Frequently Asked Questions

What is roller derby?

Roller Derby is a competitive roller sport that has been around, in various forms, since the 1930s. To compete, each team fields five players on the track. Of these five, one player is designated as the jammer, or point scorer, who gets a point for each opponent she laps. Teams switch players each jam (at least every two minutes) and play for two, thirty minute periods. It is a full contact sport with rules that dictate appropriate contact, game play parameters, and procedural guidelines. QCRD skaters are all women aged 18+, who wear traditional quad skates, play on a flat track, and abide by the WFTDA ruleset.

Ok, what’s WFTDA?

The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association is the largest international governing body of roller derby. It functions to define standards for game play, foster individual leagues’ growth, and facilitate tournaments culminating in an annual championship. See WFTDA for more information.

Is it real or “predetermined” like pro wrestling?

QCRD and all WFTDA bouts are authentic, games are not “predetermined” in any way.

Can we bring the kids?

QCRD bouts are kid friendly, as long as your kids are allowed to see full contact sports, women in short shorts, and hear an occasional “PG-13” joke. Minors are not permitted to sit in the front row.

What does QCRD mean?

“Queen City Roller Derby” is our league name and refers to Buffalo’s standing as the second largest city in New York State.

How many teams are there? How many skaters are on a team?

QCRD has three home teams and two travel teams. The regular season consists of bracketed match-ups among the Alley Kats, Devil Dollies, and the Saucies. These games culminate into one team taking the Queen City Cup at the end of the season. These teams each roster 20 players per season.

Members from each of the home teams comprise the travel team, the Lake Effect Furies. The Furies are a WFTDA-sanctioned Charter team that play against other “A” teams from other WFTDA leagues. The Subzero Sirens, the B team, practice and participate as the second travel team and companion to our Furies.

Skaters who have not been drafted to a team may train as members of the Queen’s Court. Additionally, the Buffalo Herd consists of our referees and non-skating officials.

Do you fight and elbow?

Fighting does not occur in QCRD bouts and hitting illegally is penalized. We aspire to top notch athleticism, the sport is played aggressively, but with good sportsmanship.

How much do skaters get paid?

While ticket/merchandise sales and sponsorships help offset our operating costs (such as production expenses, practice space, uniforms, A/V equipment, web hosting, print materials, liability insurance and travel to name a few), our members (skaters) pay dues and procure their own equipment.

Why do you have fake names if the sport is real?

When the current resurgence of derby began in 2001, the intent was to showcase a real sport in an entertaining fashion, including the skaters’ “alter-egos.” Most contemporary leagues have followed suit playing the sport seriously. Some skaters also enjoy a little anonymity, too.

How can I join?

See our recruitment webpage. Members assume a financial commitment for gear and dues in addition to a substantial time commitment. You must be a woman aged 18+ to compete, or a man or woman 18+ to referee. All skaters must have medical insurance to skate and must demonstrate mastery of the WFTDA Minimum Skills Requirements before competing. Contact us for more information.

What equipment is required for roller derby?

Quad skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmet, and mouth guard are required to practice and play roller derby. It is highly recommended that new skaters get fitted in person for skates. Roller Derby players should expect to replace their pads about once a year or every two years depending on the hours of use and wear and tear on the gear.

How do I get on a team?

Home teams draft each fall from a pool of new skaters. There are also tryouts for our WFTDA Charter team The Lake Effect Furies and our B team, Subzero Sirens, which are separate from the home team draft. You can join the Queen’s Court (our Roller Derby training group) at registration points throughout the season. Queen’s Court members are active dues paying members that become eligible for the home team draft after passing the WFTDA minimum skills assessment. The only way to get on a team is to be a member of the Queen’s Court.

Want to be a top draft pick? Start skating today with the Queen’s Court to prepare for the fall draft. See our recruitment page for the latest registration information.

I’m moving to the area and I want to transfer in from another league.

You may be able to transfer in directly from another league depending on your league’s status in WFTDA and your skill level. Contact our training coordinator at training[at]

I am a Roller Derby player from another league and I want to come practice with the QCRD while visiting Western New York.

Contact our training committee at to arrange to practice with QCRD while you are here (depending on our practice schedule). We love visitors!

I’m interested in advertising at bouts and on your website.

See our sponsorship page for general info and contact us.

Where can I get t-shirts and other merchandise?

Our merchandise is currently available at all our bouts.

I want QCRD to come to my company’s event/My bar or restaurant wants to host QCRD/I want to meet QCRD Skaters.

Become a sponsor and it is possible to have the fun, feisty, and fully-insured Queen City Roller Derby host or mingle at your event. We are great with crowds, have some top-notch emcees, and behave ourselves at corporate events. If you are interested in hosting an event, or just offering us bar specials because you love us, please contact us. Fans, check out our events for the next chance to meet your favorite league members at bouts, after-parties, charity functions, and more.