USARS Roller Derby Releases Rules Update

By Danielle Fairbanks | Feb. 19, 2013, 5:09 p.m. (ET)


USARS Roller Derby Releases Rules Update

USA Roller Sports is proud to announce the release of the 2013 Roller Derby Rule Book, the second edition of the USARS rules.

The improved rule book is the result of an extensive analysis of the feedback generated from the regional qualifiers and the National Championship, as well as weeks of intense discussion and beta-testing.

The two most significant modifications are the shortening of the jams from two minutes to ninety seconds, and a new clause allowing a pivot to gain active scorer status even if their team’s jammer is in the penalty box.  “We paid great attention to the feedback from players, fans and critics, and we were very pleased to find that most comments were regarding the interpretation or execution of the rules, but not necessarily regarding the rules themselves,” said Danielle Fairbanks, Director of Roller Derby at USA Roller Sports. “One exception was the feedback about the “runaway” strategy, which was criticized as a weakness of the rules. Allowing the pivot to break even if their jammer is in the box provides a very elegant and fair solution to the issue. We are giving the team a strong motivation to keep blocking instead of running away”, continued Fairbanks.

Another important change to the rules is the equalization of penalties, which eliminates the separate castigation levels and makes every penalty last one minute. “Our rules have never included penalty accumulation, so players who commit a penalty are sent to the box immediately. However, we still had a few penalties that carried a punishment of two minutes when most others were only one minute long. The new rules are simpler: if a penalty is called, the player who committed it is sent to the box for one minute. That’s it”, commented Fairbanks.

Additional improvements include the creation of a pivot area to streamline the jam starts, the reduction of seats in the penalty box from four to three per team, and new language that guarantees a lead scorer after the initial pass is completed.

The updated rules, which are currently being translated to Spanish and will be translated to several other languages in the near future, are available for viewing and download at the Team USA website:

All USARS-sanctioned games may be played under these new rules starting immediately.

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USA Roller Sports (USARS) is recognized by the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) and United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the national governing body for competitive roller sports in the United States. USARS is dedicated to creating, enhancing and conducting the best competitions and programs for roller sports. We instill the drive to win and be the absolute best in sports and in life.