In 1935 an impresario in the US organized an endurance competition where teams had to skate circles. Body contact and a scoring system were added to it. And voilĂ  roller derby was born! The Texas Rollergirls have increased the popularity of the sport in 2001 by wearing provocative clothing, eccentric makeup and slogans on their gear.

Meanwhile, the sport is growing rapidly and the players are changing into athletes. Trainings are all about (international) tournaments. More men's teams are popping up. And the demand for officials is increasing.

Roller derby has grown considerably in the Netherlands in recent years. In 2009 the first Dutch Roller Derby league was founded by the Amsterdam Derby Dames. Many Dutch leagues followed. In 2014, Team Netherlands participated in the World Cup Roller Derby for the first time. The Dutch Roller Derby Association was founded in 2015. And currently there are talks with NOC * NSF for roller derby to be acknowledged an official sport!


The game

Roller derby is a sport on roller skates with body contact. The game takes place on an oval track. Two teams compete against each other for points. The player from one team, has to pass the players of the other team in order to score points. Players may impede each other.

A match lasts 60 minutes and consists of two periods of 30 minutes. Each period is divided into jams of 2 minutes. A jam is a race between two teams, where points can be scored. The teams have 30 seconds between each jam to set up new players.

14 players per team may participate in a game. In each jam 5 of these players may be positioned: 3 blockers, 1 pivot and 1 jammer.

  • Blocker: has an important role in the determination of the pack. Tries to hold back the jammer of the other team and may help their own jammer. Can not score points.
  • Pivot: Wears a helmet striped cover. Is a blocker with some additional benefits such as taking over the position of the jammer.
  • Jammer: is recognizable by the helmet cover with the star. Is the one who scores the points.

Roller Derby Explained