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. Skaters often retake sessions multiple times based on skill, comfort level, and needs of the overall group.

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, but make sure to also join the Basic Training Yahoo group to receive the most updated information and announcements.

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

Our next 10-week session of Basic Training starts on September 16th and runs until December 9th. There is no practice on October 14th or November 25th. Classes meet on Saturday.

The cost for Basic Training for each level is $265 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.

Upcoming 2018 Schedule

Level 1 meets from 9am to 11am
Level 2 meets from 11am to 1pm
Level 3 meets from 1pm to 3pm


Saturdays January 20th - March 31st
*No practice February 17th


Saturdays April 7th - June 23rd
*No practice May 26th

What gear do I need?

Please visit Five Stride Skate Shop for all your skating needs. They are conveniently located mere blocks from our practice space and offer a 10% discount on start-up packages for skaters who have signed up for basic training. Make sure to visit them a few weeks in advance in case they need to put any items on order.

All participants are required to wear the following protective gear and cannot be on the track with any missing items:

  • 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 purchase insurance?

Yes. Participants must purchase WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) insurance, a high deductible supplemental insurance policy that is specifically for roller derby skaters, before the first day of class. The cost is $75. Please follow the purchasing instructions here.

WFTDA insurance has reciprocity agreements with MRDA, CRDi, RSC, Francis L Dean, and USARS insurance. If you have a current insurance policy with any one of those carriers you do not need to purchase WFTDA insurance.

Both GGRD and the WFTDA strongly recommend that skaters carry their own primary health insurance in addition to WFTDA insurance.

For more information, read the WFTDA insurance FAQs. 

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:

  • Join the Basic Training Yahoo group so you can get more info and reminders.
  • Reserve a spot in the session buy purchasing a ticket above.
  • An email with instructions will be sent a few days before class begins. You must fill out the online health form prior to your first practice.
  • Directions to our practice space, aka Crashpad, will be emailed to you upon payment through Universe 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 permitted to skate without it.
  • Come dressed to sweat and have lots of fun!

Any other questions? Contact