Safety First: Roller Derby players gear up before they get rolling on skates


Protective helmets are displayed at Bentley’s Skate Shop inside the Coventry Mall of North Coventry. Helmets are just one of the things roller derby players wear for protection.

By Michilea Patterson, The Mercury

Roller Derby is a competitive contact sport on skates that can get very intense which is why one of the first things players learn is how to protect themselves.

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Aleigha Wagner, of the Dutchland Derby Rollers in Lancaster, said learning how to fall correctly was a very important skill she learned after joining the team.

“The first two weeks, you’re literally just throwing yourself into the floor,” she said.

Wagner said people want to naturally fall on their bottom but since Roller Derby players fall often this can lead to a broken tailbone.

“You want your natural reaction to be going down on your knees,” she said adding that this is why padding is important. Wagner said the gear that Roller Derby players wear is all very important and has a purpose.


A helmet of course helps players protect their skulls and prevent a concussion while mouth guards make sure players keep all their teeth.


Wagner said most Roller Derby players use speed skates which come below the ankles. These specific skates allow the player to cut easily during games and be able to make better lateral moves.


Wrist guards are important for when players fall since the instinct is usually to put your hands out. The guards help prevent anything from breaking.


Protective padding is worn on the elbows and knees because the activity involves a lot of falling.


High-knee socks are often worn to help protect the shins and prevent rashes. They also come in really cool styles and help players get creative with their look.

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