Frequently Asked Questions
Our league follows WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) rules and standards. The questions are responded as pertaining to our league specifically, and may not necessarily apply to other derby leagues. The links provided below will refer to policies as listed on the WFTDA site, as well as additional resources that may be useful.
What are the top three reasons you haven't tried derby yet?
1) "I haven't skated since I was a kid!"
That's okay, most of us hadn't either, and we still tried anyway. It's much like riding a bicycle...
2) "I don't have time..."
Once you try derby, you make time for it. Many girls from our league have described derby as one of the most self-empowering decisions they have made in their life. If you have family and/or personal relationships, they should encourage your new found love of derby, and realize that what makes you happy will make them happy in the long run, too.
3) "I'm not as good as those girls..."
Sure, coming to a practice with Vets can be intimidating. But remember, we all started as Fresh Meat, too. Vets love meeting new, dedicated skaters, and helping other players progress is one of the great joys of derby. Skaters harbor a sense of love and commitment to their derby sisters and want each other to succeed both on and off the track.
Is roller derby a club or a sport
Most skaters would consider roller derby a lifestyle. At the very least, it is one of the most unique sports organizations you will likely encounter. While there is a high degree of social benefit to skating with a league, roller derby is also one of the most mentally, physically, and strategically challenging sports you can participate in.
As a non-profit, we work with our community to support other non-profit organizations. In turn, our community supports us. We are also entirely skater owned and operated, so we are not required to play by corporate rules and regulations. Our league follows WFTDA standards and interacts with local leagues in the region. Sports media have resisted labeling roller derby as a "legitimate sport" because they have difficulty with our choice of names, outfits, and attitudes. But, they don't own us, and because we thrive within our community, we don't rely on their support to survive.
What are the rules of Derby?
Roller derby is much more than skating fast, turning left, and hitting hard. Check out the WFTDA Rules to get an idea of the rules we play by. It will seem overwhelming at first, but pay attention to the tactics and language used at scrimmages and practices. If you’re not sure of a rule, ask another skater! We play offensive and defensive strategy at the same time. Also, here is a handy intro video that we show before our bouts to give the fans an idea of the basics and what to watch out for:
Does fresh meat need prior experience to skate with RHDD?
Nope! We welcome all levels of skaters to come practice with us during our Fresh Meat and Open practices. While it may be intimidating, bouters all started the same way, too. Advanced skaters are there to help you learn, and we strive to foster an environment that is encouraging and empowering for those who want to give it a try. So, what’s keeping you? Get registered!
Wait, what is Fresh Meat, exactly?
Don't worry. We're not going to eat you. Fresh Meat is the term most derby leagues use for new skaters who are trying out our sport. People join for several reasons and strive to meet different goals. Our league accepts all players who have the desire to skate, and we do our best to facilitate an open, learning environment. All skaters are considered Fresh Meat until they have passed our minimum skills requirements and have obtained active skater status as determined by attendance and dues requirements.
What kind of gear do skaters need?
Fresh Meat can come to practice with workout clothes, thin long socks, a water bottle, and a (pre-molded) mouth guard. No purchase of derby gear is necessary before trying it out, and we have a supply of skates and gear that Fresh Meat can borrow.
The graphic to the left is by no means exhaustive, but it provides a good idea of what to look for when deciding to buy gear. If at all possible, try on gear before buying it. We recommend the skate shops listed near the bottom of our Sponsors page.
Please don’t be afraid to call any skate shop or ask other skaters about their gear. Most skaters will let you try on for size as well. Your gear is an investment in your safety and the safety of others on your team. Save up, ask questions, and buy smart! Many places also offer “Fresh Meat Packages” that offer the listed gear in a bundle at discounted rates.
Important gear requirements for our league:
How Do I Pass Minimum Skills?
Every league handles this question differently. For our league, there are two components of the Minimum Skills test. First is the physical skating component. With RHDD, Fresh Meat skaters are tested at the end of each cycle during a scheduled fresh meat practice.
All of the required skills of testing are taught during the scheduled Fresh Meat cycles and at Open practices. Skaters who are not ready to attempt the skills test are encouraged to watch to get an idea of what the format looks like, encourage fellow skaters, and test their own ability levels.
The second component is a multiple choice exam on the rules of the game. This is where studying the rule book comes in handy. Don’t wait until the last minute to do this! After all, in order to safely skate and scrimmage with the team, you need to understand the basics. Ask questions if you don't understand.