2. Gameplay

2.1. The Track

No scenarios for Section 2.1

2.2. Positions

When a Jam begins, the Jammers must be touching on or behind the Jammer Line. Blockers must all 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 lines up touching the Pivot Line at the Jam’s start, all Non-Pivot Blockers must be behind that Pivot’s hips.

—Origin: Section 2.2

Scenario C2.2.A

As the Jam-Starting Whistle sounds, Red Jammer’s left skate has rolled forward, past the Jammer Line.

Outcome: Red Jammer is issued a False Start warning and must yield their position to all Skaters in their immediate vicinity. If they do not yield, they will receive a penalty.

Rationale: Red Jammer established their starting position partially out of position, with one skate ahead of the Jammer Line.

Keep in Mind: Until they have been issued this warning, they cannot be penalized for failure to yield.

Scenario C2.2.B

As the Jam-Starting Whistle sounds, White Pivot has lined up entirely in front of the Pivot Line.

Outcome: White Pivot immediately receives a penalty for illegal positioning.

Rationale: White Pivot was entirely out of position, having both skates ahead of the Pivot Line. They are immediately penalized, rather than warned and allowed to yield, because this is a flagrant violation of the rules regarding starting positions.

Scenario C2.2.C

As the Jam-Starting Whistle sounds, White Blocker is out of bounds on the inside of the track.

Outcome: White Blocker is directed to return to their bench and cannot participate in the Jam.

Rationale: White Blocker was not on the track at the start of the Jam and cannot participate in that Jam.

Keep in Mind: Even if White Blocker were straddling, they would still be considered out of bounds, thus not on the track, thus not allowed to participate in the Jam.

Scenario C2.2.D

All White Blockers (including White Pivot) line up legally between Jams at the Pivot Line, but not touching the line. Red Pivot lines up behind them. Immediately before the Jam starts, Red Pivot reaches forward with their leg and places their skate on the Pivot Line.

Outcome: The White Non-Pivot Blockers should all be issued False Start warnings, and must yield their positions to all nearby Skaters; any who do not yield should receive a penalty.

Rationale: Red Pivot established their position in contact with the Pivot Line before the beginning of the Jam, so Non-Pivot Blockers must begin the Jam behind the hips of any Pivots in contact with the Pivot Line. All White Blockers began the Jam in front of Red Pivot, so all but the White Pivot are required to yield.

Scenario C2.2.E

In an attempt to reach the track before the Jam begins, Red Blocker jumps from out of bounds. The Jam-Starting Whistle blows while they are still airborne. Red Blocker lands in bounds and upright after the Jam begins.

Outcome: Red Blocker attempted to enter the track from an out of bounds state and was still airborne at the start of the Jam. They should be ordered back to their bench and may not participate in the Jam.

Rationale: While airborne, a Skater retains the attributes of their previous status. Red Blocker’s previous status was out of bounds. As such, they remain out of bounds while airborne. Red Blocker was not on the track when the Jam began.

Scenario C2.2.F

White Pivot is seated in the Penalty Box. Between Jams, three White Blockers–one of whom is wearing a Stripe–line up on the track.

Outcome: If the Jam starts with two White Skaters wearing the Stripe, the Officials should direct the White Blocker on the track to remove their Stripe.

Rationale: The Skater seated in the Box is considered to be the White Pivot for the Jam. As the White team fielded the correct number of Blockers, there is no need to send the “extra” White Pivot back to their bench.

Keep in Mind: If the White Blocker refuses to remove the Stripe, that White Blocker should be penalized. Refusal to obey an instruction about improper gameplay is insubordinate.

Keep in Mind: If the White Blocker engages in any privileges reserved for the Pivot before they have removed the Stripe, even if no warning has yet been issued, that White Blocker should be penalized, as their illegal Stripe had impact on the game.

2.2.1. Jammers

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.

—Origin: Section 2.2.1

Scenario C2.2.1.A

Red and White Skaters repeatedly shift positions between Jams, attempting to gain position on one another. As the Jam starts, Red 34 is lined up fully behind the Jammer Line but is not wearing the Star, while Red 27 is lined up fully in front of the Jammer Line and is wearing the Star.

