Frequently Asked Questions

Who's that with the star on their head? How does the game work? You've got questions, we'll try to answer them here!

  • What are the teams?

    The Cape Fear Roller Derby league is made up of two teams, The Cape Fear Roller Derby All Stars- our WFTDA-ranked charter "A" team, and The Cape Fear Killamari - our developmental team.

  • What are the positions? Who are the folks with the stars on their head?

    Roller derby has 3 player “positions.” Pivot: Sets the pace for the pack and is the last line of defense. Wears a helmet cover with a stripe. Can become the Jammer through passing the star. Otherwise just another blocker. Blocker: Plays offense and defense at the same time. Tries to stop the opposing team’s Jammer, and knocks around the opposing team’s blockers to help their own Jammer. Jammer: Scores points by passing members of the opposing team. Wears a helmet cover with stars. Only the Jammers score points.

  • Who owns and runs the league?

    Cape Fear Roller Derby is a 501C3 non-profit organization that is run by a volunteer force of skaters and league members who each contribute unique skills to make the league function. CFRD has no salaried employees. The league makes revenue from ticket sales, merchandise sales, sponsorship contributions, and donations from supporters and players, and it all goes right back into the league. Rent, utilities and training costs at our practice spaces add up quickly. Then add game venue rentals, security, travel, insurance, legal fees and other operational costs ... as any skater will tell you, it costs a lot to play this game! Cape Fear Roller Derby is a proud member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association - a governing body to promote flat track derby ( WFTDA provides member leagues with support including insurance, a unified rule set, collective national bargaining leverage, and rankings, along with organizing regional and national tournaments each year. The WFTDA is itself a not-for-profit association.

  • I remember watching derby back in the day- do you play on the big banked track that people flip over the rails?

    No - CFRD skates on what’s called a “flat track.” For fifty years roller derby was played primarily on concave ("banked") tracks. These tracks were big and expensive and required reassembly as the derby skaters of the time barnstormed from town to town. In 2001 and 2002, skaters in Austin, Texas, lacking (at the time) the budget for a banked track, created the first drafts of a modified rule set to allow the same basic game to be played on a flat surface. The popularity of this style of play has been exploding around the world, as the 'play-anywhere' nature of the flat game has allowed skaters to learn the game without investing in a banked track infrastructure. The flat track version brings the skaters closer to the fans, and makes them more accessible than normal pro-sports figures. It literally puts the skaters in the laps of the fans and they love it. Plus, the low overhead it takes to practice/play on flat track has helped derby fever sweep the country.

  • How far away do you travel to play other teams?

    This changes every year and depends on our rankings, as well as the rankings of other teams. We generally play somewhat regionally but in recent years have played in Florida, Colorado, and New York.

  • What is the crowd like at the games?

    One word — awesome! CFRD pack capacity crowds into their venues, and those fans are enthusiastic, creative and raucous! Homemade signs, face paint, coordinated chants — our fans are the best around. They include cool guys and geeky girls, parents and kids, bikers and grandmas, and both old school derby fans and new sports fans excited by the sincerity of the authentic competition that Cape Fear Roller Derby provides.

  • How do I try out?

    We host New Recruits training programs usually twice a year, once at the beginning of the year and again in spring/summer. These programs generally last about 16 weeks and teach basic skating skills and basic derby skills. Practices build on each other and skaters are assessed as they work towards checking off a minimum set of skills in order to safely progress to the next level and eventually scrimmage and game play. For more information, follow us on Facebook and keep an eye out for Registration Night posts. At Registration Night we provide a ton of imformation on what to expect at New Recruits and how the league works. Potential players must be over 18 years old. Aren’t quite old enough for the adult league? Check out Wilmington Junior Roller Derby on Facebook!

  • Why isn't Roller Derby covered in the Sports section of the paper?

    CFRD and the national sport of Roller Derby have been moving slowly from the human interest sections of the media into the sports sections. This new incarnation of the sport is only a little over ten years old, and people are just starting to notice and understand its competitive nature. So keep looking in the sports sections — roller derby has been leaking into them more and more. We occasionally show up on local news, documentaries and radio programs.

