What is Roller Derby?
Roller derby is a fast-paced contact sport played on roller skates, that requires speed, strategy and athleticism. The flat track version of the sport evolved in 2001, and has quickly grown to encompass more than 400 leagues worldwide, and a number of leagues across Scotland. The sport has featured in several films including ‘Rollerball’ and ‘Whip it’.
So, is there a ball?
No. The aim of the game is for the teams’ Jammers (point scorers) to get through the pack of Blockers (who attempt to hinder the opposing team’s Jammer), to establish who is Lead Jammer. They then skate around the track and pass through the pack again. From the second pass through the pack, the Jammers score a point for each player on the opposing team that is lapped. They continue skating around the track, trying to score as many points as they can for 2 minutes, or until the Lead Jammer calls the jam off by placing their hands on their hips. You can learn more from this video.
It sounds dangerous…?
Players wear helmets, mouth guards, knee and elbow pads and wrist guards to help minimise injury. Each player also has to pass a long list of minimum skills to ensure that they can skate to a high standard, and understand the extensive list of roller derby rules.
Why is the league called ‘Helgin’?
It is said that the town of Elgin was founded by the Norse General, Helgin in the 10th Century when Vikings invaded Scotland. We thought that ‘Helgin’ had a nice ring to it, invoking the idea of Hell and fitting well with the punk aesthetic generally associated with Roller Derby, so this became the team’s name.