Joining a team sport is a great way to make new friends, challenge yourself, and gain a better physical fitness aspect to your life. Before you join roller derby (or any team sport as an adult really) ask yourself these five simple questions:
DO I HAVE THE TIME?
Am I willing and able to practice 2-3 times a week for 2+ hours? Once you're past the new skater stage of your training BCRD requires attendance at 2 practices a week in order to be bout eligible.
Am I willing to spend extra time beyond that commitment working on my skills? We cover a lot in practice and if you regularly come to practice you will improve, but if you want to excel then you'll need to work outside of practice as well (on skates or off skates).
Do I have the time to perform community service, attend fundraisers and other appearances, work home bouts and participate in other events as required by the team? Derby is not just practice. There are bouts, fundraisers, charity work and other opportunities to serve the team and the community outside of practice time that the more people we have helping the better.
Do I have the time to perform duties for my team, such as joining a committee, finding sponsors, attending events etc.?
AM I HEALTHY ENOUGH FOR A TEAM SPORT?
Understand that being fit for roller derby may mean making lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. Check with your doctor before starting to see if you're healthy enough for the demands of a team sport.
Be aware that injuries are common in roller derby. While we do everything we can to teach you and prepare you to play safe, accidents and sometimes serious injury does happen. Are you willing to take that risk? Do you have sufficient primary medical insurance that will cover you in case of injury?
CAN I AFFORD IT?
Understand that roller derby is a costly sport to participate in, even starter gear will cost a couple hundred dollars. We do have loaner gear available while you're trying out the sport, but if you decide to stay with it you'll want your own gear sooner rather than later.
Can I budget for my monthly dues, travel costs to away games, new gear, gear maintenance, team uniforms and practice clothes? Roller derby is a volunteer sport. We don't get paid to play and we incur the cost of all aspects of the sport ourselves.
Were I to get injured during roller derby, would I have a way to cover my expenses and/or lost wages from missing work? As we mentioned above, injuries can happen. You'll want to be financially prepared as much as possible.
AM I A TEAM PLAYER?
Am I aware that I don’t know everything? Can I take criticism and am I willing to learn?
When I fail at something, will I try harder or just give up? In the beginning roller derby is hard and frustrating and there may be times when you think you aren't good enough and you just want to quit. Everyone feels that way, even the veterans who are skating circles around you started where you are. Can you persevere and meet those challenges?
Understand that roller derby is a team sport, and your individual actions affect the team as a whole. We expect you to be ambassadors for the sport and the team. When you are representing roller derby in the community you are also representing BCRD. Can you do that professionally?
DO I HAVE THE SUPPORT OF OTHERS?
Do I have sympathetic and flexible friends, family and significant other/s who will understand how important roller derby is to me and tolerate it eating my life and free time? Understand that roller derby isn't just a sport, it’s a lifestyle change that will consume you night and day. Are you ready to act as a part of something greater than yourself?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then we'll see you on Wednesday nights. Practices resume Wednesday January 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm at Roller City in Springdale.
Article adapted from Hellions of Troy and Wicked City Derby Damez