How do you play derby?
Check out the Rules of Roller Derby page.
Who does the league belong to?
MTLRD is a non-profit organization. It is managed by its members: the players, the referees, the coaches, the announcers, the volunteers. The league is run “by the players, for the players.” All proceeds that are raised thanks to ticket sales, merchandise, refreshments or during special events are used to organize future matches, rent the practice space and finance away games.
In 2008, MTLRD became part of the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association), which is also a non-profit organization. The WFTDA has more than 130 member leagues located throughout North America, Europe and now Australia.
What are the differences between the MTLRD teams?
There are three home teams that are part of MTLRD: La Racaille, Les Filles du Roi and Les Contrabanditas. The international team that represents MTLRD in games sanctioned by the WFTDA is called “New Skids on the Block”. The inter-league B team, the Montréal Sexpos, is the Skids’ farm team. They also play against outside teams. Finally, new recruits are grouped together in the Smash Squad” until they are selected by a home team.
When and where can we see a bout in Montreal?
The season begins with Beast of the East at the end of April. It’s a large tournament where the MTLRD home teams along with other leagues from Canada and Eastern United States compete.
The home season lasts from May until the beginning of August.
Saturday bouts are held at the Arena Saint-Louis (5633 Saint-Dominique, Montreal) while bouts that take place Tuesday nights are held at a smaller venue, the Taz (8931 Papineau, Montreal).
Whatever happened to the banked track with the rails?
It is still used in certain leagues, but modern roller derby is played on a flat track. The revival occurred in 2000 in Austin, Texas. The “Texas Rollergirls” are still very active and highly ranked. We use a flat track mostly because of the costs related to the installation and maintenance of a banked track. A flat track can be installed anywhere as long as the dimensions conform to regulations.
Where can we purchase tickets for a bout?
Tickets are available via our website and at the following locations:
Neon Skates (77 Bernard West, Montreal)
Sound Central (4486 Coloniale, Montreal)
X20 (3456 Saint-Denis, Montreal)
If the bout isn’t sold out (which is very rare), tickets are also available on location the day of a bout when the ticket booth opens.
What are the track’s dimensions?
The exterior circumference is 248.5 feet, while the interior circumference is 136.5 feet. It’s a sport that originated in the United States, thus the use of U.S. measurements.
Can the sport be played using in-line skates?
No. Every player must wear “quad” style skates. In Montreal, Neon Skates is the location of choice for players who want to purchase equipment.
Can men play?
There are several men’s teams in the United States. In the last few months, Montreal has also had a male team, the “Mont-Royals”. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
How old do players have to be?
MTLRD players have to be at least 18 years old.
There is also a group of junior players, from 12 to 17. You can get more information on their Facebook group.
What do players wear in terms of safety equipment?
The mandatory equipment consists of a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads, knee pads and a mouth guard.
Do injuries occur frequently?
Unfortunately yes, as in any contact sport. The most common injuries include knee injuries, shoulder dislocations and concussions. MTLRD prides itself in properly training its players in order to minimize the risks of injuries.
Are fights staged?
There are no fights (players who fight are expelled) nor is there any staging. Those elements belong to the legend surrounding the 1970s version of our sport. Modern derby is 100% legitimate and contacts are highly regulated.
So you can’t clothesline anyone?
Which blocks are legal?
Players can use their shoulders, hips and torso. Players can make contact anywhere above the thighs and below the neck, except in the back.
Do all players score points?
No, only jammers can score points for their team. You can spot the jammer by the star she wears on her helmet. The other players are blockers and form the pack. They must help their jammer skate through the pack while trying to prevent the opposing jammer from doing the same. No points are scored during the initial pass through the pack because this is when the lead jammer is designated. Points are scored starting at the second pass through the pack. Each jammer scores one point whenever she legally passes an opposing blocker.
Why would the lead jammer want to stop the jam?
Being lead jammer means the player has a very important strategic control over the jam. The lead jammer will usually choose to stop the jam when she has scored points and the other jammer has scored none, or fewer, in order to finish the jam with more points than the opposing team.
What happens when both jammers are in the penalty box?
Scenario: Jammer A commits a major penalty and is issued a one-minute penalty. She goes to the penalty box. During this minute, jammer B also commits a major penalty and must also go to the penalty box. When jammer B sits in the box, jammer A can immediately go back on track, even if she hasn’t spent a full minute in the box. Jammer B will remain in the penalty box the same amount of time as jammer A, which will be less than a minute.
Is there a maximum number of penalties a player can receive during a match?
Yes. When a player receives a 7th minute of penalty, she is expelled from the match.
What is the pivot’s role?
The pivot wears a stripe on her helmet. Her role usually consists in guiding her team’s blockers. She is also the only player who can replace the jammer if the latter so chooses. In this case, the jammer must pass the star (her helmet cover) to the pivot who must wear it over her helmet to score points. However, the status of lead jammer cannot be transferred.
Does the film Whip It accurately represent modern roller derby?
Even though the film has greatly helped popularize the sport, it includes several fictional elements. Most of the spectacular hits you see in the movie are in fact illegal. The track itself is not banked anymore. However, the camaraderie depicted is real. Players form one big family.
How often do players train?
Players part of the home teams and the Smash Squad train two to three times a week, depending on the time of the year. Sexpos train once a week and New Skids on the Block train four times. Add the committees, events and more and you’ll see that roller derby is very time consuming! It’s often considered a lifestyle.
Why are there so many referees during a match?
The pace is very quick, so we need a whole army of referees and officials. During a match, there are seven referees and 15 NSOs (non-skating official). All the tasks must be executed very quickly and simultaneously. Inside the track, officials watch the pack and the jammers, track the penalties and manage the official time. Outside the track, officials also watch the pack and the jammers, keep track and display the score, manage the penalty box. If this interests you, we need you!
What are the qualifications necessary to join the league?
There are no precise requirements. Some players have played in many sports, others none. However, you must know how to skate and own your own equipment to participate in the boot camp. This is when new recruits are chosen every year. The only thing that you really need is the will to dedicate several hours a week to the sport and the motivation to do it with passion.