To understand how to play roller derby, we must first try and understand roller derby as a sport and also understand how it has originated. Roller Derby has seen a lot of transformation since its inception around 1880. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, roller derby was a simple roller skate race to test your stamina. During the Great Depression in 1935, it turned into a multi day cross country race by two people from professional teams. Thereafter, the sport underwent a re-structuring and more or less got the shape that is has today. Going through many changes over the next few years, Roller Derby as we know today finally emerged in the early 2000’s. The modern day derby is typically based on a major do-it-yourself ethic that has elements of athleticism, third wave feminist aesthetics and punk all mixed into it. This is reflected in the names of the roller derby teams, the uniforms that the players have and also the individual player names. Though this sport is dominated by female leagues and enjoys a presence in more than 20 countries, there are a number of junior, male and co-ed leagues as well.

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Modern day roller derby is a sport that involves a level of player to player contact. It was invented in America and originates from a sports entertainment genre. In the game two opposite roller derby teams roller skate around an oval track in a formation. When the appointed scoring player, also called the jammer, in each team, overtakes members of the other team, a point is scored. The Jammer also has to overtake the other team’s “blockers”. In this way both offense and defense happen at the same time.

Now let’s look at how to play roller derby. Roller Derby is played on an oval circuit track and players usually move counter clockwise along the track. Five players from each team come onto the track – there is a jammer or scorer, 3 blockers for defense and a pivot who is a blocker but might turn into a jammer later in that jam. The game begins soon after the whistle is blown and the then the teams begin formation of the jam. Once the jam has been formed, the referee blows the whistle again and the jammers take off and the game begins.A point is scored as each jammer legally passes all the pivots and blockers of the other team.

Before starting to play roller derby, buying roller derby skates is very important. One must carefully choose the skates as a wrong type of skate can lead to serious injury in this sport. A local skating rink is a great place to try on skates of different types and then choose the one that suits best.A Boot Skate is perfect to play roller derby as it gives you great flexibility around your knees. It should also have a low heel in order to provide greater comfort. The stopper on the skate should not be too high and should be a round stopper so you can stop whenever and however you want. The wheels of the skates should be of hard rubber so you can go really fast.

By Haadi