Cincinnati Rollergirls Recruiting

Want to join the Cincinnati Rollergirls as a skater, referee or non-skating official (NSO)? We’re always looking to add to our team!


WHEN: Sunday, July 30, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. and assessments begin at 9 a.m.
WHERE: The Skatin’ Place, 3211 Lina Place, Cincinnati, OH 45239
COST: Free, but please register in advance here.

The Cincinnati Rollergirls are thrilled to announce our first-ever fall season! Our fall 2017 season will feature games between three NEW teams made up entirely of locally-drafted players. We welcome current CRG skaters as well as skaters from neighboring leagues as guest skaters for the fall (please see below for more details). These three teams will play each other over a series of games between September and November, culminating in a local team championship game. The fall season is different and separate from CRG’s competitive spring season, in which Cincinnati takes on other Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) teams.

We had a record turnout of more than 50 skaters attend tryouts this year, which doubled the size of our league. We want to continue to develop our new skaters by giving them more opportunities to play in front of their families and friends, as well as prepare all of our skaters for our competitive spring season. Our fall season will also give our fans the opportunity to see more roller derby throughout the year!

Important dates and other information:

• Tryouts will be held from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30 at the Skatin’ Place. Tryouts are open to skaters of all genders who are 18 and older. Current WFTDA-level CRG skaters do not need to try out. All other skaters — including CRG alumnae who have not passed minimum skills in 2016 or 2017, skaters from other leagues and new skaters — must try out. Go here to register for tryouts.

• Practices will be held on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings at local skating rinks. The first practice will be Sunday, August 13 and the first scrimmage will be Thursday, August 17.

• Team names and rosters will be announced on Sunday, August 20. Game dates and locations are to be announced.

Information for active derby skaters from other leagues:

• CRG does not require skaters from other leagues to transfer to CRG to play on a local team for our fall season. The fall season will not include any WFTDA interleague play, so you can keep your primary affiliation at your home league.

• This is not a pickup league. Attendance expectation shakes out to 1 per week, but there are contingencies for things like summer vacations (you must still attend 4 practices in the 4 weeks before a game).

• We do require skates from other leagues to go through tryouts regardless of home league status. While this may seem redundant, it is part of our league commitment to make sure our rules are applied consistently. All current CRG skaters have also demonstrated minimum skills within the last 2 years and rising skaters must pass all skills to scrimmage.

Questions? Email Recruiting.


We’re changing our tryouts process this year to make it more open and inclusive! No matter what your current skill level is, if you complete the tryouts process, we will have a place for you on the Cincinnati Rollergirls. All we ask is that you try your best and don’t give up — those are the most important qualities in any roller derby player!

Here are 10 things you need to know about tryouts this year:

1. Tryouts are open to women 18 and older for our spring WFTDA season* and to all genders for our fall local team season. If you are younger than 18, you can join the Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls. There is no age limit.

2. Tryouts require ALL of the following gear:

• Quad roller skates (no inlines)
• Helmet
• Mouth guard
• Knee pads
• Elbow pads
• Wrist guards

You may rent skates at no charge if you don't have your own, and we also have a limited amount of previously worn gear to loan out on a first come, first serve basis.

However, if you’re serious about skating in some capacity, we encourage you to purchase your own gear. You can buy skates, helmets and pads through the Skatin’ Place BEFORE the day of tryouts; call 513-522-2424 or stop by the rink for more information. There is a huge variety of skates and wheels to choose from and skate sizes are very different from shoe sizes, so please talk to a Skatin’ Place staff member or a Cincinnati Rollergirl before you buy!

You can also find pads and mouth guards at Play It Again Sports stores, most sporting goods stores and online. We recommend skateboard helmets and pads made by brands such as Triple 8 and Pro-Tec.

NOTE: Pads sold for inline skates do NOT offer enough protection for roller derby. We also do not recommend bicycle helmets, but we’ll accept them if that’s all you have.

