L.A. Derby Dolls Official Rules
The L.A. Derby Dolls play on a banked oval track. In each game, two teams face off against each other. The game is divided into Jams, Quarters and Halves.
At the end of a game, the team with the most points, wins.
HOW IT WORKS
In each Jam, the two teams square off against one another with 5 skaters per team. The 5 skaters are divided into 4 defensive players known as Blockers (one of whom wears a striped helmet cover and is called the Pivot; like a quarterback, this position is the play-caller and controls her pack), and a points-scoring skater, known as a Jammer (identified by a helmet cover with a star).
The Blockers skate together in a formation known as a Pack. The Blockers' job is to stop, obstruct or force the opposing Jammer out of play to prevent her from scoring, while at the same time assisting their own Jammer. Play begins when one of the refs signals with a single whistle blast for the Pack to begin moving. Once the last Pack member crosses the starting line, another two whistle blasts signal the Jammers to start. The jam clock begins with the Jammer start whistle.
Once the Jam whistle is blown, the Jammers must make their way through the Pack and exit it completely to qualify for scoring. The Blockers from the opposing team will try to prevent them from doing so.
Once out of the Pack, the Jammers then race to lap the Pack. From this point, each time the Jammer laps a member of the opposing team while passes her in-bounds, she receive one point for her team.
A Jam is OVER when one of the following occurs:
- The 60 second time limit elapses.
- The Lead Jammer places both hands on her hips, calling off the Jam.
- When an official ends the Jam due to an emergency or skater injury
- A Jammer can earn one point for every skater on the opposing team she laps and passes as long as she is bounds,
- A Jammer is eligible to gain points, referred to as “Ghost Points,” for those members of the opposing team withheld from play (either due to penalties, or tactical decisions to withhold skaters by the opposing team) once the Jammer gains her first earned point. Ghost points are awarded once per scoring pass.
- The Jammer can only score on each Blocker once per scoring pass.
- A Jammer can also earn a point for opposing skaters who skate out of play while she is scoring. For example, the Jammer is entitled to immediately receive a point from every opposing Blocker who is leading the Pack by more than 20 feet once she clears the engagement zone (20 feet in front of the pack).
- A Jammer who commits a major penalty in the final Jam is subject to Last Jam Major Rules and may no longer accrue points or call off the Jam. A Blocker who commits a major penalty in the final Jam becomes an Ghost Point, although she can still count as the first earned point.
Skaters have limitations imposed on the parts of their body they may use to block an opponent. Jammers may block anywhere on the track, but Blockers also have limitations on the zone in which they are considered "in-play" to block opponents or assist their own skaters.
The following is a partial list of prohibitions that will result in penalties:
- A skater may not use any part of the arm below the elbow.
- A skater may not block with her feet or trip another skater.
- Blocking above the shoulders is not permitted, and is a major foul.
- It is illegal to block to the back.
- The infield is out of bounds, and skaters may not block while in the infield or initiate a block from the infield.
- Skaters may not be blocked once one skate is on the infield.
- No defensive player may drop back or lead the Pack by more than 20
- Unsportsmanlike conduct may result in a major penalty or expulsion.
A skater receives a major penalty (1 penalty point) when she has committed a foul with major game impact or could potentially endanger other skaters on the track. Examples of major penalties are: delivering a block from an illegal blocking zone or to an illegal target zone that causes an opposing skater to fall or lose relative position, causing a no pack situation that allows a Jammer to score, and blocking after the Jam.
A skater receives a minor penalty (.25 penalty points) when she commits a foul with minor game impact. Examples of minor penalties are: a block from an illegal blocking zone or to an illegal target zone that causes an opposing skater to move without falling or losing her relative position, stepping off the track without engagement, starting with a skate over the start line.
Skaters who accumulate a penalty point serve the next Jam in the penalty box as the position she held while the point was earned. The player’s team must skate down one skater. If a Jammer or Pivot receives a penalty point, the team may not field that position in the next Jam. If a skater receives more than one penalty point in a single Jam, the skater will only sit in the box for one Jam.
Skaters can be ejected for the following reasons:
- Accumulating 6 penalty points
- Any fighting will result in immediate expulsion
- 3 medical call offs for a single skater
- Gross insubordination to a game official
OTHER STUFF YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW
If a skater winds up in the infield, she must not better her position. She must enter the track from the position she entered the infield. Blocking a skater into the infield is a highly strategic tactic which forces her to an inferior position, often giving the Blocker's team time to assemble a tightened defense when the target skater re-enters the track.
If a skater winds up in the outfield, the referees may call the Jam off for safety reasons.
The teams work hard to control the front edge of the Pack, because the team that owns the front of the Pack can frequently prevent the opposing team's Jammer from being able to exit the Pack and score. The Blockers will attempt to unseat their opposition from the front edge of the Pack, even when the Jammer is not even close yet.
In a close contest, the Lead Jammer will often use her position to call off the Jam, rather than allow the opposing team to score. Sometimes they will attempt to score and time a call off with split second precision before a close skating competitor has an opportunity to score.