May 23, 2012

That thing about the WFTDA minimum skills, again

I've talked about this before - but after some recent discussions and talks with new derbygirls - I feel the urge to once again bring it up... why we require our fresh meat to pass minimum skills before we let them participate in scrimmage... I am just going to quote myself, since i ma honestly to lazy to write it all again... this is what I wrote about a year ago about passing minimum skills and why it is so important...

"So some people think that passing test means you are boutready - in my opinion it doesn't - it means you are ready to scrimmage, and start working towards becoming boutready. It means that you are safe to skate in a pack - and that you know the BASICS of roller-derby... it pretty much means that you are SAFE. For me saftey is really important - you HAVE to be a safe skater for me to let you on track with my girls - not only for others but also for yourself.
Minimum skills are not very hard, but they are not easy either - they contain a very wide array of skills, because derby is not only about being a good skater - it is also about paying attention, knowing how to hit, how to take a hit, to control speed, to look BEHIND you, to know the rules, to jump over someone that has fallen, to not hold onto people when you fall, balancing on one foot, speeding up, keeping pace, communicating and skating in a pack without falling.
So there are lots of things to derby - and trying to skip the basics are not making anyone a better skater, just a dangerous force on the track. Giving your body time to build the muscles that are required for derby will reduce the risk for injuries - and also make you a better derby player."

Remember they are called MINUMUM skills and not "I'm all that skills", rollerderby and skating skills is something you will develop every practice... so to keep your skills you have to show up to more than one practice a month, I'd even dare to say that you need one practice a week to MAINTAIN the skill you are at, and if you want to progress and get better, you need at least two practices a week a few times/month.

This Sunday we had a minimum skills test - and since we really wanna help Västerås and Uppsala (they are two newly upstarted leauges quite close to Stockholm) out, we invited girls from both leauges, but only the Västerås girls could make it... we also had five STRD girls taking the test! Everyone did such an amazing job, and I am really amazed over how much everyone are progressing!

Photo by Gitta Wilen - STRD freshmeat/referee


  1. I agree! Det bästa med Roller Derby är ju att man aldrig blir "klar". Gud så tråkigt om man skulle bli klar, färdig, inte ha något mer att uppnå! Utan man har alltid något att jobba mot, nya mål, mer ork, uppmärksamhet, styrka, teamwork, taktik..

    Det var så himla skönt att få ta testet och att man får något slags svar att vi i västerås åtminstone är påväg åt rätt håll (lite virrigt nystartat.. haha).

  2. exakt! instämmer med swede.

    vi har ju inte haft någon aning om på vilken nivå vi legat, men nu vet vi och det känns jävligt bra!

  3. Here's mine and Geena's idea of how to make it clear to new skaters that the progression towards being scrimmage & bout eligible takes time, and passing the minimum skills test is one important part of it... all of these steps makes you a smarter & better skater (and a teammate).