What to expect at your first roller derby game
So you’ve FINALLY decided to stop saying how much you’d love to catch a roller derby bout and actually come and WATCH one? You are not alone. Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby is seeing a huge surge in popularity.
Making the decision to come inside our arena can be intimating. But, not any more! Pull up a chair and read on dear friends, and I’ll give you the 4-1-1 on what to expect as you prepare to lose your derby virginity.
Where’s your chair? You thought I was kidding! The first thing to expect is that depending on the venue, you may (or may not) want to bring seating options. Think camping/folding chair or a comfy blanket. Having access to a spot to park your bum lets you set up seat-shop down on the arena floor – or as we call it – track-side seating. You are up close and personal with the track, the players (and the action). There can be other seating options, like benches or stands, but not always. Make your former Boy Scout leader proud and come prepared.
We’re “family friendly” so bring your kids, grandparents, neighbor, and boss…well, you get the idea. There may be some light innuendo but Grandpa won’t pick up on what we’re saying :)
Your friendly neighborhood roller derby announcers will let you know when things are about to get started. First up – a little Derby 101! The skaters will do a live-action demo of derby basics (player positions, how points are scored, etc) to help derby virgins understand what’s about to go down. The teams/skaters will be introduced, followed by a shout-out to the referees, NSOs (non-skating officials like score keepers) and the DJ. Yup, derby bouts have a soundtrack #wicked. Fans are encouraged to take pics and tweet, hashtag, Instagram, share and post about their live-action experience during the bout.
You’ll hear the 5-second whistle and it’s on like Donkey Kong! Much like when you take a new lover - you’re not sure where to look at first because there is a lot happening all at once and it’s all very exciting! Keep an ear on the announcers – they’ll be talking about what’s happening.
At half-time two things will go down – the 50/50 draw and the Wheel Toss. But there might also be a half-time show (think local band/artist). If you’ve worked up an appetite watching all that skating, get your snack-on because there’ll be food/drink provisions for sale. No roller derby experience would be complete without the chance to pick up some merchandise (t-shirts, trucker caps, bumper stickers, etc) from your favorite league/teams!
After the bout, there’s only one thing left to do – AFTER PARTY! There’ll be an announcement letting you know where you can join the skaters after the game and enjoy a beverage. This part of the evening typically takes place in a licensed venue.
Hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect when you come to see us this season. You always remember your first bout. We hope you will fall in love with the sport like we have. And you will now refer to your life as BD (Before Derby) and AD (After Derby).