When I first started playing roller derby I lived with Ciderella (ARRG). We both went to lots of punk and hardcore gigs in Edinburgh and initially heard of Roller Derby after seeing a flyer in Bannermans where we used to drink.
Awesome words about the changing face of Roller Derby and it’s sliding shift from punk underground towards the mainstream.
And it starts with a sort of dictionary entry which I like.
So, in just a couple of weeks I’ll be researching more derby dictionary entries at the Men’s Europeans Roller Derby Championship in Birmingham, U.K. and it’s made me wonder… What’s your favourite terms associated with Men’s Roller Derby?
Normally associated with the Power Jam, the passive offence sees the team with the jammer on track remaining as stationary as possible, while the penalty killing team try to hold the jammer as long as possible before either they run out of engagement zone or there is a no pack.
Some new Entries to the Dictionary. Keep sending your suggestions over to keep the RDD minions busy.
9 Month Injury Pregnancy…
recurring theme amongst UK Refs. The use of Leopards is not specifically outlawed in the WFTDA or MRDA rulesets and so it was posed by Southern DiscomfortsSutton Impact that he would bring a leopard to MERDC to help him jam… Now any serious rules discussion amongst UK Refs will include a reference to leopards.
Not Lead A Jammer without Lead Jammer Status
Queen of the Track Drill/Game. There are many variations of this game however the main theme is that players attempt to put each other down or out of bounds. Once a player is down or out they are out of the game. The last skater left in is declared queen of the track.
Runt See Goat
Short Forward Plate mounting style. A plate shorter than the boot is mounted forward on the boot so that the rear wheels are under the arch of the foot.
Today I am going to look at some interesting and amusing terminology surrounding the place every skater hates to spend time, the Penalty Box.
BusQueue A penalty box with a number of skaters sitting and standing at the same time, resembling a group of potential passengers awaiting the arrival of the Number 32.
Cake Sale A period of increased activity at the Sin Bin. When lots of players are being sent to the box in the same jam. “The blue team blockers are heading to the bin like they have half price cake on sale…”
School Chair Skittles The act of scattering the penalty box chairs in an overzealous attempt at getting into the box quickly.
Mystery Referee said ‘As a ref, I feel the clarification “and doesn’t hit anyone on the other team.” should be added. Because if she does, then we must sacrifice her to the box. At least by the currently-in-use WFTDA rules.’
Our striped minions here have checked the WFTDA rulebook and decided that the clarification doesn’t need to specify “other team” as the rules for Misconduct don’t specify that it has to be contact with an opposing skater.
Jumping the Apex
A move where the skater cuts the inside of the track by jumping over it. A move which is legal as long as the skater jumps from in-bounds, lands in-bounds and does not make contact with any other skaters in the process.
Whoops! So I thought I had posted these ages ago but have just found the draft of it in the hands of a minion. The said minion has been locked into a referee kit bag for a week as a punishment.
I have to throw a massive shout out to Bob Noxious for a lot of the following entries and clarifications. If you have never heard of Bob Noxious, he is one of the founders of the AFTDA and a much respected announcer.
B2, B3, B4
Terms for the blocker positions. B4 is normally the big hitter that hangs about at the back to kill jammers - This differs from coach to coach and some opt for and older school system of P(pivot), B1, B2,B3.
Mens Roller Derby - This term is falling out of favour with a lot of mens leagues now and some mens leagues see it as a derogatory term.
Another name for the Can Opener - It’s a move made famous by Helen Wheels, one of the sport’s early skaters who played with AZRD. AZRD’s travel team is the Tent City Terrors, a band of prisoner’s on the lam. AZRD often skated under different names for inter-league than league play. Helen was dressed as the Sheriff on the lam with the prisoners and their go to jammer. Her skate name on the Terrors was “Sheriff Shutyopieo,” sounding like Sheriff Shut Your Pie Hole. She was the first to use the move in inter-league play and the name “Sheriff” stuck. (Thanks to Bobby Nox for this explanation!)
A booty block where the blocker in front sits back into the lap of the player(normally a jammer) behind them in order to slow them down and stop them getting past. Once slowing down the opposing jammer, the blocker squats down farther, protruding her booty into the jammer behind her. This “butt in the gut” allows the blocker to literally stall and move the jammer at will.
