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Freshmeat

1. How do I join Helsinki Roller Derby?
Helsinki Roller Derby holds a Freshmeat Training Program (FTP) twice a year. FTP lasts approximately 3 months and in that time you learn all the basic skills that you need to lay the foundation of your roller derby career. The timing of our FTPs varies so to find out when the next one is being planned you can send us an e-mail to freshmeat@helsinkirollerderby.com or keep your eyes glued to our Facebook page and website. To join the FTP you must be 16 years of age or older. Our juniors are 10 to 17 year old; if you are 16 or 17 years old, you can decide whether you want to practise with the juniors or with the adults.

Before each FTP, we also arrange Open Skate sessions, where you can try on quad skates and other roller derby gear under experienced skaters’ supervision. We advertise Open Skate sessions on our website and on Facebook.

Warming up

2. How much does FTP cost?
FTP costs 120 € and it is to be paid before the first FTP -session.

3. Do I have to have my own equipment for FTP?

Yes, you will need to have your own equipment for FTP. The obligatory equipment includes quad skates (no inlines are allowed!), helmet, mouth guard, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards.

gears

4. Once I start FTP, when do I get to play roller derby?

Already during the FTP you will be doing some non-contact pre-gaming drills. You will get to participate in scrimmages as a player, once you have passed your WFTDA minimum skills test at the end of FTP. Don’t worry, FTP is designed to prepare all of our new skaters for this test. The test is regulated by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.

5. What if I don’t pass my WFTDA minimum skills test?

Don’t worry! Skaters who fail their WFTDA minimum skills tests, will get to try again in a couple of months’  time. Meanwhile you can attend our all league skating practices and also scrimmages as a non-skating official. Also, HRD trainers will always give feedback and tell you what it is that you need to work on – we want to see every FTP skater succeed and move on to the next level!

6. If I have just missed an FTP, how can I get involved?
You can join Team Officials! HRD is always looking for referees and NSOs (non-skating officials) and there are no tryouts for these positions. The officials have a slower-paced training program that runs throughout the year, the time commitment for the officials is not as big, and female officials always have the option of trying out for the league later, when the next FTP comes up. To find out more about officiating, please contact ref@helsinkirollerderby.com. If you’re interested in NSOing, please contact nso@helsinkirollerderby.com.

You can also volunteer. We always need people to help out with various tasks such as, but not limited to, bout production, announcing, fundrasing, and general running the league. If you’re interested, please contact info@helsinkirollerderby.com.

7. I don’t want to skate, how can I get involved?
You can join Team Officials! HRD is always looking for NSOs (non-skating officials) and there are no tryouts for these positions. The referees have a slower-paced training program that runs throughout the year, the time commitment for the officials is not as big, and female referees always have the option of trying out for the league later, when the next FTP comes up. If you’re interested in NSOing, please contact nso@helsinkirollerderby.com.

You can also volunteer. We always need people to help out with various tasks such as, but not limited to, bout production, announcing, fundrasing, and general running the league. If you’re interested, please contact info@helsinkirollerderby.com.

Referees and NSOs work as a team. Photo by Marko Niemelä.

8. I’m a dude, can I get involved with roller derby?
Sure! Our freshmeat training period is open to everyone (over 18 year old). However, since Helsinki Roller Derby is a Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association (WFTDA) member and this means that currently we only have female skaters on our competitive teams*.  However, men are absolutely welcome to HRD in other capacities! Most of the men that are currently in our league are members of Team Zebra or as coaches but if refereeing doesn’t feel like your cup of tea, then send us an e-mail at info@helsinkirollerderby.com telling us about yourself and we’ll find something for you to do!
There are two men’s leagues at the moment: Tampere Rollin’ Bros and Kouvola Block’n’Trollers.  Mens Team Finland is also training actively atm.

*read more about the WFTDA gender policy here!

This post is also available in: Finnish