The members of the WFTDA rules committee have come together to develop a rule set for beginner’s or ‘fresh meat’ roller derby.
WFTDA spokesperson Onyxia commented:
‘We felt that this was a necessary step.
Adapting the rules of roller derby in this way will allow beginners to play without every player fouling out in the first five minutes.’
A summary of the most important changes from the standard rule set is exclusively shown here:
Out of Play
There are no limits to the engagement zone, the pack is everywhere.
Pack definition is not monitored and no failure to reform penalties are given.
There are no track boundary lines. Any lines on the floor mean nothing and can be ignored. Any potential cuts can be undone by skating back on the track.
There are no illegal reentries; players can reenter the track anywhere.
There is no such thing as a false start. Players can start anywhere they want.
Leaving the track when being called on a penalty is entirely optional.
Immediately after the start whistle of a jam, there will be a five second delay to give everyone the chance to clarify if the jam has really started and what those confusing whistles mean.
Referees will not communicate with players beyond issuing penalties. Warnings and prompts to return to the bench are just too confusing.
Finally, the new rule set will show the following diagram to clarify impact assessment in fresh meat roller derby.
A recent study has shown that beginner roller derby skaters have literally got no clue about what is happening during gameplay.
Results showed that skaters thought there were on average between one and three jammers in a given jam.
Skaters found it confusing that “lots of stuff happens” and that “it all happens really fast”.
When asked how points are scored in roller derby, the majority of skaters indicated that they thought it involved magic.
Skaters were also found to be mystified by floor markings of any kind. One skater knew that blockers had line up “in front of that one line”. But was completely shaken in her beliefs when another skater suggested lining up “just behind that other line” at the jam start.
Penalties and interactions with referees were found to be significant sources of confusion.
Hannah, who has recently passed her minimum skills with the Derpshire Rollergirls commented:
“I asked the ref if I could call the jam. But he just gave me a blank stare and pointed at me.
“Then I was blocked off the track and tried to get back on as quickly as possible. But then the ref said I had to go off again and go to the penalty box. It’s soooo confusing!”
“Also, there are so many whistles! What do they all mean???”
This last weekend Hashbrown NoFilter of the Funbridge Rollers was awarded her 100th skater award certificate in a rookie bout.
Hashbrown, who started skating four years ago, has taken part in over two hundred beginner bouts, rookie bouts and cherry poppers. In addition, she has also participated in over fifty mixed scrimmages, mini tournaments, sur5als and other non-bout format roller derby events.
Across these bouts, she has been awarded a total of one hundred best blocker, best jammer or most valuable player (MVP) certificates.
Hashbrown commented: “I’m so chuffed at winning all these awards. I didn’t win any initially. But after my 20th bout or so they started coming in. And now I get an award pretty much every time!”
When asked how she was able to take part in so many rookie bouts, Hashbrown commented: “They usually say that the Cherry Poppers are for players who have played up to three bouts. But, like, that only counts bouts with your travel team.” Within her home league Hashbrown has not yet reached travel team level.
“I’ll be on the team soon. I mean, those awards speak for themselves!”