A wall where one player skates backwards in front of the wall and physically directs the rest of the wall with pushes and pulls.
A tool used to insert bearings into wheels. Often they can be used to remove bearings from wheels.
A blocker who is extending the engagement zone by skating as far away from the rest of the blockers while still being part of the pack.
Clothing company specialising in apparel for Roller Derby
A form of transition.
Derby News Network. A website dedicated to streaming coverage of Roller Derby Bouts
A method of accelerating on skates. The feet are placed at 45 degree angles to the body(making a v shape in front of the skater) and then the skater starts stepping forward.
A rating for wheels or bushings. Relates to the Shore Hardness scale. As a general rule the lower the number the softer and therefore grippier the wheel. Derby wheels generally sit in the range of 80A - 105A. For more in depth info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shore_durometer
Roller Derby Magazine
Extra padding usually worn beneath the knee or elbow pads.
Jumping the Apex
A move where the skater cuts the inside of the track by jumping over it. A move which is legal as long as the skater jumps from in-bounds and lands in-bounds.
Imaginary lanes on a derby track. Used by some coaches/blockers in training and drills.
see Baseball Slide.
Annual Roller Derby Convention
A rugby style scrum of players. Usually seen during the jam line start tactic where all the blockers are huddled together with the jammers fighting to get through.
See Fresh Meat
To move side to side by altering the angle of the skates like a slalom skier.
Toe Stop Start
A method of accelerating by running on the toe stops of the skates.
A bruise of the crotch caused by falling on a skate. See Skate Rape
Butt to the Gutt
See Sit Block
Mens Derby Coalition
the original name of the mens derby governing body. It was officially changed in 2011 to Mens Roller Derby Association.
The Flying Squirrel
an egregious foul where one skater takes down an opponent by leaving her feet and generally tackling the opponent. This foul, if seen, leads to expulsion.
a blocker or jammer usually hip whipping themselves off a teammate to pass opponents.
Leading into a block helmet first
Roller Derby Association of Canada
Don’t be a Douchebag! - See No Douchebag Rule
Original Dust Devil
WFTDA’s first event, held February 24-26, 2006 at Bladeworld in Tucson, AZ. It served as the first National Championship, crowning the Texacutioners the sport’s first national champs who defeated the hosting Tucson Saddletramps. It was also the first public use of standardized rules, WFTDA 1.0. It was played by 20 teams:
AZRD - Arizona Roller Derby
Assassination City Derby - Dallas
Bay Area Derby Girls
Carolina Rollergirls - Raleigh
Dallas Derby Devils
Duke City Derby - albuquerque, NM
Gotham Girls Roller Derby
Houston Roller Derby
Kansas City Roller Warriors
Mad Rollin’ Dolls (Madison, WI)
Minnesota Roller Girls (St. Paul, MN)
Providence Roller Derby - RI
Rat City Rollergirls - Seattle, WA
Rocky Mountain Rollergirls - Denver
Rose City Rollers - Portland
Sin City Rollergirls - Las Vegas
Texas Rollergirls - Austin, TX
Tucson Roller Derby - Tucson, AZ (host)
Windy City Rollers (Chicago)
Your finish in this tournament served as the intial rankings, upon which we’ve voted on and assigned based on playoff tournaments ever since.
The tournament name has been used by Tucson, however, the original Dust Devil was the only time it served as the National Championship Tournament. There were no Regional Tournaments. Teams qualified if they had two public bouts
Term given to a line of kneeling blockers trying to cover the entire width of the track at the jam line.
The First Men's European Roller Derby Championship (MERDC)
So this weekend saw history made as the 1st Men’s European Roller Derby Championship was held in Birmingham, England. The Roller Derby Dictionary had a team of researchers there eagerly writing down new expressions as they were coined and even listened in as El Toupee, Russell Banned, Bulldog and Sven WillIBeFamous discussed the finer points of Unicornism…
Here is the first of the updates from MERDC about this very point.
Unicorn 5 Grand Slams in a row(or a 25 - 29 point jam). Named after the mythical creature of legend.
Golden Unicorn 6 Grand Slams in a row(or a 30 - 34 point jam).
