Vail Today: Roller Derby 101 with Vail’s 10th Mountain Roller Dolls (video) |

Vail Today: Roller Derby 101 with Vail’s 10th Mountain Roller Dolls (video)

By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today
If you’re heading to the Melee in the Mountains Roller Derby Tournament on Saturday and don’t know the difference between a jammer, a blocker or a pivot, here’s a little Roller Derby 101. The 10th Mountain Roller Dolls got their start in 2010 and became sanctioned by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association in 2016. According to the WFTDA rulebook, the game of Flat Track Roller Derby is played on a flat, oval track. Play is broken up into two 30-minute periods, and within those periods, into units of play called jams, which last up to two minutes. There are 30 seconds between each jam. During a jam, each team fields up to five skaters. Four of these skaters are called blockers (together, the blockers are called the pack), and one is called a jammer. The jammer wears a helmet cover with a star on it, so keep your eye on the star. The two jammers start each jam behind the pack, and score a point for every opponent they lap, each lap. Because they start behind the pack, they must get through the pack, then all the way around the track to be ready to score points on opposing blockers. Roller derby is a full-contact sport; however, skaters cannot use their heads, elbows, forearms, hands, knees, lower legs, or feet to make contact to opponents. Skaters cannot make contact to opponents’ heads, backs, knees, lower legs, or feet. There’s a reason for all those protective pads, you’ll see a lot of slips and falls during the bout. How do you determine the champion? The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Still don’t get it? “The best way to learn this sport is to come out and watch,” said 10th Mountain Roller Dolls’ Krista DeHerrera, whose name on flat track is “KO”. “Once you watch a few games you start to understand what’s happening and then you really get addicted.” To learn more or join the pack, go to

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