Frequently Asked Questions for Skaters

Who can play?

Thunder Bay Roller Derby League follows the requirements outlined by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Skaters must be 18+ and feel that Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby is the version and composition of roller derby with which they most closely identify (WFTDA Gender Statement).

Do I need sports experience to play?

There is no experience necessary and we will teach you everything you need to know to play roller derby. You will find derby skaters are very diverse.  Many skaters joining our freshmeat program have little or no sports experience.

What equipment do I need and where can I get it?

You will need (from the top down)

  • bm_bright_green_straps75x75Helmet
  • mouthguard-green-tnMouth guard
  • kp22-75Elbow Pads
  • 187wrist75x75Wrist Guards
  • ep55-75Knee Pads
  • Roller Skates

For new skaters, the simplest method to acquire the necessary equipment is to purchase a “freshmeat” starter package from a roller derby equipment website.  These packages are generally the most economical option and include equipment chosen with beginner athletes in mind.

Check out our local derby supplier and league sponsor Busted Skate –

How much does it cost? Is there a membership Fee?

Freshmeat equipment packages start around $250 to $300. There is a yearly insurance cost of $50 which is purchased through the league.

Once you are ready to join the league, there is a monthly $35 membership fee.  Once you are drafted, you will need to purchase a team jersey.

How many months in the year does derby run? When can I join?

Formal practices and league scrimmages run from January to November.  Our home teams hold a championship from May through August.  Our A Team, Babes of Thunder, will travel throughout the year.

Before you can join the league, you must pass freshmeat training and basic skills training.  These are typically held twice a year in October and January.

What is freshmeat?

New skaters are lovingly referred to as “freshmeat”.

Is the track banked?

Nope, we play flat track derby.

What the process for becoming a derby skater?

  1. Freshmeat – We teach you everything you need to know to play roller derby – from how to skate to the rules of the game.
  2. Skills Testing – You must pass basic skills testing as defined by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).  Skills testing includes on the track skills as well as a written rules test.
  3. Join Our League – By joining you can attend league practices, open skates, and play in monthly scrimmages.
  4. Endurance Testing – Skaters must finish 25 laps in 5 minutes to be on the home team or 27 laps in 5 minutes to be on the allstar team.
  5. Get Drafted! – Once skaters are trained and tested, they are drafted to a home team.  Skaters can attend team practices and tryout for our travel team, Babes of Thunder.
  6. Game On – Home teams play championship games from May through August and compete for our beloved Sparkly Skate trophy!


When is practice?

Day Freshmeat Practice League Practice
Sun 1-3pm N/A
Mon 6 – 7pm (optional) 7 – 9pm
Thurs 6 – 7pm (optional) 7 – 9pm