Platinum Unicorn 7 Grand Slams in a row(or a 35 -39 point jam).
Diamond Unicorn 8 Grand Slams in a row(or a 40 - 44 point jam).
Rainbow Unicorn 10 Grand Slams in a Row(or any jam scoring over 50 points).
Just on the subject of Grand Slams, Here’s a variation of the Grand Slam.
Natural Grand Slam A Grand Slam where the jammer lap point is gained by lapping the jammer on track and not from a NOTT point/Ghost Point.
The Roller Derby Dictionary wouldn’t be complete without an entry for the MERDC so here it is:
MERDC The Men’s European Roller Derby Championships. First held at the Futsal Arena, Birmingham, England on the weekend on 28th/29th July 2012. The first winners were Southern Discomfort Roller Derby.
Firstly let me apologise for not posting any entries in AAAAAGES!. I won’t let it happen again.
Secondly let me apologise to the 2 people that submitted entries for “Bleacher Creatures” and “Soul Crush”. I wanted to edit these to attribute them to you but once I clicked to publish them it stopped telling me who you were… And Now onto some new entries!
Scrimmage A practice of gameplay. Normally abbreviated to Scrim
Alternate One of the designated people allowed to speak to the Referees during a bout.
Gotham Web A wall where the blockers reach out and touch either the hips or shoulders of the other blockers in the wall creating a web of legs and arms
CannonBalling Throwing a Team mate into the path of an opposing player. See “Punish the Bullet, Not the Gun”
Punish the Bullet, Not the Gun Phrase used by refs to explain who picks up a penalty if a CannonBalled player commits a foul as a result of being thrown/assisted.
25 in 5 The Minimum Skill Requirement of skating 25 laps of the track in under 5 minutes.
Winning the Afterparty Out dancing or out drinking the opposing team at the afterparty
The Soul Crush refers to a move where a blocker knocks an opposing jammer or blocker (depending on the situation) out of bounds and then the blocker skates backwards on the track forcing the opposing player to either skate back to re-enter behind him or take the track cut penalty. When it is the opposing jammer that is knocked out of play, a smart pack will all start to skate backwards in the hopes that a less-experienced pack will also skate backwards. This happens quite a bit and is amazing to see executed well. The name refers to the fact that you are crushing the soul of your opponent.
Sorry I lost the name of the person that contributed this. If you’re out there let me know who you are…
Happy new year from me, Professor Dick Shonary and my team of troglodyte derby dictionary archivists.
The new year sees some more gems unearthed to be added to the dictionary.
2 More Jams There is never a last jam in a scrimmage. There is always one more. This comes from a superstition that if there is ever a last jam someone will be injured. "It’s 21:29 and we have to pack up at 21:30, 2 More Jams then!".
Bench Manager Each team is allowed to have extra personnel in the bench area during a bout. These are normally the bench manager and the lineup manager. The Bench manager is in charge of the tactics for the team and shouting advice to the players on track. The Bench manager is normally also the Alternate and so can query or challenge rules and decisions made during play.
Boutmas Eve The night before a bout when all good rollergirls get excited and go to bed early so that bout day comes quicker.
Fearleader The roller derby equivalent of a cheerleader in other sports. Same deal - Team colours, Pom poms but way more attitude.
Helmet Tapper A jam where one jammer is continually lapping the other. From the tapping of the wrist guard against the helmet of the Jam Ref whenever his jammer is being lapped. "This jam is turning into a real helmet tapper marty…"
Jeerleader See Fearleader
Lineup Manager The lineup manager is in charge of sending the right players out onto track at the right time in the right positions. See also Bench Manager
Skate Out The introduction of the teams to the crowd. Some skateouts are simple with the team skating in a pack and as their name is called by the announcer they give a wave. Some are super elaborate and involve glow sticks, flags, custom costumes and laser light shows. Normally accompanied by the teams chosen theme song.
Swimming Pulling yourself through a pack of players using a swimming motion. Often a Newbie thing that leads to many a forearms penalty.
Possibly the last update of 2011. A few entries garnered from afterparty discussions with players, refs and announcers.
