About the Learn to Skate Program

Anchor City Rollers is a competitive league that skate and play hard. It takes at least 6 months of training before skaters can become eligible to be drafted to a home team and play in bouts. We take in new skaters once every year! Wondering what roller derby is? Check out the links below and contact our Learn to Skate director (acrc.freshmeatdirector@gmail.com) with questions or for information on our next Learn to Skate intake!

Everyone entering Anchor City Rollers that has not played with another league must complete the Learn to Skate/Fresh Meat program. The program is currently set to run 12 weeks, not including holidays.

  • 19 years of age or older (folks 16-18 are eligible to take part in our Learn to Skate program)
  • Female identified *
  • Team attitude
  • Willingness to fall hard and get back up again

* We are inspired by the MRD gender policy that states “MRD, pursuant to its mission of promoting women’s roller derby, does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. MRD does not and will not differentiate between members who identify as female and those who identify as a non-binary gender (including but not limited to genderqueer, transmasculine, transfeminine, and agender) and does not and will not set minimum standards of femininity for its membership or interfere with the privacy of its members for the purposes of league eligibility. These activities include, but are not limited to, draft/home team skater eligibility, membership eligibility, disbursement of resources, and eligibility for office. MRD is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all skaters, officials, volunteers, and fans.”


One two-hour practice a week. Occasional additional rules training sessions may be required. Skaters are required to join one of the many committees that help our league run, and to participate in league activities such as donation drives and other public events.


When you join the Anchor City Rollers, you will go through an intense training process to get you bout-ready:

  • The basics of skating: derby stance, skating stride, stopping, falling safely, etc.
  • Roller derby basics: skating in a pack, positional blocking, shoulder and hip-checks, whipping (assists), jamming and blocking.
  • The rules of the game, through both on-skate training and off-skate NSOing. Skaters must pass a written rules test before they are eligible to be drafted to a home team.
  • Preparing for WFTDA certification: skaters must pass these minimum safety requirements before becoming eligible to scrimmage, be drafted to a home team, or play in a bout. The full list of requirements is available from the WFTDA site.
  • Once skaters have passed the WFTDA minimum skills test and the WFTDA written test, they are eligible to take part in weekly scrimmages, and to be drafted home teams.
  • Minimal fitness training will be provided, but skaters are required to do their own conditioning work outside of practice.
  • Questions? Check out the Fresh Meat FAQ. Still more? No problem! Email our Fresh Meat Director
  • Transfers from other leagues please contact our board of directors.

Program Cost

The cost of the program is $250. This includes:

  • League jersey!
  • Administrative costs (pylons, pinnies, panties, tape, and first aid supplies)
  • Coaching & mentorship from a staff of experienced trainers
  • Monthly dues for the 12 weeks
    • The money from the “dues” is used primarily for rental of practice space in which you will practice.


Each skater is responsible for registering with CRDi (Canadian Roller Derby Information & Services) and acquiring the mandatory insurance. Cost is $50 for the entire year with extensive liability and injury coverage.


Required gear

  • Quads (old fashioned roller skates, not necessarily high ankles)
  • Knee pads (if you splurge, splurge on this)
  • Wrist guards
  • Elbow pads
  • Mouth guard
  • Helmet (skate board or hockey style)

Optional gear

  • Many people get toe guards for their skates
  • People with pre-existing knee problems often find the extra protection of knee gaskets helpful
  • Many new skaters get padded shorts, if you have a problem with your tail bone, or just don’t like falling on your bum, we recommend these
  • Protective bras are allowed


Getting Gear

The league has sponsorship agreements with:

Rollergirl.ca (contact us for passwords to access clearance items)

Or buy used gear on the East Coast Roller Derby Buy and Sell Facebook page.

If you’re wondering where you should spend your money, where to go big, the answer is KNEEPADS. You will spend most of Learn to Skate learning to fall on your knees, and the rest of your derby career being surprised to have fallen on your knees. Unless you are the luckiest person in the world, you will want to upgrade your skates after Learn to Skate, get something with an adjustable toe stop and you should be on the right track. For elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet and mouth guards you can get away with what you would get at Sportcheck or Canadian Tire or Walmart. BUT, your best bang for your buck (even though it might make you want to cry) is to get a Fresh Meat or Beginner Package from one of our sponsors. Save yourself some foot pain and be sure to talk to the seller about the size boot you need. It is almost never what you think. You can also come by a practice and borrow a pair to try on.

Common beginner questions:

A. No. In Halifax we are fortunate that our league is still small enough that we can accept all comers to Learn to Skate. Once you have passedLearn to Skate you will become eligible to be drafted to a team.

A. Yes, please drop in at a Learn to Skate practice. Contact us before hand (anchorcityrollers@gmail.com) to find out our most up to date practice schedule.

A. Sorry, we don’t at this time, it is a dream for the future.

A. No. We have skaters ranging in age from 19 to 62. The average age of skaters in our league is 25-35, and there is room for everyone.

A. Clothing comfortable for exercise, which isn’t so precious to you that you will be devastated if it gets roughed up: gym shorts or capris, or pants if you really want; t-shirt or tank top; TIGHTS, if you want to keep your skin on your legs and not leave it on the floor. Also, please bring sneakers for off-skate warm-up and cool down.

A. Maybe. Roller derby is a fast paced full contact sport, which, although highly regulated, does pose risks to participants. We do the best we can to prepare you and to referee and make things safe, but sometimes things happen. Serious injuries are rare, but they do occur.

A. No. Roller derby attracts all kinds of people with all kinds of backgrounds. If it appeals to you, come.

A. No, we will teach you to skate, and all the skills that are required to play the game.

A. No. Roller derby can be a part of your fitness program and a huge motivator to exercise and eat right. There are lots of resources in the league to help you get in skating shape.

A. It will, a lot, but you will still need to go through Learn to Skate to learn other elements of the game.

A. Currently we have many opportunities for men in our league including, refereeing, non-skate officiating, announcing, and coaching. It is one of our dreams to develop a men’s team, and for that we need a base of male skaters, so please come join us! You are eligible to participate in our Learn to Skate program regardless of gender.

A. No, you can name yourself, or be named by others when you pass Learn to Skate and are named to a team. But, start thinking about it now.

If you have more/other questions for us, please contact us.


MrsHixLearn to Skate/Fresh Meat