FAQ

All your basic information about the Rose City Rollers. Click the topic to read more. Lots more resources are available at bouts to help explain the game, including talking to our skaters who are happy to answer your questions–look for someone wearing an “Ask Me About Derby” shirt at the next bout!

What are the teams?

Rose City Rollers is a league that consists of 4 home teams, an internationally-ranked travel team, 2 junior derby programs, a developmental Fresh Meat program and a recreational program. Home teams include the Break Neck Betties, Guns N Rollers, Heartless Heathers and the High Rollers. Our travel team is made up of all stars from the home teams: the Wheels of Justice. Our junior programs are Rosebuds and Rose Petals. Our developmental program for aspiring competitive team skaters is Fresh Meat, and our recreational adult roller derby program is Wreckers.

What other teams do the Rose City Rollers play?

Home teams play head-to-head with other home teams. The Wheels of Justice are 2-time world champions and compete in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), taking on the best teams from around the world. Fresh Meat play at least twice a year and Wreckers play three times per year, usually against local or regional teams. Once in a while, we’ll throw in a few surprises to keep our fans on their toes.

How much do games cost?

Currently admission to games (also known as bouts) costs $7-$20 per person. Find out more on the Tickets page. Season passes are available, pro-rated as the season goes on so they’re always a good deal.

Where can I go see a game?

We currently hold bouts at The Hangar at Oaks Park. Maps and directions are available on the Locations page. Check out our Events page for upcoming bouts.

Can I join a team?

Rose City Rollers is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). Competitive league players and Wreckers must be at least 18 years old and identify with the WFTDA’s Gender Statement, found here. Skaters under 18 should check out the Rosebuds and Rose Petals programs. Men interested in playing derby should contact Portland Men’s Roller Derby.

Interested in learning to play roller derby? Join the Wreckers! Wreckers features a Derby 101 program that will teach you all the basics that you need to know to start learning game play. Don’t have skates and gear? No problem, you can borrow from our Rent N’ Roll program!

We also have periodic tryouts for our Fresh Meat training program for aspiring competitive team players. Check the tryouts page for further updates on the exact dates.

How is modern-day roller derby different than when it started?

Roller derby used to be somewhat scripted. Now all of the games and our plays are real. We follow the WFTDA rules developed for skater safety and competitive sports play. Elbow jabbing, for example, now gets a skater sent to the penalty box. The Rose City Rollers have no professional players. Skaters spend countless hours practicing and training, as well as working volunteer jobs to keep the league running.

How is the game played? Are there rules?

Basics:
Four blockers from each team make up the “pack.” One jammer from each team lines up at the jammer start line behind the pack.

When the jam start whistle blows, the first jammer to get through the pack without fouling any opposing players is called the “lead jammer” for that jam.

After the initial pass through, jammers receive one point for each member of the opposing team they pass. Jammers don’t need to be the “lead jammer” to score points. Each jam lasts a maximum of two minutes, but the “lead jammer” has the right end the jam by tapping their hips.

Blockers are simultaneously trying to block the opposing team’s jammer and help their own jammer make it through the pack.

If you’re new to derby, keep an eye on your favorite team’s jammer. Then, watch the blockers to see how they help or hinder the jammer.

Rules:
Flat track roller derby has very specific, standard sporting rules. We follow the most recent version of the WFTDA rules.  Have questions? Ask a derby skater. We tend to be pretty friendly off the track.

For those who don’t want a 30-page technical explanation, here’s a real simple video explanation:

How is the winner determined?

Whoever has the most points at the end of the last jam wins. The last jam occurs when the game clock reaches zero. Tie scores are broken by a final overtime jam.

For bout outcome records, check our Statistics and Standings page.

Check out the WFTDA’s Roller Derby 101 page and their FAQ.