Monday, 14 November 2011

Sunday 13th November 2011
At this session Gib gave us some more detailed descriptions of the on- and off-track roles as well as a glimpse into what CRD aims to become once we are all trained up (no pressure there then!).
A league is essentially a team e.g. CRD, LRR, LRG etc etc.  It is NOT a league in the football sense of the word.
Larger leagues with more skaters, such as LRR and LRG, have intra-league teams e.g. (for LRG) Harbour Grudges, Suffra Jets, Steam Rollers, UltraViolent Femmes.  This means that they can have intra-league bouts, which is great for training and for staging open door bouts to bring in more revenue for the League.  CRD ultimately aspires to be the third big London team and have it’s own intra-league teams (so we need to get good!! J).
Travel Team
Each league also has it’s own travel team(s).  The travel team is made up of the best skaters from each of the intra-league teams, and this is the team that plays against other leagues’ travel teams in home and away open door bouts.
Open and Closed Door Bouts
An open door bout is one that is open to spectators from the general public - the ticket sales from which go towards generating revenue for the league.  All open door bouts get officially recorded.
There are usually 16 skaters on the roster for a particular bout.
A team is made up of 14 skaters and the extra 2 skaters are on reserve.  The list of 14 skaters is submitted in advance of the bout, but up until two hours before a bout begins, a team may swap out a team member for one of the two reserves (in the case of injury for instance).
A maximum of 5 skaters will be on the track at any one time (so 9 are off track).
Of these 5 skaters, one is a jammer and four are blockers. One of the blockers is also the pivot.
The track is oval in shape, 108 foot long (which includes the 10 feet ‘safety’ zone around the track for the outside pack referees etc) and 73 feet wide (again including the safety perimeter).  The inner oval is slightly tilted so that the entrance to each bend is narrower than the exit)
The minimum height of the track boundary is ¼ inch, maximum is 2 inches(!). 
*Gib’s advice: always remember to step over the track boundary, esp. at away bouts, for fear of tripping up and falling on your arse!!
Around the track:
Penalty Box/Sin Bin
Consists of 6 seats, 3 for each team: one for the Jammer and two for the Blockers.
Only 2 Blockers from each team can be in the penalty box at any one time, if a 3rd Blocker is penalised she will carry on skating (in play) until a seat becomes free.
A Bout lasts 60 minutes and is made up of 2 Periods lasting 30 minutes each, plus a 15-20 minute break between Periods (basically a 15-20 minute half-time).
A Jam lasts 2 minutes.  There is a break of 30 seconds between Jams (there are exceptions to this 30 second break – Official/Team Time Out).
Team Control
Bench Manager – stands at side of track and shouts on-track strategy and instructions to the players.
Line-up Manager – manages the line ups!  S/he holds a list of the line ups (which have generally been decided before play begins) and sends the specified players to the line before each Jam.  S/he distributes the panties/helmet covers (star - Jammer/stripe - Pivot) and can discuss strategy with the players.
Team Time out
A Team Time Out can last up to one minute and there are a maximum of 3 TTOs per bout.  A skater that is in the box during a time out cannot leave the box to join a team talk etc. This is also true for an ‘official time out’
Official Time Out
This is called by one of the referees or head NSO to discuss any technicality of the bout, and can last as long as necessary.  An Official Time Out called during a Jam ends that particular Jam.  After the OTO a new Jam begins if there is time left.
There are ideally 3 clocks used during a Bout:
Jam Timer – times the Jams
Bout Timer – times the Bout
30 second timer – which times the 30 second gap between the end of one Jam and the start of the next.
Penalty Box/Sin Bin
Each penalty lasts one minute, but in some circumstances, a penalty can be 2 minutes long.
A player serving a penalty will hear the instruction “colour, number, stand” (e.g. “Black, 792, stand”) 10 seconds before penalty ends and “colour, number, done” when they are allowed to leave the penalty box.
A player rejoining the game after serving a penalty must join in behind the pack or they will have performed an illegal procedure and must return to the penalty box.  That player is not allowed to block as they enter the track.
Blockers play both offensive and defensive roles.  Their job is to prevent the opposing Jammer from getting through the pack and thereby scoring points, whilst simultaneously assisting their own Jammer through the pack to score against the opposing team. (easy peasy, lemon squeezy, no?!)
Hitting is a last resort!!
The Pivot is a Blocker who wears a striped pantie (helmet cover).  She keeps the pace and form of the pack and follows instructions shouted out by the Bench Manager.
When a Pivot has her toe-stop on the line/part of body touching the line (even if lying on the floor if I recall rightly), all non-pivot blockers must be positioned behind her hips at the start of the jam - this does not include the opposing Pivot. Some referees also interpret the rules that same team blockers also have to start behind their own pivot’s hips – and it should ideally be up to the pivot to know which interpretation the head referee is using….
Star Pass
A Pivot can become a Jammer should the Jammer hand over her star pantie (must be hand to hand pass, the pivot may not remove from Jammer’s head!!).  This is called a Star Pass.  There may only be one Star Pass per Jam.  If the Jammer making the pass was Lead Jammer, then Lead Jammer status is lost after the Star Pass is made.
The Jammer is the point scorer for the team.  She must get through the pack legally on her first pass to become Lead Jammer.  As Lead Jammer, she may end the Jam by touching her hands to her hips before the 2 minutes on the Jam Clock expires.
Jam Ref
There is one Jam Ref per Jammer (2 in total), they skate around the inside of the track and their job is to count the Jammer’s points, penalise the Jammer when necessary and indicate whether she has attainted Lead Jammer status or not.
And so to the next thrilling instalment…
By Amy Orsini J  (Please don’t put horrific pic of me up Gib!)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

