The History of Roller Derby Roller derby has not always been the contact sport that it is today. Historically, the roots of roller derby began when promoter Leo Seltzer began Transcontinental roller derby which was a month-long simulation of a road race between two-person teams of professional skaters. The skaters began their tour of the United States and became a popular spectacle for audiences in the 1930s. By 1939, after experimenting with different team and scoring arrangements, Seltzer's created a touring company of four pairs of teams — two five-person teams on the track at once, scoring points when its members lapped opponents.
National Coverage of derby By 1948, Roller Derby debuted on NY TV as broadcasts brought out more spectators in the stands Roller derby continued to put butts in seats until late 1960s when interest declined and the sport as it was — died out.
From quads to inline … Jerry Selzter (Leo’s son) continued the family tradition by creating Roller Jam in the late 1990s early 2000s. He adapted the sport for television by developing scripted story lines, and rules designed to improve television appeal; derby's popularity declined in spite of this
Everything’s bigger in Texas 2001 was a good year for derby. In Austin, TX when a band of women got together to form Bad Girl, Good Women Productions --- the very first DIY incarnation of modern roller derby. Unfortunately, the She-E-O’s of BGGW decided to go on a for-profit model of derby with themselves as the primary benefactors … this caused a split in factions of the original league as the skaters (whom were paying for gear, uniforms ect) felt their concerns were being disregarded. A group of these women left the league and formed their own, non-profit for the skaters, by the skaters was their motto.
Modern Flat Track Roller Derby The mother’s of invention of the current model for DIY derby leagues were the The Texas Rollergirls. The league was formed in 2003 after the split from BGGW (now TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls banked track league). The 100% skater- owned and managed flat track league became the first of its kind and became the model for leagues around the world today.
WFTDA RULES … Roller derby would not be the sport it is today without WFTDA. The international governing body for flat track leagues, WFTDA sets the rules, regulations of derby and also helps to advance and further the sport.
Derby News Network Derby News Network was founded in 2007 and is the destination for coverage of the sport of roller derby. Watch boutcasts, live bouts and get the latest news from this network. Every roller girl needs to check them out online. http://derbynewsnetwork.com /http://derbynewsnetwork.com /
It all started in Alberta … Oil City Derby Girls were the first league to form North of the 49. Since then, many leagues have formed representing cities and towns of all sizes throughout our country. Canada’s governing insurance body is the Canadian Women’s Roller Derby Association CWRDA.
Non-profit since 2009 The Gas City Rollers became a on-profit roller derby league in 2008-09. Since then we have been training to play the competitive sport of roller derby. The guys and gals involved in the sport are committed to the community and have volunteered with many community organizations to make an impact in the community of Medicine Hat
How it all works … Fresh Meat Skaters: These are our newbies, they train on the basics of roller derby: falls, footwork, stops, crossovers ect. This training stage typically takes 3 months, but is individual per each skater. Skaters are expected to start reading the wftda rulebook and pass minimum benchmark skills to advance to full skate. Skaters must skate 25 laps in 5 minutes to advance to next level of membership. Fresh meat skaters are expected to volunteer for game day and league events. Full Skate Members: Here the rules and strategy of the game is learned. Skaters are expected to integrate basic skills with team and pack play. Skaters are expected to have a working knowledge of the wftda rulebook and will write a wftda rules test before they are able to bout. Skaters must maintain benchmark skills and rebenchmark annually. Skaters are expected to attend 60% or practices, volunteer for league committees and be in good standing to play.
Membership fees & Insurance Monthly membership fees for members $30. Fresh Meat pay $5 drop in to skate. This will not exceed $30 per month. Insurance fees are $45 per year. Fresh meat can skate 2 weeks before requiring CWRDA insurance. You will need to insured to skate, bout in our facility.
The straight dope on gear: Fresh Meat packages are recommended for beginner skaters. At the minimum you need, mouth guard, helmet, wrist, knee and elbow protection and of course, roller skates. Additional gear allowed can include; shin guards, butt/hips protection ect.
