Roller derby fresh meat skater creates Facebook athlete page in anticipation of imminent stardom

Amy, of the Derpshire Rollergirls, created a Facebook athlete fan page for herself as soon as she entered her league’s Fresh Meat program.

Amy explained: “Lots of skaters on our A team have an athlete page. I figured it wouldn’t be too long before I am one of them. This will help me connect with all the fans and sponsors I am bound to have very soon.”

“I mean, I did a really good T-stop the other week, so I’m expecting that Riedell will come knocking any moment now.”

“And I like that, because of this page, I am officially an athlete now!”

When asked if this move might be considered somewhat conceited, Amy replied: “I don’t think so. It’s not really me who is posting. It’s my derby persona, and she is so awesome that she definitely needs a fan page.”

“It’s going really well. I already have three followers: my mom, my boyfriend and that creepy guy who always comes to our bouts.”

Amy further explained her strong need for an athlete page: “How will people know that I ‘work hard, play hard’ or that I #eatclean or that I am one of the ‘girlswholift’ if I don’t post about it on my fan page?”

“For me, training does not end, and achievements mean nothing until I have have posted about them on my page.”

“If I don’t find a good selfie opportunity at one of our practices, then I basically consider that session wasted.”

“I would say that, in derby, the number of followers and likes you get on Facebook is more important than your attendance and effort at training.


Roller derby referee crews to be officially classed as third team in a bout

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) have announced this week that referee crews will in future be officially classed as the third team in roller derby bouts.

WFTDA spokeswomen Andromedary commented: “Our membership felt that this reflects the current state of play.”

“Our referees aim for a high level of quality, uniformity and consistency. But at this point in time we are still a long way from reaching this goal. We can simply no longer pretend that different referee crews are consistent or comparable.”

“They say a good referee is one that you don’t even notice. Unfortunately, many referees are all too noticeable.”

Fool Moon, WFTDA representative of the Derpshire Rollergirls, commented: “As a WFTDA-member league, we strongly support this move. We have found that, when preparing for a bout, it wasn’t enough anymore to just train for the opposing team. We had to invest an equal amount of training time into preparing for different referee styles.”

“Our blockers have to develop walls that work for the opposing team AND for the ref crew. Different jammers have such varied styles. And different ref crews do, too. For example, against some jammers you simply cannot afford to leave gaps in your walls or they will get past you. And with some referee crews you simply cannot use your arms at all for anything, or you will get a penalty.”

“Similarly, our jammers know that against certain teams they can get past by taking risks on the edges, more than against other teams. And we know that with some referee crews, we can take risks at the edge of the engagement zone, more than with others, because some refs just do not know their 20 ft.”

“Where possible, we try to find out the names of the referees in advance and study the way they make calls by watching footage of them. We also try to arrange practice bouts staffed by those or similar refs to prepare us as best as we can.”

“For us, the referees stand between us and winning as much as the opposing team. So it makes sense for them to be classed as a team in their own right.”

Andromedary agreed with these statements: “It often takes referees much longer than players to adapt to this ever-changing game. We saw this happen when passive offence started being used. We hope that by introducing an element of competition into officiating, there will be an incentive for referee individuals and crews to improve.”

Holy Molly, captain of the Fartfordshire Rollergirls, also felt positively about this change: “Officials crews have strengths and weaknesses just like roller derby teams, and we look to learn and exploit these.
For me, the problem is this: if an opposing team has a weak players, then we will probably win against this weaker team. But if a ref crew is weaker, then we might lose because of that.”

“There have been many times where the referee crew had a greater impact on the outcome of a game than the two teams on the track. That’s why they need to be a separate team.”

Andromedary explained the situation further: “This change is really just a continuation of the current state of things. WFTDA tournaments tend to be staffed by several officials crews and they each officiate a portion of the games. The best-performing crew is selected to officiate the final game of the tournament. We do not combine several crews for the final game to create a crew with the best individual refs. We think that the experience of having worked together is needed to create a good crew. We think that teamwork outweighs individual skill – exactly as for roller derby teams.”

This begs the question: What does this say for all the bouts where the referee crew have never previously worked together?

Andromedary explained: “Those will be defined as ‘scratch’ crews or ‘challenge’ crews. They are just officiating for fun. They are ultimately not looking to officiate at a competitive level.”

“The only thing we haven’t figured out yet is how to actually ‘score’ the crews. Because, right now, we have zero honest ways to measure how good a referee crew is and how it compares to another crew.”

