Sports and Exercise

Skate over, boys: the Gotham Girls are holding tryouts for their 2017 season

The GGRD All-Stars are flexing to welcome you. via Instagram
The GGRD All-Stars are flexing to welcome you. via Instagram

This ain’t your daddy’s roller rink. The Gotham Girls, New York’s all-lady roller derby league and a founding member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), are holding try-outs this weekend for their 2017 season. They’re calling all bad-asses with double X chromosomes, skates and an appetite for competition to come and get their wheels dirty. I mean, derby.

This Saturday October 1 from 10am-3pm, anyone interested in trying out for the Gotham Girls should skate on over to GGRD’s practice space in East Williamsburg and show the Gotham Girls what they’ve got. Tryouts will include skating basics and demonstration of specific derby skills. If you make the cut, callbacks continue on Sunday, October 2 from 10am-1pm with more skating and a brief interview.

Of course, there’s more to becoming a Gotham Girl than just the skills (though they’re super helpful for staying on your feet)! The group will be looking for enthusiasm, charisma, willingness to work and athletic potential, all of which can separate you from the rest of the pack.

Here’s the skinny:

  • Sign up beforehand for a try-out ticket here. This will give you your time slot.
  • You must be 18+ to try-out for this league.
  • Practice safe skate! The Gotham Girls don’t loan out equipment for try-outs, so you’ll be required to bring your own helmet, wrist guards, elbow/knee pads, mouth guard, and quad roller skates.
  • Even with all the gear, this sport can get grizzly. You’ll have to sign a waiver once you get to the space.
  • Skills are great to have, but to be a Gotham Girl you also have to keep a positive attitude, commit the time and energy to practices, bouts and other derby events, and give it all you got.

And still, you don’t just become a Gotham Girl overnight. After making it through this weekend, the chosen few who carry on will be put through three weeks of probationary training, where only after another cut will skaters move on to the three-month training period for the full season. Considered “fresh meat” on the team, new skaters will be put through yet further physical challenges and a written rules test.


Skating not for you? Be a Jeerleader! via. Instagram
Skating not for you? Be a Jeerleader! via. Instagram

Only after passing these tests will you join the ranks as a newly anointed Gotham Girl, where you’ll be drafted onto a team, receive your number, and declare your derby name.

I took a Buzzfeed quiz and it told me my derby name should be “Mary Queen of Knocks.” Hot damn.

Don’t think you can be ready by Saturday? Worry not! You have a whole year to head over to the good ol’ Gotham Girls’ dot com and check out their basic training sessions and boot camps, which’ll whip you into roller derby-ready shape. Skating isn’t the only way to get involved with the Gotham Girls, either. Jeerleader tryouts are October 10, and there’s volunteer positions to help with bouts and other derby events.

Email any additional questions to tryouts[at]

Be sure to follow the Gotham Girls Roller Derby on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more news and upcoming events!

If anyone can tell Mary Queen of Knocks aka Hope where she can find a buy a pair of skates, tweet her a DM: @HavingHope14

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