CRD Fresh Meat Theory Session 2



Rundown of CRD League’s structure

a.     3 Directors – Skatja Boloksov (Vicky Walters), Jeopardy Jinx (Laura Ryan) and Mosquito (Dee Hogan)
b.     Subheadings of                 
                                               i.     Recruitment – Rolling Thunder
                                             ii.     PR/Comms – The intention will be to break this down into more manageable sections
                                            iii.     Fundraising – for nights out and for bout organisation
                                            iv.     Bout Production
                                              v.     Finance – Jeopardy Jinx and Herbie Li Cious
c.     Head Coach (Herbie Li Cious), Team Managers (Herbie Li Cious and Paris Hit’em all), Referees (Rolling Thunder, Igor Maniac, Logan Nighthawk, Derby Sanchez and Paris Hit-em-all)

Intraleague teams

Once Basic Skills skaters have been integrated into the League, the aim is to have 2-4  intraleague teams formed by splitting the current CRD squad and the BSS in two.  This will hopefully help to improve scrimmaging and ultimately bout performance.


                  ...Dangle Derby.  That’s right. 
                  The Croydon boys are Southern Discomfort (SDRD).

Derby on the Internet

                  Watch as many bouts as possible!  Also read up on rules etc.  Some good sites are;
                           | Roller Derby UK TV – for info and UK bouts.
                                    WFTDA – all you need to obsess about rules.

Welcome Packs

These contain information about websites, contacts, forum addresses, Fresh Meat blog.  They also have very important forms to sign!!  Sign and return to Vicky ASAP.  They also cover skater etiquette.

Recommended skate shops...

                  Skate Attack – only physical shop near us!  Give 10% off to CRD skaters.
                  Streatham ice rink - stock Sure Grip (or at least can order in)
                  Skate Britain
                  Billy’s (Cambridge)


-        Fees will start in November for all Fresh Meat.
-        Fast Trackers will pay £25 at the start of each month, though with an initial payment in November of £50, which will cover December.
-        Other Fresh Meat will pay £10 per month until they start skating in the New Year, when they will take up the £25 pcm payment.  
-        Pay in cash directly to Jeopardy Jinx or Herbie Li Cious, the Finance Officers.
-        Alternatively by standing order (details in Welcome Packs)
-        We have until the 2nd week of the month to pay.  If there is a problem with this, speak to Paris, Jinx or Herbie.
-        There is an option to pay £5 per session for a maximum of 3 months per year.


This will be monitored and will count towards our eligibility to skate in bouts – especially open door.  We are expected to attend a minimum of 5 out of 8 sessions.  There may be a point system put in place weighted towards the longer Sunday training sessions.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Ok, so here's a little summary of everything we went though in our first theory session as Croydon Roller Girls Fresh Meat! 
We were all pretty nervous and excited, eager to get learning, and trying to remember each others names from tryouts, so I think we all appreciated getting the chance to take a few minutes to introduce ourselves and get to know the lovely lads and ladies in charge of our training! 

By now we should all know Rolling Thunder, our charming head of training. He'll be with us for most of our Sunday theory sessions, and will also be taking charge of the Fast-track groups practical on-skates training with the help of Skatja Boloksov. Taking today's off-skates theory session for the beginners group is Paris Hit-em-all. We also met Head Coach Herbie-Licious and CRD skater Apocalex, and we'll be meeting many more people over the coming weeks and months who'll be stepping in to help with our training. We also went over the timetable and how the sessions will run. 

All Fresh Meat girls should be attending the Sunday theory session from 12.30, after which we split into our two groups. The fast-track group go downstairs for on-skates training and the beginners group stay upstairs for off-skates training, where they'll be learning how to NSO (Non Skating Official). Fast-track skaters should also attend a second session every tuesday evening. To keep up with the training and each other, keep checking this blog, the Facebook group and we'll also be given access to the CRD forum soon! 
In today's theory session we went over some of the basic, most important things to know when starting out our Roller Derby careers. 
The first topic was the difference between a skater and a Derby player, and why being a good skater does not necessarily make you a better derby player. Aside from getting low, we have to remember that Roller Derby is a team sport, and that it takes commitment, teamwork, tactics, knowing the rules and knowing the opponent to win a game. 
Skater and team etiquette is also an important subject. We are encouraged to leave our personal lives, problems, and any drama at the door of the sports hall. There is no place for bitching or beef on this team. We need to respect each other, and especially the more experienced people training us. If you have an issue or criticism with the way someone is doing something, please speak to them about it rather than complaining to others. Constructive criticism is always welcome. Bitching is not. 

We also had a chance to learn a little bit about equipment today. Skatja advised us to invest as much as we can in our kneepads, they are the most important piece of kit we will buy, more important even than skates it seems. Her advice was not to go for anything less than the £25 Pro-Tec pads, and to invest in a more expensive pair of 187s or Smiths if we can afford it, especially if you are prone to knee injuries, although they are expensive at around £70. As for other kit, helmet fit is more important than cost, it is better to go for a lower-cost helmet as it should be replaced after every hard hit. Basic gumshields can be bought from sports shops for as little as £1 but a £15 pro-dent gumshield will let you talk, and smile without looking too ridiculous. Skate-wise, the Riedell R3 is a good affordable basic option at just over £100, and as a beginner you won't need a higher end skate, although you may need to change the wheels fairly soon. But that's a whole other subject! 
The best advice was to visit a skate shop such as Skate Attack in Southgate to try everything on for ourselves to see what feels right. 

Next week we'll be learning about what a Roller Derby league is and how it is structured, basic rules of the game, the structure of a bout and where we should be looking for research and news on our favorite sport!

By Jade Stokley