Roller derby beginners don’t think it’s worth checking derby name ideas

Roller derby gives players the opportunity to pick a ‘derby name’, an alter ego under which to play. But when presented with myriad options for a suitable name it is apparently very easy to make questionable choices.

We followed several Fresh Meat skaters of the Derpshire Rollergirls who are currently in the process of picking their derby names.

When asked how she would pick her derby name, Fresh Meat member Izzy commented: “I have a really fearless skating style and I’m crazy about cats. So I thought I could call myself ‘Kamikaze Kitten’, how cool is that?”

“I also like Batman, so maybe I’ll go with ‘Gotham Girl’. Or ‘London Brawling’, you know, based on that song.”

When the group was asked if it might be worth ‘testing’ their name ideas with a couple of friends, the skaters thought it not necessary.

Skater Lucy commented: “I haven’t told any of my team mates about my ideas, because I don’t want them to steal my awesome name. I am really unique and quirky. I don’t think other people have the creativity and individuality to create as good a name.”

“My derby name is based on my favourite ever TV series that started last month. This name will make me cool for years to come!”

Laura, another recent member of the Derpshire Rollergirls, was looking forward to her new nickname: “I’m thinking of calling myself ‘Thorpedo’. It will be so awesome when people start calling me ‘Thor’!”

One skater in the group, Jessica, had already chosen her name: “I’m going to be ‘No Means Jess’. I’m sure the other Rollergirls will find that hilarious!”

Skater Becky was still undecided: “I’ve had some name ideas. I love waffles and my skating involves lots of stomping. So I thought I could be ‘Waffle Stomp’. I’ve also considered ‘Flaming Amazon’, ‘Angry Dragon’, or ‘Screwnicorn’, because those all sound really cool and I love fantasy. These names are all really personal, so I don’t see any reason at all to check online if these names already exist.”

“It’s just not worth wasting my time googling all these ideas. I can spend that time better by ordering scrimmage tops with the name on the back.”

“After all, getting a derby name was the main reason I got into this whole roller derby thing.”

The ultimate guide to avoiding drills you don’t like

There is always that one drill at every practice you don’t like. The one that makes you want to curl up in the foetal position as soon as the coach announces it. The one that uses all those skills that you don’t have and that you have no interest in working on.

It doesn’t seem fair, does it? You shouldn’t have to do things that are hard and scary, just because you want to be a badass athlete.

If you, too, suffer from drills that you hate then this article is for you!
This is the ultimate guide to avoiding drills you don’t like.


Arrive late for practice.

The start of a session is a good part to miss, because warm-ups can be hard. Car break-down? Public transport disaster? Cat emergency? These are all excellent excuses for why you arrived late.
Ignore the fact that everyone else managed to get there on time. They probably need to check their privilege.
Bonus: if you do this often enough, people will no longer even be surprised that you are late.

Be slow to kit up.

There is no reason to hurry. You are in the hall, which counts for just as much as actually taking part.

Take your time with the warm-up.

This one works well when combined with ‘arriving late for practice’. Since you will clearly work harder than everyone else, it’s best to do all the extra warm-up stretches that you can think off. This also sets the stage for possible ‘injuries’ later on (see below).

Waste time with other stuff.

The warm-up is finished and the actual session is about to start. Now is a perfect time to do all those things you might have done before the start of the session: changing wheels, changing tops, filling up on water, drawing numbers on your arm or bandaging that blister you already knew you had.
Don’t worry about holding up everyone else. This session runs by your timetable.

Take convenient water breaks.

This one is great. You can do this any time during a session and as many times as you want.

Feign an injury.

Be creative here. You want to make sure that your ‘injury’ is bad enough that you definitely have to sit out that drill you don’t like. But be careful! You don’t want your injury to take you out of the drills that you do like (you know, the ones that you are already good at).
Don’t just sit quietly on the side. Try to draw lots of attention to yourself. The coaches need to know that it’s not your choice to sit out.

Ask inane questions to waste time.

The more time you spend talking at training, the less time there is for the horrible drill you are trying to avoid. You can even just start a lengthy discussion mid-drill on track. Listening to you is much more valuable for your partners than doing the drill anyway.

Pair up with someone weak.

Sometimes doing that hated drill is simply unavoidable. But you can make it more bearable and avoid being challenged by simply pairing up with someone weaker than you. But beware! Those pesky newbies will often get better than you really quickly (how do they do that???). So you’ll have to find a new weak partner regularly.

De-kit early.

You’ve worked hard, you deserve a break. Make sure to tell people just exactly how hard you worked. Your words in these moments speak louder than your actions in the last two hours.

Follow these tips and you’ll never have to step out of your comfort zone again!