Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall 2011 Try Outs: FAQ

We're heading into our 7th season, and we are looking for strong athletes to join our ranks!

Roller derby is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, endurance-based sport that takes lots of physical and mental ability, time, and sheer dedication.

Details regarding our skate clinics and October 8th try out are here.

Do I need to know how to skate?
No, but you should at least be able to stand on skates comfortably and move in a forward direction without white-knuckling the rail. Success in derby requires much more than mere skating skills and BERG has benefited from many a diamond in the rough.

How can I prepare?
First off, get to know us and our sport! Come see our games to gain an understanding of what's involved – tickets are available on our website. Sign up for our mailing list to get an idea of what our schedule is like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. BERG is a proud member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). Visit their site to read the rules, familiarize yourself with the history, and get a sense of what we mean by our WFTDA motto, “Real. Strong. Athletic. Revolutionary.”

Second, cross train. Derby is hyper athletic and while we’ll definitely whip you into shape, you’ll do yourself a favor by meaning fit from the jump. Anytime Fitness has programs and equipment to get you in shape! Then skate, skate, and skate some more! The more comfortable you are on your skates, the faster you will pick up the game. There are a handful of local rinks with open hours where you can rent quad skates on work on basic skills. Skate Country Westbank and Airline Skate Center are two of them.

What happens at Tryouts?
Tryouts will include the following: a group warm up, skills testing, and an interview. Skaters will be reviewed by the training committee and cuts will be made during both the skating warm up (but only in the case in which a skater is a danger to herself or others or simply cannot stand on a pair of roller skates) and the skills testing.

The skaters who make the final cut will be asked to participate in short interviews with representatives from Big Easy Rollergirls. The representatives will be looking to gauge your schedule, your goals, whether you’d fit on the league, and whether you can make the time commitment to playing for BERG, etc.

What will I be tested on?
Some of the things we will be looking for in tryouts are:

Basic Skills:
Forward skating
Gliding on one foot
Balance and Agility
Plow and T-Stops
Single Knee, Double Knee, and Four Point falls
Skating in proximity to others

Number of laps in 2 minutes

Good Attitude
Basic knowledge of the sport
Ability to listen and apply new knowledge
Ability to picks up skills quickly
Time commitment – Fresh Meat practices Monday evening 6:30-8:30 & Saturday morning 8:00-10:30

What equipment will I need for clinics and try-outs?
Every skater will be required to wear a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads, a mouthguard and quad roller skates. We will have limited gear to loan out. A word to the wise: please do not invest in $500 worth of gear until you have received notification that you made the grade. Many of our league’s best skaters tried out in rental skaters and the Academy Sports special (bike helmet, roller blade pads).

For insurance purposes, you will be required to sign a waiver for tryouts. It's a very standard waiver and we'll have lots of copies for you to look over and sign.

What happens after try-outs?
The training committee reviews all potential members and will choose skaters whose drive, skills, and personality they think are a good fit for the Big Easy Rollergirls. New skaters are granted a provisional membership during their first six week probationary training period. After that, skaters start a three – six month basic training program which includes multiple levels of assessments and testing at the end of which lies team placement.

Our fresh meat program helps ease skaters into the consuming world of roller derby, help maintain and grow your fitness level, become more stable and skilled, and ensure you have skills needed to be able to compete on one of BERG’s teams. Lots of new skaters want to know off the bat when they get a name. That should be the very last concern on a potential or new skater’s mind. Learn the game first, then worry about your name and a bout-fit. Remember, we’re athletes before anything else. The fishnets are just a detail.

I play for another roller derby league. What do I do?
The Big Easy Rollergirls have established a transfer process for skaters that are moving to the area from other roller derby leagues or for regional skaters who also would like to compete on a WFTDA team. If you are currently skating with another league, you may not need to tryout for BERG. Please email for specifics and to find out whether you qualify as a transfer skater.

