Wednesday, July 11, 2012

3.7.5 Each skater participating in a bout must visibly display her number on each sleeve or arm. Numbers must be of high contrast and easily legible. Handwritten numbers on the arm are acceptable.

Today’s rule is the one which has made the Sharpie company a lot of money from the roller derby community. Section 3.7.4 has all sorts of requirements for skater numbers on each skater’s back. However, referees can’t always see a skater’s back, therefore the rules require each skater to have her number on her arm for ease of calling penalties. Numbers on a skater’s arm do not have to be handwritten, which is why a lot of people wear customized arm bands with their number on them. However, handwritten numbers are acceptable, which is where the Sharpies come in. However, with Sharpies, the numbers tend to rub off with sweat and contact, and this rule doesn’t require the numbers to be on a skater’s arm only at the beginning of the bout, but throughout the bout. So skaters with handwritten numbers, or any other sort of removable number, must make sure their number is legible throughout the entire bout, or else risk receiving a penalty. Some skaters prefer to write their number on the sleeve of their jersey, or sometimes have it embroidered, printed or ironed on the sleeve. All of these are acceptable, so long as they meet the definition of high contrast and highly legible.