Why Playing Roller Derby Could Be The Best Decision You Ever Make

Join our new intake on on Sunday January 16th for free and find out why playing roller derby could be the best decision you ever make

What is roller derby? Technically speaking it’s two teams of 15 skaters with play broken into two 30 minute periods. These periods are then broken into units of play called jams that last two minutes. Four ‘blockers’ from each team take to the track alongside a ‘jammer’ from each side. The jammers need to get past the opposing blockers to score points.

That’s the technical definition of roller derby. But it also is defininable as a fantastic sport that empowers anyone of any age, gender identity, size, and fitness level to learn how to roller skate and feel like a total badass. Lace up your quad skates and practice each week; you’ll learn how to gain super speed with crossovers, whizz around the track backwards, both jump over and weave between obstacles, and more. Yes you’ll fall over, but you’ll hardly notice thanks to all the protective gear. Everyone improves the more they skate – it’s impossible not to.

Community Spirit

Not only do you look and feel very cool with all the new tricks under your belt, you’ll make friends and join an inclusive community. Honestly the community is awesome and supported by progressive policies from governing bodies such as the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). These associations work to actively promote a climate that is welcoming and inclusive of transgender, intersex, and gender expansive players. 

Eastbourne Roller Derby not only has a women’s team, but a men’s and mixed-gender league too. Our womens, men’s and mixed-gender teams are open for adults aged 18 and over. Our junior team – The New Bournes – welcomes skaters of any gender identity aged 8 – 17. We promise that you’ll find a team at ERD that fits and welcomes you.

Choose Your Name

Arguably the best part of roller derby is choosing a name and number. Every skater will choose a name – think of it as your roller derby alter ego. Historically – they’re punny. The 2009 film Whip It leaned into the punny energy with skater names such as Smashley Simpson, Bloody Holly, Rosa Sparks and Iron Maven.

Your name doesn’t need to be punny; it can be tough, match your skating style, or be your real name. For example, at ERD we have a Scrim Shady, Crash Terror, Whiplash Tash, and Bonnie. If you’re stuck for ideas, the team can help.

Referees and Non-Skating Officials (NSOs)

Like the sport but don’t want to play? Don’t worry – we get it. The good news is that referees and NSOs are an integral part of roller derby. Referees are on skates in the middle of the track making sure that everything is safe and that everyone is playing by the rules. The NSOs are off-skates and keep track of times, scores, penalties, etc. Even better – NSOs are normally given the tools and training they need on the job. So there’s no need to have any knowledge or equipment to volunteer.

Learn to roller skate and play roller derby in 2022

Good news! There’s no need to wait to get started. We are welcoming anyone over the age of 18 to learn to roller skate and try the fantastic sport of roller derby on Sunday January 16th for free. 

See here for more details. It’s time to find out why playing roller derby could be the best decision you ever make

Not able to join us this time? No problem. We will be hosting more new skater sessions throughout the year – follow us on social media to keep up-to-date.

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