Also from the smell emanating from the skate bag in the corner of my house…
Seal Clubbing A shoulder check from behind to the outside of the shoulder made with the upper arm/shoulder of the initiator. Normally a movement with only the upper body designed to throw a hit at the opposing player when close up.
Philly Wall A wall made of 2 or 3 blockers facing each other, across the track, touching palm to palm and 1 blocker standing in front of them facing backwards and pushing on them to stabilise.
Pad Stink The bad smell that seems to cling to roller derby safety equipment no matter how much you wash it. Most Derbygirls seem to become immune to the effects. Some actively encourage it.
Stank See Pad Stink
Straight Back Up Shout often heard from Newcastle Roller Girl Bettie BasHer when a teammate takes a spill
AFTDA Association of Flat Track Derby Announcers. The AFTDA is an organistion dedicated to ensuring that announcers at roller derby events the world over adhere to standard behaviours and codes of conduct. They also provide certification as a means of testing announcers on their knowledge of the rules, hand signals and the AFTDA handbook and code of conduct.
Just trying to fill in a lot of the definitions I’ve been sitting on for a while and hopefully everything from now will be suggested by you lovely people. If you are ever at an afterparty with me and I suddenly start pinning you down for a precise definition of something it will be as research for this. Anyway, onto the entries…
Fresh Meat A new skater that has not completed minimum skills.
Ghost Points Points that a jammer can accrue without having to pass the player. Examples of ghost points include players not on the track, players in the penalty box and players outside of the engagement zone.
Hip Check A hit to an opponent using the hips
Hip Whip A whip taken from a teammate by grabbing their hips and pulling yourself forward.
Hit Any form of check or contact blocking manouvre
Hybrids Skate Part. Wheels. Hybrids are wheels which are designed to be the best of both worlds. They provide good amounts of roll and grip. Examples of Hybrids are Atom Poisons and Reidell Shadows.
Jammerless Jam A jam in which there is a period of time with no jammer on the track as both are in the penalty box. This is outlined in section 7.4.1. of the WFTDA Rules
J-Block See Can Opener
Juking Juking is the act of feinting and dodging to try and send a blocker in one direction while you go the other.
MRDA Mens Roller Derby Association. Formerly MDC or Mens Derby Coalition. Often pronounced ‘Murder’.
No Douchebag Rules Rule employed when scrimmaging with newer players. This basically means that the more experienced players rein in the big hits and sneaky tactics.
Non-scoring Pass The initial pass that the jammers make in the jam is the non scoring pass
Pushers Skate Part. Wheels. Pushers are grippy wheels which are used in combination with Tuners. Pushers are the wheels which are used when cornering and when accelerating
Roller Derby Saved My Soul Song. Uncle Leon and the Alibis song about our favourite sport. Almost an unofficial theme song.
RollerGirl Generic name for a skater in Roller Derby.
Rollygamy Having multiple derby wives
Sheriff Block Another name for the Can Opener
Skate Fast, Turn Left Common slogan outlining the basics of being a Roller Derby Player
Skate Rape Falling on a skate in a sensitive area and feeling slightly violated afterwards.
Taking a Knee Most commonly seen as a tactic to start the jammers straight away taking a knee is where all blockers on one team kneel down before the jam start forcing an immediate no pack situation. Taking a Knee also refers to the courtesy that is afforded whenever a skaters goes down injured and stays down. While they are being seen to on track it is etiquette for all skaters to kneel.
Tuners Skate Part. Wheels. Tuners are slippy, hard wheels which are used for maximum speed. Often combined with Pushers to make a custom setup for grip and speed.
Turn Stop A stop where the skater transitions and then rises onto the toe stops or drags a toestop while transitioning.
We’re Number 2! Chant popularised from the film Whip It. Chanted by the losing team at the end of a bout.
WFTDA The Womens Flat Track Derby Association. Often Pronounced ‘Woof-tuh-duh’.
Whip It Film. 2009 indie film starring Ellen Paige, Juliette Lewis and Drew Barrymore. Even though it is based around Banked Track this film brought a lot of popularity to the sport(both banked track and flat track) worldwide.
If you are a skater, an NSO, a ref, or even tangentially involved with a Roller Derby league, here are a few tips on how to help your league’s announcer improve and create a more enriching experience for your audience.
