Lifestyle A Guide to the Roller Derby

A Guide to the Roller Derby

Roller derby skating isn’t just for kids! You may be surprised to learn that the roller derby is actually regarded as a professional sport and even has its own professional league. Although it’s not as popular as say football or baseball, it is still very much a sport in its own right, but you don’t have to participate competitively in order to enjoy the fun of it.

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Roller derby is quite a funny thing, and many people have never heard of it before, despite it being one of the fastest growing women’s sports in the world.

#1: What is Roller Derby?

There is more to roller derby than a group of females just thrashing each other around a skate track! Although this certainly is a part of it, it is still a specialist sport and, as with any professional sport, it is highly regulated and comes with its very own comprehensive rulebook, which weighs in at around 43 pages!

Roller derby is far too detailed to cover in its full form here, so we recommend going away and doing some further research if you truly are interested in taking part. There’s a lot to learn, including the game’s lingo which includes the different types of player, such as blockers, pivots, and jammers. It is a very fast-paced contact sport and requires a great deal of stamina, however, dirty moves such as headbutting, kicking and tripping, etc. are not a part of it.

#2: Where Did It Come From?

Roller derby came into existence alongside the popular sport of roller skating in the United States. The formation of organized roller skating races began to pop up where participants could win cash prizes – way back in the 1890s – and it took off from there.

By around 1922, the roller derby was fully recognized to be a competitive sport and spectators particularly enjoyed the various trips and falls of the participants. In the mid-1930s, the roller derby evolved into the contact sport we all know and love today. Since then, it has enjoyed a relatively stable popularity and has a following of millions all around the world.

#3: Want to Give It a Go?

Great! We encourage you to get out there and do it, it’s fantastic exercise and there’s lots of fun to be had, even at amateur level. There are plenty of amateur roller derby clubs and venues dotted around the country, so you should have no trouble finding a place to skate.

The hardest part about starting roller derby is finding the right skates, and we recommend roller derby skates from Riedell, as they are a specialist manufacturer and are held in high regard throughout the roller derby industry.


The roller derby is a professional competitive contact sport which dates as far back as the 1920s and continues to be highly popular today. Although many have never heard of it, it has a close-knit community surrounding it all around the world.


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