Derby Test Day

Posted on March 26, 2014 by

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I still remember my first roller derby test day. It was slightly unpleasant. Here are some tips for getting through yours in one piece.

  1. Know as much as possible about what you’re being asked to demonstrate. Will it be ticked off a form? If so, politely ask if you can see the form ahead of time. Most clubs will do a dry run the week before or will let you know as you go what parts will be tested vs those that won’t. If not, try asking for a dry run. Related to this, find a nice way of asking whether new club members are judged purely on skill or if it’s also a matter of “fit”. If the club is concerned with maintaining its culture, you might get just as much value from attending social events and making an effort to get to know existing members as you do from practicing on-skate skills.
  2. Rock up a bit earlier on test day. Make sure you’ve done an off skates warm up and have all your safety gear on before the start time. That way, you’ll have the full session to demonstrate everything you’ve learnt.
  3. During the testing, if you think the assessor looks uncertain, offer to demonstrate the skill again. Remember, they want you to pass!
  4. Try to follow instructions as quickly as possible on test day. The quicker you get through it, the more time will be left at the end for you to retry any areas that were a bit weak.
  5. In pace line drills, try to be in the first half of the line. The further back you go, the more emphasised acceleration and deceleration becomes, meaning you look less able to maintain/adjust your speed.
A beautiful fresh meat pace line

A beautiful fresh meat pace line

If you don’t get in, don’t cry your eyes out (like I did). Try the following instead:

  1. Volunteer to help out as a non-skating official – you’ll get to make networks and learn a shitload about the rules.
  2. Look up other clubs in the region and suss out when their intake is.
  3. Add all your new derby contacts on Facebook and organise to go skating with them as much as possible.
  4. Join a local learn-to-skate, skatefit or other kind of skating class. All forms of skating help your agility, fitness and on-skate comfort level.

If you have any other tips for getting through test day – or have any questions – pop them in the comment box below.

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Posted in: LimboLand