St. Louis Junior Derby is the latest expansion of Arch Rival Roller Derby. We will be working with our brother league the Gatekeepers to foster the growth of co-ed junior derby in St. Louis and the surrounding areas for all children ages 7 – 17.
We seek to create a welcoming, supportive community, one that emphasizes self growth, respect for self and others, and healthy competition in a sports environment. As we grow, our leadership will consist of members of Arch Rival Roller Derby, Gatekeepers Derby, as well as parents of skaters.
Our first step in this mission was to begin by offering bootcamps in the summer of 2017 to JRDA level 0 (beginner) and level 1 (positional play/non-contact) skaters. As skaters advance, we will look to establish a full derby league with competitive teams both locally as well as potential opportunities to compete outside of our area.
Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to expanding junior derby in St. Louis and the surrounding areas.
Junior Derby Bootcamp
The St. Louis Junior Derby hosts 6-week bootcamps on Sundays from 10:00 – 11:30 am at the St. Louis Skatium.
St. Louis Skatium
120 E. Catalan St.
St. Louis, MO 63111
The 6-week bootcamp is $75/skater.
What Do We Need to Bring?
Roller derby is a full-contact sport, and we want to make sure the skaters are fully protected. The gear below can be found online (there are so many online roller derby stores) and a few places locally. The St. Louis branch of Turn Left Skate Shop is operated by local skaters (referee Ninja Sass’em and Spin Diesel of the Gatekeepers) and Jolly Roger Skateboards in Belleville also carries a bunch of derby gear (though you might need to pre-order certain junior sizes). If you have any questions about what brand/style/size, please ask! We know it’s so disappointing to get something that isn’t quite right, and we can definitely help you figure it out or direct you toward someone who will know.
Helmet: Concussions are a risk in roller derby – weird falls can happen and we want to do everything we can to protect the brain. Most ARCH and GK skaters wear what look like skateboarding helmets, but are made for multiple impacts – S-One and Triple Eight are the most common brands. Hockey helmets are also a very safe choice. DO NOT use bike helmets – they are single impact and would need to be replaced very frequently to remain safe.
Mouth guard: Most ARCH and GK skaters use SISU mouth guards – they’re durable, but thin enough that they don’t get in the way of breathing, drinking water, or talking. There are cheaper brands that can be found in the average sporting goods store that work just fine, but are much more bulky. Mouthguards play an essential part in concussion prevention. Dentists and orthodontists also make custom mouth guards for kids with braces.
Knee pads: Knees take a lot of impact in roller derby, so skaters usually invest a little more to get a set of knee pads that will really protect the joint. While the more cushioned knee pads might look bulky at first, they don’t get in the way of the low derby skating stance. Common brands are S-ONE, Triple Eight, Scabs, 187, and Pro-Tec.
Skates: There are so many different types of skates!! We know it can be overwhelming. Every adult skater can talk at length about his or her own skate setup. But don’t be intimidated or feel like you need to learn every part of a roller skate to get the right pair. Most beginner skaters do just fine with a starter package. Just make sure that they have adjustable trucks (the metal or vinyl part attached to the boot) so toe stops and wheels can be swapped out and you’ll be fine.
Wheels: Different floors have different textures, and changing wheels helps skaters adjust. Most beginner packages come with 88s. Depending on the floor, size of the skater, and skating style, harder (toward 100) or softer (toward 70) wheels might be preferred. However, to start, the standard wheels should be fine. If your child wants to skate outside (in the park, driveway, etc.) we do recommend getting a set of outdoor wheels, which are much softer so gravel and debris don’t get in the way.
What Safety Measures are in Place?
Insurance: We have recreation insurance for each of our practices with Athos, through the Junior Roller Derby Association (JRDA). Personal health insurance is also required for all participants.
Background Checks: Every coach, volunteer, and official has passed a background check, administered through the Junior Roller Derby Association.
Where Can I Learn More About Roller Derby?
- WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association: Arch Rival Roller Derby is a member
- MRDA (Men’s Roller Derby Association): Gatekeepers Roller Derby is a member
- WFTDA.tv live streams roller derby games from around the world and has an archive of past games
- YouTube has many games, skills instruction, and rules breakdowns
Where can I learn more about JUNIOR roller derby?
- JRDA (Junior Roller Derby Association: St. Louis Junior Derby is in the process of registering as a competitive member