So you wanna play?
Newcastle Roller Girls train newbies via a 15 week long fresh meat programme.
We’re currently in the middle of a fresh meat intake – we haven’t confirmed a date for the next one but it will most likely start in Spring 2014. All details will be available on Facebook, Twitter and this website when we make firmer plans. In the meantime, get yourself down the roller disco to get yourself comfortable on your skates – the more you do ahead of time, the greater your chances of passing the course, & you want to pass, right?
About the course
Things have changed a little bit this time! The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) have changed their minimum skills – basically, they’re harder. But don’t fret! Instead of making the newbie intakes harder, we’ve changed the way we’re classifying our skaters. By the end of the our 15 week derby training course, you will have passed certain aspects of the new WFTDA Minimum Skills, and be ready to progress to intermediate sessions with the wider Newcastle Roller Girls team and start playing the game! However, you will not be considered ready to play in games with other teams until you pass the new minimum skills, and we have different criteria for playing for the B team (Whippin’ Hinnies) and A team (Canny Belters). How long it takes you to play in a bout after graduating from the newbie intake will be up to you and how much hard work you put in!
- Weeks 1-5: derby basics – stops, starts, falls, being safe.
- Weeks 6-10: derby specific skills – laterals, jumps, crossovers & more!
- Weeks 11-15: more derby specific skills – speed laps, hitting, whips & more!
Costs & kit
Sessions cost £5.
Don’t worry if you don’t have kit right now. All kit (skates, helmets, knee, elbow and wrist guards) can be hired from NRG for £1.50 per session on a first-come first-served basis. This money goes towards the kit bag’s maintenance and repair.
It is expected that you will throughout the course invest in your own kit…. believe us… you will want it.
A few hints and tips to get you started:
- You need to be 18 or over.
- We are looking for people who can stand up and move on skates. You don’t have to be a whizz by any means, but if you can’t stand up yet, head to the roller discos (there are three a week in the Tyneside area and plenty of NRG girls go) and find your feet ready for the next intake.
- If you have any longstanding illnesses/injuries, you’ll need to show us a note from your doctor before we can let you skate.
- Roller derby is amazing fun, but also a challenge for every skater new and old. Be prepared to work hard! You will get out of it what you put in.
- The course needs commitment, for your safety and ours. If you miss more than four sessions during the 15 weeks, you will be asked to come back for the next intake.
- Lastly, if you’ve missed this intake, get a headstart and head to the roller discos now… we’ll see you there.
If you have any questions that aren’t answered above, feel free to ask and we’ll reply ASAP.
We’re looking forward to skating with you all… and when you’re good and ready hitting you all too!
If you already skate with a roller derby league & you’re passing through Newcastle & fancy a bit of a skate, please drop us a line to let us know you’d like to visit. If you don’t already train with a roller derby league then you’ll have to go through one of our newbie intakes and pass the WFTDA minimum skills criteria before you can attend any other practices.
Sunday mornings 10.30-12.30 at Walker Activity Dome
We’re currently in the middle of a fresh meat intake – our next one is not confirmed but will most likely be in Spring 2014. Keep checking our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts for more information when it’s confirmed!
Post-minimum skills skaters
Sunday afternoons 12.30-14.30 OR 14.30-16.30 (depending on Tyne & Fear Roller Derby’s practice time) at Walker Activity Dome
- This session is open to all skaters who have passed their minimums skills.
- Please bring:
- Both black & white shirts with your number on, as these sessions include scrimmage.
- Trainers, as the warm-up is often off skates.
- Refs and NSOs are more than welcome to these sessions. They’re the ideal place to hone your officiating skills.
Wednesday evenings 19.00-21.30 at Walker Activity Dome
- This session is for skaters who have a place on the current 3 month roster as a Canny Belter, crossover or Whippin’ Hinny only.
