Roller Derby 101

So you want to watch some roller derby...

Welcome, friends and family of derby skaters, refs, NSOs, and fans! We put together this FAQ for anyone who wants to come to their first bout, but also wants to know what the frick is happening (don't worry; we've all been there).

Photo by M. F. Shick

Photo by M. F. Shick

Q: What is Roller Derby??

A: Roller derby is a full contact sport, rostered by a diverse group of people of all ages, shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, and genders. Its all about expressing individuality and finding your inner strengths!

Q: That sounds awesome! but what are the rules? How is it played?

A: Each team fields the track with up to 5 players - 4 blockers and 1 jammer. The goal is to get your jammer through the pack of blockers and stop the other jammer from scoring points. For every person on the other team that the jammer passes, they score 1 point. Here is a Roller Derby 101 Video if you're more of a visual learner.

Q: OMG I'm in! How much does it cost?

A: YAY! Depends on when you'd like to enter the rink and if you want to pre-purchase your tickets online or wait until the day of...

  • Kids Ticket (ages 7-12): $6 online / $8 at the door
  • GA Ticket (7:00 entry): $10 online / $12 at the door
  • VIP Ticket (6:30 entry): $15 online / $17 at the door

Q: Great! Where are your bouts?

A: Most of our home bouts are at Redwood Roller Rink, a super retro roller rink located at 1303 Main Street in Redwood City, nestled between the dog park and a car wash.


Q: What time should I arrive?

A: As of our 2017 season, our doors open for VIP entry at 6:30. VIP is a few dollars more and gives you an opportunity to stake out a good spot to watch from! If you don't want to splurge on VIP entry the GA doors open at 7:00. The bout starts at 8:00pm. 

Q: What should I bring?

A: Things to bring:

  • A good attitude
  • Some face paint
  • Some rally gear
  • Some cash if you want to buy raffle tickets
  • Your ID if you want to drink

If you need a place to sit you can bring a beach/tailgating/camping chair or get to the bout early enough that you can snag one of the foldout chairs or a spot on the bleachers. Some of the best views are actually in standing sections, though, so don't stress about seating. 

Q: Is there food/alcohol?

A: Hell yes! Beer, wine and and snacks for purchase inside the rink. We also have a food truck parked outside if you want something more substantial! Oh, Kara's Cupcakes slings her sweet #nomz-worthy desserts in the rink as well. No outside food (except from the food truck) will be allowed in the rink.

Q: Do you have team colors?

A: The Psychopathogens are olive green and red. Damas De Los Muertos are teal and black. Check out the roster, pick your favorite derby player and dress accordingly <3.

Photo by David P Discher

Photo by David P Discher

Photo by David P Discher

Photo by David P Discher

Q: Oh no! I have nothing to wear in my favorite team's colors!!!

A: Chill, we've got you covered! Swing by our awesome merch table and pick up some swag <3

Q: How do you come up with your alter-ego derby names?

A: Every player has their own unique story... feel free to ask them about it after the game if you're curious!

Q: Is there a lot of violence?

A: Its actually less "violent" than it is "aggressive". Its def a full contact sport. Players--including your favorite derby player--will be hit off the track. They will have the wind knocked out of them. They will come away from the bout with bruises. But no one is punching each other in the face or doing anything unsportsmanlike. But don't worry--we are stronger and tougher than we think we are. 

Q: What are we doing after?

We like how you think, friend! There is a Peninsula Roller Girls after party right across the street at Main + Elm. Everyone is welcome to join!

Ready to become a derby fan? Check out our full schedule here! Have additional questions you need answered to feel prepped and ready to attend your first bout? Ask them in the comments below!