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Roller derby information
An American contact sport, roller derby was a form of sports entertainment based on formation roller-skating around a track. It's played at both amateur and professional levels. Whilst originating out of a sport for both men and women, roller derby has developed a predominately female following, with many female teams situated across the USA.
At a local level there are variations within the rules of roller derby but in general the sport follows the same principles: two teams of five skaters, wearing protective clothing such as helmets, mouth guards and pads, take up positions alongside each other in a pack formation. Each team consists of blockers and jammers. Most usually a team consists of four jammers and one blocker, or sometimes more unusually three blockers and two jammers. Helmet colours or designs are used to differentiate between player roles.
At the referee's signal, a "jam" starts where teams jostle as some players try to race laps whilst other players attempt to "block" them. Blockers try to stop the opposing jammer from passing them, while defending their own jammer, whom they can assist by pushing or pulling (whipping) in an attempt to advance them through the pack. Points are scored for each lap a team member successfully completes.
Physical contact between players is frequent and sometimes violent although penalties will award the other team points.