frequently asked questions
When are tryouts?
To become a skater for Durango Roller Girls, you must be female and at least 18 years old.
There will not be a “make it or break it” tryout right away. If you’ve never skated before, that’s okay! We will train you. We want you to have time to build your skills and get a feel for the sport before being tested. Safety is very important and you can not learn these skills/drills overnight.
What gear do I need?
Skates, helmet, mouth guard, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. If you don’t have gear yet, come watch us practice and ask questions. We also have a limited amount of gear we can lend to new skaters during their first few practices, but be sure to bring your own mouth guard!
Need gear recommendations? Check out our resources page.
do I have to know how to skate to tryout?
Don’t be too scared by the term “tryouts.” Being a derby girl is a lot more than just being a good skater. Yes, we will primarily be looking for skating skills, but we also look at your potential as an athlete and a member of the league. Through the tryout process, we try to get to know your personality AND your skating skills.
How can I get ready for tryouts?
Come get to know us! See our games to gain an understanding of what’s involved, and even volunteer! Check out our practices, and learn about the sport. The official rules can be found at wftda.com/rules. We are also here as a resource for you - ask questions! Then skate, skate, and skate some more! The more comfortable you are on your skates, the faster you will pick up the game.
What is Derby 101?
The Durango Roller Girls offer a Derby 101 class several times a year. The clinic introduces you to the basic skills you will need to participate in the league as a skater. It’s a great opportunity to get a sense for what we will be looking for when you try out. Keep an eye on our calendar for Derby 101 dates!
What will I be asked to do at tryouts?
As a member league of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), we use the association’s official minimum skills test, which you can view here. We will train the skills with you before you participate in the evaluation, so don’t worry if you’re new to the world of roller derby!
Will I be put on a team and get a derby name as soon as I tryout?
Skaters who join the league will begin a four-month training period that culminates in a skills test and a written rules test. Once training is completed (and you’ve passed both tests), you are eligible to skate in DRG intra-league bouts and you can claim your name and number. There is a national registry of roller derby names, as no two skaters or refs can have the same name. But remember: the sport is more than just a cool name and an awesome outfit. Worry about your name after you have the skating part down.
How much of a time commitment is being a roller girl?
Roller derby is a big commitment: it’s like a second (or third) job. During bout season, you’ll be expected to attend league practices for two hours twice a week. In addition to practices, everyone is expected to work at bouts and other official events and fundraisers. We are a skater run organization, so we also require you to work on a committee and attend meetings to remain an active member. We’re not telling you this to scare you, but we want to be honest: if the time commitment is too much, maybe being a skater isn’t the right fit for you right now. However, there are lots of other ways to participate too: you can ref, there are non-skating officials, and we always need volunteers for bout set up and take down.
Despite the time commitment, any skater will tell you that it is completely worth it. And you instantly have over 25 sisters in Durango and over 16,000 around the world!
Are there a lot of injuries?
Well, it’s not croquet. Injures happen, BUT we work really hard to prevent as many injuries as possible (by spending lots of time on how to skate safely) and we slow down and help everyone heal after games and injuries. As mentioned above, full protective gear is required for all skaters (and refs!) and we follow that rule strictly. Although primary health insurance is not currently required if you want to skate with us, every skater is covered under a roller sports insurance. This supplemental insurance is extremely affordable and is required to be purchased by each skater. However, primary health insurance is still strongly recommended.