This is a nice little guide to what it is to be an announcer.
Today’s entries are all website/meme related. In the past 6 months there have been a number of derby based memes springing up and as they express a big part of derby culture then I felt it necessary to include them.
Pack Is Here Jesus website/meme. Facebook group which started collecting non derby pictures which resembled people showing the “Pack Is Here” referee hand signal. Named after a statue of Jesus in this pose.
Things in Real Life That Remind You Of Roller Derby website/meme. Facebook page started at around the same time as Pack is Here Jesus this website collects non derby photos of Things in Real Life That Remind you of Roller Derby
What Would Suzy Hotrod Do? (WWSHD) website/meme. Humourous slogans are added to a picture of Gotham Girls/Team USA skater Suzy Hotrod to emphasise how hardcore she is. Examples include, “No chair at desk, Squat for 9 hours”. http://whatwouldsuzyhotroddo.tumblr.com/
Some more new entries today. Still filling up the dictionary with the most common terms.
Remember to share this around and get submitting new terms or updated definitions.
Big 5 The “Big 5” tournaments are the four Regional Playoff Tournaments and the WFTDA Championship tournament held each year that determine the top teams of the WFTDA.
Big 5 Setup This is the track layout used in the Big 5 tournament bouts. The penalty box is located in the centre of the home straight, between the jam line and pivot line. The team benches are located either side of the penalty box.
Bridging A Blocker moving away from the body of the pack but still remaining within proximity to be counted as part of the pack. This extends the engagement zone from that player and so allows another blocker to chase out.
Can Opener A block where the blocker is side by side with the target. The Blocker drops low and throws their shoulder into the targets chest area throwing them backwards.
C-Block A block where the blocker is side by side with the target and then laterals quickly across the front of the target impacting with her front. The c-block name comes from the skates almost carving a c shaped path on the track.
Derby Wife A derby wife is another skater who has your back. They are the person who sticks up for you on and off track, and will support you throughout your derby career.
Derbywise Counter-clockwise. The normal direction of Gameplay in Roller Derby
Flat Track Roller Derby variant played on a completely flat surface. The most popular form of Roller Derby mainly because specialist tracks are not needed and tracks can be laid out on any flat floor using tape.
Most of the bulk updating is done now so I can concentrate on adding some new definitions in nice manageable chunks.
I’m also now really intrigued as to where the term “Goat” actually comes from. Some research is much needed I think.
Here are todays Entries:
4th Minor If a skater picks up 4 minor penalties they are sent to the penalty box for 1 minute.
Cake Sale A period of increased activity at the Sin Bin. When lots of players are being sent to the box in the same jam.
False Start Jammers have to start the jam behind the jam line and blockers have to be between the pivot line and the jam line. If a player is out of position on track when the whistle is blown then they will pick up a false start penalty. The level of the penalty depends on whether they yield the advantage they have gained.
Goat A goat is a player held behind a wall with the effect of controlling the pack speed. Often referred to as Getting a Goat or Grabbing a Goat.
Jam Line The Jam line is the line on the track where the jammers start. The Jammers must be on or behind this line when the jam starts or they will pick up a false start penalty. The jam line is situated 30 feet behind the pivot line.
Pivot Line The pivot line is the line that all blockers must start behind. The pivot line is situated 30 feet in front of the jam line and at the top of the straight before turn 1.
Wall 2 or more players skating shoulder to shoulder to impede opposing skaters.
Dick Shonary Roller Derby Dictionary Master Archivist.
Adding more of the standard terms from the WFTDA rules and a few cheeky slang entries today.
Remember you can submit your own Roller Derby Dictionary Entries(or suggest a change to an existing entry) using the Submit Button on the right.
Assist An engagement with a team mate which helps them. This may be a whip or a push.
Axle Skate Part. The axle holds the bearing and wheel.
Backblock Any contact to the back of the torso, booty, or legs of an opponent. It is not considered blocking from behind if the Blocker is positioned behind the opponent (as demarked by the hips) but takes contact to a legal target zone.
Banked Track A form of Roller Derby on a track with banked sides.
Bearing Skate Part. The bearing fits inside the wheel and is the bit that makes it spin properly.
