The Tiny Terrors Want YOU to Play Roller Derby!
6:30pm - 10pm
At The Champlain Valley Expo Center
Please check the GMDD calendar for upcoming dates and times.
Fresh Meat practices are focused on basic skating and derby skills and endurance. If you've been waiting to try roller derby, there's no better time than right now to join!
So you want to play roller derby?
GMDD is currently accepting new skaters on an ongoing basis. To try it out, come to a fresh meat practice, which take place 8:30-10:00 p.m. most Tuesday nights at the Champlain Valley Exposition, immediately following GMDD's weekly scrimmage, which begins at 6:30. Fresh Meat and aspiring officials are encouraged to come early to help with scrimmage. Check the GMDD calendar for our practice schedule.
What you need: Mouthguard and good attitude, plus any gear you have including skates, knee and elbow pads, wrist guards and a helmet. Borrowed gear available on a first-come, first-served basis, with preference going to those who come early to help at scrimmage.
Who can join the Green Mountain Derby Dames?
All skaters must be 18 or older, and female. Anyone 18 or older can join as referees, announcers, coaches, or other volunteers. Anyone of any age can help support Green Mountain Derby Dames through promoting, fundraising, sponsoring, and attending events and bouts.
Do I need any sports experience to play roller derby?
It’s helpful, but no. Roller derby is a physically demanding sport that requires speed, endurance, agility, strength, good awareness and communication skills. The more in shape you are, the more quickly you’re apt to pick up basic skating and derby skills, and the less likely you are to become injured. We’ve found that skaters with hockey, rugby, and other skating or sports backgrounds generally pick up skills quickly.
That said, many of our skaters never played sports until they discovered roller derby and have grown to be remarkable athletes. Since we only practice 2-3 times a week, we encourage skaters to work out and cross-train outside of our regular practices in order to stay in shape.
What can I expect at Fresh Meat?
Fresh Meat Nights start out with a basic warm up and then skaters are grouped according to skills they are working on. The first skills you will work on are found on the Basic Skills Assessment (see below for the WFTDA Minimum Skills). We can also answer any questions you might have. If you’re just getting back on skates after a long hiatus, or if you’ve never been on skates, feel free to just skate around for a bit to get used to them again.
Skaters that have passed Basic Skills will continue to attend Fresh Meat practices while they work on the advanced skills required to bout, such as hitting, whipping, 180s and more!
What do I need to play roller derby?
All skaters are required to wear quad roller skates, elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads, a helmet, and a mouthguard. If you have gear of your own, great! Bring it with you. If you don’t, we have some old (slightly...okay, really stinky) gear that we will lend out for the evening on a first-come, first-served basis (sorry, you have to bring your own mouthguard, available at Dick's, Champs, or any other sporting goods store). If you decide to stick with derby, you’ll need your own gear once you pass your basic assessments and start attending regular practices. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of skate shops in the area, but we’ve included a guide to gear to help you get started. Always feel free to ask another skater for advice!
What else should I bring to my first practice?
What skills do I need to learn to become a Derby Dame?
Before you can play derby, you will need to master some basic roller skating skills. We’re not talking about tricks and fancy footwork, we’re talking about the basic skills that will allow you to feel comfortable on your skates, for your safety and the safety of those around you. Once you’ve filled out paperwork and have some skates on, one of our Fresh Meat Mistresses will help you learn proper form and your basic skills, including: posture, stride, falls, stops, stepping, one-foot glides, crossovers, 8 on the floor, squats, lateral motion, weaving, hopping, focus, and speed/endurance.
The more comfortable you are on your skates, the better skater you will be, pure and simple. Read the complete description of what you need to pass our Basic Skills Assessment.
How long until I can bout?
In order to be eligible to bout, you'll need to pass two assessments and log three hours of scrimmage time. The basic assessment includes basic roller skating skills like stops, falls, and footwork. The advanced assessment covers derby skills such as blocking and skating in a pack. You'll also have to pass a written rules test.
Once you pass advanced assessments you’ll be eligible to be placed on a team while you work on your scrimmage time. Please note that we update team charters periodically, so there may not be an immediate opening.
What if I'm interested in becoming a referee?
We're happy to welcome new referees and non-skating officials at any time! Contact our head referee Doomsday at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know you're thinking about joining the crew. He'll be able to give you the scoop on what the job entails and help you get started.
What if I get hurt?
It's not a matter of if you get hurt, it's when! Roller derby is an aggressive contact sport and injuries are common, from bumps and bruises to torn ligaments and broken bones. We work with a local physical therapist who periodically gives us off-skate strengthening exercises to help prevent some more common sports injuries. GMDD does not require you to have health insurance to play, but it is STRONGLY recommended. All skaters must have supplemental WFTDA insurance once they begin scrimmaging and bouting.
How much time will GMDD take?
Skaters are required to attend 2/3rds of practices and monthly league meetings. Additionally, as a skater-owned and -operated league, everyone is expected to make some contribution to running the business side of GMDD. You should expect to spend some time each week tending to league business - meetings, promotion, events, planning, etc. We need help from all league members to keep things running smoothly!
How much does roller derby cost?
The biggest expense will be your equipment. You'll need to purchase and replace skates, protective gear, and other incidentals on an ongoing basis. There is gear out there for practically any budget — we usually recommend that Fresh Meat invest in a roller derby "rookie package" offered by a lot of online vendors - it will make sure you're adequately protected while you're learning the game without breaking the bank. You can always invest in swankier gear later.
We collect dues to help cover the costs of practice space and running the league. After attending their first two practices free of charge, Fresh Meat contribute dues of $15 per skater per month. After joining the league, skaters contribute dues of $40 per skater per month.
Once you're scrimmaging and bouting you'll need WFTDA supplemental insurance ($60 annually), which is required for every skater.
What else do I need to know about joining GMDD?
In addition to developing your skating skills, you’ll need to learn the rules of the game. GMDD is a WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) league, and you will be tested on WFTDA rules as part of your advanced assessment. They’re about 40 pages long, so it’s never too early to start reading: www.wftda.com/rules.
Of course, the best (and most fun!) way to learn roller derby is to watch it... A LOT. Come to our bouts, either as a spectator or as a volunteer, which is a great way to get up-close and personal with the game, and get to know how we roll. In addition to GMDD’s bouts, new recruits are encouraged to volunteer at GMDD's league scrimmages, which immediately precede Fresh Meat practice.
The Derby News Network videocasts many national bouts. If you have good streaming capability it's worth checking them out as well.
What if I have more questions?
If you have any other questions, feel free to email them to us at email@example.com
Green Mountain Derby Dames Calendar