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Meet the Windy City Rollers

March 2, 2010

If you think roller derby is a girls’ sport, think again. The players in the Windy City Rollers, Chicago’s roller derby league, are tough. Broken collarbones, bruises or challenging strategies don’t keep them from the track. Bork Bork Bork, one of their latest recruits, explains why she spends 10 hours a week on skates.

How does Roller Derby work?

via the Windy City Rollers Web site

Each team has five players on the track: one pivot (who has a stripe on her helmet), three blockers, and one jammer. The jammer is the point scorer for the team.

The blockers from both team form a pack on the track. They start at the first blow of the whistle. When the last pack member crosses the start line, a whistle blows twice, and the jammers take off. Each jammer tries to get through the pack. The players on her team try to make room for her while also blocking the other team’s jammer from getting past them.

The jammer to make it through the pack first becomes the Lead Jammer; she may end the jam at any time by putting her hands on her hips.

After getting past the pack, the jammer makes her way around the track and back to the pack. Now is the time to score.

For each player on the opposing team she passes, her team scores. Again, her team’s blockers help her while also obstructing the other team’s jammer.

A jam is the period of play, and it can last up to two minutes. A jam continues until either the Lead Jammer calls it off or the two minutes expires.  A whistle blows four times when a jam ends.

Find out more about the Windy City Rollers on their Web site.

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