What's Going On?
One Pivot, three Blockers, and one Jammer (the point scorer) from each team enter the track. One whistle is blown and the pack (made up of the Blockers and Pivots) and Jammers are released.
Each Jammer tries to race through the pack first to attain Lead Jammer status, as indicated by their Jammer Referee. You can tell who is lead jammer because the Jammer Referee will be pointing at them. The Lead Jammer may end the jam at any time by putting her hands on her hips.
When a Jammer makes her way around the track and back to the pack, she is eligible to score. She can earn one point for every opposing skater she legally passes. Blockers try to stop the opposing team's Jammer while also making holes for their own Jammer to slip through.
A jam is the period of play, and it can last up to two minutes in duration. A jam continues until either the Lead Jammer calls it off or the two minutes expires. A series of four whistle blasts lets you know the jam is over.
What is Lead Jammer?
The first Jammer that passes each opposing player in the pack legally on her initial pass receives Lead Jammer status. This gives her the right to call off the jam at any time.
If a Jammer passes a skater illegally on her initial pass, she may attempt to re-pass legally. If she does so, she remains eligible for Lead Jammer status.
If a Jammer steps out of bounds for any reason before she reaches the Engagement Zone, which is within 20 feet from the last skater in the pack, she ineligible to be Lead Jammer for the duration of that jam.
What happens if no one gets Lead Jammer?
If both Jammers make unclean passes in their first attempts through the pack, no Lead Jammer is declared. The jam will continue for the full two minutes.
How does a Jammer get points?
A Jammer earns one point for every opposing player passed legally on her second pass through the pack, and every pass thereafter. A Jammer receives points for opposing skaters in the penalty box as soon as she legally passes the first opposing blocker. A Jammer receives an additional point when she laps the opposing Jammer.
What the heck is the Engagement Zone? Why is it so important?
The term "pack" refers to the largest group of Pivots and Blockers, skating in proximity, containing members from both teams. The Engagement Zone is 20 feet from the nearest pack member. A skater must be in the Engagement Zone in order to block or assist. Engaging and/or being outside of the Engagement Zone results in Out of Play penalties.
If there is no pack then no skater can engage or assist another player. There are Out of Play penalties for destroying the pack as well as failing to reform the pack once it is destroyed.
Penalties! And the box.
Upon committing a penalty, the player must serve one minute in the penalty box. Both the skater and her position are penalized. For example, if she were the Jammer, the team would have no Jammer for one minute. Skaters reentering the pack from the penalty box must enter at the back of the pack.
Only two Blockers from each team and one Jammer from either team are allowed in the box at one time. If there are already two Blockers from a team in the box when a third is sent, that third Blocker will be waived back onto the track and must wait to server her penalty.
If one Jammer is in the box and another Jammer gets sent to the box, the first Jammer is released and the second Jammer serves the same amount of time that the first Jammer served.
What is a legal block?
Any player may engage an opposing player's shoulder to upper thigh, chest and upper torso. The player can initiate contact with her booty, hips, torso, and arm from her shoulder to above, but not including, the elbow.
For a full set of rules, visit WFTDA.com.