What type of commitment does it take?
We’ll be honest; playing roller derby with the Big Easy Rollergirls is like a part-time (and sometimes even full-time) job. It is not for the faint of heart, nor the inflexible or full-of-schedule. These are just some of the basic league requirements for membership:

  • Participate in at least two to four, 2-hour min. practices per week
  • Meet your minimum league committee work each month including but not limited to fundraising, bout production, & flyering
  • Provide timely payment of monthly league dues – $35 (prices subject to change)
  • Provide timely payment of Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) insurance – $75 (for 16 months’ coverage, also subject to change)
  • Wear proper safety gear (helmet, mouth guard, elbow pads, knee gaskets, knee pads, and wrist guards)
  • Read and understand the official WFTDA derby rules
  • Primary medical insurance recommended
  • Willingly adhere to the BERG & WFTDA Skater Code of Conduct
  • Have a ton of moxie, determination, and a nice smile

Are there a lot of injuries?
To be blunt: yes. Roller derby is a high impact, super aggressive, full contact sport. BERG’s training committee does everything possible to prevent as many injuries as possible (by spending lots of time on how to skate safely) but unfortunately the reality of the sport is not so much if you get injured but when.

As mentioned above, full protective gear is required for all skaters (and refs!) and we follow that rule strictly. Although primary health insurance is not currently required if you want to skate with us, every skater (and ref!) is covered under a roller sports insurance. This supplemental insurance is extremely affordable and is required. But, primary health insurance is still strongly recommended.

What if I don’t make try-outs or I’m not ready yet?
Don’t worry, keep skating! It can take months or even years to become a strong roller derby skater. If you miss this round of tryouts or don’t quite make the cut, keep working hard to prepare for the next one. Don’t be discouraged, many current Big Easy Rollergirls tried out more than once.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?
Please feel free to e-mail our Training Manager, Coalminer’s Slaughter, at Come chat us up in person. We’re always happy to answer questions and talk about the sport we love.

Keep in mind – becoming successful member of BERG takes a lot more than just roller skating. We’re on the lookout for your potential on all fronts, both as an athlete and as a member of our league.

Special thanks to BERG skaters LakePUNCHaTramp, Bang Crosby, Lacy Underalls and Sadist Hawkins for being good sports about a post-scrimmage photo.

THE Sadist Hawkins

Where do YOU train?

Seriously- is where we do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Big Easy Rollergirl Try Outs!

Diet Choke right after 2009's fall tryouts

Diet Choke, this season, right after playing ROLLER DERBY!

This could be you!

All events to be held at Skate Country Westbank,
1100 Terry Parkway in Gretna.

Work on the fundamentals we'll want to see you do at try outs!
$15 cash fee (covers both clinic and tryouts)

  • Monday, September 26th 6:30*-8:30 pm
  • Monday, October 3rd, 6:30*-8:30 pm * doors open at 6:15 pm for registration

$10 cash fee

  • Saturday, Oct 8th 8:00* - 10:00 am * doors open at 7:45 am for registration

More details and FAQ's are posted here.

Choke as a fresh meat skater courtesy of Sally Asher.
Choke as a bad ass Wench courtesy of Allyson OKeefe.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

five things you don't about us: a list

written with love by A.C. SlayedHer

1. Peep this: at practice last night, Bang Crosby was my assist when I jammed. She cleared the OUTSIDE of the pack for me. She was the sandwich meat to my wonder bread. And I made it through (with NO major penalties)!

2. I could bench press 7,000 lbs
I think.

3. All Stars are going to KILL Alamo City on September 17th!
(See, BERG played Alamo City in the Governor's Cup Tournament at the very beginning of the
season in February. Score was 142-98 BERG! Talk about momentum!)

4. We're thinking about game play and strategy ALL THE TIME.
I'm looking at my WTFDA rule book that I keep in my skate bag right now. There's 84 pages in that! Confused about what you see during a bout sometimes? Check out this video from Bitchesbruze- you can see how Steel City delays the jam whistle from being called for 19 seconds, for starters.

We train all the time. During the last week's marsh fire, we trained inside my house. It was epic. I looked proudly at my sweaty teammates doing crunches, cardio, pushups, and burpees all over the house. When its not marsh-firing or tropical storming, we train in a warehouse (pictured below, at Diet Choke's birthday celebration).

It's huge and gnarly. And awesome. There's dirt and grime on the parts of the floor that we haven't scrubbed. Exposed sawed-off pipes. Katrina watermark. Disco ball. And a port-o-potty in the back for when we have to pee.

Have a great day!