Next Tryouts: Watch for Details!
So, you’d like to become a Rat City Rollergirl?
The Rat City Rollergirls (RCRG), Seattle’s premiere roller derby league, are always 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. If you think you have what it takes, consider attending one of our tryouts to show us what you’ve got. Our tryouts are at our practice facility, and happen typically on a Saturday morning.
Rat City Rollergirls holds tryouts at least four times a year, dates are subject to change but tryouts generally occur every three months. The best way to keep track of upcoming tryouts is to watch our webiste, but you can also follow us on Twitter, friend us on Facebook, or subscribing to our e-newsletter, Derby little Secrets.
What type of time commitment does this take?
We’ll be honest; playing roller derby with the Rat City 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 three, 2-hour practices per week
- Maintain a minimum of ten hours of league committee work a month
- Provide timely payment of monthly league dues – $45 (dues subject to change)
- Provide timely payment of Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) insurance – $60 (for 12 months’ coverage, also subject to change)
- Wear proper safety gear (helmet, mouth guard, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards)
- Read and understand the official WFTDA derby rules
- Have and maintain current primary medical insurance
- Willingly adhere to the RCRG Skater Code of Conduct
- Have a ton of chutzpah, sweat, determination, and a nice smile
I play derby for another league. What do I do?
The Rat City Rollergirls have established a transfer process for skaters that are moving to the area from other roller derby leagues. If you are an experienced skater currently skating with another league, you may be eligible to transfer to Rat City rather than tryout. Please email email@example.com for specifics and to find out whether you qualify as a transfer skater.
Will I get hurt playing roller derby?
We typically say in roller derby that it’s not if you get hurt but when. However, the Rat City Rollergirls are constantly working to maintain a level of fitness that will keep us in the best shape possible and help prevent injuries. We encourage you to do the same! We are also sticklers for safety. You’re always required to wear your safety gear at tryouts and practices and are required to have primary health insurance in addition to purchasing secondary WFTDA insurance once you are chosen for the league. We’re huge supporters of cross-training and off-skates training. If you do get hurt, you’ll have an entire league to support you and help nurse you back to 100 percent health.
How do I get ready for tryouts?
There are several ways to prepare mentally and physically for tryouts:
Trail skate. There’s almost no end to the outdoor skating trails in Seattle, you just have to dodge the rain (and the occasional stroller). Try skating around Green Lake, or on the Burke-Gilman Trail, the Sammamish River Trail, or the Interurban Trail. Weather permitting; there are miles and miles of great outdoor trails as well. A near-comprehensive list can be found here or here.
Rink time. There are several rinks in the Seattle area that offer adult skate nights, fitness skates, and lessons. Check with your nearest rink for their schedules.
- Skate King: 2301 140th St. N.E., Bellevue; 425-641-2046
- Auburn Skate Connection: 1825 Howard Road, Auburn; 253-833-4990
- Lynnwood Skate N Bowl: 6210 200th St. S.W., Lynnwood; 425-778-3133
- Pattison’s West Skating Center: 34222 Pacific Highway S., Federal Way; 253-838-5788
- Everett Skate Deck: 9700 19th Ave. S.E., Everett; 425-337-0202
- Pattison’s South Skate N Fun Stop: 301 133rd St. S., Tacoma; 253-535-2251
- Southgate Roller Rink: 9646 17th Avenue SW, Seattle; 206-707-6949
Learn the Rules. Rat City Rollergirls play by Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rules. The rules can be downloaded here.
Watch a bout. Roller derby rules can be complex and simply reading them might not be enough – you’ll have to watch derby live at a Rat City Rollergirls bout and spot all of the rules in play. If you have questions, feel free to ask a rollergirl (not during the game, try the after party). Attending an RCRG bout will teach you more about our league and the sport of derby, and you’ll get a better idea of what derby is all about and whether it’s right for you.
Attend a camp. At Makin’ Bacon Derby Camp skaters will learn derby fundamentals and strategy they need to take their game to the next level, and will get a head start on fitness in preparation for fall tryouts.