Outcome: Red 27 is the Jammer.

Rationale: Red 27 is the Skater in possession of the Star. The Star denotes who the Jammer is. Both Skaters should receive a penalty for beginning the Jam fully out of position.

Keep in Mind: Once the Jam starts, the Jammer Referee should communicate to Red 27 that they are the Jammer for this Jam. Since the rules do not accommodate for Jammers who forget their helmet cover, starting position should not take precedence over wearing the Star. In this case, both the Jammer (Red 27) and the Blocker (Red 34) have started the Jam in illegal starting positions.

Keep in Mind: Assume the following Jammer hierarchy:

1 The Jammer for the upcoming Jam is the Jammer from the previous Jam who is in the Penalty Box.
2 If no one satisfies 1, the Jammer is the Skater who visibly controls the Star who has lined up in the Jammer Starting Position.
3 If no one satisfies 2, the Jammer is the Skater who visibly controls the Star but who has lined up out of position.
4 If no one satisfies 3, there is no Jammer for that team in this Jam, and the Jam should not start.
Scenario C2.2.1.B

Before the Jam-Starting Whistle, Red Jammer skates backward. They come to a quick stop and shoot forward at the Jam-Starting Whistle.

Outcome: If Red Jammer was moving clockwise or stopped when the whistle occurred, nothing should be done. If Red Jammer turned counterclockwise earlier and was gaining speed, this should be treated as a false start.

Rationale: Jammers may not be gaining speed counterclockwise at the Jam-Starting Whistle.

2.2.2. Lead Jammer

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.

—Origin: Section 2.2.2

Scenario C2.2.2.A

Red Jammer starts the Jam with their helmet cover inside-out. The stars are not visible with high contrast. They remove the cover, turn it right-side-in, and put it back on their helmet. They then legally pass all Skaters, including the foremost Blocker.

Outcome: Red Jammer is declared Lead.

Rationale: Since Red Jammer did not have the ability to gain Lead prior to removing the Star from their head, they did not lose that ability.

Keep in Mind: If Red Jammer had removed the Star when the stars were visible, they would have lost the ability to gain Lead.

Scenario C2.2.2.B

Red Jammer exits the Engagement Zone but did not earn Lead Jammer. White Jammer is knocked down, but not out of bounds. While White Jammer is down, the opposing Blockers–including the foremost Blocker–all skate clockwise behind them. White Jammer then stands back up.

Outcome: White Jammer should be declared Lead when they stand.

Rationale: By skating clockwise behind White Jammer, the Red Blockers ceded their position. As such, White Jammer earned those passes and they count toward earning Lead.

Scenario C2.2.2.C

White Jammer makes their way through the Pack on their initial pass, while Red Jammer remains stuck at the rear. Through numerous blocks and changes in position, White Jammer earns a pass on all Blockers, but none of them are ever the foremost Blocker in the Pack when White Jammer earns the pass.

Outcome: The Jammer Referee should not declare White Jammer Lead (yet).

Rationale: White Jammer has earned a pass against all Blockers, but has never earned superior position to the foremost Blocker in the Pack. Lead Jammer is earned when the Jammer has earned a pass on all in play Blockers and established a superior position to the foremost in play Blocker.

Scenario C2.2.2.D

Red Jammer passes all Blockers on their initial trip through the Pack, except for one White Blocker. Red Jammer legally pushes White Blocker to the front of the Engagement Zone, and then out of play.

Outcome: Red Jammer is declared Lead as soon as White Blocker leaves the front of the Engagement Zone.

Rationale: Red Jammer only needs to pass the in play Blockers to earn Lead Jammer.

Scenario C2.2.2.E

White Jammer and Red Jammer are both ahead of all Blockers except White Pivot. Red Jammer is ahead of White Jammer, and pushes White Pivot legally out of the Engagement Zone.

Outcome: Red Jammer is declared Lead.

Rationale: At the moment that White Pivot left play, both Jammers had passed all in play Blockers. Because Red Jammer was foremost, Red Jammer was declared Lead.