Beaver Cleaver slang. A backwards chop with the hand that lands in the crotch of the skater behind.
Bettering Your Position Improving your position while out of bounds by passing an upright and skating player who is in bounds and re-entering the track in front of her.
Block Blocking is any movement on the track designed to impede or dislocate an opponent. Blocking includes the possible counter-blocking motion initiated by the opponent to counteract the block; counter-blocking is treated as a block and held to the same standards and rules. Blocking need not include contact. Impeding the movement of an opposing skater by hitting her or positioning yourself in her path.
Blocker Blockers are the positional players that form the pack. The Pivot Blocker is one of the four Blockers per team allowed in each jam
Blocking Zone Areas of the body that may be used to hit an opponent when performing a block.
Bout A bout or game is composed of sixty (60) minutes of play divided into two periods of thirty (30) minutes played between two teams.
Call off the Jam The lead Jammer has the option to end the jam at any point by touching her hips repeatedly.
Cherry Popper A Skate in their first bout.
Contact Zone Areas of the body that may be used to give or receive a hit
Counter-Block Counter-blocking is any motion/movement towards an oncoming block by the receiving skater which is designed to counteract an opponent’s block. Counterblocking is treated as a block and held to the same standards and rules. Standing up, turning away, ducking, etc is not considered counter-blocking.
CroKiss An abrasion caused by the velcro of another players pad rubbing against skin. From Velcro Kiss.
Crossover A Stride in skating where the skater steps across with one foot while pushing with the trailing foot.
Cutting the Track Penalty. Cutting the track is a penalty when you pass players whilst out of bounds. The penalty applies when the player
Derby Name See Skate Name
Derby Owned This is normally attached to businesses which are run by skaters to cater for skaters.
Derby Virgin A First time spectator
Designated Alternate The Captain selects an additional person to act in their stead; this person is the Designated Alternate. The Designated Alternate may be another skater, coach or manager. The Designated Alternate must be one of the sixteen individuals described in Section 2.1.4. A team shall only have one Designated Alternate.
Down Skaters are considered down if they have fallen, been knocked to the ground or have taken a knee. Skaters on one knee are considered down. After downing herself or falling, a skater is considered down until she is standing, stepping, and/or skating. Stationary standing players are not considered down.
Engage Any sort of interaction with another skater on the track during a jam. (See also Assist and Block)
Engagement Zone The zone in which skaters may legally engage. The legal Engagement Zone extends from twenty (20) feet behind the rearmost pack member to twenty (20) feet in front of the foremost pack member, between the inside and outside track boundaries. Jammers may engage each other outside of the Engagement Zone.
Expulsion To remove a skater from the remainder of the game for serious physical violence or any action deemed by the officials to cause an extraordinary physical threat to others.
Falling Small Falling with the arms and legs controlled, tucked in to the body, and not flailing
Fouling Out To remove a skater for the remainder of the game for excessive turns served in the penalty box.
Fruit Boots See Inlines
Game See Bout
Game Roster The skaters that are actually suited up and eligible to play on game day
Gross Misconduct An indiscretion so serious that it justifies the instant expulsion of a skater, even on the first occurrence.
Illegal Procedures Technical infractions that give the offending team an advantage but do not directly impact a specific opponent.
Impact A foul has an impact on safety or game play when a measurable physical force or effect can be observed.
In Bounds A skater is in bounds as long as all parts of the skater’s body and equipment that are in contact with the ground are within or on the track boundary. If a skater jumps, and ceases all contact with the ground her prior in bounds/out of bounds status is maintained until contact with the ground re-establishes in bounds/out of bounds status. In bounds skaters are not necessarily in play.
In Play When a skater is positioned within the Engagement Zone and is in bounds, she is in play and may legally block and assist. Downed players are not in play. Jammers may engage each other anywhere inside the track boundaries for the duration of the jam, but must be within the Engagement Zone in order to legally initiate engagement with Blockers
Infield The area in the centre of the track. The is where the Inside Pack Refs and Jam refs skate and also where NSOs and NSO equipment is placed.
Initial Pass The first pass a Jammer makes through the pack. No score is awarded on this pass; it is only used to establish the Lead Jammer.
