How To Roller Derby



On today’s show we enter the world of roller derby with Dothan Roller Derby’s very own Pamela Slammerson! She is one of the athletes participating in Southeast Alabama on the Dothan Roller Derby Team.

Get all the behind the scenes info on this exciting women’s sport and see how it is growing in Southeast Alabama and around the world.

Check out their Dothan Roller Derby Facebook Page Here

Show Notes and Transcript

Learn more about Dothan Roller Derby

Brief History
Our organization was established in November of 2015 upon the merger of Enterprise Roller Derby and Circle City Chaos. They had the same goals: bringing a new women’s sport to the Dothan, giving the Wiregrass a great athletic event, spurring the local economy, and giving back to the local community.

Both leagues met on December 9, 2015, to discuss the potential merger. At the end of the meeting, members were overwhelmingly in favor of a merger. We then started combining practice schedules, bouting seasons, and other resources.

“Something Different”
Dothan Roller Derby knows that the Wiregrass area loves sports, and we want to offer “something different” to our citizens. Roller Derby has wonderful elements of other sports while also remaining unique as a full-contact women’s sport played on rollerskates. We are confident that our fans will love seeing area residents playing the FASTEST GROWING WOMEN’S SPORT IN THE WORLD.

“Charitable and Community-Minded”
DRD is been decidedly community-minded, combining the efforts of members from Dothan, Abbeville, Ozark, Enterprise, and other surrounding areas. Previous charities include:

Wiregrass Children’s Home
Girls, Inc.
SOS Animal Shelter
Team RWB for Ft Rucker
Vivian B Adams School

Each of our bouts will fund a local charity, and we’ll be active in the charity community throughout the year. The more people at our bouts, the more money we can donate to these worthy organizations.

“Family-Friendly Entertainment”
Our bouts at the Civic Center will be consciously family-friendly. Kids 5 and under get in for free. All of our halftime entertainment will be family-friendly, and our bout music will be appropriate for all ages. We want to make everyone comfortable at our bouts!

“What’s Roller Derby?”
Modern roller derby is essentially a race. Each team fields 4 blockers 1 jammer--the jammer laps the track and scores points by passing people on the opposing team. Blockers play simultaneous offense and defense as they try to get their jammer through while blocking the opposing jammer. Each bout is 2 30-minute periods.

The 2nd wave of roller derby (1950s-1980s) featured exaggerated falls and staged fights, but modern roller derby (2000-present) has revived the pure athleticism of the sport. The legal target zones are similar to hockey, and fighting is an ejectable offense. Everything that happens on the track is real these days, and it’s still plenty of excitement.

[1st wave was 1929-1940s and was a co-ed marathon on a banked track. It was meant to be exciting entertainment during the Great Depression.]

Roller Derby Rules and Penalties

Most common penalties:
Cutting the Track - being pushed/blocked off the track and bettering your position upon re-entry (usually by stepping in front of the skater who hit you out
Elbows & Forearms - use of elbows or forearms that affects gameplay
Backblocking - blocking to the area along the spine
Direction of Gameplay - stopping or skating clockwise to block an opposing skater

Roller Derby Terms to Know

Blocker - play offense and defense
Jammer - point scorers
Pivot - replacement jammers; on the track captains
Derby Direction - counter clockwise
Grand Slam - lapping the jammer and getting a total of 5 points per lap
Lead Jammer - jammer who emerges first from the pack on her initial pass after legally passing the hips of all 5 opposing blockers
Calling the Jam - a gesture that stops the jam, generally taking the hands to the hips multiple times (jam is called on the 2nd hip tap)
Ghost Points - points earned for skaters who are in the penalty box; are all earned as soon as jammer passes the first opposing blocker
Power Jam - one jammer is in the penalty box


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