- Please bring both black & white shirts with your number on, as these sessions are 30 minutes of drills and a full 2 hour scrimmage. You should also bring trainers as the warm-up is often off skates.
- Referees and NSOs are requested to attend these sessions.
Alternate Thursday evenings 19.00-21.00 at All Saints College Sports Centre
- These sessions are dedicated team sessions for the top 20 NRG skaters (Canny Belters and Crossovers).
- Please bring both black & white shirts with your number on, these sessions may not always involve scrimmage but will at least involve drills that require teams. You should also bring trainers as the warm-up is often off skates.
- Referees and NSOs are requested to attend these sessions.
Free skate session (joint with Tyne & Fear)
Monday evenings 19.00-20.30 at All Saints College Sports Centre
- These sessions are 1.5 hours of free skate time for both Newcastle Roller Girls and Tyne & Fear Roller Derby affiliated skaters only.
DON’T WORRY, WE WONT TELL ANYONE.
If you’d like to be involved in NRG, we are always on the look out for male referees, NSOs, coaches and volunteers.
However if you want to play roller derby, then check out the Newcastle men’s team, Tyne and Fear!
Whoop! Well done!
If you passed with another league and want to join us, please email our newbie co-ordinator, Big Smack & Fries at email@example.com. You’ll also need to get your current Captain to email us with a testimonial to say you’ve passed.
We won’t necessarily test all your skills again, but we will have to check you’re at the right level before placing you into a practice session.
If you’ve passed and you’re part of NRG, we’ll be telling you shortly how you can start practicing with the rest of the league.
We all want to be better skaters, yeah? So practice, practice practice. But where else can you skate to hone those rad skills?
No, we’re not kidding & this aint no 70s throwback either (although that’d be nice in a retro kind of way).
The very lovely folks at Skaters Club North East run 3 roller discos on Tyneside most weekends. They’re family affairs, so yes there’s a lot of kids to dodge, but loads of parents too who are always happy to see more grown-ups on skates.
A lot of the skaters, young & old, have some pretty awesome moves on them, and are often happy to teach you how to do their favourite trick. Particular mention has to go to the Dads who used to hang out down the Whitley Bay Plaza in their teens & those who got into roller hockey – you’ll know them by their speed & agility (& age!).
The organisers run beginners classes before the main sessions if you feel you need it.
They also play some games during the main session, which are a great way to practice your speed skating & quick turns.
Heads up though – sometimes sessions are cancelled, so keep up to date with Skaters Club North East Facebook page.
- Lakeside Leisure Centre, Killingworth. NE12 6SA
- 6:00-7:15pm, £3 (Skate Hire – £1)
- The Parks Leisure Centre, North Shields. NE29 6TL
- 6:45-8:15pm, £3.50 (Skate Hire – £1)
- Temple Park Leisure Centre, South Shields. NE34 8QN
- 5:00-6:30pm, £3.50 (Skate Hire – £1)
Really? well yeah, why not? Somewhere flat & smooth is good for starters (well duh…). Some of our skaters regularly practice in basketball/tennis courts. Some skate to work.
In the North East, you’ll’ve spotted all the water what with the coast & rivers & what not. Well they often have flat smooth footpaths for your skating pleasure.
Do I need special kit for skating outside?
First off, check out the FAQ on kit. After you’ve got yourself suited & booted, the only real difference for outdoors is wheels.
If you’ve got a £30-40 pair of disco boots, you’ll be fine. The wheels are very rubbery & will provide you with plenty of grip without tearing themselves up on the stones. This is what the kids in the street are skating in anyway & they cope fine, so you will too. Some of our skaters have hung on to their disco boots specifically for skating outside.
If you’ve bought derby skates, they’ve probably come with indoor wheels. This doesn’t mean you can’t skate outside in them – far from it. You just might not get the same level of grip as you do inside.
But whatever your wheels, remember to clean them when you get back home. Wipe off the grime and pick out any grit.