Initiator of the Block The skater who makes contact with a target zone of an opponent is the initiator of the block. The initiator of a block is always responsible for the legality of the contact.
Inlines These are skates with all the wheels mounted in a straight line down centre of the boot.
Insubordination Willfully failing to comply with a referee’s orders.
Jam Jams are two (2) minute races between teams to score points.
Jammer Jammers are the point scorers for their teams. Each team is permitted one Jammer per jam. The Jammers are identified by stars on their helmet cover.
Jammer Lap Point If one Jammer completely laps the opposing Jammer, she will score an additional point each time she fully laps her. Exceptions occur when the opposing Jammer is not on the track
Lap A complete pass through the pack; this may require more than one trip around the track.
Lap of Dishonour The route an expelled skater takes when heading for the locker room.
Lead Jammer The Lead Jammer is the first Jammer to pass the foremost in-playBlocker legally and in bounds, having already passed all other Blockers legally and in bounds.
Loss of Relative Position When a skater’s position in relation to other skaters on the track is lost for sustained period of time due to the actions of an opponent, such as a legal block or an illegal block. Being forced out of bounds is always to be considered a loss of relative position.
Low Block A Trip or Low Block is any contact which lands on an opponent’s feet or legs, below the legal target zone, that causes the skater to stumble or fall.
Major Penalty A foul that has a measurable physical force or effect which causes harm or adversely affects the game. Assessed if the infraction has extensive impact on safety or game play.
Minor Penalty A foul that has a measurable physical force or effect but does not cause harm or adversely affect the game. Assessed if the infraction has limited impact on safety or game play.
Misconduct Wrongful or improper behaviour motivated by intentional purpose or obstinate indifference to the rules.
Multi-player Block Blocking with multiple players via a grabbing, holding, linking or joining fashion that impedes an opponents’ movement
Newbie See Fresh Meat
No Pack There is no pack when there is not a group of Blockers (from both teams) skating within proximity to each other or when there are two or more equally numbered groups of Blockers not skating within proximity to each other.
NSO Non Skating Official. NSOs assist the referees by recording the score, recording and timing the penalties, timing the jams and updating the scoreboards.
OSDA The Old School Derby Association was formed in 2007 and combines the modern rules of roller derby with the old school banked tracked rules. OSDA is open to women, men, co-ed, flat and banked leagues
Out Of Bounds A skater is out of bounds when any part of the skater’s body or equipment is touching the ground beyond the track boundary. If a skater jumps, and ceases all contact with the ground her prior in bounds/out of bounds status is maintained until contact with the ground re-establishes in bounds/out of bounds status. Out of Bounds skaters are not in play.
Out Of Pack A skater is out of pack when she is more than ten (10) feet from the nearest pack skater but within twenty (20) feet of the nearest pack skater.
Out Of Play A Blocker that is positioned more than twenty (20) feet outside the pack, out of bounds, or down is out of play. A Jammer that is out of bounds is out of play.
Pace line a Line of skaters approximately arms length apart keeping the same speed. Often used in drills.
Pack The pack is defined by the largest group of Blockers, skating in proximity, containing members from both teams. The Jammers are independent of this definition.
Pads Skaters are required to wear Knee and Elbow pads along with Wrist Guards, a gumshield and a Helmet as the minimum safety equipment.
Pass To pass is to move in front of an opposing skater by positioning your hips in front of hers. A pass begins with the Jammer behind the pack and ends when the Jammer has cleared the pack by twenty feet. To begin the next pass, the Jammer must fully lap the pack and catch up to the back of the pack.
Penalty The punishment meted out for infringement of the game rules.
Penalty Box The area where skaters must serve time for committing fouls. The Penalty box comprises of 6 chairs (3 per team) and is demarcated by a Point of No Return 10 foot from the edge of the chairs. Skaters must enter the penalty box in a counter-clockwise direction.
Plow Stop A method of Slowing down and/or stopping which involved spreading your feet wide and pointing the toes inwards much like a skier.
Point of No Return A line demarcating where the penalty box ends. If a skater passes the point of no return they must skate round the track in the ref lane again to enter the penalty box from a counter-clockwise direction.
