How The Game Is Played

To begin, four blockers and a jammer from each team line up behind their starting points, the blockers at a line 30 feet ahead of the jammers. A single whistle from the referees starts the pack rolling and once it moves past the front line, the jammers are signaled to take off with a double whistle blast.

Points are scored by lapping members of the opposition – one point apiece – so the jammers begin picking up points on their second pass through the field of blockers. The initial, non-scoring pass matters because the first jammer to cleanly navigate the pack is awarded ‘lead jammer’ status, giving her the ability to end the jam at a time of her choosing.

The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

2 minute plays – aka “a jam”
2 x 30 minute periods
30 second break between each jam
3 timeouts per team
1 penalty = 1 minute in the penalty box
7 trips to the box = player ejection

Contact between the shoulders and mid-thigh High and low hits; hits to the back
Hitting someone using your upper thighs, hips, butt, side or shoulder Hitting someone using your lower legs, arms, elbows or head
Pushing a teammate to give her a boost in speed Pushing a member of the opposition
Being out of bounds as the result of a hit Being out of bounds to avoid a hit or to pass people
Skating clockwise to return to the pack Skating clockwise while hitting someone or to pick up a dropped helmet cover
Jumping the apex – the narrowest part of the track – to get past someone Hitting anyone with both feet off the ground

Types of blocks:

‘Booty block’ – maintaining position in front of an opposing skater by using your ‘booty’ to stop her from passing. Not the most spectacular block, but often the most effective!

‘Shoulder check’ – a hit to the side of the body using the shoulder and ribs.

‘Hip check’ – hitting using the hip to put another skater off-balance or out of bounds. This might look like a love-tap, but it’s surprisingly effective because it acts close to or under a skater’s center of gravity.

‘Can-opener’ – a shoulder check that lands on the opposing skater’s sternum. Ouch!

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