The Burlington Bombers are hosting an open scrimmage this Saturday and we’re putting the final touches on our first, full home bout in August. What an exciting time to be in derby and the Burlington area! Some of our family, friends, and fans are going to be brand new to derby. Besides the newness of the game itself, there are a lot of inside tips which will help you get the most out of your bout attending experience.
Roller Derby is a sport the whole family will enjoy. Our skaters have “skater names” which can be racy, but are taken on to help us separate the very different person that is revealed when we play our sport from our professional lives living and working in this community.
If you’ll be attending a bout at the Essex Skating Facility, be prepared for a very fan-friendly, family-friendly, intimate experience! Not only will our fans be allowed and encouraged to sit trackside (and possibly find a roller girl or boy in the lap), we’re continuing to party with our teams at OnTap after the bouts!
So bring your comfy sports chair, buy a beverage at the snack bar, and get ready to witness some intense roller sports action!
What to bring
- Your friends, family, and kids
- Money for food, beverage and donations
- A derby team shirt (Don’t have one? Get one at the bout!)
- Cameras – still and video (for sharing with the team and posting on the web)
- Noise makers
- Signs supporting your favorite skater or group of skaters
How derby is Played
The blockers form a skating pack. The pack starts skating at the first whistle then the jammers (who start behind the pack) start sprinting at the second whistle. The jammers then skate through the pack to get in scoring position. The first one through the pack legally is called the lead jammer.
Both jammers continue to sprint around the pack a second time and get through the pack again. On their second and future trips, a point is scored for every opponent passed. The blockers work to stop the other team’s jammer from passing and help their team’s jammer get through. The Jam goes on for 2 minutes or until the Lead Jammer calls it off.
Blockers help their own jammer with assists known as whips and pushes. Teammates have no restriction in assisting each other and may touch, push, pull, and grab. Blocking opponents, however, comes with some restrictions – no tripping, blocking the back, hitting with elbows, forearms or hands, or hitting above the shoulders or below mid-thigh.
Skaters may not skate in a clockwise direction to hit and skating out of bounds or too far in front or behind the pack can also earn a penalty. Penalties send skaters to the penalty box for a minute and the team skates short those skaters until penalties are served.
A bout is usually made up of two 30-minute periods with 15 minutes in between each half.
After the bout, skaters love to meet with fans, sign t-shirts, programs, and fliers. So don’t be afraid to step up after the bout and visit with your favorite skaters. Both teams would love to talk with you, have their pictures taken with you, and talk derby.
That’s why we do it! We play derby because its fun. We hope when you come to one of our bouts you’ll find it contagious!
If you have a question we could answer in our FAQ, want to know more about our league, teams, sponsorship or derby in general, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.