How can I get involved?

There are a variety of ways to get involved with our roller derby league! You can skate, ref, help to be a Non-Skating Official (NSO), coach, or volunteer!

For those interested in skating roller derby or as a ref, you should check out our Skate Charlotte Q&A. Please email join@charlotterollergirls.com and join our Facebook group to get detailed information on practice times as we practice at two locations, and sometimes have changes and cancellations. Also, fill out this 2-3 minute Initial Interest Survey.

For those who are interested in volunteering or NSOing with the organization, email join@charlotterollergirls.com for more information on our needs and scrimmage schedule. Also check out our NSO and Reffing Q&A pages.

For those interested in junior roller derby, email juniors@charlotteollergirls.com

Skate Charlotte Q & A for roller skaters and refs.

Do I need to know how to skate?
Last time I skated was elementary school! Is that OK?
Can someone watch me or come with me to Skate Charlotte?
What should I bring to Skate Charlotte?
What should I wear?
What gear do I buy?
What gear is required?
Where can I purchase gear?
When can I start?
Who can skate?
When are the Skate Charlotte practices?
Where are the practices?
What are Day 1 and Day 2 assessments?
What is the commitment level for Skate Charlotte?
What are the different teams you have?
Do you have a men’s team?
Do I need insurance?
What if I get hurt?
How much will it cost?
What is roller derby?
When can I come and see a bout?
What are the age limits?
I’m a transfer skater, how do I join?
I’m a visiting skater who would like to participate in a practice while I am in town. Is that okay?
What if I want to join the league? What are the commitment expectations?
I’m interested in getting on-boarded to the league now. What do I do?
What is WFTDA?
What about the rules? Do I need to know all of the rules?
You didn’t answer my question!

Do I need to know how to skate?

You do not need to come to us knowing how to skate or be an expert. Bonus points if you do/are, but we have trainers who will teach any interested folks how to safely complete a variety of basic skating skills such as stops, falls, proper form and technique, etc. Only refs and roller girls will need to learn how to skate.

Last time I skated was elementary school! Is that OK?

Many of our current skaters began their roller derby careers without any skating background. A number of our skaters would say they were like “giraffes on skates” when they first began. We will work with you to teach you everything you need to know. Everyone works at their own pace and there is a role in derby for everyone regardless of height, weight, age, gender orientation, athletic experience, etc.

Can someone watch me or come with me to Skate Charlotte?

At this time, we do not allow guests or photography. Our practice space is closed so it can be a safe environment for skaters to focus on the work at hand and push themselves beyond their comfort zones without feeling “watched.” No children are allowed in our practice space due to liability concerns.

Throughout the year, we occasionally hold open scrimmages for potential skaters or volunteers to come out and observe. These are offered just a few times a year. Check out our Facebook page for more information.

If you would like to observe a scrimmage, you can volunteer to be a Non-Skating Official. NSOs help us do things like track penalties, jam time, keep score, etc. Scrimmages are currently held on Thursday nights from 7:30-9:30 at Kate’s Lowell location. Our head NSO will show you how you can watch and help out at the same time. You can use the skills you have gained to help NSO on game day if you are available. We are always in need of NSOs!

What should I bring to Skate Charlotte?

Please bring a willingness to try new or difficult things, plenty of water (at least 32 oz.) and be ready to sweat! If you have quad skates or other safety equipment, please also bring that. Lastly, bring your $7 skating fee and/or $3 equipment fee.

What should I wear?

Please wear comfortable, workout clothes that you can skate in. Skirts, shorts, or leggings are generally ideal. Be sure to wear sneakers for off-skate warm-ups. If you are borrowing skates, please bring both a thick and a thin pair of socks.

What gear do I buy?

When you are starting off, you are welcome to rent our skates and gear (quantity limited and different at each location) for $3 per session. Please complete the Initial Interest Survey the first time and then complete the weekly RSVP any additional time you would like to borrow gear. Our gear does not include the skate rentals from Kate’s, therefore we are more limited in our sizing availability. Gear must be worn at all Skate Charlotte practices.

Also, please come 10-15 minutes early to get gear sorted out so we do not lose practice time. We do ask that by the time skaters qualify to play roller derby (having passed both Day 1 and Day 2 assessments, you have obtained your own equipment.

What gear is required?

Roller derby is a high impact, full contact sport and we want to make sure you are protected from falls and hits.

For Skate Charlotte, you will need to use:
– Quad skates (only refs may use inlines)
– Helmet (multi-impact, black gloss preferred)
– Wrist guards
– Elbow pads
– Knee pads (e.g., Smith Scabs, 187 Killer Pads)

If participating in our Advanced Skills Boot Camp, you will also need the following:
– Mouth guard (we have a limited number available for purchase)

Additional gear to consider:
-Knee Gaskets if you have a history of knee injuries.
-Wheels of different hardnesses for different surfaces. The higher the number (e.g., 98), the harder the wheel. The lower the number, the stickier/grippier the wheel (e.g., 88)

Where can I purchase gear?

