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How to decide what is right for you?

Derby Fest has a collection some of the worlds finest and most experienced coaches. However you are responsible for self-assessing your own skill level and your safety. You participate in all classes at your own risk so if you’re unsure if a class is right for you, can follow this general guide.

When it comes to any activity, it can be very hard to gauge your own skill level. Grading yourself for classes at Derby Fest might seem like an even more complicated task, as you might not be sure how to measure your skills outside your own league. It is best to take an adaptable approach to finding the right skill level for you over the Derby Fest weekend. If you take an Advanced class in the first session, it doesn’t mean that you can’t change to a Intermediate class in the next session. Further, you might be really strong in certain areas like jamming, but quite new to a role like blocking. You might want to vary the levels depending on the specific skill.

At Derby Fest it is important to find the right balance between challenging yourself and ensuring that you and others are safe and able to participate over the three days. If you are in a class that is too easy for you, you might be putting others at risk that aren’t prepared for your intensity, or if the class is too difficult for where you are right now, you might not be able to perform the drills with the precision they require and could risk hurting yourself or someone else. Safety is always our number one priority, so even if it is mid-class, please be mindful of reassessing your skill level, you can withdraw and watch at anytime.

As a basic guide we recommend you watch other skaters and the drills to see if you feel you can perform them safely. Ask the coaches or organisers if you are concerned what the class will contain. Feel free to sit out of certain drills or the entire class if it’s not right for you, if you feel unsafe, or have a prior condition or injury.

So, with that in mind, below we have provided a guide that can be used to initially assess your skill level at Derby Fest, but please remember assessment is an ongoing process:

Beginner: You may not be able to perform all the WFTDA minimum skills. You will be cleared to participate in and be comfortable performing contact roller derby drills. You should be able to stop, stride, fall safely, give and take hits and skate in a safe derby stance. You should think carefully about the risks of skating in open scrimmage. We ask that more experienced skaters refrain from attending beginner classes.

Intermediate: You can perform the WFTDA minimum skills. Stop confidently, take and receive full contact hits, stride easily, have some experience skating backwards and be comfortable playing full contact scrimmage and drills. These classes contain the largest most diverse grouping of skills so be prepared to adjust to skaters of different levels in your class.

Advanced: You will be able to perform all the WFTDA minimum skills. You will be an experienced player on your leagues representative team. You should be comfortable performing full contact drills and scrimmage at high intensity. You may have more specialised skills like hockey stops, side skating, backwards speed skating etc. Expect these classes to be more physically and mentally demanding. Beginners and should not attempt these classes. If in doubt watch an advanced class first to gauge the difficulty level.

Remember, the advice provided here is very general. It should be used along with with your own knowledge about your physical condition, skating experience and personal needs. Above all, if at any point you don’t feel safe, then don’t attempt the class or drill. You can watch these components, break them down, and use them to formulate your goals for the season.

Whatever your level, we look forward to seeing you at Derby Fest VERY soon!!