Positional Blocking A.K.A. Body Blocking, Frontal Blocking, Passive Blocking. Passive blocking is blocking without contact, positioning yourself in front of an opposing skater to impede her movement on the track. It may also be done unintentionally, if the blocking skater is not aware of the skater’s position behind her.
Proximity A measure of distance for in play skaters that is defined as skating not more than ten feet in front of or behind the nearest pack skater.
Quads Quad skates. These are skates which have 4 wheels, one mounted in each corner of the skate. These are the only style of skate allowed to be worn by players. Refs are allowed to wear inlines.
Recycling See Waterfall
Re-engage A skater positioning herself in front of an opponent who has already passed her.
Ref a Referee
Ref Lane The 10 foot safety zone around the outside of the track. This is where the Outside Pack Refs skate their normal line. Skaters also use the ref lane to skate to the penalty box.
Relative Position The position a skater holds in relation to other skaters on the track.
Re-Pass The act of passing an opponent who has already been passed during the current lap. If the Jammer drops back behind an opponent that she passed illegally, by being reengaged or repositioning herself, she may attempt to pass her again legally.
Scoring Pass Any pass a Jammer makes through the pack after the completed initial pass. Points may only be earned on scoring passes. A Jammer Lap Point is independent of this definition.
Shorted Skater The skater serving a penalty in the penalty box
Skate Name Most skaters opt to take a pseudonym for their on track alter ego. Often these are puns or parodies of celebrity names mixed with a violent or ghoulish nature. Examples of skate names are Suzy Hotrod, Bonnie Thunders, Juicy Lucy.
Snow Plow See Plow Stop
Straddling Skater Skaters are straddling the track boundary line when they are simultaneously touching both inside and outside the track boundary line.
Substitutions Replacing a skater on the track or in the penalty box with another skater.
Suicide Seats The section of seats closest to the track. Normally on the floor these are the best place to see the action but also the most likely place to end up with a ref or rollergirl in your lap.
Suspension To remove a skater from more than one game.
Target Zone Areas of the body on an opponent that a skater may hit when performing a block
The Star The Jammers Helmet Cover
Toe Guard Skate Part. A strip of leather which wraps the front of the skate to prevent damage to the boot beneath when sliding on the knees.
Toe Stop Skate Part. The hardware on the skate designed to act as a brake.
Track The oval shaped course that the skaters try to stay on.
Training Wheeler See Fresh Meat
Transition Turning to face the opposite direction when skating.
Tripping See Low Block
Truck and Trailer when two teammates skate, one directly in front of the other, with the front (truck) pulling the back (trailer). Can be an effective method of getting a jammer through a pack.
Trucks Skate Part. The truck connects to the plate and holds the axles in place. These can be adjusted to change the amount of flex in the skate changing the way skate turns.
T-Stop A method of slowing down and/or stopping which involves placing the one foot behind the other to form a T shape. The rear skates wheels are dragged along acting as a brake.
USARS USARS is an acronym that stands for USA Roller Sports. It’s a form of insurance that is required for skaters by most roller derby leagues in the United States
Warnings A formal verbal indication from the referee that play is improper and that a skater must take corrective action.
I’m going to be filling in some of the blanks in the dictionary with the fundamentals. This will mean pulling in some of the standard definitions from the WFTDA rulebook for the official term before the euphamisms start creeping in.
Panty - See Helmet Cover
Helmet Cover – A stretchy fabric cover to be worn over the helmet by the Jammer and Pivot. The Jammers Helmet Cover has a Star on each side. The Pivot helmet cover has a Stripe running from front to back down the middle of the cover.
Whip – An Assist. Whips can be given or taken. To give a whip 1 player grabs another and propels them forward. To take a whip 1 player grabs another and pulls themselves forward.
Star Pass – Tactical Manoeuvre where the jammer gives the helmet cover to the pivot and the pivot becomes the jammer for the remainder of the jam.
Panty Pass – see Star Pass
Slow-ller Derby – Derby played at a crawl speed with both teams jostling almost on the spot to try and slow the game down.
No-ller Derby – A jam where neither team moves at all at the start and so the clock ticks down with the jammers never being released. This happened most recently several times in a row during the 2011 Westerns Rocky Mountain vs Oly bout.