The Rainy City Roller Girls are an established all-female full contact roller derby league. Founded in Greater Manchester in 2008, we have gone from strength to strength, bouting regularly against the top teams in the UK. In September 2011, we opened a training and bouting venue in Oldham, The Thunderdome, and have since developed strong links with the town, and the sports and physical activity organisations in the community.
As a contact sport, with a ‘street’ or ‘urban’ culture, we attract women who are not traditionally ‘sporty’… Meet the team on our Player Profiles page, and check out our Referees & Officials too. Even better, why not come and meet us at one of our upcoming events…
As an Apprentice affiliate of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), we join the ranks of more than 100 all-female, skater-owned-and-operated leagues nationwide that have united to lead the growing sport of women’s flat track roller derby.
We are tremendously excited and honoured to be members of the UKRDA, and are committed to working with other leagues to champion our sport, and to spread a positive message about Roller Derby far and wide.
What Exactly Is Roller Derby?
Roller Derby is integrated into the British Roller Sports Federation and is one of the fastest growing all-girl contact sports in the UK. It’s fierce, feisty, fast paced and fun! We have women from all walks of life on our team, the sport is wholly inclusive and wildly addictive.
Two teams of 5 skaters battle it out for position over a series of “jams” which last up to 2 minutes. Four “blockers” on each team and one “jammer”. The jammer’s job is to score points. After her initial pass through the “pack” of blockers, a jammer will score one point each time she passes a member of the opposing team. The blockers attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer — playing both offense and defence simultaneously.
A bout is played over two 30 minute periods, and is regulated by no less than 7 referees who call penalties on skaters who break the rules. Examples of common offences are skating out of the track boundary or initiating an illegal block by using elbows or forearms. If a skater commits a major offence, they will be sent to the “Sin Bin” usually for one minute. If a jammer gets sent off, then her team are at a serious disadvantage, as the opposing jammer can potentially score heavily while she watches helplessly from the box.
The game ends after the period clock runs out, and the team with the most points wins.
The rules are goverened by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) you can download the latest ruleset from their website.
We are funded entirely by the skaters who are members of our league. The money they pay to skate covers our rent and running costs. We are not-for-profit, so any money we make from membership fees, ticket sales, merchandise, refreshments goes directly back into the club. All of the work that goes into the club is carried out by the skaters on a voluntary basis, from coaching and training, organising bouts, designing posters and advertising, to administrating the accounts and paying the bills. The renovations we made to the new venue were costly, and we still have a lot to do, so we are looking for ways to promote our sport and encourage support from the local community.
Having our own training and bouting venue in Oldham is just amazing for our league, but we hope to create more than that in the future. Somewhere for people to come, skate every discipline, and encourage sports and activity in Oldham. We’d like to host events where local people and families can come and skate together. Our training committee and advanced skaters in our league can even provide roller skating lessons. We still have lots to do to get the venue looking good, but it’s getting there, and with the support of the local community, we aim to bring a wealth of positivity to Oldham.
Vision For The Future
Our vision for the future is to be among the best in Europe. We have a wealth of experience among our ranks, including 2011-2012 Team England squad players Missy Rascal and Dee-Mise. We are incredibly lucky to have a two extremely talented coaches U-Go-Boss and Karl Lagerfilled, plus an impeccable Referee/Officiating crew, headed up by Head Referee Matt the Knife. These amazing people help us become better skaters and grow as a team. We believe that by working together and constantly developing ourselves and our team, that we can achieve our dream.
We are always looking for ways to grow our league, and make the opportunity to learn to play roller derby accessible to more people. We encourage anyone who wants to give roller derby a try to come along to our New Skaters session, held every Monday, 7:30pm – 9:30pm. In addition to the game itself, we also provide coaching and officiating opportunities for both male and female skaters. Male skaters who want to try roller derby can train with us on a Monday, with a view to joining our brother league, Knights of Oldham, and independent men’s roller derby league also based at The Thunderdome.
We also run training bootcamps and private coaching sessions for both skaters and referees, to help newer leagues grow and develop.
To find our more, get in touch!
About the WFTDA
The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the governing body for women’s flat-track roller derby, and a membership organization for the leagues to collaborate and network. The organization created and maintained the first standardized ruleset for the flat-track game. The WFTDA also serves as the sanctioning body for games, hosts tournaments, sets safety standards and provides insurance to athletes and leagues. There are currently 138 WFTDA member leagues and more than 75 apprentice leagues in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.
Many people help us to create and promote our brand, and we’d like to give special thanks to Michael at Really! Web Design, and our photographers, Mark Sanderson at Whiteflyer Photography, John Clarke at Resurrect Photography, and videographers Sophie Broadgate, Chris Collins and Steve Gaskin. Thank you!