during that Jam, exit the front of the Engagement Zone without having earned Lead, remove their helmet cover, or have their helmet cover removed by a teammate.
If both Jammers qualify for Lead at the same moment (for example, the foremost Blocker goes out of play).
the foremost Jammer at that moment will be declared Lead. Only Skaters who begin the Jam as Jammers may become Lead (so a Pivot who receives the Star cannot become Lead).
The Lead Jammer will lose their Lead Jammer status if they commit a penalty, intentionally remove the Star once it is on, or have the Star intentionally removed from their head by a teammate.
2.2.3. Pivot Blocker
The Pivot is a Blocker, and is denoted as the Skater in possession of the Pivot helmet cover (a.k.a. the Stripe) at the Jam-Starting Whistle. The Pivot wearing the Stripe with the stripe showing has several additional abilities that other Blockers do not.’