Roller Derby Rules – OK !!


Don’t worry this isn’t a blog detailing the complex rules of Roller Derby, we’re all up to scratch on those, right? Rather, this is all about the importance of knowing the rules.

Whilst learning to skate with the Nottingham Roller Girls I have had the pleasure of being an NSO (non-skating official) for over a year now, it’s a fantastic way to build knowledge of the game before you’re able to scrim. Enforcing the rules off-skates has built my confidence and this knowledge and has got me through the all important rules test. What I didn’t realise, however, is how difficult it would be putting that knowledge onto the track.

Within minutes of my first scrim during practice with the advanced  NRG team –  hoping to put my knowledge to the test in a glorious show of prowess –  I made the most obvious rookie mistake for all to see, returning from the box into the middle of the pack. What a doughnut! Who does that? It’s Roller Derby 101! Needless to say, I trotted back to the box with my curly pink tail between my legs.

I have scrimmed a few times since then and have broken more than a few derby laws, the laws I’ve seen a thousand times before – and timed the penalties! When you’re first learning to scrim, however, it is so easy to forget all the rules in the frantic moments of madness.

Whilst at the mercy of the penalty box custodians it can feel a bit embarrassing and you may think you’ve let your more experienced teammates down – but we all do it, even the pros, and this is when observing the rules affects the outcome of the game. The point differential can sky rocket or you can make a glorious comeback; like we saw recently with NRG vs Leeds Roller Dolls Whip-Its.

Half time, the scores stood at Whip-Its (Red) 123 – 56 NRG (Green). The penalties committed were pretty equal during the first half at approximately 10 for each team. However, during the second half, NRG’s ability to remain calm and clean on the track – only claiming 3 penalties during the entire second half in comparison to the Whip-Its 15+ penalties – contributed largely to their ability to level the scores.

Final Score: Whip-Its 168 – 170 NRG Win ! See our full bout review at – for a white knuckle ride of roller derby action.

So there it is; knowing the rules can be the difference between winning and losing.  For a rookie, it’s the difference between being able to play to the best of your ability, or having to rely on your team mates to save your bacon.

Sportively laying down the law,

Lauren Forcement x