You Got Questions? We Got Answers.

The best way to learn about Roller Derby is to come to one of our events! If you can't find the answer to your question, drop us an email at info@calgaryrollerderby.com

  • What is Roller Derby?

    The Calgary Roller Derby Association plays flat track roller derby according to the rules set out by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. We play indoors on concrete, wood and sport court floors in community centres, gyms and in hockey arenas when the ice is out for the season. When you come watch the CRDA in action, you’ll notice we skate right on the floor on a track marked out by rope and tape, as opposed to the banked track that some derby fans remember from the 1970s and ’80s, and which was popularized in the 2009 film Whip It. The hits thrown by the skaters in the CRDA are tactical, not theatrical, and every skater on the track is an athlete who trains hard to be there. Yes, it’s all authentic. You can expect to see real attitude and real skill on the track.

  • Are your events kid-friendly?

    Yes, our events are family friendly! We have beer gardens for the adults and kids may be more interested in our craft table, or bake sale. We usually have lots going on at our events, so they are a great night out for less than the cost of a movie.

  • Do you ever get injured?

    Derby is a full contact sport, but we do intensive training to prepare skaters for the rigours of the sport - and of course we wear full protective gear. Sometimes, injuries happen which is why we love our EMT staff present at all our games.

  • Sounds like fun. How do I join?

    If you are female, over 18 and interested in playing, we run new skater intakes throughout the year. This program, called "Fresh Meat" teaches you all the skills you need to know to play safely and successfully. Once you graduate Fresh Meat, you can then be drafted to a team and hit the track. Email us at recruiting@calgaryrollerderby.com for more info.

  • Can I be a ref?

    Yes! We are always looking for volunteers. If you are interested in being an on-skates referee or NSO (non-skating official) for the league, email us at recruiting@calgaryrollerderby.com

  • Why don't you play on a banked track like on TV?

    For 50 years, Roller Derby was played on a banked track. When a group of women in Austin TX founded the modern version of the game, they realized those tracks were expensive and hard to maintain. They adapted the game to a flat track, which means we can now play almost anywhere. Fans love it because you can get up close to the action.

  • Who do you play?

    Roller Derby is exploding! There are teams in pretty much any city or town you visit. Our home games will usually feature "away" teams from neighbouring provinces, and our travel teams play all across North America. (Actually, our AllStar travel team is ranked in the top 50 in the world!)

  • Can kids play?

    Yes! We are just kicking off a juniors program. Juniors derby follows the same basic rules as adult roller derby, but with some modifications. To learn more, check out our Juniors info page under the "teams" section, or email us at juniors@calgaryrollerderby.com

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So, what is a game like?  Roller derby is played by two teams of up to fourteen players each, who both field up to five members for each two-minute jam, skating counterclockwise on a flat track. Each team has one point-scorer called the Jammer. The other four members are Blockers. One blocker can be designated as a Pivot—a special blocker who is allowed to become a jammer in the course of play. The jammer wears a helmet cover with stars on the side, while the pivot wears a striped cover; the remaining blockers do not wear helmet covers. The bout is played in two periods of 30 minutes. Point scoring occurs during "jams": plays that last up to two minutes. During a jam, points are scored when a jammer on a scoring pass (every pass a jammer makes through the pack after the initial pass) laps members of the opposing team. Each team's blockers use body contact, changing positions, and other tactics to assist its jammer to score while hindering the opposing team's jammer. Blockers may not use their hands, feet, or head to block other players. (That means no elbows!) Referees call penalties resulting in thirty second penalties. It makes way more sense when you watch a game, we promise. WFTDA made up a great video, click here to check that out.
You have a bunch of teams, how does that work?  After skaters complete Fresh Meat training, they are eligible to be drafted to a home team. Our three home teams primarily play at our local events. Those teams are: The Cut Throat Car Hops, B52 Bellas, and the Thrashin' Lassies.  Each team has on average 20 players, although only 14 can be rostered for each game. Next up, we have our B travel team, the Jane Deere. They are the 'little sister' team to our A travel team, the All Stars. The All Stars are internationally ranked, and are the most elite skaters of our league. (Some of our AllStars are Team Canada players, just to give you an idea of their level of play!) New in 2017, we are adding a juniors component! Stay tuned for more information.

So, what do I do now if I want to play?  Email us at recruiting@calgaryrollerderby.com and we'll put you on the list for the next intake. Next, go see a game! Until the next intake, we encourage you to skate as much as possible. You can rent skates for a night at Lloyds Rink, or get your own gear online at rollergirl.ca, or stop by Nerd Skates in Inglewood. To play derby you need: helmet, mouthguard, knee, elbow and wrist guards. And of course, quad skates. There are lots of great paths to skate outdoors in Calgary, and you'll find some of us at the skate parks as well.  Youtube has some great starter videos. If you are super-keen, check out WFTDA's website for lists of the rules and our minimum skills test.