3. You can wear anything that you would wear for a vigorous workout, but keep in mind that you’ll be wearing knee pads, so we do not recommend wearing jeans.

4. Bring a water bottle and be sure to eat a light, healthy snack before you come. We'll be working hard and you'll need the energy.

5. After a brief warmup, all skaters will take an assessment based on the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Minimum Skills Assessment. You can find a link to the assessment here.

DON’T PANIC! We know there’s a lot on this assessment and we don’t expect you to know how to do everything. We just want to get a sense of your current skill level so we can place you in the appropriate group on the team. Again, all we ask is that you try your best and don’t give up.

6. All skaters will have the opportunity to take the entire assessment. No one will be cut during the process.

7. CRG coaches and trainers will review the results of all skaters who completed the assessment and place them in one of three groups within CRG:

Women’s Flat Track Derby Association Team: For skaters who pass all minimum skills. This team is made up of skaters who are eligible to be rostered on CRG’s two competitive squads, the Black Sheep (A team) and the Violent Lambs (B team).

’Nati Lites: For skaters who pass most minimum skills. ’Nati Lites is CRG’s new rec team, made up of a mix of skaters: Those who are working to become part of the WFTDA team, purely recreational skaters and retired skaters. ’Nati Lites will attend one designated, combined ’Nati Lites/WFTDA team practice per week on skates and may also attend additional WFTDA team practices off-skates.

Developmental Team: For skaters who did not pass most minimum skills. These skaters may attend Monday Night Derby classes at the Skatin’ Place to work on improving their basic skating and derby skills. They may also attend WFTDA team practices as off-skates observers or volunteers.

No matter which team you’re placed on, you’ll be considered a full member of the Cincinnati Rollergirls and enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of being a CRG skater — including your own derby name and number!

8. Depending on your skill level, it likely will take a lot of practice before you’ll be eligible to make a Black Sheep or Violent Lambs roster and skate in a public game. Roller derby is a complex and physically demanding game that requires a high level of skill and a demonstrated knowledge of rules and strategy. But we’ll make sure you get the training you need to get you ready for that day!

9. If you can’t make tryouts, don’t worry — we’ll be holding more tryouts throughout the year.

10. Still have questions? Email Recruiting.

* As a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, CRG is committed to inclusive and anti-discrimination practices in relation to all transgender women, intersex women, and gender expansive participants, and aims to ensure that all skaters’, volunteers’, and employees’ rights are respected and protected. An individual who identifies as a trans woman, intersex woman, and/or gender expansive may skate with a WFTDA charter team if women’s flat track roller derby is the version and composition of roller derby with which they most closely identify. Click here for more information.

Introducing our Rec League: The 'Nati Lites!

The Cincinnati Rollergirls and Cincinnati Battering Rams are pleased to invite you to join the ’Nati Lites, a recreational program designed to further the competitive sport of flat track roller derby. The program is open to all women and men aged 18 and older of all skill levels — from beginners to retired derby skaters — who are interested in playing derby without the level of commitment and time demanded by CRG and CBR’s competitive travel teams.

Join the 'Nati Lites Facebook group for the most up-to-date information!

Who Should Join

Women and men 18 and older who…

• Are interested in the competitive sport of flat track roller derby
• Are looking for a fun way to work out
• Want training from experienced coaches (seasoned Cincinnati Rollergirls and Cincinnati Battering Rams skaters and referees)
• Want to hone their derby skills to join the Cincinnati Rollergirls or Cincinnati Battering Rams. (NOTE: Skaters transferring from other derby teams or who have previous derby experience may contact CRG for an individual tryout by emailing For more information about joining the Cincinnati Battering Rams, email

What ’Nati Lites Do:

• Learn and hone derby skills through exercises and drills coached by the best of CRG and CBR. You’ll do many of the same drills as CRG and CBR skaters, including footwork, muscle strength, weaving, hitting, pack awareness and jamming.
• Earn scrimmaging privileges through our ’Nati Lites skill level system (see below) and play derby in a safe environment
• Support CRG, CBR and the Greater Cincinnati community
• Make friends and become part of a strong, supportive family of skaters

