5 Things You Only Know If… You’re a Hallam Hellcat

Quick overview: the game of roller derby is played on an oval track using quad skates. A 15-skater team plays two 30-minute periods which are made up of “jams”, two-minute phases in which each team fields five skaters and has an opportunity to score points. One of the skaters is called a “jammer”, who scores the points and wears a star helmet cover to signal their position. The four remaining skaters are called “blockers” and their role is to stop the jammer from scoring. The jammers’ aims are to lap the opposing blockers, gaining a point for each one they pass, while also navigating the blockers’ defence and any offense from their own team. Should you find yourself at a roller derby game, expect high energy, amazing skating skills and, most importantly to us, plenty of team camaraderie. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Roller derby is a full-contact sport. However, there are rules as to where and how you can make contact with the opposition – strictly no kicks or punches allowed! You’ll be surprised at the force you can administer when using your hips and shoulders at speed. We have amazing referees to keep us in line and if we are found to break any of the rules, it’s off to the penalty box. Not that we would ever be found to be doing such a thing, of course…

Protecting your body is essential for roller derby. Mouth and wrist guards, knee, elbow pads and your helmet mean that when you inevitably fall down, you can jump back up! Also, leaving kit in your bag post-training is a big no-no. We can smell if you do, and it’s important to be nice to your fellow skaters’ noses.

Photographer: Karina Lax

Wilma Wheelsmove, Storm Cooper, Killer Ree and Mabel in a China Shop, to name but a few of our skaters. Alter-egos, some might say, but it’s just another aspect of roller derby that brings us together. On another note, our naming of drills and tactics takes its calling from weekly shops: pancakes, sausage, pizza and chicken wings – we’ve got it covered. Serious drills for serious skaters.

Us Hellcats are all about team spirit. We take the game seriously and train hard to keep up with the ever-evolving gameplay, BUT there must be the joy of strapping those skates on to keep us coming back every week – no drama, no fuss, just a group of people wanting to wipe away the working week by skating and having a laugh with our friends. We are open to new skaters and non-skating folk who want to be a part of Hellcats and there are plenty of roles to go around, especially to those who love a clipboard! Check out our socials below and get in touch.

Established in 2012, Hallam Hellcats are a female-identifying flat-track roller derby team celebrating their 10th birthday this November. They pride themselves on a ‘for the skater, by the skater’ ethic; by creating a positive competitive space, they not only train to deliver their best but forge powerful friendships in doing so.

@hallamhellcats // FB: hallamhellcats // TikTok: @hallamhellcatsderby

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