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What is Roller Derby?

Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of five members roller skating in the same direction around a track. Game play consists of a series of short matchups ("jams") in which both teams designate a scoring player (the "jammer") who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer —in effect playing both offense and defense simultaneously. [Source: Wikipedia - Roller Derby]

Here is a great introduction video to the basics of roller derby:

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Is Roller Derby Fake?

Absolutely not! Roller Derby is a very real sport played by very real athletes. Admittedly, Roller Derby (at least what was on television) did go through a period of time when it was a little less "real" and a lot more of a spectacle than a sport. However, modern roller derby has seen a rebirth as a legitimate, athletic, and highly regulated sport. Here is an excerpt of a Plum St. Productions video featuring some of our very own Cincinnati Rollergirls:

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Isn't Roller Derby just for girls?

The modern Flat-Track Roller Derby Revolution was started in 2001 in Austin, TX by the Texas Rollergirls. The young sport grew exponentially in the years following under the careful guidance of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.

Men have been involved in derby since the beginning as referees, statisticians, coaches, and fans. Participating in coed derby events like RollerCon and RefJam, men have been playing in some capacity since the earliest days of the Flat-Track Revolution.

In 2007, three MEN'S teams formed the Men's Derby Coalition (which later became the Men's Roller Derby Association or MRDA) to help foster the growth of men's flat-track roller derby. In October 2011, the MRDA held it's first Championship tournament setting the precedent for organized Men's Roller Derby for years to come.

As of this writing, there were 19 member leagues of the MRDA, with dozens of new men's teams like the Battering Rams working towards membership. Here is a video of the The St. Louis Gatekeepers vs. The MRDA Champion The New York Shock Exchange to prove it!

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Are you part of the Cincinnati Rollergirls?

We are an independent organization, but our "sister league" the Cincinnati Rollergirls have been incredibly supportive and encouraging. We practice at the Cincinnati Rollergirls' Chop Shop, and many skaters have practice with us and offered guidance.

Be sure to visit them here → Cincinnati Rollergirls

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How do I join the team?

Visit our Join the Team! page.

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Is there a minimum skill required to join?

There is no minimum skill required to begin practicing. Many of us could barely skate when we began practicing. Regardless of skill level, we would be glad to have you on the team. Aside from helping you learn, we can also put you in contact with local rinks who offer developmental, and beginner skating lessons.

A great rink to check out is The Skatin' Place! Ask for Brian, and tell him your interested in Roller Derby.

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How old do I have to be to join?

You must be 18 or older to join the team. Is your 18th birthday coming up? You can still contact us! Even though you can't play with us (immediately), we are happy to offer information and guidance for a future Battering Ram!

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What do I need to play?

To begin practice you will require the following items:

  • Proof of Primary Medical Insurance
  • Skates (with Grippy Wheels)
  • Helmet
  • Knee Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Wrist Guards
  • Mouthguard
  • Water/Waterbottle/Gatorade, etc.

The majority of vendors offer Rookie Packages with everything you need to start!

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Where do I purchase equipment?

To get the best advice on what to buy with personalized service, it bares repeating to speak with Brian at The Skatin' Place. Another great contact for skates and gear is Rich of Skater's Edge in Cleveland.

There are also a multitude of online vendors specializing in Roller Derby gear and merchandise. Just to name a few:

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Is the league a member of the M.R.D.A (Men's Roller Derby Assoc.)?

Yes! We are a proud member of the Men's Roller Derby Association!

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