My life of roller derby: Journalism student offered big opportunities in roller derby


Greg Dunn

Lead jammer Abigail Hudson takes her lap after getting through the pack.

Crowded stands, people cheering, aggressive hits, and unforgivable looks from player to player. Helmets, knee pads, wrist guards along with a pair of skates. This is a typical scene of roller derby. 

Hello, my name is Abigail Hudson. I’m a sophomore here at Highlands High School (HHS). This season, I am on the verge of my tenth season playing roller derby. 

When I was seven years old, I grew a fond interest in the sport. Since I wasn’t allowed to join the team till I was eight years old, I had gotten my pair of skates and took off. As soon as I turned eight, I joined the team.

What is roller derby you may ask? Roller derby is a high-intensity sport on rollerskates. The objective of the game is to score the most points for your team. There’s only one person for each team on the track that can score points, the jammer. The jammers wear a star on their helmet to show who they are. There is also one pivot on each team on the track at a time. To show who they are, they wear a stripe on their helmet. In total there are four blockers on the track for each team, which includes the pivot. 

The jammer’s job is to get through the other team’s blockers, also known as the pack. They get through by hitting the blocker and sometimes the other jammer just to throw them off. The blocker’s job is to contain the other team’s jammer and not let them through so they can’t score points. The jammer to get through the other team’s pack first is now known as the lead jammer. The lead jammer scores points their first time getting through the pack. However, the other team’s jammer doesn’t score points till they get through the pack two times. Each pass the jammer will receive four points. A jam is two minutes maximum, and can only be called off early by the lead jammer.  

I’ve now been playing as mainly a jammer for eight years, or ten derby sessions. I have continuously passed my record for two years now, of the highest points scored in a single jam. That’s not just my record, but for all junior derby players. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go for all records of points scored as I am only on the junior team and not the adult team. 

However, my accomplishments haven’t gone completely unrecognized. As I have been asked to try out for Team USA. Team USA for juniors is a national team for roller derby. The team plays against other countries such as France which they play against next summer. Although this is a great opportunity and I am over the moon about it, I am nervous. I have never played against a whole team of people that are just as good or better than me. 

Having such an opportunity is life-changing especially if I make the team. I had tryouts Saturday, September 17th. Now that I have tried it out, I patiently await for the results to appear. Once they come out, I will follow up and keep you guys updated.