FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. Are there rules?
Yes! This sport is like Nascar on skates; you have to be fast as well as strategic. Basic rules are no elbows, no punching/elbowing (as we’re asked that question THE MOST frequently), no pulling opposing players down, and definitely no fighting! We take this sport seriously and want to be recognized for our true athleticism. The WFTDA rules of flat track roller derby can be found by clicking here!
2. I hear roller derby is just for big mean women to hit people legally…is this true?
Absolutely false! As awesome as it is to hit other players, this is an aggressive sport, not a violent one. We take this sport seriously. A player will be ejected from a game if she punches someone and risks being terminated from the league which will also make it harder to join another league as word gets around like wildfire.
Many intelligent, respectable women play roller derby and SDRD itself consists of physicians, nurses, educators, graphic designers, military members and/or spouses, attorneys, and business owners.
Also, you don’t HAVE to be “big” to play. Every woman of every shape and every size is the perfect size to play! We utilize your body type to your advantage.
3. What if I’ve never skated before/haven’t skated since I was a child?
No worries! We train all skaters from Baby Giraffes to Bout-Ready. Practices consist of everything from fundamental skating to roller derby scrimmages. No one advances to the next level of practice until they have passed specific skill sets. You will NEVER have to do something that you are not ready for and we will help you improve your skills and confidence so you will be ready to scrimmage when the time comes. Every skater learns at their own pace, and we are more than happy to accommodate each individual.
4. Where can I get gear for roller derby?
The minimum gear is a helmet, kneepads, elbow pads, wrist guards, mouth guard and most importantly, QUAD SKATES!!! We have some “Loaner Gear” you can borrow at each practice, but only while supplies last and they must be returned at the end of each practice. For shopping, we highly recommend going to Sin City Skates. Gear can be costly, so we recommend trying out the sport prior to making an investment in gear. The owners at Sin City are retired derby girls and are extremely knowledgeable about gear and can get you suited correctly. Gear can also be found online at various roller derby or skateboarding stores.
5. Is there any part of roller derby that is fake?
While there are still a few teams that play with choreographed plays, SDRD does not, along majority of teams in the nation that play by strict guidelines/rules developed by the WFTDA. This IS a real sport played by real athletes. The blood, sweat, bumps & bruises are 100% real. We play in real time with and are very competitive. Just like any other sport, the team with the highest score at the end wins
6. How is the game played?
Roller derby is an aggressive, full contact race between the two teams. Each matchup is either called a “Game” or “Bout”. The game is played in timed jams (equivalent to “downs” in football). There are 4 blockers per team on the track at a time and 1 jammer per team on the track at a time; the Jammers being the only ones capable of scoring a point. You can tell which player is a jammer by the star on their helmet. The blockers are there as obstacles for the opposing jammer but also assist their own jammer through the pack. Each “jam” lasts 2 minutes or until the “lead jammer” calls off the jam by placing both hands on her hips. Unlike most sports, offense and defense are actually played simultaneously by both teams. The bout lasts 60 minutes, and team with the most total points accrued at the end of the game, wins.
7. Do you really have to practice for roller derby?
Practice is THE most important aspect of the game. It teaches you the strategy, skill, and safety of the game. You have to not only know all of the rules and regulations of roller derby, but it requires physical conditioning. Roller derby teams generally practice year-round with the traditional bouting season from February-October. Many members also hit the gym on non practice days to ensure their strength and endurance are up to par to help prevent injuries.
8. What sort of volunteers do you need?
Not everyone has the desire or the time necessary to train hard to be a roller derby player which is perfect because we still need other types of members/volunteers to be successful. For a bout to actually happen, we will need officials/non-skating officials, announcers, merchandisers, ticket sellers, set up/break down crew, etc. Roller derby takes a lot of outside help to make it a success. If interested in volunteering, please follow our “Contact SDRD” link at the top of the page.