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What is modern flat track roller derby?

The modern roller derby movement began in the early 2000s in Austin, Texas.  Women across the US realized that the cost effective flat track allowed them to create roller derby leagues almost anywhere.  As of June 2012, there are almost 1100 women’s flat track roller derby leagues around the world; according to derbyroster.com.

 

The majority of today’s flat track roller derby leagues focus on the serious, professional side of the sport.  At the 123rd International Olympic Committee session in South Africa in February 2012, it was announced that roller sports, which would include roller derby, are one of the eight sports under consideration for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic Games.

 

Is the action staged?

Unlike the more theatrical version of early roller derby, there is no kicking, tripping, fighting, throwing elbows, or clotheslines.  These maneuvers will result in a penalty, if not expulsion.

 

Which rule set do you use?

We play and train by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s (WFTDA) rule set.

 

How is the game played?

Some excellent video summaries of roller derby can be found on derbynewsnetwork.com.  Keep in mind that Southern Maryland Roller Derby plays flat track roller derby.

 

Two teams of five members skate in the same counter-clockwise direction around a track wearing quad roller skates (no roller blades allowed!).  Game play (“bouts”) consists of a series of short matchups (“jams”) in which both teams designate a scoring player (the “jammer”) who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team (“blockers”). The teams’ blockers attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer, playing both offense and defense simultaneously.

 

Do I need to know how to skate?
Prior skating experience is strongly preferred, but nope, not required.  A lot of girls haven’t been on skates since grade school.  Some have never skated before in their life.

 

Can men skate?
Currently, our teams are women only skaters, but the males can skate as referee’s or be a part of our support staff.  Please check out our Skating Official FAQ and our Volunteer FAQs for more information.

 

How old (or young) do I have to be?
We require our members to be at least 18 years of age.  No exceptions.

There is no age cap.  Heck, some of the best skaters are in their thirties.  There are skaters in their forties and beyond!

 

What type of gear do I need?
Required Gear:

Helmet
Mouthguard
Wrist guards
Elbow pads
Knee pads
Quad speed skates
Optional:
Shin guards
Padded shorts
Hard shell bras
Will I get hurt?
Athletes that play full contact sports run the risk of minor to severe injuries.  It isn’t set in stone that you will get hurt, but there’s always a possibility.  Bumps, bruises, and rink rash are going to become normal.  Safety is a top priority.  Skaters are trained on how to fall properly to minimize/reduce injuries and required protective gear must always be worn.

 

Do I need insurance?
At this time, SMRD requires skating recruits, players, and referees to carry primary health care coverage.  No exceptions.  WFTDA secondary insurance will be required to comply with WFTDA safety protocol.

 

How much time is involved with derby?
Derby becomes a way of life once you’ve been bitten by the bug.  Practices are held several times a week and are two hours in length.  Attendance requirements will need to be met to stay in good standing with the league.  In addition to skating, you will asked to become part of one or more committees and also be involved with community outreach.

Be honest with yourself about how much time you will be able to devote to derby.

 

How much does it cost?
Skates and gear can be a big first investment.  We do not have loaner gear at this time, but there are quite a few websites that offer roller derby “Rookie Packages”  at around $200 – $250.

Once becoming a full league member, dues are collected once per year.  As of January 2014, dues are $20.00 a year for league members.  Depending on the venue, we ask our skating members to pay per practice; which is on average about $7 per session.

 

How do I join?
If you would like to join the league as a skater or skating official, you will be asked to complete our Fresh Meat Boot Camp program.  (Level One/Personal Safety and Basic Skating – Six Weeks and Level Two/Pack Safety and Contact – Six Weeks)

 

What if being a derby girl just isn’t for me, can I still be involved?
Absolutely!  We are looking for both male and female: skating officials, non-skating officials (NSOs), and volunteers.  Please see our Support Staff FAQs.

Who are volunteers?

Anyone who would like to contribute their talents to the day to day operations of the league.

 

How can I help?

We can always use support in the following areas:

• Acquiring Non-Profit status from the IRS.  Contact secretary@somdrollerderby.org.

• Bookkeeping.  Contact treasurer@somdrollerderby.org.

• Coaching/Training (we really need a permanent, non skating bench coach to help us with strategy!).

  Contact training@somdrollerderby.org.

• Business plan/marketing strategy.  Contact marketing@somdrollerderby.org.

• Event planning/volunteer coordinator.  Contact marketing@somdrollerderby.org.

• Staffing fundraiser and volunteer events.  Keep up to date with opportunities on our Facebook Events page or

  join our Facebook SMRD Recruits Group.

Bout Schedule

SMRD 2017 Game Schedule:

March 25 – HOME (Double Header) vs. DCRG Capital Offenders
April 1 – AWAY vs. Rocktown Rollers
May 13 – AWAY vs. Southern DE Roller Girls
June 10- HOME vs. Fredericksburg Roller Derby
July 22- HOME vs. Salisbury RG Wicomikazi's
August 19- HOME vs. Charm City Trouble Makers
September 16- HOME vs. Diamond State Roller Derby
October 7- AWAY vs. Morgantown Roller Vixens
October 29- AWAY vs. HARD

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