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This drill comes to us from Punk N' Pi of the Queen City Rollergirls and is compiled in Frankie Facebreaker's drill book. When Punk N' Pi does it, they call it "G", "PG" and "R".

When my league does it, we like to call it "Safety, Risky, Danger".

Safety, Risky, Danger

This is a three-stage drill meant to help jammers find holes in the pack, teach them to break through blockers without assistance, and build their confidence.

As a bonus, it teaches blockers to form a cohesive pack when at a disadvantage and helps them understand the importance of communication and passive blocking.

This drill works very well with smallish groups and is just as good for the experienced jammer as it is for the player who is starting to make a transition to jamming.

I've found this drill works best if you explain the rules one portion at a time, and then have the skaters do the drill the way you just outlined.

Phase 1: Safety

Make a pack of about 10-15 blockers and get them moving at a normal pack pace (I have also done this drill with as few as 6-8 blockers, though it is not as challenging for the jammers if they are experienced).

The pack has to follow these rules:

  • Blockers can move laterally (from side to side) on the track in any way they want. They can hop, veer, crossover, whatever, as long as they do it often and randomly.
  • Blockers cannot look behind them. The rear of the pack has to let the front of the pack know when they are getting too far ahead. This is probably the most difficult rule for the pack to follow at this point.
  • Blockers cannot talk about or verbally communicate the jammer's position to the rest of the pack.
  • Blockers are not actively trying to stop the jammer, they're just presenting moving obstacles.
Now, send your jammers through one a time, a few seconds apart. Encourage the jammers to watch the movement of the blockers' hips so they can anticipate the holes, and to keep their speed up as they hit the pack. This should be like a game of Asteroids for them, where they are just avoiding the moving players.

To keep the pack engaged in the drill, remind the blockers that this is their chance to be working on their agility by moving quickly around the track, and to practice staying packed up tight. Encourage them to change positions within the pack.

Run this for 5 minutes or so, or until the jammers start feeling confident or the blockers start getting bored.

Phase 2: Risky

The jammers job is till the same, but the pack now follows a new set of rules:

  • Blockers can now look behind them.
  • They can now communicate the jammer's position to the rest of the pack.
  • Blockers can also now try to actively stop the jammer, but NO CHECKING! Only booty blocks (or passive blocking or The Ass of Fury, or whatever your league likes to call it) are allowed.
The jammers are going to feel more challenged by this, but they will find that the first round has made them more able to see holes.

This phase is great for encouraging blockers to talk to one another, since they've just seen what a handicap it is when they don't communicate, so remind them to do so. The blockers should also be working on their "smear" or "swipe" (veering across the jammer so that their booty goes right into her crotch, throwing her off balance) and practicing their snow plow like crazy.

Once again, run this for about 5 minutes, or until antsy-ness is evident.

Phase 3: Danger

It is, as they say, "on". Jammers are still going it alone, but now the blockers are off the leash.

  • Blockers can now check the jammer. Observe the evil grins when you declare this new rule.
You may, depending on your players, remind your girls that since the jammer is a lone ranger, as it were, to keep their checking to say, 50% power, if you don't want them breaking each other before a bout. Use your judgment and knowledge of your skaters.

Your jammers will no longer be having be having the sort of cats-away-mice-will-play fun they were having at the beginning of the drill, and you may even hear a little whining. Punk N' Pi suggests reminding the jammers that if they can make one legal pass through a pack of 10-15 vengeful blockers alone, they should be able to get through the toughest pack in a bout, when they will have help.

Jammers will typically do very well in the last stage, and may even surprise themselves, since the first two phases have forced them to focus on exploiting holes and getting through while keeping their speed up.

Only run this for a couple minutes, especially if your jammers are getting bounced around a lot. If you like, you can run it from the top a second time, either keeping the same groups, or changing them up.

Via InterDerby