Scenario C2.2.2.F

Red Jammer passes all Blockers on their initial trip through the Pack, except White Pivot. Due to unrelated gameplay, Officials declare a No Pack situation. Red Jammer remains behind White Pivot.

Outcome: The Jammer Referee should not declare Red Jammer Lead (yet).

Rationale: Although White Pivot is now out of play, No Pack situations are different from Out of Play situations regarding earning passes and gaining position to earn Lead Jammer status. During a No Pack situation, a Jammer must still earn passes and may not illegally gain position on Skaters while the Jammer is out of bounds.

Keep in Mind: As White Pivot is currently the foremost Blocker, Red Jammer could earn Lead Jammer status by passing White Pivot.

Keep in Mind: If the Pack was reformed and White Pivot was ahead of the Engagement Zone, at that point Red Jammer would meet the requirements to earn Lead Jammer status.

2.2.3. Pivot Blocker

No scenarios for Section 2.2.3

2.2.4. Passing the Star

A team’s Jammer may transfer their position by handing the Star to their team’s Pivot while both Skaters are upright, in bounds, and in play, and while neither the Jammer nor the Pivot is en route to, or in queue for, the Penalty Box.

—Origin: Section 2.2.4

Scenario C2.2.4.A

White Jammer removes their helmet cover and directly hands it to a White Non-Pivot Blocker. White Jammer releases the helmet cover.

Outcome: White Jammer should be penalized for initiating a Star Pass to an illegal recipient.

Rationale: White Jammer may only pass the Star to their Pivot. They may not pass the Star to a Blocker, regardless of the reasons for which they pass it.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer had not let go of the Star, or if White Blocker had refused to accept it (by letting it fall to the track rather than taking control of it), this would be an incomplete Star Pass rather than an illegal one. Incomplete Star Passes are not penalized.

Keep in Mind: If White Jammer were holding the Star and White Blocker wrested it from their grasp, it would have been White Blocker who initiated the illegal Star Pass, and thus White Blocker would be penalized.

Scenario C2.2.4.B

White Jammer removes their helmet cover and hands it to White Pivot. Before White Jammer releases their grip on the Star, White Pivot is knocked out of bounds. White Jammer then releases the Star to the out of bounds Pivot.

Outcome: White Jammer receives a penalty for passing the Star to an ineligible Pivot.

Rationale: Although White Jammer attempted to pass the Star while White Pivot was eligible, a Star Pass is a single point of exchange: the moment at which the Star is released.

Scenario C2.2.4.C

White Pivot’s Stripe falls off in normal gameplay. White Jammer removes their helmet cover, hands it to White Pivot, and releases the Star.

Outcome: White Jammer receives a penalty for passing the Star to an ineligible Pivot.

Rationale: A Pivot who is not visibly wearing the Stripe cannot use the privileges of being a Pivot, such as receiving a Star Pass or even recovering the Star after an incomplete Star Pass.

Scenario C2.2.4.D

Red 21 is the Jammer. They remove their helmet cover and throw it at Red 45, who is the Pivot. Red 45 (still the Pivot) catches the helmet cover and hands it back to Red 21 (still the Jammer). Both Skaters grip the Star, then Red 21 releases it. Red 45 maintains control of the Star and puts it on their helmet.

Outcome: Red 45 is now the Jammer.

Rationale: Throwing the Star is an incomplete Star Pass, not an illegal one. Catching the Star (out of the air) is the same as retrieving it (from the floor), so the Pivot is not required to let the Star fall to the track first. Once Red Jammer clutches the helmet cover, they reestablish their control of the Star regardless of whether the Pivot lets go or not. They then complete the Star Pass in a legal fashion.

Keep in Mind: If Red 45 had put on the helmet cover before they had handed it back to Red 21, this would have resulted in a penalty issued to Red 45.

Scenario C2.2.4.E

While moving through the Pack, the Star comes off Red Jammer’s helmet and sticks to White Blocker’s wrist guard. White Blocker pulls the helmet cover free and drops it outside the track boundary.