Definitely kidding now, right? Nope. Some of our skaters didn’t skate as kids, so had to start from scratch as adults. Without the luxury of long hot summer days where they could skate all day long, they wore their skates whenever they could: at work, round the house, doing chores like the washing up & the laundry; rolling along the garage, kitchen, hall, bathroom; practicing derby stance in the lounge in skates…
If you find anywhere else awesome to skate – please let us know!
Sven WillIBeFamous spills the beans:
So then…Just what is an NSO?
NSOs are Non Skating Officials and are the unsung heroes of the Roller Derby world. NSOs do all the jobs that allow the bout to take place, they are the scoretrackers, The Sin Bin Timers, The Jam Timers.
- Do I need to Skate to be an NSO?
No, The answer to that is in the title…
- Do I need to know all the rules?
While knowledge of the rules is important, it is more important that you know all of the rules which relate to the position you are working in, for example, if you were working in the Sin Bin it is important that you know all the rules concerning Penalty enforcement.
- What equipment do I need?
Most NSO positions don’t require you to provide any equipment yourself. If you intend to be a Jam Timer it is probably a good idea to get your own whistle though (for hygene reasons). The recommended whistle of the WFTDA is the Fox40 Classic which you can purchase from here http://www.fox40whistles.co.uk/Fox-40/Sport . I recommend the FOX40 CMG as it has the rubber cushioning meaning you can bite down a little without wrecking the whistle/your teeth. Don’t get a Sonik Blast whistle as they are way too loud and I get complaints when I use mine
- So what positions can I work in and what do they do?
There are several different positions available to you as an NSO. Below is a list of which positions there are and how many are usually needed. I will expand upon these later with links to the relevant NSO handbooks.
- Jam Timer(1)
You are in charge of timing the jams and the periods. Also starting and stopping them.
You are responsible for recording the details of the score in each jam
- Line Up Trackers(2)
You are responsible for keeping track of which players are on in which jam and which positions they are (pivot and jammer).
- Penalty Tracker(2)
You are responsible for keeping track of the minor and major fouls committed by the players as they are relayed to you. You work in conjunction with the Inside Whiteboard Tracker.
- Inside Whiteboard Tracker(1)
You are responsible for updating the penalties board in the centre of the track and keeping the referees informed about players who have accrued 4 minor penalties.
- Outside Whiteboard Tracker(2)
You are responsible for receiving penalty calls from the Outside Pack Referees and relaying it to the penalty trackers in the centre of the track.
- Sin Bin Crew(3 or 4)
To run the sin bin you generally need 3 people, 2 people to time the blockers for each team, 1 to time the jammers. It is often useful to have a 4th person there to act as manager and be responsible for dealing with situations such as full penalty bins.
- Scoreboard Operator(1)
You are responsible for updating the scoreboard at the end of each jam. This may be using a software application such as DerbyBoard or a simple Whiteboard.
- Head NSO(1)
The Head NSO is in charge of coordinating all of the above and will generally act in one of the roles above during the bout.
- Do I get a cool uniform?
You will be asked to wear something impartial on the day of the bout. This will be communicated to you by either the head ref or the Head NSO for the bout. Some leagues will provide you with something on the day that will say “Official” or “NSO”.
- Am I allowed to cheer my team on?
NO! While you are wearing the designated NSO colours you have to be totally impartial. This spans the entire duration of the bout. You cannot wear anything affiliated with one of the leagues playing (i.e. no badges, t-shirts, merch of any kind), you cannot speak to the players other than as part of your official role (even then this is only as part of a sin bin crew. More on that later). You cannot approach the team benches during half time. Essentially you have to be neutral until the end of the bout and even then until you have changed out of your NSO gear. Taking part in the high fives is allowed as you are doing this for both teams (and the refs).
- How can I get some practice in?
come along to the designated nights where the bouting teams will be scrimmaging and you can try your hand at some of the different roles available.