You don’t need to spend a fortune on gear. We recommend the Pro-Shop at Kate’s Skating Rink at Hudson, Lowell, or Indian Trail. The staff there are very helpful – especially if you are new to skates and safety gear. Other recommendations: recommendations:

www.ebay.com
www.amazon.com
www.wickedskatewear.com
www.sincityskates.com
www.derby4all.com
www.fivestrideskateshop.com
www.skates.com
www.lowpriceskates.com
www.derbywarehouse.com

There is also a Facebook group called Roller Derby Recyclables where folks sell their own personal items and you can find some great deals.

When can I start?

Right away! Please contact join@charlotterollergirls so we can get you any additional information you need for upcoming Skate Charlotte sessions and Boot Camps. If it is your first time attending, it is helpful if you RSVP.

Who can skate?

For Skate Charlotte, our classes are open to anyone 16+. If you are under 18, you will need to bring a parent or legal guardian to the first session to sign waivers. If you are under 16 and interested in playing, we have a Juniors team for children 10-18 that plays in Gastonia. Email juniors@charlotterollergirls.com for more information.

When are the Skate Charlotte practices?

During 2019, Skate Charlotte practices will be offered on Monday nights at Kate’s Indian Trail from 7:30-9:30 and Wednesday nights at Kate’s Lowell location from 7:30-9:30. Occasionally, we have cancellations due to holidays or weather so please check out our Skate Charlotte Facebook page for most recent updates. Sometimes during Advanced Bootcamps, we add additional practice opportunities. Also, we take a break in the month of December.

Where are the practices?

Monday Nights at Kate’s Skating Indian Trail
14500 E Independence Blvd,
Indian Trail, NC 28079

Wednesday Nights at Kate’s Skating Lowell
4114 E Franklin Blvd.
Gastonia, NC 28056

What are Day 1 and Day 2 assessments?

Our league is sanctioned by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. As such, we are required to meet minimum skills safety requirements in order to participate in roller derby scrimmages or bouts. Also, these skaters must pass a rules assessment.

Day 1 skills are covered at Skate Charlotte and include all non-contact basic skating skills. This includes 25 in 5, posture, stride, crossover, one foot glides, sticky skating, lateral movement, hops, weaving through cones and a paceline, focus, tstops, plows, knee taps and falls, stepping, etc. Day 1 Assessments are offered a few times throughout the year. Once you have passed Day 1 assessments, you are considered a “mid-lifer” and are asked to join the league to progress to contact skills.

Day 2 skills are covered at our Tuesday night practices and whenever we have Advanced Bootcamps. In order to participate in contact, you must have WFTDA insurance as well as a mouthguard. You will participate in drills at trainer discretion if you have not fully passed Day 1 assessments. Day 2 skills include: giving/receiving arm whips, giving/receiving hip whips, giving/receiving pushes, unexpected obstacles, skate bumps, taking hits in a pack, plowing in a pack, positional blocking, leaning, plowing to stop another skater, taking hits, and hip checks

What is the commitment level for Skate Charlotte?

Skate Charlotte is an informal program designed to allow you to work at your own pace in preparation for learning how to skate safely. Learning these skills will allow you to eventually take contact safely so you can move toward playing roller derby. Through Skate Charlotte, you are able to attend up to 2 practices a week. Some skaters progress quickly through Skate Charlotte and boot camps, while others may take over a year with our Skate Charlotte program depending on commitment level, experience, interest, etc.

No judgment here about how long you stay with our Skate Charlotte program.You get out of it what you put into it. You’re welcome to stick with the recreational skating program for as long as you’d like, if that is your preference.

What are the different teams you have?

We have our competitive travel teams, Home teams, and a Juniors team.

Our AllStars and B-Dazzlers make up our competitive group. These individuals have additional Sunday morning practices to increase their teamwork and competitive spirit. All stars participate in tournaments and travel both short and long distances to compete against other teams for rankings. Our B-Dazzlers compete at home or typically within a 3 hour radius.

Our hometeams involve folks who are interested in a more recreational roller derby game. It includes members of our competitive travel team, alumni, and other local roller derbyers. Our three teams are the Southend Sirens, NODA Narwhals, and the Ballantyne Bombers. Skaters are drafted to teams and are still required to meet minimum skills requirements and be active members of the league.

The Juniors team participates in practices on Sunday and Tuesday evenings in Gastonia. The team includes skaters from 10-18. For more information, please email juniors@charlotterollergirls.com.

Do you have a men’s team?

At this time, we do not yet have a men’s team but let us know if you are interested. We are in the early stages of gauging interest locally and would love to hear from you. In the meantime, you are welcome to attend Skate Charlotte, though we are more limited with gear for men, specifically skates.

Do I need insurance?

Our Skate Charlotte program does not require that you purchase insurance. That said, it’s important to understand that occasionally skaters get hurt, and having personal medical and/or accident insurance is highly recommended. All Skate Charlotte participants are asked to sign a waiver before standing up on skates. All skaters are asked to have all gear on before standing up on skates in order to prevent accidents.

