What is the history of roller derby?
The sport began as roller skate races on a raised track in the 1920s. The sport evolved in the late 1930s from a marathon skating race to a more physical competition emphasizing skater collisions and falls. Roller derby was televised from the late 40s to the early 70s when popularity of the sport dwindled.
In the early 2000s, the revival of roller derby with a modern touch was born in Austin, Texas. New leagues began to form, run solely by the skaters themselves. Flat track roller derby spread like wildfire as it was easier and cheaper than building a banked track, making it possible to play just about anywhere. In 2007, Sonoma County Roller derby was born and by 2011 there were nearly 500 flat track roller derby leagues worldwide.
How do you play roller derby?
Each team fields up to five skaters per two-minute playing segment, called a 'jam'. Blockers play both offensive and defensive roles in a defined 'pack' on the oval track. Jammers score points for their team by lapping opposing players. Skaters may be penalized for committing fouls. Teams skate with less players while they have one or more players serving a penalty. A team's full line-up for a jam consists of one Pivot, three Blockers and one Jammer. Watch this video for more info.
Are the bouts kid-friendly?
Yes! Roller derby is a family-friendly sport here in Sonoma County! However if your children will get scared easily by screaming fans, then it may not be the best place to take them. For the most part kids love the fast-paced action and cheering for the 'star' aka JAMMER on the teams.
What is the difference between a roller derby team and a league?
Each league may have varying structures, but typically a league is made up of a few teams. They usually are broken up by home teams, travel teams, or teams of different skill levels. Some leagues also have a Junior team to allow skaters under 18 to participate. The Sonoma County Roller Derby League currently has two home teams—the North Bay Bruisers and the Wine Country Wreckers—and two travel teams—the Hella Organic Rollers, who compete on the WFTDA level, and the NorCal Growlers.
How do I join SCRD?
What if I have never skated before or haven't since I was a kid?
We train you no matter what level you are at. We even have skates for you to borrow at the start if you don't have your own gear. You will never have to do something that you are not ready for and we will help you progress your skills and confidence so you will be ready to play in a real bout.
What kind of protective gear is required for roller derby?
The minimum gear required includes: helmet, mouth guard, elbow pads, wrist guards and knee pads. Some skaters like to use butt-savers and knee gaskets for extra protection!
I don't want to skate, but still want to be involved. What are my options?
We are always in need of volunteers to donate their time and/or skills. These include Refs, NSOs (non-skating officials) and other important jobs at the merch, beer and ticket booths. Our bouts cannot happen without these very important people! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us.
How can I become a sponsor?
Glad you asked! Check out our sponsorship packages.
I'm not a female but want to play roller derby! Is this sport just for females?
SCRD welcomes all skaters, regardless of gender identity. While our competitive teams are all-female teams, we do have options for male skaters as well. We have a nearby co-ed team, the NorCal Vigilantes, and our practices are open to all genders. You can also participate as a referee, NSO, volunteer, etc. Please contact us to learn more about your options!
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