So ya wanna be a Rollergirl? (Part 2) LVRG to host open-house 6/20/11

(Image: LVRG)

This is part 2 of a 2 part series.

Derby girls share a bond which many involved in the sport will tell you make this a true family. They are there for one another on the track and off, through good times and bad. As a Rollergirl, you will also be a role model for other women and young girls. There aren’t too many other women’s sports that are as hard-hitting and rough and tumble as Roller Derby.  It is empowering and amazing to be involved in a sport so powerful.

With that in mind in addition to attendance and monthly dues there is a strict code of conduct requirement as well. Sure Derby girls look bad ass but that doesn’t mean they act inappropriate on or off the track. LVRG is very protective of its image and rightly so as they have worked hard to achieve their position within the derby and local community.

LVRG has a wide fan base; at any given match you will see infants, toddlers, kids, parents and grandparents in attendance.  Contrary to some misconceptions, Roller Derby is a family friendly sport. A Lehigh Valley Rollergirl is required to always behave in a manner that portrays themselves and the team in the most positive light. Not only does this pertain to official Derby business and on bout day, but also outside in the day-to-day world.  Remember this sport is about being a positive and empowering role model.

The members of LVRG are always mindful of their actions and what they say; even online one never knows who is observing. Remember this is a diverse group of team mates and fans.  Negative comments toward different races, genders, sexual orientations, etc will not be tolerated.  Even away from Roller Derby that is just sound common sense advice; tolerance toward all.

By this point you are probably wondering, “When do I get to pick my name?”  Names are not assumed immediately they must be earned. A fresh meat goes through a period of 12.5 weeks of training which includes assessments not only on skating skills but also on WFTDA rules and regulations.

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) is the official sanctioning body of the sport. Like other professional sports, they dictate how the bouts are to be played. This is not the Roller Derby of the past which was a closer relative to sports entertainment than sport.  Roller Derby is a true athletic endeavor.

During the 12.5 week introductory period fresh meat will be judged on their attendance, attitude and progress on the track.  Don’t be overly concerned if you are a beginning skater; fresh meat enter the sport at all levels of ability, and the team will provide all the necessary support for you to gain proficiency.

Think you’re too old to be a Derby girl? Think again. Roller Derby is one of the rare sports where players do not have an expiration date.  LVRG currently has a roster of players ranging from 18 – mid 40s. It is not unusual to see players even older on many teams.

“But I’m too fat/skinny/tall/short (fill in any I forgot) to play?” Nope. All body types can find a home in Roller Derby. In fact if you are looking to change your body type Derby has proven to be as effective as any gym in town, maybe even more so.  Many players have lost tremendous amounts of weight since taking up the sport and are in the best physical shape of their lives. No matter what shape you are, there is a position on the team for you.

“OK, can I pick my name now?”  Everyone loves selecting their Derby name and there are plenty of creative ones out there. Once you have successfully passed your assessments you will be allowed to select your name. You must first wait until you receive the go ahead from team officials.  You likely have been thinking of a name for quite some time.

Before you are given your name, it will have to be approved by the team. In keeping with the family friendly philosophy of the Lehigh Valley Rollergirls, vulgar names or those containing profanities will be rejected.  There is a national database of currently registered names which will have to be consulted before your name may be assigned. Currently there are approximately 28,000 names on file. Names must be unique and not match or be similar to existing ones already in the system. If you find your desired name is already spoken for and are stuck on what to choose, your Derby sisters can be consulted for suggestions as they are quite a creative bunch. Check out www.twoevils.org/rollergirls/ to see if your desired name is available.

LVRG’s open recruit is not a tryout, if you are willing to make the commitment, you will make the team regardless of past experience or ability. LVRG will work with you as long as you meet them half way and honor the required commitments.

During the open recruit process an aspiring derby girl will have an opportunity to slap on the skates and try a few simple drills such as knee lunges. Don’t feel embarrassed if you are wobbly or even fall down, all your derby favorites were once fresh meat candidates too.

Want to get involved with Roller Derby but don’t want to skate? There are many opportunities for non skaters in derby. The unsung heroes of the sport, who often go unrecognized are the NSOs (Non Skating Officials).  Without these fine folks keeping the stats and recording the scores, there are no derby bouts. NSO is a very important role and worth considering if you would like to become a member of the growing roller derby community without having to lace up.

Now that you have the basic information on what to expect and what is expected you can decide if roller derby for you. It is much more than meets the eye; it is a high level professional sport. Come to LVRG’s open recruit session on June 20, 2011 and get ready to, “get in the game.” 

Lehigh Valley Rollergirls next open recruit will be held June 20, 2011 8-10pm at Independence Family Fun Center in Schnecksville, PA

All potential Rollergirls must be 18 and over and bring valid photo identification.

Lehigh Valley Rollergirls recruitment contact Phish Tahko  at: join@lehighvalleyrollergirls.com   

LVRG:  www.lehighvalleyrollergirls.com

Independence Family Fun Center :   http://www.familyfunoff309.com/location.htm

WFTDA:   http://wftda.com/

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