Many jammers have a tendency to use their forearms while jamming. Even worse, they use their hands without thinking and end up getting all kinds of forearm calls. I have gone through three forearm phases in my derby career:
Phase 1: Just not knowing where to put my arms when jamming. Aka “I don’t know what to do with these things!”
Phase 2: I’m good at roller derby because I use my hands to get around people. Aka “Blockers hate it when I’m touchy.”
Phase 3: Forearms and hands are not party of my strategy and we have come to a mutual understanding of each other. Aka “I just pretend like they don’t exist, because I don’t need them.”
But my favorite use of my arms is still this:
It takes mental fortitude to think about what your arms are doing in the midst of everything else that is going on during a jam. And of course, I still get forearm calls. But I feel like these calls are few and far between. I would challenge everyone that jams and blocks to start thinking about where their hands are during a jam. Are you grabbing someone when you don’t need to be? Are you using your forearms to track people (even though you aren’t REALLY using your forearm)? There are so many ways people can get penalties by simply being unaware of their hands and arms. Remember Rule #1 of roller derby: stay on the track.