- Rules manual
- Drills and coach training plans
- Minimum Skills file
- Rules Test
- Password and website log ins
- Useful websites
It can sometimes be difficult for
us out here in China to access certain websites such as Facebook, Youtube,
multiple types of blogs, and anything that takes their censorship fancy...we
are lucky to have VPNs most of the time, however it doesn’t stop us from
downloading everything derby related and squirreling away offline copies just
incase we lose that access.
So we fully recommend keeping copies, either offline, or hard copies.
Now, onto the very exciting policy manual!
If you were just a skater before setting up your own league, you may have only
briefly glanced at your previous league's policy manual or signed the section
titled 'skater's code of conduct.'
However, now that you are setting up your own league, a policy manual would be
very helpful for you.
What is a policy manual? Well it is a collection of documents that define your
policies, procedures and rules which will be very useful to help you run your
league. Your policy manual can come in any form, but it's always best to have
both print and offline/online copies. Having a policy manual can save a lot of
time should you hand over the league to new directors in the future, and can
also be given to skaters and committees to help keep everyone organized!
It can include:
- A welcome page and league introduction
- Membership overview and requirements (are over 18,
pay for own equipment, work towards minimum requirements, dues, attendance
- Meetings (If planning to hold regular meetings that
skaters/directors are expected to attend.)
- Board of directors (their role descriptions and
- Committees (The different committees and their
- Code of conduct for skaters and coaches
(Contracts to be signed)
- Safety policy (the leagues responsibilities and the
At BRD, we follow a dues free policy, and have no requirements on attendance.
The reasoning behind our decision is that in Beijing it can be difficult enough explaining
the sport let alone recruit skaters, and many of our skaters have to make
regular business trips, so we are willing to accommodate those skaters. However
with the planned creation of our travel-team to take on the likes of Shanghai and Hong Kong,
we will expect a certain level of attendance from our travel-team players.
You can find a list of links to policy manual resources at the end of the
Onto the dreaded question "Where can we skate??"
Many teams struggle with this even in countries such as the UK and the US, where roller derby is an
When setting up a league overseas you may have to work with some difficult
environments, such as sandstorms,
flooding, and maybe even year round snow!
For those of you that live in a trickier climate, you may have to get a bit inventive,
contact absolutely everybody, schools, churches, inside garages, gymnasiums and
places that you wouldn’t usually consider skating. Consider asking local expat
sports groups where they practice and how they managed it.
But remember, as long as you have some flat smooth ground, you are ready to go.
Even if the space is small, you can still practice skating techniques, at least
until you find a bigger venue.
We've have heard about a team skating on a garage rooftop!
You may also have cultural difficulties, in some countries there may be
clothing requirements, amongst others, that are expected of women, and even an
entirely different set of expectations for women participating in a sport.
Please make sure that you read up on the cultural norms and expectations, roller
derby can be a very supportive sport for women around the globe, it just needs
a push to get up and skating. So be respectful and responsible when setting up
A top tip... when trying out venue spaces that you feel might be against you
skating in their premises, it may be worth just mentioning you are a local
sports group and you want to test out the space, you don’t have to mention that
you will be skating. Bring along your skates and demonstrate that they don’t
tear up the floors and leave trails of fire behind you. Sometimes you just need
to get that skate in the door. Venue owners, who might deny you a venue visit
after hearing you’re bringing skates, may change their minds after seeing a
Below is a template example of our 'Beijing Roller Derby Needs a Home' letter,
written by our venue committee that we are currently sending out to gymnasiums.
The extreme condition we have to deal with is the pollution, so we are
desperately looking for inside spaces to skate.
“Dear (insert business name),
As members of the ________ league we're writing you to inquire about potential
space you may have for our practices. We started the league in _______
and have been practicing every ______ at ________. However, we're
looking for an indoor venue to hold practices.
We've heard from some other local
teams that they've managed to work with schools to use their gymnasiums as
practice space and, as most roller derby teams in the US, Europe and Asia
also use gymnasiums, which would be our top choice. Do you have
indoor sports space available and are you willing to rent it out on ________?
If not on a regular basis, do you have an indoor space that could be used once
or twice a month?
The _______ League was started by
______and has grown in just _____ months/years to be over ____ people.
We're made up of (adult) men and women from all over the world
working/studying in Beijing
and have come together over a common love of
roller derby. Roller Derby,
while still a little known game, is the fastest growing sport in popularity in
(Specific to our league)
Beijing Roller Derby (BRD) is Beijing’s very own
flat track roller derby league, dedicated to bringing the rapidly growing sport
of roller derby, to China.
BRD has been gathering interest from the local media and internationally around
the world. Our league is skater owned and run, proud to support and encourage
women in China
to take part in an athletic, fast-paced, hard hitting sport.
(Specific to our league)
We are the first team in Beijing and the second
Teams have popped up in Seoul, Shanghai
and Hong Kong and it's only just beginning to gain momentum in Asia.
We don't want to make you read
too much before we talk but it's really a fantastic sport and we would love to
tell you all about it! You can reach us via email _________ or
phone_________ at any time. If this is the wrong contact for venue space
we would really appreciate you forwarding our email along.
(Name of your League)
One of the biggest struggles that we have here in China, and other international
teams have, is getting kit. Your skates and pads. In China, we have to ship in our gear,
and that obviously costs a lot of money.
There are a few different options
available, you may want to look into sponsorship (something we will visit in a
later article) from a business that is willing to help provide your kit, or at
least donate towards the cost or shipping.
Ask for league donations from leagues all around the
world who might be upgrading their loan kit, or have got spare sets of knee
pads knocking around, and if you're lucky, skates!
Make use of those friend and family visits, ask them to bring kit with them.
Get to know your countries local online marketplaces, similar to the likes of
ebay. Here in China
we have 'Taobao' which is basically a copy of Ebay, but we have been suprised
to find skates for sale on the website, just yet to order from it. You never
know what you might find in your country, if you are new to the country ask a
local friend to help you, and better yet help with the translation if you
haven't learned the local lingo.
When shipping in, please please double check those orders! Measure your feet,
knees, elbows and your head, don't second guess your sizes, nobody likes to
send back their skates and wait weeks for them to arrive again.
It's also a good idea to order in bulk, and for your newbies to order skate
packages, many websites offer discounts for bulk purchases, and skate packages
can sometimes be cheaper than putting together all the kit yourself.
It's also worth suggesting to your team, that if they are buying brand new kit,
it is better in the long run buying the more expensive safety equipment as the
cheaper stuff is more likely to wear down and break quicker. It can be a pain
in the butt having to reorder gear when you live abroad because of how long
those orders take to arrive, so save yourself the hassle and if you can afford
to, invest in well made safety equipment, it will save you money in the long
If you also have to ship in mouth guards, it's worth noting that many people
buy child sizes. I used to struggle with my mouth guard before somebody
recommended that I try a child size, and it was perfect! You can also cut down
the back edges of your mouth guard if they are rubbing or causing pain, if
there aren't many other choices for sale where you are.
What can you do whilst waiting for that kit to arrive? Off-skates training!
There are plenty of websites that offer off-skate derby training, not having
your wheels yet is no excuse.
Finally, there is good ol' sock derby, which is exactly what it sounds
like. You can run through the rules and strategy at a slower pace, which can
actually be quite useful for your newbies.