’Nati Lites Skill Levels

• Ambers: Stopping (T-stop, plow, etc.); proper falling; striding; pushing; assists; light contact; skating around people; crossovers; turn around/skate backward

• Pilsners: Speed control; keeping up with pace line; pack work; real hitting; learning strategy/rules; fast turnaround and stops at pace; endurance drills (e.g. skating 27 laps in 5 minutes or less); running on toe stops; jumping small objects/landing; positional blocking

• IPAs: Hits legally and with force; responds safely to hits; endurance; advanced agility; avoid skaters falling in front; WFTDA Minimum Skills passed; WFTDA Rules Test passed


WFTDA insurance and full derby gear (helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards and mouth guards). You may rent skates initially if you don't have your own, and we also have a limited amount of gear that new skaters may borrow.

Practice Schedule

The 'Nati Lites practice schedule will be changing in 2017; stay tuned for more information.


The cost to join 'Nati Lites cost will be changing in 2017; stay tuned for more information.

For the latest information, join the 'Nati Lites Facebook group.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do you hold tryouts?
Throughout the year. 'Nati Lites skaters who feel they are ready to join CRG, or skaters who are transferring from other derby teams or who have previous derby experience, may request an individual tryout from a 'Nati Lites facilitator or CRG training committee member or send an email to Recruiting.

How old do I have to be in order to be a member of Cincinnati Rollergirls?
You must be at least 18 years of age. If you are younger than 18, you can join the Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls. There is no age maximum.

How should I prepare if I want to become a full-fledged Cincinnati Rollergirl?
There are several ways! In addition to going through the tryouts process, we encourage you to hit those open skates! If you can dodge an 8-year-old, you can dodge a roller girl. It's also very important that you are in decent athletic shape, as roller derby is a sport that takes lots of endurance. Working on cardio and strengthening your quads, glutes and core muscles will help you to be ready for tryouts and reduce risk of injury. We highly recommend cross training for all of our athletes.

You can also get ready by watching our games, getting to know the Women's Flat Track Derby Association rules and liking us on Facebook to keep up with our events. You can also volunteer for the team to get to know us and how our league is run. If you're interested in volunteering, email Volunteers.

What equipment will I need?
Every skater is required to wear a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, a mouth guard and quad roller skates - no inline skates. You may rent skates at the Skatin' Place if you don't yet have your own. You can buy skates online or through the Skatin' Place. There is a huge variety of skates and wheels to choose from and skate sizes are very different from shoe sizes, so please talk to a Skatin’ Place staff member or a Cincinnati Rollergirl before you buy!

Are there a lot of injuries in roller derby?
Injuries happen, but we work to prevent them with specific training that includes injury-preventative exercises and stretches. Cross training is a great tool to prevent injury. Primary health insurance is strongly encouraged. You will be required to purchase WFTDA if you pass tryouts for CRG, but it is not primary insurance.

How much of a commitment is required to be a skater?
You will be expected to follow our attendance requirements, work at our games and volunteer at other official events. We are an all-volunteer, skater-run organization, so skaters are required to pay a commitment fee and monthly dues that help to pay for the league's operational costs. We also require you to obtain a derby job (street team, sponsorship, ticket sales, etc). Despite the time commitment, any skater will tell you that it's completely worth it. If you don’t think being a skater is the best fit for you right now, there are plenty of other ways to be a part of CRG: You can volunteer to work at our scrimmages and games as an NSO, off the track on our street team or become a referee. For more information, email Volunteers.

If I have more questions or need more information, whom do I ask?
Email Recruiting!

I can't skate, but I still want to get involved. Can I?
Yes! Email Volunteers for more information about becoming a Cincinnati Rollergirls volunteer.

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