Roller Derby: The Sport of Queens


Are you part of the resurgence in the world’s most awesome sport? It’s time for you and all your roller derby gals to get competitive. You can offer public sporting events—your team versus other local rollers. Start planning, promoting, and selling event tickets for your bouts and let your jammers start lapping for the fans! It’s time to lace up your skates, squeeze into your campiest uniform, and get rolling.

Call it like it is: Your team moniker

Roller Derby teams need clever names. Puns reflecting your punk third-wave feminist roots are a sure draw for crowds and fans: the Sandra Day O’Clobbers, the Shevil Knevils, the Beauty School Knockouts, and the Rushin’ Rollettes. Be as violent as you like! Or, choose two words, say an adjective and a noun, that best encompass your team, like the Zany Fembots. Just make sure your name is intriguing and your fans feel like they’re in on the joke.

High noon: When to meet

When you’re ready to brawl, contact other roller derby teams in your area and decide which one your team will battle. You may be able to join a league and schedule a series of derbies. Can’t decide whom to meet first? Create your own raffle tickets and draw a name from a hat. Once you’ve decided upon whom, you need to figure out when. Pick a date and a time for your event. Consider days and times that would work best for the audience you are trying to attract. Audiences for roller derbies are diverse: from families to hipsters to teens, so your breadth should be vast, but conscious about your target audience. Families prefer daytime, weekend event. Teens may be available in the afternoon, after school, and twenty-somethings like to stay out late.

Meet me in the parking lot: Choose your venue:

If your city doesn’t already have a dedicated roller derby rink, you will to find need a venue that can satisfy the inherent needs of the sport. True roller derby typically requires a sports arena or a gymnasium, but you could also convert a large gallery or performance space. If you know of a space that often exhibits artwork or avant garde performance, you may persuade them to host your derby as a way to further the venue’s original intent. Perhaps a very large gallery that could accommodate a derby may choose to have your team battle another team in their space while highlighting related artwork such as photographs of Derby girls alongside your event. If the venue already has a box office or a way of handling ticket sales, that’s a bonus for you, as it makes it easier to sell event tickets.

Shout it out: Event promotion

Get your artists on the job. Your general promotion should be creative and intriguing. Collage-style designs featuring your team portrait or other relevant images can be distributed as postcards. Include the date and time, the venue, the ticket price, the names of the both teams, and information on where to get the tickets (don’t forget to include any relevant URLs). Take it to the streets and pass out the postcards in your derby garb to attract some attention. Hang posters in book shops, record stores, college campuses, and other local businesses. In addition to this, use your website and other networking tools such as Facebook to promote the event.

At the door: Get your event tickets right here

Have fun with these! Use your original promotional designs to create a unique custom ticket, or choose an online event ticket template. These can be printed on demand and are a good way to create the tickets for your event. Remember to include the same pertinent information you used on your postcard or promotional flyer: who, what, when, where, how much. Don’t forget web addresses or phone numbers where people can get more information. Consider creative ways to make those tickets your own! In designing your event tickets, you may include the logo for both teams or photos of the two teams. Individually numbered event tickets with perforated stubs help you keep track of attendance, control the venue, and increase security. Selling event tickets helps you realize some profit for your event, giving your team even more passion to have a great and memorable roller derby battle!

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