What is Roller Derby?
A bout consists of two thirty-minute periods made up of a series of plays or “jams.” Each team may field a roster of up to 14 skaters but can send no more than five on the track for each jam. They play one of three positions: Blocker (there are three), pivot (marked by a stripe on her helmet) or jammer (*marked by a star on her helmet).
Each jam starts with a whistle. The first jammer to skate through the pack earns the title of “lead jammer” giving her the advantage of calling off the jam whenever she wants by placing her hands on her hips and waving them up and down.
Both jammers work to lap the pack a second time to start accumulating points. Each opposing player they pass legally and in bounds is worth one point, including the opposing jammer. When the lead jammer calls off the jam — or when the maximum time of two minutes have passed — the jam stops and the officials calculate the scores.
Jammers do not get points for passes in which they commit a penalty. The most common penalties in derby are back blocking, going out of bounds to cut the track, blocking too far from the pack (out of play), elbowing (chicken-winging), tripping (low blocking) and clothes-lining (multi-player blocking). Infractions result in a penalty only if there is an impact on game play, for example, an opponent is caused to fall. Penalties result in a skater spending one minute or more in the penalty box.
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More Frequently Asked Questions
Is roller derby staged?
No, today’s incarnation of roller derby has very strict rules and guidelines just as any other sport. If you would like to see a complete list of the rules we adhere to, visit WFTDA.com.
I’m an independent filmmaker/film student. Would it be possible to have some derby players in my project?
The Savannah Derby Devils enjoy supporting the local film scene. If you have an idea, please send it to Enocha “Eenie Meanie” Edenfield at firstname.lastname@example.org for review.
I'm interested in playing roller derby. May I attend a practice?
Our league practices are closed to non-derby players, but you are more than welcome to attend our recreational derby practices, known as our wRECk league, or one of our beginner boot camps held throughout the year. Check out more here.
I’d like to do a story on SDD. Can I skate during a practice/one of your bouts?
We would love to have you come to one of our practices/bouts, but for the safety of our players and you, we can’t allow you to skate. Anyone who skates during a Savannah Derby Devils practice/bout must be insured through the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association and have passed the WFTDA minimum skills requirements.
That said, roller derby is a very visual sport. We are more than happy to help brainstorm other ways to tell your story.
How much do the players make?
The Savannah Derby Devils league is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit. None of the players make any money from the games, fundraisers, or merchandise sales. All money made during these events is put back into the league to pay for practice space, equipment, travel, etc. Each player is also required to pay monthly dues in order to skate for the league.
I would like to have the Savannah Derby Devils at my festival/business opening/special event. Who do I contact?
If you are organizing a public or private event that you think would be perfect for the Savannah Derby Devils, please email us at email@example.com. Unless it conflicts with a home or travel bout, we are usually interested.