How do I join ACRD? How does the process work?
When do you recruit?
We do new-skater intake twice a year, once in the winter/spring and once in summer/fall. Watch this site or follow us on Facebook for announcements about the next upcoming recruitment open house.
What if I can’t skate?
That’s totally ok! Many of our skaters started with no experience, or hadn’t been on skates in years. Our Fresh Meat program is designed to focus new skaters mentally and physically in order to prepare them to be safe, competent derby players.
If you have never skated before or haven’t been on skates in a very long time, we highly recommend you check out our friends at Syracuse Skate Gang, especially if it’s going to be a few months till our next recruitment intake and you want to get started skating right away! Their classes will give you a great skating foundation or allow you some time to get your skate legs back in a low-pressure, encouraging environment. All the skills we use in roller derby rely on building blocks you can learn at SSG!
What about gear?
When you come to one of our recruitment open houses, we will cover gear in more depth, including helping to size you. For safety reasons, all skaters are required to have their gear before they may participate in new recruit or league activities. Required gear includes skates (duh), helmet, mouth guard, and wrist, knee, and elbow pads. Any questions about how and where to find gear will be covered at our open house events. While gear is an investment, it is very easy to get started for a reasonable price. While we do have limited loaner gear available, we do not have all items in all sizes, so we encourage you not to rely on our loaners if not absolutely necessary.
Many skaters like to customize their gear, including using different wheels for different floor types, etc. Like all sports, lots of different equipment modifications/customizations are available. If you’re curious, just ask! All of our skaters have a preferred setup and are more than happy to share advice.
How can I support ACRD?
Assault City Roller Derby is always seeking referees, NSOs (Non-Skating Officials), and other volunteers to assist with league operations. Roller derby is very DIY-oriented, and relies on volunteers. Any specialty skills or time you can donate can help us greatly. Please visit our contact page to get in touch.
Come to our bouts and cheer us on! Buy our merch and wear it with pride! Tell all your friends and acquaintances about us! Follow us on social media, and like and share our posts! Also, we can always use donations.
If you are looking to sponsor us, great! We have been in Syracuse for over ten years, and couldn’t have done it without the help of our generous sponsors. There are many options for sponsorship, and we are more than happy to work with your company or organization to come up with a customized sponsorship package for you. Please see our sponsorship page and send us a message!
Can I take pictures at a bout?
Of course! We just ask that you please be mindful and respectful of other fans watching the game, and other photographers also trying to get that perfect shot. We would also love to see your pictures! Please share them with us on Facebook or email us a link to your gallery.
How long is the season? What is the schedule?
Our season usually lasts from January-February to July-August. Our most up-to-date bout schedule can be found here.
Do skaters have to wear old-school ‘quad’ skates?
Yes. Ever since its invention in the 1930s, roller derby has traditionally been a “quad” skate game. Quad roller skates promote control and stability, and their smaller wheel base reduces the chances for skaters to get tripped up on each others’ skates.
Are games still played on “banked” angled tracks?
Yes — for fifty years roller derby was played primarily on concave (“banked”) tracks. These tracks were big and expensive and required reassembly as the derby skaters of the time barnstormed from town to town. The “play-anywhere” nature of the flat track game has allowed skaters to learn the game without investing in a banked track infrastructure.
A handful of leagues in America play primarily on banked tracks (most notably in Los Angeles, Austin, and San Diego), while hundreds of leagues play the flat track game. Many skaters and a small number of leagues train for both styles of play.
I used to love watching roller derby on TV! Is it like that?
Yes and no. The fast-paced action, body checks, and whip assists are all still very much part of the game. However, flat track roller derby rules and the different physics of skating on a flat surface, versus a banked track, make the strategies and game play very different. Also, in its later years, televised roller derby was staged, like WWE-style wrestling. Flat track roller derby is a legitimate sport, and 100% real.
Is roller derby dangerous?
Yes! There are rules in place to make the game safer, and proper safety gear (helmet, mouth guard, and wrist, knee, and elbow pads) is required at all times, whether practicing or playing. However, roller derby is a sport – there will be contact, and at high speed, too. Serious injuries can occur, despite everyone’s best efforts to prevent them. Safety is covered in-depth during our recruiting process, and all skaters are trained to fall and perform skills properly before being allowed to progress.
Are skaters paid?
No. Skaters may be sponsored thanks to generous donations, but we play roller derby because we love to do it, not because we’re receiving a paycheck. All league expenses, including uniforms, travel, and gear are paid for by the league members with the proceeds of member dues, sponsorships, ticket money, and fundraising events.