You should totally play roller derby
At Rainy City we’re on the look out for new skaters, adults and juniors, of all skill levels to join our league. If you love being a part of an amazing closely knit team, want to challenge yourself and play a fast paced, full contact sport like nothing else in this world, then what are you waiting for?
RAINY CITY ROOKIES EVERY FRIDAY 7.00pm
£6 per session
At our venue, The Thunderdome, OL8 1EU
Our Rainy City Rookies sessions are open to anyone 18+ who wants to learn to play roller derby, whether you’re an experienced skater or you’ve never put skates on in your life. You can come along on a drop-in basis any Friday, just let us know you’re coming. Under 18? Check out Juniors.
Where can I buy kit?
Once you’ve decided roller derby is for you, you might start thinking about buying some kit to call your own! Hive Skate Hub in Manchester city centre specialises in gear for roller derby and is a great place to ask about wheels, pads, and the set up that will be right for you.
How old do you have to be to join?
You need to be 18 or over to join our Rookies sessions. Get in touch if you are 12-17 and would like to join our Juniors team! No experience is necessary.
Is there parking available at The Thunderdome?
Yes, there is a small Pay & Display car park adjacent to The Thunderdome. You’ll need to access it from Chaucer Street. You can find detailed directions here.
What if I don’t want to skate, but still want to get involved?
You are our new favourite person! Along with referees, a roller derby game also requires a group of Non-skating Officials (NSOs) to help officiate the game. If you love statistics and sticking to the rules, then you’ll love being an NSO.
If this sounds like you, then we can put in touch with our Head NSO, who will introduce you to the world of NSO’ing. You can find out more about officiating on the Become an Official page.
What if I want to learn how to skate, but I don’t want to play roller derby?
You’re more than welcome to attend our Rookies sessions if you just want to learn how to skate, but please be aware that they are very much tailored towards roller derby.
If you want to skate, but don’t like the idea of hitting people on skates, we can teach you to be a roller derby referee. Come along to our Rookies sessions as usual, and then we’ll put you in touch with our Officiating Crew, who will be more than happy to welcome you.
When are your Rookies Sessions?
Rookies training runs every Friday 7pm until 9pm, but please arrive at least 15 minutes before so you have time to get kitted up and put your skates on, and for 6.30pm if it is your first time.
We rarely cancel our Rookies sessions, but if we do, we’ll announce it on our Rookies Facebook group.
Am I fit enough for Rookies?
In a word, yes! Roller derby is a great way to get in shape and most of our skaters started off in exactly the same way. Everyone has to start somewhere – all we need from you is a little determination.
Where do you have your sessions?
All of our training sessions and home games take place in our very own venue called The Thunderdome. You’ll find our home on King Street, Oldham, and the entrance is just opposite Halfords. For more details on our location and how to get here, click here.
What should I wear?
Wear something that you can move comfortably in. You will probably get quite sweaty and will need room for leg movement – so leave the jeans and jumpers at home. Most skaters tend to wear shorts or leggings with vests or t-shirts.
Do I need to know the rules?
As a skater starting out it can feel quite overwhelming having to learn skate skills and the rules of the game. Our fantastic crew of referees and non-skating officials will be on hand to teach you the rules of roller derby when you start training. Rookies often find it helpful to come along to our scrimmages and be an NSO (Non-skating Official) in order to learn more about how roller derby works.
You can find The Rules of Flat Track Roller Derby here on the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) website: https://wftda.com/rules/20141201
What skill level do I need to be to come along?
Rainy City Rookies is for just that – rookies! If you’ve never put on a pair of skates, or only skated as a kid many years ago, we’ll teach you all the skills you’ll need to skate and fall safely. No experience necessary, but it is of course an advantage!
What should I bring to Rookies?
If you’re joining at the start of the programme, you can buy a ticket from our Events page and we will look forward to meeting you. If you’re dropping in, bring £6 cash and make sure to contact us so that we know you are coming. The only other thing you’ll need is a bottle of water!
We have plenty of pads, helmets and quad skates for you to hire, so you don’t need to buy everything before you’re ready to commit to the sport. If you have your own quad skates then feel free to bring them along, as long as they don’t have black toestops as they mark our floor.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Check out the BBC’s guide to Roller Derby, presented by our very own Fay Roberts
Know someone that would love to be a part of Rainy City?
ASK A QUESTION
If you have a question about our Rainy City Rookies, get in touch today!
PLAY JUST FOR FUN, OR COMPETE AGAINST SOME OF THE BEST TEAMS IN THE WORLD
We have four teams of different skill levels so whether or not you want to put some skates on recreationally or if you want to challenge yourself to your limits against some of the best teams in the world, we have regular games for you.
AN ALL INCLUSIVE, FRIENDLY ATMOSPHERE FOR EVERYBODY
We strongly believe that sport should be open and inclusive for everybody, so if you want take part in an amazing, welcoming family that is accepting and available to all, roller derby is the sport for you!
ENTIRELY SKATER RUN AND SKATER OWNED
Everything we do is run and organised by ourselves, including the running of our very own venue, The Thunderdome. We organise games, run fundraisers and social events and all help out with the ongoing growth of the league that we are proud to call our own.
So... what is roller derby?
Two teams line up 5 players at the starting line
Each roller derby game is made up of a series of 2 minute jams. At the beginning of each jam, both teams line up 5 players at the starting line. When the whistle goes, they skate around the track.
There are two types of player, blockers and jammers
Jammers have stars on their helmets and gain points for their team by passing opposition players on the track. Blockers try their hardest to stop them by hitting them with their shoulders, chest or hips, or by knocking the jammer out of the track.
The first jammer to get past every player becomes 'lead jammer'
The two teams' jammers race to get ahead of all the blockers first. The winner becomes "lead jammer" for the remaining time in the jam. You can always see who's become lead jammer, as the referee points directly at them.
The lead jammer can end the jam whenever they want
The jammers now skate around and try and get as many points for their team as they can. The lead jammer can end the jam whenever they want by tapping their hands on their hips. This ends the jam early and is often used to stop the other team from scoring points.
Pivots can take over as jammers when passed the helmet cover
You'll notice one blocker for each team has a striped helmet cover. These players are called pivots and can take over from the jammer if they’re tired or in trouble. Keep an eye out for helmet covers being passed on the track midway through a jam!
Watch out for those penalties
Players will be sent to the penalty bin to sit for 30 seconds if they block with their arms or legs, or if they hit against the back. They’ll also get sent to the bin if they skate outside of the track as they pass opposition players.
Jam and repeat, and repeat
At the end of a jam, the game resets, another 5 skaters from each team line up and we go again! The team with the most points after two halves of 30 minutes, wins.