Roller Derby – What’s It All About?

Here at the Bad Sheep Boutique, we are sorry to say that there aren’t a lot of sports that we take part in or take an interest in…well not your usual sports anyway. No, we don’t follow the football, play netball, take part in marathons or anything like that, but we do LOVE extreme sports and we do LOVE roller derby!

Whip It

How many of you have watched the film, Whip It, and thought, “ooh that looks cool” or “yeah, I’d be good at that”? Probably many of you, especially those of you who Googled the phrase “roller derby” and found this page.

For those of you who haven’t seen it, go and watch it. It’s definitely one of our top films, not just because it’s about roller derby, but also because it features the likes of some very cool women including Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig and Juliette Lewis!

Well, though many people may have recently got into the sport on the back of watching that film, Roller Derby has actually been around since the 1930s, or so we have been informed. That’s a long time!

Big Bucks High Rollers

It’s a contact sport, played by two teams skating around a track in an anti-clockwise direction. A roller derby team is made up of 14 skaters.  Roller derby “matches” are called bouts, and each bout is usually split into two half hour sessions.

Within each session there are several jams and each jam lasts up to 2 minutes. Although there are 14 skaters in each of the teams taking part, only five members of each team take to the track in each jam with one of those five being the jammer.

Nottingham Hellfire Harlots v BBHR

Big Bucks High Rollers v Nottingham Hellfire Harlots

Glitter N Twisted and A-Cute Injury

Image featuring: Glitter N Twisted and A-Cute Injury

The aim is for the team’s jammer to battle their way through the opposing team’s pack and lap them at least once. A lead jammer is determined by the first jammer to get through the pack legally and without penalty. Points are scored by the jammer legally passing the opposing blockers, and lead jammers have the advantage of being able to stop the jam at any time by signalling the referees. This is a tactical way of stopping the other team’s jammer from catching up or sometimes scoring any points at all.


The BBHR girls proudly waving their flag!

Those are just the basics, but by taking part, or even just by watching some bouts, you soon pick up all the rules and lingo.

We didn’t want to swamp you with information. Just a taster of what it’s all about.

As well as all the action, another great thing about roller derby is the merchandise and the ways that a lot of the derby girls style themselves. Very “Bad Sheep Boutique” indeed!

With that in mind, we must tell you that we are super excited to be getting more involved soon as we will be stocking a selection of fab derby related products.

Keep an eye on our social pages and website for more information coming up!

With thanks to The Big Bucks High Rollers for training me (Rachael) and being in these awesome shots and Joanna Kemp for her great Photography!