If you decide to join our derby program or participate in an Advanced Boot Camp, you will be required to sign up for WFTDA insurance, which is $75 per year, and is pro-rated after July.

What if I get hurt?

Derby is a full contact sport. This is why we encourage all skaters participating in contact to have primary health insurance as well as the required WFTDA supplemental insurance. We ensure that our trainers are all CPR trained and during bouts we have EMT’s on hand. We do our best to protect our skaters, unfortunately getting hurt is part of the sport.

In the event that a WFTDA-insured skater gets hurt during a WFTDA (non Skate Charlotte) practice, the trainer completes an accident report on your behalf.

Skate Charlotte practices are not covered by WFTDA unless the entire group has WFTDA insurance such as an Advanced Bootcamp.

How much will it cost?

Skate Charlotte currently costs $7 per skating session. It costs an additional $3 if you want to rent our derby equipment. You can pay with cash or through paypal. Bootcamps cost between $40-$50 for the month. Annual WFTDA insurance has a fee of $75.

For individuals who have chosen to be onboarded to the league, dues are $40 per month for skaters, due on the 1st of the month. Dues help us pay for our practice space, travel expenses, and help with bout costs, etc. Refs also have the option to become a league member for a reduced fee in order to obtain league perks. Juniors derby costs $40 per month for a club card unless multiple siblings are involved. Email juniors@charlotterollergirls.com for details.

Prices are subject to change.

What is roller derby?

The modern revival of Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby is one of the fastest growing sports for women in the world. If you are new to derby, check out our derby 101 page for a brief history of roller derby.

When can I come and see a bout?

To come check out a roller derby bout, see our schedule on our website! If you would like to come observe a scrimmage in the meantime, message join@charlotterollergirls.com so we can put you in touch with our Head NSO to get you started volunteering.

What are the age limits?

From 10 to 110, there is a place for you! Again, our Juniors team is available for 10-18 year olds. Sixteen and seventeen year olds can also participate at Skate Charlotte as long as a guardian has signed the consent waiver. For our adult teams, we have 18 year olds all the way to 60+ year olds that skate with us. You have to be at least 16 years old to ref, NSO or volunteer with the league.

I’m a transfer skater, how do I join?

We love transfer skaters! Please contact our Training Committee at training@charlotterollergirls.com to find out your next steps.

I’m a visiting skater who would like to participate in a practice while I am in town. Is that okay?

We enjoy having visiting skaters. Please email training@charlotterollergirls.com for more information.

What if I want to join the league? What are the commitment expectations?

It costs $40 per month in order to become a dues paying league member. These individuals gain access to all Skate Charlottes and other appropriate practices depending on skill level. As a league member, you receive certain sponsorship benefits that may include things such as yoga, crossfit, chiropractic care, additional skate time opportunities, etc.

You are welcome to join the league when you feel ready and will get formally onboarded with our Head of Recruitment. Once all documents have been signed, you will gain additional accesses.

By joining the league (which you are required to do in order to move on to Advanced level contact skills), you will gain access to additional practices. In order to become scrimmage or bout eligible, you must take and pass minimum skills assessments at both the basic skating level (Day 1s) and advanced with contact level (Day 2s). Typically, our bouting skaters attend 2-3 practices per week lasting between 2–3 hours each.

Because we are a skater owned and operated non-profit, we ask for the help of all of our members. Each member helps to sell tickets and participates on a committee to help support the functioning of the league. Members often attend one community event per quarter to support other organizations, sponsors, fundraisers, etc. We pride ourselves in being a strong part of the Charlotte community.

I’m interested in getting on-boarded to the league now. What do I do?

In order to get on-boarded officially, email join@charlotterollergirls.com so we can coordinate a date and time to meet and go over paperwork and logistics.

What type of benefits do league members get?
Dues paying league members are able to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Unlimited skate time at most open skate sessions at Kate’s
  • Kate’s Pro Shop – discount
  • CLTRD Merch discount
  • Dr. Peters – Bouting skaters get monthly office visits with our team chiropractor
  • Yoga and Crossfit opportunities
  • Awesome opportunities to get into local events for free when representing CLTRD for our quarterly events

**Benefits are subject to change based on sponsorship.

What is WFTDA?

WFTDA is the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. It is the international governing body for women’s flat track roller derby. It determines the rules, rankings, seasons and safety guidelines that we follow as a full member of WFTDA. For more information: http://www.wftda.com

What about the rules? Do I need to know all of the rules?

You won’t need to know all of the derby rules right away, but it is a good idea to have some basic knowledge about the game. You can read our Derby 101 basics, or watch some derby at wftda.tv to get a better idea of the sport. By watching games or volunteering at scrimmages, you gain a better understanding of the sport.

Once you become a member of the league, you will be expected to learn the rules and pass a rules test in order to be a scrimmaging skater.

You didn’t answer my question!

Email us at join@charlotterollergirls.com with any questions or concerns you may have.

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