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Check back soon for information about our next boot camps and tryouts!
Improve Your Skills at Monday Night Derby
You can brush up on your skating skills year-round and get ready for tryouts by attending Monday Night Derby classes at The Place (3211 Lina Place, Cincinnati, OH 45239). In these non-CRG-affiliated, all-gender, drop-in classes, adult skaters of all skill levels learn basic roller skating and roller derby skills in a supportive, non-competitive environment. Helmets, elbow pads, wrist guards, knee pads, mouth guards and quad skates are required. Rental skates are available if you do not have your own.
Classes are $5 and currently run from 7-9 p.m. on most Monday nights. For the latest information and updates, join the Monday Night Derby Facebook group or call The Place at 513-522-2424.
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! Read on for answers to some frequently asked questions you might have about trying out for CRG.
CRG tryouts are open to cisgender, transgender and intersex women and gender non-conforming participants 18 and older.* There is no age limit. If you are younger than 18, you can join the Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls.
It’s helpful if you’ve had recent roller skating experience, but if you don’t, we can help you prepare!
First, we encourage everyone planning to try out to attend Monday Night Derby classes at The Place (formerly The Skatin’ Place), located at 3211 Lina Place, Cincinnati, OH 45239. In these non-CRG-affiliated, all-gender, drop-in classes, skaters of all skill levels learn basic skating and roller derby skills in a supportive, non-competitive environment. Classes are $5 and run from 8-10 p.m. on Monday nights year-round. Full gear is required (skates may be rented from the rink). Join the Monday Night Derby Facebook group or call The Place at 513-522-2424 for more information and updates.
In addition to Monday Night Derby classes, we encourage you to hit those open skates! If you can dodge an 8-year-old, you can dodge a roller derby skater. We also highly recommend cross training for all of our athletes, as roller derby requires endurance, strength and speed. Working on your cardio and strengthening your quads, glutes and core will help you get ready for tryouts and reduce your risk of injury.
You can also get ready by watching our games, studying 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 [email protected].
Tryouts require ALL of the following gear:
- Quad (not inline) roller skates (recommended brands: Riedell, Antik, Bont)
- Helmet (recommended brand: S1)
- Mouth guard (recommended brand: SISU)
- Knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards (recommended brands: 187 Killer Pads, Triple 8, Pro-Tec)
You may rent skates for $5 (cash only) if you don’t have your own, but we strongly recommend buying your own protective gear for tryouts, as our supply of used loaner gear is limited. You can find helmets, pads and mouth guards online as well as at sporting goods stores, skateboard shops and skate shops. We highly recommend the skate shop at The Place! Just call 513-522-2424 or stop by the rink for more information before the day of tryouts. 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 someone from The Place or CRG before you buy.
Note: We do not recommend helmets and pads that are designed for inline skating and bicycling, but we’ll accept them at tryouts if that’s all you have.
You can wear anything that you would wear for a vigorous workout. Most of our skaters wear knee- or calf-length leggings and athletic tanks or tees to practice. Keep in mind that you’ll be wearing knee pads and elbow pads and working up a sweat, so we do not recommend wearing jeans or long sleeves. If you’re new to roller skating, you’ll also find yourself falling quite a bit at first, so we also don’t recommend wearing short shorts, skirts or fishnets. Finally, good-quality athletic socks will go a long way toward preventing blisters.
Yes! Drink lots of water in the days before tryouts, bring a water bottle with you to the rink and eat a light, healthy snack that morning. We’ll be working hard and you’ll need the energy.
Doors will open for tryouts 30 minutes before tryouts. Please arrive early so you are geared up (wearing skates and all required protective equipment) by the time warmups begin. Over the course of the tryout, you will participate in a series of drills. Skills that will be assessed include: skating form, footwork, stops, transitions, contact including hitting and positional blocking, and an endurance component.
CRG has updated our assessment process based on the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association’s “This is Roller Derby” Beginner Curriculum and CRG’s current style of gameplay. No skater’s progress will be stopped based on one specific skill or one performance. All skaters will have the opportunity to take the entire assessment. No one will be cut during the process.
We don’t expect you to know how to do everything when you try out, so don’t panic! 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.
It is our goal to create a space where all participants have the room to fail and the support to try again. We train individuals, not just the sport.
CRG coaches and evaluators 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 are proficient in a majority of skills in our assessment. 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). At this level, skaters will continue to solidify their understanding of the principles of the rules and have the skill to modify their interaction with the game accordingly. Skaters who are still focusing on their individual role in the game or in a situation will learn to articulate that role, verbally and physically. As skaters progress, they will focus on team skills while they to continue to add speed, complexity and force.
’Nati Lites: For skaters who are proficient in most skills in our assessment. ’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. At ’Nati Lites practices, skaters will continue learning how the game works, the essentials of skating movement and risk mitigation as they start to put it all into the context of roller derby play.
Developmental Team: For skaters who need continued development of most skills in our assessment. These skaters may attend Monday Night Derby classes at The Place, where we will introduce participants to skating, rules, safety and gameplay. They may also attend WFTDA team practices as off-skates observers or volunteers.
No matter which group you’re placed in, 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!
Depending on your skill level, it likely will take a lot of practice before you’ll be eligible to make a roster and skate in a public game. Some of our skaters have made their first roster after a few months; others have had to practice for a year or more. Roller derby is a complex and physically demanding game that requires a high level of skill and a thorough knowledge of rules and strategy. But we’ll make sure you get the training you need to get you ready for that day!
As in any sport, injuries happen, but we work to prevent them by ensuring skaters are wearing the proper protective gear and by offering specific training that includes injury-preventive exercises and stretches. Cross training is also an excellent way to help prevent injury.
Primary health insurance is strongly encouraged to play roller derby. You will be required to purchase WFTDA insurance if you pass tryouts for CRG, but it is not primary insurance.
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. You’ll find new self-confidence, discover strengths and abilities that you never knew you had and become part of a close-knit family of roller derby skaters not only locally, but also around the world.
If you don’t think that skating competitively is the best fit for you right now, there are plenty of other ways to be a part of CRG. You can become a skating official (referee) or non-skating official, join our game day production staff and more. For more information, email Officiating.
* 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.