Roller Derby

Roller Derby Committee-

Sport Operations Director- Brent Benson-

Roller derby is taking the sports world by storm as it continues to be one of the most rapidly growing sports! With over 1,500 leagues in approximately 40 countries (numbers as of October 17, 2014, it is definitely more than just a fad. It is fun, yet highly competitive as it encompasses individuals of all athletic abilities, sizes, and age.  (Click Here for a Club near you).


The term roller derby dates at least as far back as 1922.  Leo Seltzer, a film publicist, combined aspects of dance marathons (“walkathons” as they were commonly referred to) and roller skating into the first Transcontinental Roller Derby event in 1935.  It was originally a stimulation of cross-country roller skating where 25 two-person teams circled a track thousands of times to cover 3,000 miles.  Skaters skated up to 11 ½ hours a day, and were disqualified if both members were off the track during skating times.  

After the first Transcontinental Roller Derby event, Seltzer decided to take a portable track and hold similar races throughout the U.S.  As the skaters tried to lap those in front of them, there were occasional collisions and crashes and this quickly become the most exciting part.  Realizing this, sportswriter, Damon Runyon, encouraged Seltzer to change the game to incorporate more physical contact between skaters. 

Although Seltzer was somewhat leery of this, he agreed to try it and the fans loved it!  Over time, roller derby has evolved into a sport involving two teams of five skaters where teams score points by lapping members of the opposing team.


Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams on roller skates, on an elliptical track, in contest called “jams” that can last up to 90 seconds each. Each team will have up to five total players on the track, including four Blockers (one blocker is called the Pivot and has a stripe on his/her helmet) and one Jammer (who will have a star on his/her helmet). Each team will have one scoring player (which may be either the Jammer or, under some circumstance, the Pivot) who will earn points by passing opposing players on the Track. Blockers skate together in a group, called the Pack. Each team’s Blockers will attempt to assist their own scorer in navigating the pack, while simultaneously trying to prevent the opposing scorer from making his/her way through the pack. They are largely response for the constant contact as they engage in checks and bumps. The team with the most points at the conclusion of the game will be the winner.


Derby is prevalent in the United States with women’s men’s, co-ed, and junior leagues utilizing one another to further expand the sport.  While it used to be predominately played on a flat track, more and more leagues are venturing to the banked track.  Most derby leagues use a DIY (do-it-yourself) mindset as they are run by the skaters.  It is common practice for leagues to participate in fundraising and community service projects.


USARS-WFTDA Reciprocity Agreement

Roller Derby Team USA Rosters

USARS Roller Derby Committee and Minutes

USARS Board and Committee Members

USARS Roller Derby Officials Information

USARS Roller Derby Facebook Page