Maine Roller Derby is 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization as of February 2015. Donations made to Maine Roller Derby are tax deductible.
Maine Roller Derby (MRD) is Maine’s first women’s flat track roller derby league. We are a proud member league of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), and are one of the hundreds of leagues across the nation that have embraced the quickly-growing sport of roller derby as it is skated on a flat track. MRD seeks to foster professional, personal and athletic advancement for all the league’s members through training for, promoting and playing the sport of roller derby. The league regularly recruits new skaters and volunteers and hosts a home season February-June, and September-December, along with several fundraising events throughout the year.
We’re both. MRD is the name of the league, which is comprised of three teams: an All-Star team called The Port Authorities; and two home teams – teams that are of equal caliber rosters who bout against each other at our home turf: The Calamity Janes and the R.I.P.Tides.
Our skaters do not get paid to play roller derby, in fact, they pay monthly dues to be a league member, in addition to paying for their own equipment and travel fees. MRD does not endeavor to be a profit-making organization. If any net profits are gained the league uses the funds to offset travel costs and/or to give them back to the community via charitable donations to the league’s chosen non-profit organizations. View our Charity Page for more information. As a member of WFTDA, our league adheres to the organization’s governing philosophy: ““by the skaters, for the skaters.” Our skaters are primary owners, managers, and operators of our league. Operational tasks include organizing home bouts, organizing fundraising events to off-shoot the cost for operating the league, promoting the sport of roller derby, recruiting and training skaters and volunteers, among other tasks necessary to run a business.
Currently, there is no regulated season for the sport of roller derby. All WFTDA leagues decide when and how often they play, though WFTDA regulates annual tournaments. In order for MRD to participate, their sanctioned team, the Port Authorities, must be ranked high enough to qualify. MRD skaters train all year, taking a break in August and December. The Home Team season occurs September through February, and the All-Stars’ season is January through August, with local games occurring at both the Portland Expo and Happy Wheels Skate Center. Our All-Star team will travel throughout the states and Canada to bout other leagues and compete in tournaments.
MRD started in March 2006 after two Portland women were inspired by the A&E reality show Rollergirls. By June 2006 a group of about twenty women began holding weekly practices in Topsham. Determination and hard work (along with advice and support from skaters within the roller derby community) resulted in the launching of the Sneak Peek, the introduction of modern roller derby to Maine in November of 2006. A year later MRD played its first season at the Portland Exposition Building. Since then, the league has hosted a season each year, inviting teams from Massachusetts, Canada, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Maryland to play at the Expo where our average crowd is 600-700 fans! Check out our Bout Results History.
“Bout” is the term for a roller derby game, and they include more than your average sporting event. MRD bouts are family-friendly and include live entertainment, crafts and activities for children, witty announcers, raffle prizes, merchandise and very vocal fans. Bouts have two 30-minute periods with half-time entertainment. Officially, they are called “games” now, but the term “bout” is still used!
Watch this video called “Roller derby 101: Gameplay.” It’s awesome!
Roller derby is a real sport, with real contact. Skaters train hard to learn how to make effective contact within the rules of the game (no elbowing, punching, tripping, etc); our skaters give hard hits and take hard hits. We follow rules set forth by the WFTDA. There is no pre-determined outcome, and there are no staged antics and no fake hits.
Roller derby has uniforms just like any sport, but we like to have fun with ours and create themes and images that reflect a sense of style, humor, and the tough, aggressive tone of the sport. Almost every skater in roller derby adopts a skate name. Some names are funny, some are tough, and a lot are plays on real names or terms.
We currently practice three times per week at the Portland Expo and Happy Wheels Skate Center. The league is looking to find a permanent space. General requirements for the skating area are a smooth, hard surface of wood, concrete, sport court, or other similar materials, and an available area of at least 115 feet x 80 feet. The building must be heated, have adequate ventilation, and include room outside the track area for equipment. It does not need to be big enough to accommodate a crowd for events, though a venue that would work for both practices and events would be ideal. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
MRD recruits regularly. See our Join MRD page for more information. We are always looking for officials, statisticians, support staff, EMTs, etc. Officials and statisticians can be male or female*, 18+. Officials are hot commodities in the roller derby community and the good ones often get to travel regionally to assist other leagues and even take part in regional and national roller derby tournaments. We love our volunteers, but we need more, more, more. To volunteer, contact email@example.com.
*Please note that MRD has an inclusive gender policy and will not differentiate between members who identify as female and those who identify as a non-binary gender (including but not limited to genderqueer, transmasculine, transfeminine, and agender).
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