Deciding to take your skating hobby to a competitive level is challenging and fun. Not only do we have to learn the rules of the game, which we must abide by, but we also get to enjoy one of our favorite activities in a team of people working together to win. This article will enlighten you on how to be a better roller derby skater.
What is Roller Derby Game?
This is a contact sport that involves two teams of fifteen skaters. The full-contact sport has 60-minute matches, split into two 30-minute periods with halftime. Each period consists of two-minute plays called Jams.
A team scores points only by its jammer. The jammer is the offensive player who breaks through the pack and skates a lap to start a trip through the pack. The jammer scores points for passing any blocking tactic the opposing team employs.
The team with the most points wins.
The sport is combative for both defense and offense.
Equipment for Roller Derby Skating
Every Roller Derby Skater must have a kit. The kit is to ensure protection and convenience when playing the sport. Here are must-have equipment for roller derby skaters:
- Quad roller skates have a smaller wheelbase that allows easy control and better stability. And since the sport involves physical force, players find it easier not to trip on each other’s skates while playing. If you are looking for the best roller derby skates click on the link to see our top picks.
- Knee and elbow pads: These pads protect the knees and elbows of players while they combat or when they fall on the ground.
- Protective gear: This can be gender-specific. Female players wear protective sports bras, and male players wear groin guards.
- Mouth guard and wrist guard: These are worn to avoid injuries.
Rules of Roller Derby
To be a better Roller Derby skater, one must understand the rules and practice with them. Basic Roller Derby rules are:
- Each team should have 14 players, but only five are allowed on a track per time.
- Roller Derby matches are played in two 30-minute periods.
- Roller Derby is played on an oval track. The blockers from both opposing teams skate as one single pack around the track when a Roller Derby match begins. When the pack passes the starting line and the last member of the track is 30 feet from it, a whistle is blown, and the two jammers from each team begin to skate.
- Jammers can only score if they skate very fast, fighting through the opposing pack to score by racing around the track and lapping the opposing players. A point is awarded for each player overtaken.
- Opposing blockers are allowed to use force on jammers to prevent them from scoring.
- There are illegal acts that would warrant a penalty. For example, tripping a player or blocking with an arm under the elbow can warrant a penalty.
What skills do you need for roller derby?
There are only a few basic skills we need for roller derby.
Number One, and inevitable, skating. You should know how to skate.
Other skills include:
- Posture: Having the proper posture helps you to maintain balance while playing.
- Stride: Good fluid stride goes a long way in ensuring speed.
- Speed: If you would like to be a jammer, you especially have to be fast while skating.
- Stops: You should know the stops and how to do them. Stops include T-stop and Plow stop.
How to become a better roller derby skater
We know the rules; we have the kit… Now, we want to be the best. Getting better requires focus, discipline, and consistency. It also involves teamwork since the game is a team sport.
The following tips will help step up our roller derby technique:
Know Your Position: There are two different player positions in roller derby: blockers and jammers. Identifying one’s skills and abilities allows one to choose a position best suited for specialization. While we would love to be good at everything, recognizing a position helps us concentrate our efforts on the niche and be the best.
Watch others: We follow people who are excellent players in the position we are interested in. We learn from watching them and understand their moves and techniques, which we can emulate to improve ourselves.
Attend Checkups: We ensure our bodies are fit enough to keep playing. It is okay to pause if you get an injury somewhere. Make regular checkups a habit and stay up to date on your health status.
Practice: Practice makes perfect. Hold yourself accountable to achieving your perfection goal by daily and constant practice personally and with team members.
Communicate: You must communicate with your coach or team members to get feedback on your current performance and advice on how you can improve. This improves team bonding and helps gameplay.
Update gear: We regularly check our gear for faults. Remember, safety comes first, and an injured player can not dream of getting better until he is healthy. To avoid accidents and injuries, you must update your gear as soon as it is worn or weak.
With all these put in place, we are set on how to become a better roller derby skater.
Credit to Avast Derby Sailing for this tutorial video.