We hold a new starter intake once a month at Charters Leisure Centre, Ascot: this session is open to potential derby skaters and officials (over 18 only). Absolute beginners are welcome, the first session is free and we have plenty of spare skates and protective pads to get you started. If you’d like to come along to a new starter session, please email: newstarters@
Frequently asked questions
I don’t have any skates can I borrow some? – YES, we have plenty of skates, pads and helmets that you can borrow to get you started. We do ask though that you buy your own equipment as soon as possible.
Am I too old for this? – NO, we have skaters in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. You must be over 18 but there is no upper age limit.
Is it dangerous? – There are risks as with any sport, but we’ll make sure you’re fully kitted out with good protective knee and elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet. The first thing we’ll teach you is how to fall safely.
How much does it cost? – Your first session is free, after that we ask £5 per practice. After one month, or sooner if you want to start saving money straight away, you’ll be asked to pay a monthly sub of £35, this covers all practices (about 12 or 13 a month, so works out a lot cheaper than paying £5 per session).
What is Roller Derby?
Roller derby is an American-invented contact sport-and historically, a form of sports entertainment-based on formation roller skating around a track. While traditionally a professional sport for both women and men, roller derby has developed a predominantly female, amateur circuit in its current revival.
During a bout, two teams of five skaters each face off on the track. In our case, a flat track. Each team consists of a pivot, three blockers and a jammer. The pivot sets the pace and leads the group of skaters, and the blockers stay behind them, guarding each other in what we call “the pack.” The jammers are the scoring skaters and start about 20 feet behind the pack. When the whistle blows, the pack takes off. On a second whistle, the jammers start fighting their way through the pack. When the first jammer makes it through the pack, she’s designated the “lead jammer.” The jammers must lap the pack once before sprinting through the pack to score points by passing members of the opposing team. A jam lasts a maximum of two minutes, but the lead jammer has the right to call off the jam by putting her hands on her waist. The rest of the team tries to stop the opposing jammer from passing them and scoring. At the same time, they block the opposing team’s blockers to help their jammer score.
This YouTube video explains how to play the game and what is and isn’t allowed.