Basic Training

Gotham Girls Roller Derby's Basic Training is dedicated to training and developing roller derby skaters at all skill levels and providing opportunities to play roller derby without the commitment or skill level required to play roller derby at the national level. Our mission is to provide a fun, safe and competitive environment for all who participate.

Who can join?

Gotham Girls Basic Training is the place for anyone interested in learning the sport of roller derby, trying out for a derby league, interested in being a referee or just working on your skating and roller derby skills for overall fitness and fun. All skill levels are welcome!

How is it structured?

All Basic Training sessions are 10 weeks long and taught by experienced GGRD coaches and skaters. In weeks 9 and 10, a group evaluation will be administered to determine what levels to place skaters in the upcoming sessions. Depending on your skill and comfort level, skaters may retake a particular session.

Please note that if you are unable to attend one of the Skills Assessments you must sign up for Basic Training 1. Skaters may be moved up to a different level mid-session at the discretion of the GGRD coaches.

Basic Training Level 1

New to roller skating or roller derby? The Gotham Girls Basic Training Level 1 is for you! No previous skating skills are required; however, you must be able to make it around the track without holding on to walls or people. Level 1 will teach you the fundamentals of skating to ensure that it is safe for you to start making contact. Practices will cover basic skating skills, land drills for general fitness, and introductory roller derby skills. Women and men are welcome at these practices. In weeks 9 and 10, a group evaluation will be administered to determine what levels to place skaters in the upcoming sessions.

Basic Training Level 2

Ready to make contact?  Let's go to Level 2!  Basic Training Level 2 is for women and men whose basic skating skills -- form, crossovers, stops, starts, and safe falls -- are already strong and who are ready to add some contact. Practices will build on the form drills in taught in Level 1, and introduce roller derby contact, gameplay, and scrimmage style drills. In weeks 9 and 10, a group evaluation will be administered to determine what levels to place skaters in the upcoming sessions.

Basic Training Level 3

Ready to play some roller derby?  Scrimmage in Level 3!  Basic Training Level 3 focuses on improving your skills in game scenarios. Level 3 is structured to provide a mix of skill drills, game scenarios and scrimmaging for those skaters who enjoy the thrill of roller derby. This is a 10 week program for women only.  In order to sign up for this class, you must have previously taken a GGRD Basic Training Level 2 class and been cleared for Basic Training 3.

Where can I sign up?

Tickets will be available for purchase on this page when available.

You can also join the Basic Training Yahoo group so you can get more info and reminders.

What are the session dates and times? How much does it cost?

Our next 10-week session of Basic Training starts on April 1st and runs until June 27th. Classes meet on Saturday.

The cost for Basic Training for each levels is $250 per 10-week session. There are no drop-ins or partial sessions; you must sign up for the entire 10 weeks. 

Sessions may be canceled and participants' money refunded if there are not enough people signed up for a particular level.


Basic Training Level 1
Saturdays April 1st - June 10th
*No practice Memorial Day Weekend 5/27
Time: 9am - 11am
Buy Level 1 Ticket
Basic Training Level 2
Saturdays April 1st - June 10th
*No practice Memorial Day Weekend 5/27
Time: 11am - 1pm
Buy Level 2 Ticket
Basic Training Level 3**
Saturdays April 1st - June 10th
*No practice Memorial Day Weekend 5/27
Time: 1pm - 3pm
(**Only for skaters who have completed Level 2 and passed an assessment to be scrimmage ready.)
Buy Level 3 Ticket

What gear do I need?

All participants are required to wear all of the following protective gear. For info on where to buy, please see the “Equipment” document in the Files section of the Yahoo Group.

  • Helmet
  • Wrist guards
  • Elbow pads
  • Kneepads
  • Mouth guard
  • 4 wheel (quad) roller skates
  • Athletic sneakers

What else should I bring? What should I wear?

Bring a big water bottle. We don’t have a water fountain but our drinking water is fantastic. You should also come dressed in layers as the climate control at the warehouse is unpredictable. Also come dressed to work out -- no tight jeans, short skirts or anything that restricts movement.

Do I have to present proof of insurance?

Yes. All participants must provide proof of insurance on the first day of class. 

  • WFTDA insurance is required, it is purchased separately on the WFTDA site for $70.
  • Primary Health insurance is strongly encouraged.

Instructions for skaters purchasing WFTDA insurance for the first time: 

  1. Go to:  
  2. Enter your league name (if your league is not listed, please do not proceed, contact WFTDA Insurance at, legal name, skater (derby) name, and email address. Your email address will become your user ID
  3. Click the Submit button
  4. An email will be sent to you immediately with a password link. You will need that password in order to complete your insurance purchase (on the page after you hit the "submit" button)
  5. Use the email to log in (
  6. Enter the information you are prompted for and click submit
  7. Enter your payment method and billing address, then scroll down and read the liability waiver
  8. Continue scrolling down and enter the additional information you are prompted for, including your password
  9. Click the Submit button. Your insurance coverage will be confirmed immediately upon completing the online enrollment process
  10. You may log in at any time to verify your insurance ID by going to, upon signing in, go to your profile page

Can my boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, or pet ferret watch?

Sorry, but no spectators are allowed. If you're in the Crashpad, you are on skates and kicking butt!

Great! I’m ready! What next?

Here's what to do:

  • Reserve a spot in the session buy purchasing a ticket above.
  • Join the Basic Training yahoo group here so you can get more info and reminders:
  • Read the Equipment doc and the FAQs located in the files section.
  • Print out the Registration packet (in the files section) – fill it out and bring it with you for your first session.
  • Directions to our warehouse, aka the Crashpad 2, will be emailed to you upon payment through Brown Paper Tickets. (For reference, we are in East Williamsburg near the Montrose Ave stop on the L train.)
  • Double check that you have all your gear including your mouth guard. You will not be able to skate without it.
  • Come dressed to sweat and have lots of fun!

Any other questions? Contact