New Skater Training

We are pleased to announce that our two month long Roller Derby 101 Program is back!

Our next intake is Oct 21st, and classes run through Dec 9th.

Roller Derby 101

Sign up now and start enjoying all the health benefits that come from roller skating and playing roller derby.

  • Improves cardio and respiratory endurance

  • Improves balance and coordination

  • Helps build a healthy heart

  • Burns over 450 calories an hour

  • Builds muscle strength

  • Improves mental health

  • Relieves stress

  • Boosts self confidence

Join the community that is flat track roller derby today!!

What is the cost of Training?

Our Derby 101 program is $100 for two months of lessons, plus insurance fees.
Roller derby insurance can be purchased from Roller Derby Canada Services (RDC).
Click for details.

When does the training program take place?

Practices are 6-7 pm on Thursdays, with extra skate time on the sidelines of the intermediate and up class, 7-9pm starting in October.

Where does the training program take place?

Allison Memorial Arena at 49 Nelson Street West (between Church & Paris) in downtown Alliston.

How do I sign up?

Please fill out our Online Membership Form.

What do I need in order to train?

Here's everything you'll need to have before you can practice:

  • Quad Skates: We recommend being fitted for these by a skate shop professional. If buying online, make sure you can return them if they don’t fit properly.

  • Helmets: must be snug on your head, and made for multiple impacts. They can be found at skate shops or local sports stores. We recommend the S1 "Lifer", Technical Safety Gear (TSG), or Nutcase derby helmets, or any kind of hockey helmet.

  • Elbow Pads, Wrist Guards and Knee Pads are a must. Pads should fit snugly to avoid slipping. Triple 8, Scabs, ProDesigned, and 187s are the most common brands.

  • Mouth Guards (boil and bite) can be found at local sports stores, ranging from $5 to $30. Derby Shops sell the popular Sisu sports mouth guards in a range of colours, or talk to your dentist about getting a custom fitted one. (Mouth Guards are not required for referees.)

  • Whistles: (required only for referees). The Fox 40 Classic is the standard whistle used in roller derby. A Cushioned Mouth Grip is recommended for comfort.

Wish-list Accessories:

  • Outdoor wheels and bearings to go with them. (approx $35 for wheels, $30 for bearings).

  • A Reflex Utilitool, which makes it faster to trade off your indoor/outdoor wheels. (approx $35)

  • Knee pad gaskets. They protect your knees with extra padding and the Velcro helps hold your knee pads in place. (approx $40).

  • Reversible scrimmage shirt with name and number on both sides. (approx $45)

  • Metal plates with locking toestops, such as Powerdyne Rivals, Suregrip Avengers, or Luigino Falcons. Much more sturdy than nylon, these are made for skaters over 175 pounds, or for skaters who weigh less but skate hard, and locking toestops are essential to prevent loss of toestops during skating. (approx $100-$200 for those listed).

Where to get gear:

  • Rumbling Rage (Barrie)

  • Skate Shop (Woodstock)

  • Some safety gear can also be found locally at various sports stores – Canadian Tire, SportChek, etc. You might want to call ahead to see if they’ve got what you need.

All derby shops offer starter packages, which include all gear (except a mouth guard, in most cases), for between $300 and $500, depending mostly on the price of the skates chosen. We highly recommend checking return policies in case you need to trade something in because it's not right for you or doesn't fit right.

**Please note: We had to suspend our loaner program temporarily due to COVID, but we will resume as soon as it's safe. Here is the program information: We have some used gear available to for skaters who want to try it out before investing in the gear. We have lots of safety gear available, but spare skates are harder to come by, and we only have limited sizes. Please let us know if you'd like to borrow anything to get started when you sign up, and we will try to find items to fit you. Sorry, but we cannot lend mouth guards (for obvious reasons).

What will I learn during Roller Derby 101?

Even if you’ve never tried on skates before, you will learn how to skate, stop properly and fall safely. You’ll learn fancy footwork like gliding and weaving on one foot, and changing from a forward direction to a backward direction. You'll learn how to balance, how to hop over obstacles, and how to improve your stride for speed. You'll learn about basic strategy and about the rules of flat track roller derby.

What you'll learn as a Skater:

You’ll find out how to deliver a powerful hit, how to take one, and how to counter hit. You'll learn how to push and pull someone safely. You’ll learn to work with your teammates and skate in a pack as well as how to navigate through it. You'll learn how to cross the track quickly, how to lean an opponent out of bounds, and how to deal with unexpected obstacles. Basically, you’ll learn all the skills you need to start playing roller derby. Most importantly, you’ll learn how capable you are of kicking ass, and having fun while doing it!

What you'll learn as a Referee:

You’ll learn how to interpret the rules, and to apply to them to game play happening on the track. You'll practice the hand signals and verbal cues used to issue a penalty, and learn how to blow a whistle properly as part of a referee crew. You'll learn about the Officiating Standardized Practices and the referee positions such as Head Referee, Inside and Outside Pack Referees, and Jam Referees. You'll learn how to work with Non-Skating Officials, to how share data with them during games. Basically, you'll learn all the skills needed to start officiating at scrimmages and games, and gain the confidence necessary to be part of the awesomeness that is Team Zebra!

What if I don’t know how to skate?

Just because you can’t skate yet, doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to play roller derby! Our training program is designed for skaters of all levels, and we start out covering the absolute basics, from gliding forward, to stopping, to falling safely, and after just a few weeks, you may be surprised at how well you’re doing. (Please note, we encourage beginning skaters to attend as many sessions as possible and stay for the extra skate time.) You can also practice on your own to work on your basic skills if you want to improve even faster.

What happens during training?

You'll start off learning to skate, stop, and fall safely, then, as you go, you'll move on to practicing skills and doing drills that build on what you've learned so far. Your coaches will discuss your progress with you at every stage, and make sure you are developing your skills safely.

You'll be expected to try hard and to never say "I can't" unless it's followed by "yet." You'll be offered advice and support from veteran skaters.

As you progress, you'll learn how to use what you know so far to play derby, and how the rules apply. You'll have homework that involves reading the WFTDA Rules, doing take-home quizes, and watching roller derby videos.

You'll be encouraged to only compare your progress only to your earlier self rather than others, and to be proud of your accomplishments. You'll discover that everyone learns at their own pace and will develop some skills easier than other skills, mostly depending on sports or skating background, fitness level, and dedication to training. There is no time limit to developing your skills, and the Derby 101 program is only the start of your adventures in roller derby!

What happens after training?

Once you have completed Derby 101, you'll join in with our league practices where you'll start to learn the tactics and strategies that we use to play roller derby. You'll join in for drills right away, and participate in practice scrimmaging when you and the coaches feel you're ready.

The next step is to join a team. There are no tryouts, but you will need to have reached a safe level in your skills, as determined by the coaches. You will start out as a member of the Bombshell Battalion, our "B" Team, and you will be given the opportunity to try out for our Charter ("A") Team: the Striking Vikings if and when you decide you are ready.

We currently hold one practice a week in Alliston, with frequent scrimmages and bouts, both home and away.

Regular league dues are $50 per month, and Regular Skater Insurance coverage costs $55 for a year.

Please note: Only women and gender neutral skaters are permitted on teams under WFTDA regulations, but anyone of any gender can be a referee.

What if I want more practice time?

You are welcome to skate on the sidelines during any of our other practices. There are also three roller rinks nearby that offer open skating on various days and times: The Skating Place at ODAS Park in Orillia, Scooters in Mississauga, and Coachlite Roller Gardens in Oshawa.

For more information, email us at: derby101 @RDD