What is Roller Derby?
It’s a lot of fun on skates. For more info, check out these links, where this question’s been answered in a lot more detail.
What are the rules?
We play according to the WFTDA’s rules which you can find a full copy of here – http://wftda.com/rules.
Simply put, the game is played between two teams skating around an oval track. 5 players from each team are on the track at any one time, 4 blockers and a jammer. All 8 blockers skate together as a pack and the jammers try to get through. Each jammer scores a point for every member of the opposing team that she passes. Blockers try to stop the opposing jammer getting through the pack whilst also helping their own jammer to pass. As a contact sport which is being played offensively and defensively simultaneously, the rules are long and complex – the best way to learn them is to watch Roller Derby with someone who knows what’s going on and pester them to explain it to you!
Do I have to be super-fit?
You do not have to be super-fit to join LBRG, in fact lots of people start Roller Derby because they are aware that they ought to be more active but have yet to find a sport which suits them. We do take our fitness quite seriously though and run off skates fitness sessions every week (twice a week in the summer) as well as improving fitness through our regular skating sessions. If trying to get fit has seemed like a chore for you in the past, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you start wanting to exercise!
Do I have to be able to skate?
People join us with all levels of skating ability, many having never skated before at all. We will teach you everything you need to know, at your own pace.
What can I expect when I come to my first session?
You’ll be met by a newbie representative who will answer any immediate questions you have. You’ll be asked to sign a waiver (basically saying that we haven’t bullied you into skating and that if you kill yourself it’s not our fault) and sorted out with some pads. Once padded up, you’ll be taught some basic falls. You will still have your feet on solid ground at this point but when you put skates on you will fall over (not necessarily immediately but this is a contact sport so falls are inevitable, no matter how good you are) so it’s important you know how to do this safely. After that, it’s on with the skates and away you go!
What kit will I need?
Every Roller Derby player needs a pair of quad skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a mouth guard and a helmet. We can lend you all this kit (except the mouth guard, gross) free of charge for your first 4 sessions, it costs £2 per session thereafter. For the cost of buying kit, see the ‘What does it cost?’ section of the FAQs. All our members are happy to share advice about kit and often you can borrow items from other girls before committing to buying your own.
What should I wear?
There’s no set outfit for training but most girls wear t-shirts or vests on top and leggings or shorts/skorts+tights on their bottom half. Tracksuit bottoms are hot and baggy and look odd with knee pads (there’s no other reason not to wear them though) and bare legs are painful to fall over onto. You should also bring / wear trainers as we often do drills off skates.
We have team t-shirts and vests which you’ll be entitled to buy once you become a full member and uniforms for bouting teams.
What does it cost? To start it’s £6 per session. Once you’re a full league member dues are paid monthly by standing order. You will have to buy kit and how much you spend on this is to a certain extent up to you. Most skaters start with Riedell R3 skates, which can be picked up new for around £159 or sometimes found on eBay. Many retailers sell pad packages which include knee, elbow and wrist protection for as little as £20 (though you’ll want to upgrade these fairly quickly as you skate faster and fall harder) and helmets can be picked up for around the same price. A bicycle helmet will not do – ensure that your helmet is suitable for skating (a skate helmet can be used for protection whilst cycling though).
Am I too old?
No. If you can stand upright then you can skate.
Am I too young?
You have to be 18 or over to play full Roller Derby but we do have a junior league for under 18s. Contact us for more info.
Am I the wrong shape?
No. Roller Derby players come in all shapes and sizes; we have players well under 5’ tall all the way to over 6’ and equally diverse in width! The nature of the game is such that everyone has something they can bring to the team.
Do I need facial piercings and tattoos?
No. One of the things that makes Roller Derby so special is that it is genuinely welcoming to all comers. If you are willing to listen and learn and have a desire to be part of our wonderful team then you have fulfilled all our criteria!
What if I get hurt?
You will get hurt, this is a contact sport. However, we do everything we can to minimise the risk of injury, including teaching you to fall before we teach you to skate, maintaining fitness, warming up and cooling down at every session and having excellent refs on our backs all the time to make us clean skaters.
I loved ‘Whip It’ – is Roller Derby really like that?
Yes and no. Clearly, the game was painted by Hollywood’s magic brush so don’t use this film to try to learn the rules, however Bliss’ love for the game and the camaraderie a great team inspires are accurate reflections of how we feel.
When and where do you train?
We have various sessions but when you start you’ll be coming to Yarborough Leisure Centre in Lincoln from 1pm till 2:30pm.
How do I join?
Just contact us via the website, facebook or wherever you see a friendly roller girl! The direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d love to be a part of LBRG but I’m not sure I can play – is there another way to be involved?
Absolutely! There are lots of ways you can join our happy family especially non skating officials and referee roles.
Where can I watch you play?
We hold our home bouts at Grantham Meres Leisure Centre. For a full list of upcoming bouts, check out the ‘Home’ section or ‘Bout Listings’