Outcome: White Blocker is not issued a penalty.

Rationale: White Blocker gained temporary possession of the helmet cover and dropped it out of play. Because White Blocker did not intentionally attempt to remove the Star from Red Jammer’s helmet, they should not be issued a penalty for accidentally coming into control of the Star as long as they immediately relinquish control of the Star. The Star may get moved as part of normal gameplay, but may not be controlled by anyone other than the Jammer or Pivot.

Keep in Mind: If White Blocker had not touched the Star, which was stuck to their wrist guard and allowed Red Jammer or Pivot to recover it once they are aware of it, no penalty would have occurred either.

Keep in Mind: If White Blocker had pulled the Star off their Velcro, but not immediately relinquished control of the Star once they removed it from their wrist guard, a penalty would have been issued.

Scenario C2.2.4.F

White Jammer legally passes the Star to White Pivot. Later in the Jam, White Pivot-turned-Jammer receives a penalty and goes to the Penalty Box. The Jam ends and Red team calls an Official Review. As a result of the review, the original White Jammer receives a penalty for an illegal action they took as Jammer.

Outcome: The additional penalty should be served by White Pivot-turned-Jammer and recorded for the original White Jammer. The original White Jammer should not be allowed to participate in the game until time for the penalty they earned has completed.

Rationale: White Jammer legally passed the Star, making White Pivot the new Jammer, but received a penalty upon review for an action committed while they were the Jammer. This would put two different White Skaters in the Box as a Jammer. A penalty is assigned to a Skater. The penalty time is assigned to a position, with the Skater not allowed to participate until it has been served. In this example, the original White Jammer receives the penalty and the current White Jammer (former Pivot) serves the time. Reverting the current Jammer to a Pivot or having the original Jammer serve the time as a Blocker would deprive Red team of earned advantages.

2.2.5. Blockers

No scenarios for Section 2.2.5

2.3. Engagement Zone & Pack

Refer to: Section 2.3

Scenario C2.3.A

Red Blocker 1 blocks White Blocker 1 out of bounds.

Outcome: No Pack. No penalty. White Blocker 1 must return in bounds to reform the Pack as soon as they can legally do so, and Red Blocker 1 must skate counterclockwise to allow White Blocker 1 to do so.

Rationale: Because there were no White Blockers within 10 ft (3.05m) of any Red Blockers, no Pack could be defined. All Blockers must work together to allow a Pack to reform as quickly as possible.

Scenario C2.3.B

The Red wall skates forward slowly while the White Blockers stand still.

Outcome: “No Pack” is declared. No penalty.

Rationale: The Red Blockers’ slow skating provided opportunity for White Pivot to maintain a Pack, so the Red Blockers should not be penalized. White Pivot is not required to maintain the Pack, but is required to work to reform a Pack if there is no Pack. Also, White Pivot is prohibited from making sudden movements that destroy the Pack.

Keep in Mind: If, instead of moving forward, the Red Blockers stayed still while White Pivot skated backward or took a knee, White Pivot should be penalized. Roller derby is played in the counterclockwise direction, so clockwise movement is held to a different standard than counterclockwise movement, and taking a knee is always a sudden action. Subtle movements such as shifting one’s weight while standing should not be considered sudden actions.

Scenario C2.3.C

In the above image, Red 3 and White Pivot are more than 10 ft (3.05m) apart, as are Red 1 and White 3 (if they were all in the center of the track, rather than on the line, they would be exactly 10ft/3.05m apart). Accordingly, the Pack is comprised of White Pivot, Red 2, White 1, and White 2. Red 1 and Red Pivot are out of play.

The Pack would be comprised of the following Skaters if the following Blockers took a knee:

White 2 White 1, Red 2, White Pivot
White 1 No Pack. Red 3 and White 3 could be a pack of 2, but so could White Pivot and Red 2.
Red 2 White 3 and Red 3
White Pivot White 1, White 2, Red 2
Red 3 or anybody ahead of them The pack does not change.

2.4. Blocks and Assists

No scenarios for Section 2.4.

2.5. Passing

No scenarios for Section 2.5.