Join a derby practice group. Join us at our Recreational Derby program or check out the PFM Practice Squad, an “independent, volunteer-run quad skating club dedicated to athleticism and roller derby education.” PFM is open to skaters of all skill levels, from beginning skater to seasoned derby pro, and is coached by members and coaches of local derby leagues.
Gear up. You are required to bring your own gear to RCRG tryouts (skates, knee pads, wrist guards, elbow pads, helmet, and mouth guard). Many local rollergirls head to Fast Girl Skates for their equipment. Fast Girl Skates is rollergirl-owned, and the first-ever brick and mortar store that specializes in roller derby gear.
- Register via our website, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org ***** Must Register by Noon on the Friday before *****
- Fill out the Tryout Questionnaire
- Consider attending a Rat City Rollergirl AllStar Boot Camp, Makin’ Bacon Summer Camp or skating with Seattle’s Potential Fresh Meat to prepare.
- We will also have some open practices before tryouts to view and attend.
Day of Tryouts:
- Report to our practice facility, the Rat’s Nest in Ballard, for registration at 9:30 a.m. on the day of tryouts.
- Please bring ALL of the following:
- Ten dollar tryout fee ($10.00 – CASH ONLY)
- Photocopied proof of current primary health insurance
- Photocopy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID
- A signed copy of the RCRG New Member Application
- A signed copy of the RCRG General Liability Waiver
- A signed copy of the WFTDA Liability Form
- Quad roller skates, a full set of properly fitting safety gear (helmet, mouth guard, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads) and athletic shoes.
- Rat City has now lowered our minimum age to 18. Because this is a new step for Rat City, the league asking that any 18-20 year olds who plan to try out provide RCRG with two letters of reference from coaches (preferably at least one from a coach), employers, or teachers.
What happens at Tryouts?
Each tryout session is individually tailored to the league’s needs at the time, but as a general rule Tryouts will include the following:
Open skate warm-up: This is to warm you up, but also to make sure everyone is clear on our minimum skills requirements. If you’re running into walls or endangering other skaters at tryouts, we’ll kindly ask you to brush up on your skills and come back next time.
Drills: Our coaches will conduct a series of skating drills. Captains and members of RCRG teams will be observing during the process. There may be anywhere from one to three cuts during this time to narrow the field so we can more closely focus on the remaining skaters.
Off Skates Testing: Coaches and Captains will conduct a series of off skates drills aimed at measuring plyometic and endurance abilities. Appropriate footwear is recommended.
Interviews: The handful of skaters who make the final cut will be asked to participate in short interviews with representatives from Rat City. The representatives will be looking to understand your schedule, your goals, whether you’d fit on the league, and whether you can make the time commitment necessary for the league.
What happens if I tryout and make it?
At each tryout, our league’s coaches and team captains will choose skaters whose drive, skills, and personality they think are a good fit for the Rat City Rollergirls. Rather than immediately being placed on one of our four home teams (Derby Liberation Front, Grave Danger, Sockit Wenches and Throttle Rockets), these new skaters will be placed in our Rat Lab.
This Rat Lab, usually comprised of about 20 or so up-and-coming skaters, will help ease new skaters into the whirlwind of derby. Our skilled coaches will help our Rat Lab skaters grow their fitness level, become more stable and skilled, and ensure they have the skills they need to be able to compete on one of RCRG’s home teams.
How do Rat Lab skaters get onto an RCRG home team?
Many skaters will eventually be drafted from the Rat Lab onto one of Rat City’s four home teams. However, this is not guaranteed and depends entirely on the dedication and drive of each athlete; some skaters may eventually be released from the Rat Lab. Home team drafts are scheduled to take place on a quarterly basis, but may happen more or less frequently depending on need.
What if I don’t make it at tryouts 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 if you aren’t chosen for the Rat Lab, keep working hard to prepare for the next one. Perseverance is also an important skill for a rollergirl! Don’t be discouraged, many current Rat City Rollergirls have tried out more than once.
If I have more questions, who do I ask?
Please feel free to send an email to email@example.com! Hope to see you on the track soon!