Welcome to Small Town Roller Derby! Small Town Roller Derby is a flat track roller derby league representing the Kalkaska, MI in the exciting and fast growing sport of roller derby. Don't know how to skate? No experience is necessary! If you have the motivation, we will teach you all you need to know. One of the great things about roller derby is that, regardless of your size, shape, or skill level, there is a position for you!
The Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is the international governing body of modern, flat track roller derby, setting the standards in area such as rules, rankings, and tournament play. To get a better understanding of the game, check out the rules section on their website: http://wftda.com/rules. The earlier you gain a firm understanding of the rules of derby, the better. It's difficult to explain a roller derby bout (game) if you've never witnessed it live. We highly encourage you to check out live bouts in the area or online via http://wftda.tv for some excellent footage of past tournament bouts. There's nothing like watching the best-of-the-best in action to get you excited about playing roller derby! You can always talk to a veteran skater or referee about any questions you may have regarding the rules of roller derby. Don't be shy!
You will be required to pay $150 Membership Fee
Skaters are required to purchase insurance from WFTDA at a cost of $90 per year. Coverage is from January 1st through December 31st. After July 1st, the cost is prorated for the year to $45. Skaters are STRONGLY encouraged to have primary care insurance. Get more inform about obtaining WFTDA insurance here: wftda.com/resources/insurance
All skaters are required to have quad skates (no inline skates), knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a helmet and a mouth guard. Other handy items include an athletic/gear bag, a socket wrench/skate tool, duct tape, toe guards, extra laces, extra wheel nuts, and a durable water bottle.
Roller derby requires a fairly big time commitment. We practice 2 days a week and because our league is entirely volunteer-run, skaters are also expected to attend league meetings, volunteer at bouts and fundraisers, and attend meetings within their committee. But don't be discouraged! We know everyone has a life outside of derby, and Small Town Roller derby is designed with varying commitment levels to suit everyone. There are many league members who balance work, family, school, and derby. It's possible and you'll see it's well worth the time commitment. You'll get out of the experience what you put into it. And remember, if you don't have the availability to be a skater - reffing and NSOing (non-skating official) are awesome jobs that are just as important to keep the league rolling!
Practices are 2 hours long and we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow time to gear up.
A typical pracice begins with a warm-up: skating some laps at your own pace, a dynamic stretching routine; basic skills and agility. Each practice usually will have an endurance component. The rest of practice time consists of drills that focus on agility, basic skills (crossovers, stops, falls, form, hitting, etc.), or game-play.
Of course, this all depends on your skating level, and practices will change as your skills increase. New skaters are not allowed to be involved in any contact drills until they have satisfied a skills requirement. We will work with you regardless of your skill level, and offer drills focusing on what all skaters need to work on. Small Town Roller Derby Members are passionate about roller derby and want as many individuals as possible to learn and love the sport! This is not the roller derby of the past, which was much more like pro-wrestling on skates. Illegal moves such as elbowing, tripping, punching, and pushing are NOT ALLOWED. It is, however, a very aggressive, full-contact, competitive sport, and it is common (and often perfectly legal) to take a hit that knocks you off your skates.
Team practice schedule is as follow:
Thursday - 6:30-8:30pm
Kaliseum Recreational Complex
1900 Fairgrounds Rd
Kalkaska, MI 49646
*Note: Times and locations are subject to change. You will be notified of any changes via Facebook.
Most of our communication is done through our facebook group and email. If you don't have Internet access, please let us know.
Any time you have questions or concerns, you should direct them to the appropriate Member(s).
Tabatha Mick (Tabby Katasstrophe)
Elise Maylone (CurlyWho)
Krista Little (Violet Rage)
Jessica Tighe (Betty Beat YoA$$ets)
Krista Little (Violet Rage)
Getting Your Gear
Skates are the biggest expense when starting out. It is very important to size your skates correctly. They should be snug, but not painfully tight. Most skates are in men's sizes, so your skate size will be about two sizes less than your shoe size. It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to measure your feet or try on skates first.
SURE GRIP ROCK GT-50 $125.00
For someone starting out, but on a tight budget, this is your best bet. The GT-50 will get you through boot camp, but you'll likely want to upgrade later in your derby career; this is not the most durable skate.
RIEDELL R3 $129.00
The R3 is the most popular starter skate. It's great to learn on and the most affordable in the Riedell line. Like the GT-50, you'll likely want to upgrade later as this vinyl boot is glued, not stitched, to the sole, and may separate over time. Another drawback of this model is the square shaped toe-stop. You may want to upgrade to a round toe-stop to prevent them from turning and becoming loose or unscrewed.
These are the least expensive, up-to-snuff beginner skates that we recommend.
Wheels are a very personal choice when it comes to skates. There is such a wide range of price, style, size, and hardness it can be terribly overwhelming. Some skaters will even mix and match hardness (ie. softer wheels on the left and harder on the right). Prices can range from $40 to $160+ for a set of 8. Ultimately, you'll have to determine the speed, stability, and stance you prefer. These preferences will change when you start skating on different surfaces or playing different positions.
You'll hear a lot about the hardness or durometer of a wheel. The durometer rating can range from 75A to 105A. The higher the number, the harder the wheel, and a harder wheel is a faster, slicker wheel. Softer wheels provide more grip. For starters, a wheel in the middle of the spectrum is good - anything from 88A to 94A. Choosing a wheel in the middle will allow you to grip the surface of the rink a little better, offering you more stability while first learning techniques. The best bet is to talk to veteran skaters that are roughly your body size or have similar foot movement. Find out what they use and ask to borrow a set of wheels before buying.
It's nice to have a set of bearings for each set of wheels you own. It makes it easier when switching between wheels, but it is not absolutely necessary. It's important to remember that trucks come in two sizes; 7mm and 8mm. Make sure you know your truck size before buying new bearings.
You'll be landing on your knees a lot when you fall in derby. It'll pay off in the long run to protect them. If there's any item of protective equipment that you should invest a little extra in at the start of your derby experience, it's your knee pads.
Here are a couple of recommendations:
Triple 8 Knee Pads $30-$40
187 Pro Killer Knee Pads $38
187 Elbow Pads $33
Triple 8 Elbow Pads $26
187 Wrist Guards $20
Triple 8 Wrist Savers $18
Whatever you do DO NOT get the triple eight kneesaver package! triple eight is a fine brand they just have a certain set of pads called the knee saver series that is no good!
Helmet fit is very important. You want your helmet to be snug, but comfortable.
Mouth guards can be purchased at any sporting goods store for $10+, but you can also go to your dentist and ask for a custom fit mouth guard. Spend the extra money to get one that has a dental guarantee; if your teeth get knocked out, they pay for it! A favorite of ours is made by a local company, SISU. Their mouth guards are thin and perforated for easy breathing and talking, and you can drink water while wearing them. They come in a variety of colors and cost $25. Buy at http://www.sisuguard.com/
All of this equipment can also be found online at:
New Skater Checklist
Please email a clear photo of any state-issued ID to Elise Maylone Eliseolivia23@gmail.com, before attending your first practice.
Team Membership Fee
You are REQUIRED to purchase WFTDA insurance!
Insurance is valid until December 31st. Prior to this date, you will need to renew your insurance for 2018, which will cost $80 for the year.