Rockin' Since 2012
Rockin’ City is a skater owned and operated, modern flat track roller derby league based out of Round Rock, Texas. Rockin’ City was founded in September, 2012 when a handful of dedicated and skilled skaters teamed up to share their passion for roller derby with North Austin and the surrounding areas.
We are a diverse group of folks from all walks of life. We follow the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rule set, and in November 2013, we were welcomed as a WFTDA apprentice league. Less than a year later, we were invited to be a full WFTDA member league. In 2016 we added a second bouting team. We introduced our Junior Roller Derby division, which started in March 2014, and eventually became a bouting team called the Rockin’ City Rebels.
Want to know more about Rockin’ City and roller derby?
Roller derby has a proud and extensive past that has made the present game unique, intense, and empowering for individuals around the world! We want to share the love of roller derby with individuals of all ages. If you cannot find an answer to a question you have, please feel free to contact us!
How did roller derby get started?
Can you believe roller derby started in 1935? When a sports promoter named Leo Seltzer invented roller derby, it was originally a cross country sport where skaters would circle the track over and over to simulate a cross country race. One of the exciting aspects for the crowd was when collisions between skaters occurred. Damon Runyon persuaded Leo Seltzer to change the rules to combine more contact creating a new and unique sport, roller derby. Roller derby eventually sizzled out and ended in the 1970’s. Lucky for all of us, in the early 2000s, the Texas Rollergirls began the modern revival of flat track roller derby. In 2003, approximately 80% of the skaters left that organization to form a flat track league- the Texas Rollergirls, while the remaining skaters recruited new members to form a banked track league- TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls. The sport of roller derby blew up across the U.S after that.
Two years ago, there was estimated to be over 450 leagues worldwide. We are ecstatic to be continuing the legacy by creating a North Austin/Round Rock roller derby league.
How do you play roller derby?
Interested in playing with Rockin’ City, a Round Rock roller derby league? Awesome, let us tell you how to play! A roller derby game is called a ”bout.” Each bout consists of either 4- 15 minute or 2- 30 minute periods. The two teams playing against each other in the bout have 12-14 players. There are 5 players from each team on the track for 2-minute time periods called “jams.” The teams skate as many jams as they can until time runs out in the period.
- 1 jammer: skater marked by a star on her helmet, races around the track in an effort to lap the opposing jammer and other skaters.
- 1 pivot: skater marked by the stripe across the top of her helmet, controls the pace of the skaters in the pack by staying at the front
- 3 blockers: use body blocks and strategies to keep the opposing team’s jammer from passing while also helping their own jammer to get through the pack
The pivots and blockers make up the “pack.” The jammer is the only player who can score points. Each team’s jammer gets a point every time the jammer passes one of the opposing team’s players. To start a jam, the first whistle is blown and everyone in the pack starts to skate. The second whistle is blown and the jammers take off. Each teams pack not only has to prevent the opposite teams jammer from getting past them, but also assist their own jammer through the pack. This is done by working with your team and doing anything from positionally body blocking to body chucking them off the track. That’s part of the fun! Once the jammers hit the back of the pack for the second time, they are able to score points. The team with the most points at the end wins!
What gear do I need to play roller derby?
The required gear that you need to play roller derby is a Helmet, Mouth Guard, Wrist guards, Elbow pads, Knee pads and, of course, quad skates.
How do I prepare to join a roller derby league?
For many aspiring women who want to join roller derby league, the tryout process can be fairly nerve wracking. There’s always the worry that even if they make the team, they won’t actually be able to play roller derby at the level expected of them. And if they don’t make the team, what then? Will they be able to play derby at all?
Many leagues are taking these fears into account, and developing options for skaters who are completely new, but love the sport, and opportunities for skaters who are ready to play on a team, but aren’t up to the skill level required quite yet. Recreational leagues, B-teams, and small area leagues are great options for skaters who are ready to join roller derby teams, regardless of their current ability level. If you’re planning to try out for a local team, here are a few things you can do to prepare to play roller derby on a league level:
Get to know your team – Playing roller derby as a team isn’t just about being able to skate, hit, or take a hit. It’s about knowing how to play as a group, and knowing the capabilities of your teammates. It’s important to know who can take or give a whip, who can sweep opposing blockers aside, and who has a hard time breaking through the pack. By knowing your teammate’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s possible to start building up a toolbox of plays you can use when it’s bout time.
Find your own weaknesses – Before you join roller derby as a league player, try to watch as many bouts as possible. What do they do that you’re not capable of doing yet? Make a point to try the things that intimidate you. Make goals for yourself that when you play roller derby on your team, you’ll be able to meet those very specific goals. They’ll keep evolving, too. As soon as you’ve mastered one, use it regularly, and then add onto it
Try Not to Doubt Yourself – So many women love to play roller derby because it’s so good for confidence levels. The way you build your confidence level is by tackling what you’re afraid of in the first place. If you think you’re not good enough to play with the team, you’ll justify your mistakes, and take less risk. Instead, worry less that you’re not good enough, and think a bit harder about how you’re going to get better. If you’re slow, build up strength and skate faster. Having trouble breaking through the pack? Enlist some teammates and ask them to practice wedging drills with you until you react immediately when you hit a wall. Remember, there’s no skill you can’t master and no technique you can’t devise your own version of with enough practice. If something isn’t working for you, practice it until you get it, or find another solution that’s all your own.
Understand the Rules – This can be daunting, and may even discourage some who want to play roller derby under the WFTDA flat track rules. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it. Learn the rules, and you’ll be a better player for it. Refs and coaches do not appreciate disrespectful players. Getting called out for a penalty you didn’t even know existed will only embarrass you and your teammates. Play it safe, and read the rule book.
How old do I need to be to play for Rockin' City?
For our adult league you must be 18 years or older. To sign up for the Junior Roller Derby, boys and girls must be between the ages of 6-17. No worries, the 6 yr. olds do not play the 17 yr. olds, and the level of contact is dependent on age, among other things. Check out our Jr. Derby page for more information on session prices and dates, or if you are over the age of 18, please contact us through our “Contact” page to request more information concerning joining in on a practice:
What rule set does Rockin' City play under?
We currently play under the WFTDA ruleset, and recently was invited into the WFTDA apprentice program in November 2013. We graduated to full WTFDA membership in September 2014. To learn more about the WFTDA ruleset, please visit www.wftda.com/rules. Also, check out their website for more information on the Woman Flat Track Derby Association.
What if I've never skated before or haven't skated since childhood?
That is a’ok! We will train everyone who has the dedication and drive to skate with Rockin’ City. We have an awesome, patient training team that will help you get ready to be a badass blocker or a lead jammer. We practice bi-weekly, as well as skate outside of practices to get you up to speed in no time.