Frequently Asked Questions

DCRG welcomes competitive women from all walks of life who can dedicate the time and energy it takes to become a roller derby skater.

You must be at least 18 years old and have health insurance to play roller derby. It certainly helps if you are already athletic or have skating experience, but it is not required. We will teach you how to skate!

Learn more about becoming a DC Rollergirl here.

We strongly encourage that all potential new skaters get additional skating practice on their own (or with other new skaters. Here are a few good places to start skating:
Derby is a physically demanding sport, so you should be working on general endurance and off-skates strength training. Squats, lunges, leg lifts, crunches/planks, and push-ups will work some of our most commonly used muscle groups. Also, running, biking, and other activities can help build endurance.

Also, watch roller derby and read the rules. Learning how the game is played and understanding basic derby strategy is important. Visit the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) website to learn more about the sport, study the rules, and watch archived bout footage.
We typically hold three league practices a week, and we require skaters to attend at least 60 percent of those practices. While minimum attendance is enough to stay in good standing with the league, it is not enough to learn derby and improve your skills. Our travel team also has its own practice requirements on top of league practices.

League members also are expected to help keep the league running. As a volunteer-run organization, we produce the bouts, train the skaters, run the media outreach, book the practice space, and maintain and protect the DCRG brand. It’s a lot of work, also a lot of fun.

League members pay dues of $50 a month to help cover the expense of running a practice space and other league costs.
We'd love to have you join us! Contact our Transfer Liaison by email ( and tell us a little about yourself and your skating experience. We'll schedule a practice for you to attend and walk you through the administrative steps involved in becoming a league member.
You can become a short-term or long-term visitor and get some great training to take home with you. Contact our Visitor Liaison by email ( and find out about available practices. We'll need to know a little about you and your skill level so we can give you all the details. The first two practices are free, and there's a $5 drop-in fee for any additional practices.

Skaters from other local leagues - or retired DCRG skaters - are also welcome to join a practice by contacting
In addition to quad skates, you'll need your own set of protective gear, which includes: hard-shell knee pads, hard-shell elbow pads, hard-shell wrist guards, a mouth guard, and a helmet. It is strongly encouraged that you spend the extra dollars for high-quality knee pads.

We have a large selection of loaner pads, and a limited selection of loaner skates. We DO NOT have loaner mouthguards, so be sure to bring one with you on your first day. As for the helmet, bike helmets won't work. Many people wear skateboard or hockey helmets.

You can purchase roller derby-appropriate gear in person at these area retailers:
You can also buy everything you need for skating online – we recommend you support these derby-owned businesses:
We are always looking for volunteers, referees, and non-skating officials (NSOs), and would love to have you on board. If you still want to skate, refereeing is a great way to be involved in DCRG. Our refs keep us safe and legal on the track. Off-skates, NSOs track points and penalties, and make sure the game runs smoothly. We also have a small army of volunteers who sell merchandise, do committee work, and contribute in other ways.
You are more than welcome to come out to one of our practices to WATCH ONLY and get a feel for the sport! Because our practices are held on different nights each week, you MUST email before you come so we can make sure it is a good night to watch and there will be someone to meet you and answer any questions. Any of our skaters would be happy to answer your questions (before or after practice) on how much work it is, what kind of time commitment to expect, and how much fun it is, etc. Please do not interrupt anyone during practice as we take our training time seriously.

Also, watch our Facebook page for open houses where you can get your questions answered and watch us scrimmage!
There are many ways to gain skating and derby experience!

We strongly encourage new skaters to get together and get additional practice on their own! The more time on skates, the better! Here are a few good places to start skating:

Yes! We are happy to answer any other questions you have about derby gear, volunteer opportunities, or being a DC Rollergirl. Email your questions to