Junior Training Program

Junior training occurs in 10-12 week seasons: Winter (January – March), Spring (April – June), Summer (June – August), Fall (October – December) at our North Bennington training facility.

In order to accommodate all ages and skills, during practice, skaters are continually observed and assessed on their skills and placed into skills categories.

Junior Skills Overview

Southshire Roller Derby’s standardizes training system guides skaters, trainers and coaches for the purposes of:

  • Tracking the training needs of individual skaters
  • Evaluating skater’s level of training
  • Organizing teams and drills to safely and fairly match skaters

All of our skaters are divided by age and skill. Age divisions are common sense and are also mandated by our insurance. We have chosen to give our groups animal names for quick recognition. Younger skaters (ages 6 through 11) are given canine group names. Older skaters (ages 12 through 17) are given feline group names. Skaters ages 6 and 7 will remain in Beginner training unless approved by the head of junior coaching and their parent(s).

Beginning Skaters - Puppies and KittensBeginning Skaters – Puppies (Age 6-11) and Kittens (Ages 12-17)

These skaters are learning to skate and will include all skaters attending their first practice as well as skaters working on practicing basic safety, skating, stopping, falling, and working in a group setting. Focus is on learning basic skills, participating in group drills, and playing basic (non-derby) games around other skaters.

Intermediate Skaters - Fox and TigersIntermediate Skaters – Fox (Ages 8-11) and Tigers (Ages 12-17)

Skaters have passed the Level 1 Assessments and continue to maintain beginning skills. Training focuses on skating mastery, basic roller derby game play, and beginning scrimmage with positional blocking only. Rules and strategy guide drills as skaters prepare to participate in exhibition play with skaters in the league (home teams).

Advanced Skaters - Lion and WolfAdvanced Skaters – Wolf (Ages 8-11) and Lion (Ages 12-17)

Skaters have passed the Level 2 Assessment and maintain beginning and intermediate skills. Pushing contact is included with advanced teamwork, rules, and strategy. More contact between teammates is allowed with the introduction of assists. Training emphasizes fluid motion and building strength and endurance. Skaters are able to play exhibition games within the league and against other leagues. Rules for this level of play (positional and pushing) are modified to accommodate appropriate contact for these age groups and skill levels,

Travel Team Skaters – Ages 12-17

Skaters have passed the Level 3 Assessment which is equivalent to the current WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) Minimum Skills Requirements (MSRs), Skaters practice, scrimmage, and play using full contact and rules the same as adult players. Skaters at this level are trained to officiate and/or coach skaters at lower levels and participate in developing the junior program along with the adult coaches.

Each assessment level consists of three parts: an evaluation of skating skills, an assessment of emotional and intellectual ability consistent with the processing skills required to advance, and a written rules test. Assessments are an ongoing process for skaters. Each skater progresses at their own rate. Skaters who have been injured or otherwise absent from the program (ie skip a season) will be re-assessed from the beginning and placed at the appropriate level. Skaters who reach competition level will be re-assessed annually even with continuous enrollment in the program.

Flat track roller derby in Southern Vermont