Rules 2017: Changes to Gameplay

The February 15, 2017 version of The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby introduces some changes to gameplay, reviewed and developed by the WFTDA Rules Committee with input and guidance from WFTDA and MRDA member leagues. The following is a list of notable changes that highlight gameplay differences from the 2015-2016 rule set.

January 1, 2015 Rule Set
February 15, 2017 Rule Set
Team could go Jammer-less for a jam if they forgot to field a Jammer
Delay of Game Penalty issued to Captain and team gets to field a Jammer
Cuts were assessed as soon as a Skater had both feet back in bounds
Skaters can cede their illegally gained position by immediately exiting the track and re-entering behind everyone required
Contact penalties were not dependent on if a Skater was illegally hit to begin with
A Skater who hits an opponent illegally due to being illegally contacted themselves will not receive a penalty
Skaters did not have to return in bounds except when it was required to form a pack
Skaters are not allowed to maintain an out-of-bounds status after being warned if they can re-enter the track legally without having to skate clockwise
Striking with the knee or elbow was penalized based on impact
Striking with the knee or elbow is penalized based on intention or impact
Lead Jammer loses that status (but can regain it by re-donning the cover) if their helmet cover is pulled off by the opposing team or comes off through natural gameplay
Lead Jammer status is maintained if their cover is removed via natural gameplay or is pulled off by the opposing team
Helmet covers could be anywhere on a person’s body and not necessarily visible
Helmet covers must remain visible during jams
Tripping someone with normal skating motions isn’t a penalty until it’s habitual
Tripping someone is a penalty regardless of if it’s part of a skating motion
A skater can impede an opponent with their legs as long as it’s not a loss of relative position
All blocking with Illegal Blocking Zones cannot impede opponents
Skaters must enter the Penalty Box from a Counterclockwise direction
Skaters may enter the Penalty Box from any direction
A Jammer may score 0 points on a pass due to illegal actions of the opposing team
At the end of a scoring pass, a Jammer earns all points on opposing Skaters that weren’t earned due to those Skaters’ illegal actions
Jammers sitting in the Penalty Box simultaneously are held for 10 seconds
Jammers sitting in the Penalty Box simultaneously are released immediately
Standing over downed Skaters may or may not be penalized
Standing over downed Skaters in such a way that prevents them from standing is penalized
Teams skating clockwise slowly so the pack is destroyed were not penalized
Teams skating clockwise to destroy the pack are penalized except at jam starts


Read more:

2017 Rules Release

Policy Items Moved to WFTDA Policy and Officiating Documents

Changes to Game Structure