  • Would CFRD's skaters consider putting our company's logo on their jerseys/helmets/bodies??

    Cape Fear Roller Derby was created by a handful of people who just wanted to skate and hit each other, and since then it's just exploded. As we've gotten bigger, so have the opportunities for partner promotion, from program ads to game banners to halftime entertainment, and our league is very interested in exploring additional ways to promote those who support us. Our partners support the values underlying the modern incarnation of our sport — "Real, Strong, Athletic, Revolutionary."

  • Do you have a Junior's or Men's League?

    Cape Fear Roller Derby welcomes all genders to our league, and YES, our Coach Brick has started a Junior’s League. Wilmington Junior Roller Derby is making their debut in 2023. We do not have a Men's league but we encourage men to get involved with MRDA (Men's Roller Derby Association) at

  • Where do you practice and hold your games?

    We currently practice at Scooters Skating Center on Shipyard Blvd in Wilmington, NC, and at the YMCA of Ogden, were we currently host home games, 7207 Ogden Business Lane, Wilmington, NC 28411. Cape Fear Roller Derby is seeking a venue of it’s own. If you know of a warehouse or other suitable indoor facility - please reach out to us.

  • When does your season start and end?

    Our season begins in January and lasts until usually September.

  • Is it fake?

    Absolutely not! Our skaters train several days a week to improve their athletic skills, abilities and strategy. No fake fights or scripted bouts here!

  • Is roller derby dangerous?

    Roller derby is a full contact sport, just like football, just with more rules. The teams are dedicated to good sportspersonship and many of the skaters from opposing teams are friends off the track. It is a family friendly sport and a huge, tight-knit community. A big focus is on safety, which is why we never skate without full protective gear, contact is only allowed on certain areas of the body, and we teach skating basics including how to safely fall. While we certainly do get beat up in the course of a bout, we absolutely DO NOT beat each other up. Fighting or misconduct of any type is an ejectable offense. Sure, it’s rough. Sure, it’s full contact. Sure, people get accidentally hurt sometimes like in any contact sport. Roller derby is definitely aggressive but it is NOT violent!

  • How much time does it take to be on a roller derby team?

    Consider how much time you might be devoting to any other team sport – you’ll have weekly practices, occasional scrimmages and bouts, team meetings and other events to attend. Lots of derby leagues including ours, rely on their members to help raise money, flyer for events, set up & break down events, recruit and train new skaters, etc.

  • How many people are on the track at one time?

    Each team “fields” five players per jam – a jammer, a pivot, and three blockers – out of 14 active and two alternate skaters on the roster for that particular bout. If you see fewer than five players from each team on the track, check the penalty box. Skaters whose penalty has not expired at the end of a jam must remain in the box through the subsequent jam until their time is up, leaving their line to skate shorthanded.

  • How long does a game last?

    A bout is two 30-minute halves plus a 15-minute halftime. With clock stoppages, you can expect one bout to last about 1.5 hours.

  • I am interested but have never skated before- is this a problem?

    Not at all, we will teach you. Many of our All Star athletes hadn’t skated in years – or ever!

  • What if I've never played a sport before?

    While non-sporting types might find their progress a little more slow-going that others, you can totally still learn to play roller derby. We recommend beginning a workout regimen, including weights and cardio, ASAP so that you can begin conditioning your body. Attending practice will also whip you into shape! Playing a team sport is as much about your mentality as it is your physicality, so stay focused, stay determined, and stay positive. We want you to be the best derby player you can be, but ultimately you determine how far you can go!

  • Meh, I don’t think playing is for me. How else can I get involved?

    We’d love to have you as an official! Our officials are a huge part of our league, and some of them even travel around the region officiating at other games and tournaments. Others simply find the once-a-week officiating commitment here at home exhilarating and fulfilling. No officiating experience required – we will teach you whatever position you are interested in! We have both skating and non-skating officials. You can email for more information. If officiating isn’t up your alley, consider working with us as an announcer, medic, sponsor, or even just a superfan. Contact Us for general ways to get involved. Or, if you are interested in sponsoring our wonderful organization, please email Sponsorship. No matter how you choose to support our league, we’d love to have you!

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