If you’re looking for something a little bit different, roller derby could be for you! Roller derby is a fun, high-intensity social sport that is a unique experience – an increasingly popular take on the traditional version of roller skating.
Roller derby offers an inclusive and welcoming community of women, spread across a number of clubs in Victoria. When you join a team and pull on the roller derby skates for the first time, one thing is for sure – you’re going to make a bunch of amazing new friends who all enjoy getting active and having fun together.
On this page we look at:
- How This Girl Can Ambassador Miranda went from not liking sport to finding a new passion in roller derby
- Learning how to roller skate again
- What are the rules of roller derby?
- What ages you can play roller derby
- How to play roller derby
- Find a local roller derby club in Victoria near you
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Miranda’s mum gave her notes to get out of playing sport at school, but now she’s committed to playing roller derby
Growing up, Miranda, 40, never liked sport. Her mum even gave her notes to get out of PE. A few years ago, she found a new passion in roller derby, and now she’s totally committed to her team. “It became more important what my body could do, rather than what it looked like,” Miranda says. These days she cares more about what her “chunky thighs” can do on roller skates than being able to fit into size ten shorts.
Learn how to roller skate again
It might have been a while since you went roller skating, or you might not have given it a shot before. Roller skating is a great activity to keep active, and you can do it on your own.
If you’re interested in roller derby but want to start learning how to roller skate first, have a look online to find a local roller women’s roller skating group or club near you. There are plenty of social roller skating groups in Victoria too where you can make new friends and get your confidence up too.
What are the rules of roller derby?
Roller derby is a game played on roller skates between two teams of up to 15 players per side. The game is usually played indoors on a court or flat surface. This is called a ‘circuit track’.
The game is ordered with a number of short plays, which are called ‘jams’. Roller derby positions on the roller derby track include ‘jammers’, ‘blockers’ and ‘pivots’. Both teams nominate a jammer and four blockers to skate counter-clockwise during the jam.
The jammer’s task is to get past the other team. You score points in roller derby when your jammer laps the other team. Blockers must try to prevent the other team’s jammer from getting past. There can also be a pivot player who is more experienced anddirects their team, setting the pace of the game.
When the game starts, each team lines up with different starting lines for types of players. Jams are usually 2 minutes each, with a full game played in two periods of 30 minutes each.
What age do I have to be to play roller derby?
Roller derby can be fast, a little frenzied, and a whole lot of fun. There’s a bit of protective gear involved, and it’s not uncommon to go for a tumble. It’s all part of the game!
A common question is if you have to be under or over a certain age to play. You can learn roller derby and play at any age. Some women play in their 50s and 60s.
Find a local roller derby club in Victoria near you
If you think roller derby could be your ‘jam’, here are some next steps you can take to get those skates rolling and have a go:
- Skate Victoria is a great place to begin your search for a roller derby club to get started with.
- Once you’ve found a roller derby team, players need to register with Skate Victoria.
- There’s a range of roller derby and recreational skating programs where you can learn how to roller skate in a supportive, comfortable environment. Have a look online to find a local coach, or ask a local club what they offer.
- Learn more about roller derby and skating at Roller Derby Australia. They provide useful roller derby tips and resources, as well as news and events to help you learn.
Ready to try roller derby?
- Visit the websites mentioned on this page: Skate Victoria or Roller Derby Australia.
- Google it! Have a look around for different roller derby teams or groups, and check out any local roller skating for women groups that might be nearby. You don’t have to be into roller derby to get active – you can learn to roller skate and explore your local area anytime you want!
- Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood, to see if a local roller derby club has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
- Ask other women about roller derby – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.
Can’t get out right now?
Sometimes it can get busy at home or there can be a lot going on. That’s okay. There are several ways to try skating and practice some skills when you can’t make it out.
If you’re not quite feeling comfortable on those roller skates just yet, you can get yourself a pair and do some light practice in the house or out in the yard. Just standing on them sometimes is the hard part! There are many online videos to help you out too, and being indoors might give you some time to learn more about the roller derby rules so you’re ready to go when you can get to a local club again.
Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.