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Roller Derby 101


San Diego Roller Derby is a WFTDA (Womens Flat Track Derby Association) league member. The sport has definitely changed from the game that your grandparents and parents used to watch every Saturday morning, and in our league it’s changed so much so that we actually play on a flat track (think “hockey rink”).
The modern game of roller derby is a woman dominated sport that made it’s come back in Austin, TX back in 2000. Now with over 500 teams in the United States alone, womens flat track and banked track roller derby is back. Teams as far away as New Zealand, South Korea, London, and South Africa participate in the modern game of roller derby.



The rules of flat track roller derby are quite complex and it may take new players and fans a little time to learn. We can’t describe ALL of the rules, but we can help you with the basics!

  • Unlike old-school roller derby, there is NO punching,elbows,tripping, tackling, or anything of the sort. We use our shoulders, hips, and if we’re brave enough, our chests, to lay a hit. If you get knocked out of bounds, you must return to the track BEHIND everyone that was in front of you at the time you exited the track.
  • You cannot block someone in “the numbers”/the back (anything between the shoulder blades)
  • You can skate moving the opposite direction of game-play, but you cannot block by moving in the opposite direction of game-play (cannot block moving clockwise).
  • You may notice during the game that when a player gets knocked out of bounds that the team shes playing against will try to skate backwards from gameplay. Remember, when you get knocked out, you have to come in behind everyone that was in front of you, meaning if they move back, you have to move further back to come in to play again. This is called “bridging”. When a team/players bridge, they can only go 10 feet away from eachother before they have to come back to the rest of the “pack” (pack is defined as the largest group of skaters within 10 feet of the next nearest skater).

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