The Big Blether 2018: The Aftermath

Recruitment and Retention

  • - issues: visibility of men's roller derby [recruit]
  • visibility in general (Facebook Events etc only target people you already know)
  •   too many leagues [recruit]
  • skaters don't get to play just train / not enough skaters to play [recruit]
  • integration with league [retain]
  • cost [recruit+retain]
  • not enough people with knowledge to help people [recruit]
  • lack of team ethos / hard work / lazy people [retention]
  • lack of support and confidence [retain]
  • "formal" = "offputting" (for referees + NSOs) [recruit + retain]
  • - people officiating, esp refereeing "because I can't skate"
  • - hard to advertise for officials in general 
  • location dependant issues (proximity of universities etc)
  • promotion: as social event? as competitive sport? as fitness?
  • as fitness: promotion as "12 week plan" for (is this too much committment?)
  • as competitive sport: people are turned off by the full-contact, needs better image?
  • solutions: 
  • more open scrims (bring more people together)
  • "collective recruitment" - collective taster sessions?
  • collective games - "proper league structure" [cf Cornwall Roller Derby etc]
  • collective training (coaches should visit other teams / share training concepts etc)
  • "attitude changes overall"
  • "integrating new skaters into league"
  • "need intermediate experience"
  • "include NSOs and Referees in new skills"
  • ref schools
  • scrims explicitly open to referee + NSO skill practise too
  • radio shows, newspapers (submitting articles on spec can be effective, esp due to low staff at newspapers nowadays)


- New Rules changes (what do we do if there's a clash?)

Make it clear

try to pool resources (have 1 shared double rather than 2 single headers). **

this is much better for all our shared resources, including audience!

try to be happier to mix types of game in these contexts

even add a roller disco or other sports (roller hockey?)

travel limits for merging game fixtures [travel for "co-host teams"]

bout contract design for shared costs, fairly

make Bout Calendar viewable as an actual Calendar [DONE]

Better game coordination, more structure

ARRD - every day starts with a rookie game

juniors games also important to promote

"invest in the future of Roller Derby", give more opportunities for all levels and identities

 - track free halls

   issues with people being prepared to travel / hard to get English teams to travel up to play us

*COMMUNICATION* - share info on halls, pricing, need responsible person from each league to rep.

- share and coordinate promotion (share each other's events, bout posters etc)

- shared google drive / doc for coordination resources

hosting details: sunday versus saturday versus weekdays?


Facebook  "instant" - but missed notifications, hard to find posts in groups

Useful FB Groups:

Scottish Derby Group

UK Derby Dialogue

Scots offish


UK refs

Scottish Scheduling Group

Bout coordinators need to be responsible

Emails can also get lost [ shared email account, easy to diffuse responsibility]

can get mixed up in personal email

Out of date contacts ****

GDPR issues. [need to build community expertise in this]

Spreadsheet for tracking important contacts [League BoDs etc] - cf scheduling group

Scottish Derby Group promotion of these things

"Forums are bad for communication"

"Project management software"? Podio? Cost issues?

derby specific software - Namur's TrackKarma (used by GMRD)

good for Project Man, not for discussion


Websites - need someone to look after them. Good hosts - SquareSpace?

Google drives for shared comms

"Scottish Derby Google Drive" [DONE - Wil]

information storage

risk assessment forms

info etc

need to have a method that *everyone* can use

Talk not type (Tone issues);

prefer Google Hangouts / Skype for conversation Voxer for lightweight team comms

"Wee Blether" meetings

Coaching and Training

Accredited Coaches

council funding?

BRSF coaching 

Rule56 resources (also being worked on with UKRDA)

need to get more members involved in coaching

start with small drills for people to try coaching

integrating "new intakes"

other skating activities to build skills (roller discos, skate parks etc)

Feedback forms are important

Stigma from going to other leagues' trainig

be open, have invites, talk about why

good "bootcamps" / could have scenarios for skaters to get creative

Coaches supporting each other during training

burnout, attendance

buddy/ mentor systems for support

Coaching for Coaches: ACTION ROSIE

WFTDA online resources for officials.

Zembryos group for newbie refs

Short Track Roller Derby

Good for small leagues or for low-attendance sessions

"less people so can train better"

"build confidence in newer skaters"

"good to work on blocker pair comms"/ can't hide on track as less people in total

"hall costs - smaller halls needed"

"good intermediate stage for training new skaters"

Query re rules management development "skaters like to break rulesets"

"the 5-a-side" of Roller Derby

Potential tournament?

Pub quiz on rules after ;)

Good for promoting derby to public as fits in small space. [Shopping centers etc]

Scottish Governance

Do we need a Scottish Governing Body?

"Sport Scotland" access? Funding opportunities?

what do we need to lobby at? are we ready for this / do we need this?

Would it not be better to work through UKRDA?

Question of visibility of UKRDA in England and Scotland

Would leagues be interested

imposing rules means people will refuse to join if they don't like the rules

Community focus?

More communication as a community more valuable than a "Governing Body"

"Wee Blethers"

Extend what we do with Scheduling etc, more communication, used Scottish Derby Group more. Shared RESOURCES more important than Body.