We recommend these updates! If you are really committed to learning this sport we recommend starting with better equipment. Some gear upgrades we recommend include: 187 knee pads, Hired Hands full-gloved wrist guards, Pro Tec mouthguards, ABEC 7s or 9s/Qube/Reds bearings. Sure Grip conical bushings (all colours). Gumball toe stoppers.
Wheels, wheels, wheels There are indoor, outdoor and hybrid wheels. This is a topic that can be very specific to each skater. Wheels are probably the most costly piece of equipment of roller derby and you WILL be upgrading your wheels throughout a season (whereas the rest of your equipment will last a lot longer). Here is the quick break down of wheels …
Skate surface & Wheel Hardness GCRDA practices on concrete floor that is considered sticky. Comparable to some leagues floors that are painted and very slick. What do you need to know about skate surfaces? Urethane Indoor wheels are made to perform on smooth surfaces and should not be used outdoor. Typical durometer of indoor wheel used in roller derby would rate 86A-98A … the larger the number the harder the wheel. It’s preference for skaters to “like” a certain hardness or combination of 2 sets. Find a skater about the same size and style of skater you want to be and ask them what’s their fav!
Beginner wheels … Many fresh meat start out with wider profile wheel that is a softer durometer ie) Radar Flat-Outs 88A. If you are an agile skater, this may not be the best choice for you. But newbie legs appreciate having more surface to push and crossover with to start. Although, you will want to upgrade to a slimmer profile wheel when you learn the basics and start to push your gear to new limits.
Rolling on up … As you get faster & more agile … a slimmer profile wheel that is harder may be a better choice. We recommend Heartless, Sure Grip MIDS, Radar Mojos, Sure Grip Demons, Atom wheels and Radar Pure. Tip! Before you buy, ask another derby girl or boy what they think of the wheels you are purchasing.
Practicing outdoors Sure Grip Aerobics are cheap outdoor solution. These have a much softer durometer for skating over different terrains. Wheel hardness will be around 68A to 76A. Outdoor training will make you a more agile and well- rounded skater. TIP! Remember to purchase an extra set of bearings for your outdoor wheels.
Getting to know your skates Skate maintenance is very important and it is recommended that ALL derby girls get to know their skates intimately. We recommend the Rollergirl Fresh Meat File a comprehensive guide to buying skates and gear and breakdown of future maintenance. There are also many videos, blogs and information online on skate maintenance and other topics. DO YOUR RESEARCH and you will become a wise derby girl. http://www.rollergirl.ca/misc/roller-derby-fresh- meat-file.htmlhttp://www.rollergirl.ca/misc/roller-derby-fresh- meat-file.html TIP! Remember to rotate your wheels once a month so wear and tear on the urethane is evenly distributed. TIP! Wash your gear once a month to keep it clean and refreshed.
Get your head in the game! Becoming a Gas City Rollers means playing roller derby! But before you bout … it’s a great idea to get an understanding of the game … http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=_T8izdlc-dYhttp://www.youtube.com /watch?v=_T8izdlc-dY
Being a part of the team! Gas City Rollers don’t just kick butt on the track. We kick butt all over the community! Members of the team need to lend a hand, volunteer time and resources to host bouts, fundraise and team up with over non-profits to make a difference in our community!
Time Commitment! We all have busy lives, families, school, jobs, relationships! But to join the crazy world of derby, you will have to commit your time and energy to the cause. To play you must attend 60% of practices, pay your membership fees and be in good standing with the league. We practice approx. 2 x week from 6:30 to 8pm and YES dryland counts as practice time! Attendance at committee meetings, volunteer hours during game day and attending bootcamps and out of town games may take up extra evenings and weekends. Make sure roller derby works for you!
Get involved with derby! Derby girls could not play without the support of their reffing crew, NSO crew and volunteers to make the game happen! If you are interested in reffing or becoming a Non-Skating Official please talk to the GCRDA ref crew
New website coming!!! http://www.gascityrollers.com/ http://www.gascityrollers.com/ We are relaunching our website online soon! This will include blogs, skater profiles, sponsorship information and much more. Stay tuned folks!