CHARM U: Charm City Roller Girls’ Tryout Boot Camp

Posted: 01/23/2013

CHARM U: Charm City Roller Girls’ Tryout Boot Camp
Registration Now Open

Join the Charm City Roller Girls for the start of “Charm U,” a ten-week roller derby boot camp for skaters and officials.  CCRG’s top coaches will provide participants with training in the basics of skating and flat track roller derby.  The cost is $100 per person and includes the entire session, February 18 through April 22.  Skaters and officials will be assessed on the final evening of the event, April 22.  Successful completion of this process could culminate in an invitation to join the league. 

Charm U is open to female skaters age 18 or older.  Officials may be men or women age 18 or older.  We would ask that interested candidates prepare to commit to at least 80 percent of the practices available to them.  All participants must sign a waiver of liability and have full protective gear, which includes:  elbow and knee pads, wrist guards, a helmet, and a mouth guard.  Quad roller skates are also required.

Prior to the start of Charm U, there will be an informal information session held on Monday, February 11, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Skateland North Point in Dundalk, MD.  This meeting will provide vital information on how to prepare for Charm U, outline specific boot camp requirements, and introduce candidates to the CCRG coaching staff.  

Online registration will close 24 hours prior to the event.  Visit to reserve your spot today.
The Charm City Roller Girls (CCRG) is Baltimore's only all-female flat track roller derby league.  CCRG is a member of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association and is proudly skater owned and operated.

Visit or e-mail for more information.

Interested in Charm U:  Boot Camp?  Please read our FAQ section prior to registering. 


Where will this event be held?
The informal information session as well as the entirety of the boot camp will be held at Skateland North Point, 1111 North Point Road, Dundalk, MD, 21222.  Each Charm U:  Boot Camp practice will formally begin at 7:00 p.m. sharp.  The rink will be open at 6:45 p.m. for signing in and gearing up.  Lateness will not be tolerated.  Participants who are not signed in and geared up by 7:15 p.m. will lose attendance credit for the session.  Each boot camp session will run until 10:00 p.m. 

Who can attend?
Women age 18 or older who would like to become a Charm City Roller Girl.  Men and women age 18 or older who would like to be a skating official, or referee, for Charm City’s home bouts.  Quad roller skates, elbow and knee pads, wrist guards, a helmet, and a mouth guard are required – NO EXCEPTIONS.  All participants must sign a waiver of liability.

How much is it?
The cost is $100 per person and includes the entire ten-week boot camp.  Candidates must declare their “major” (skater or official) prior to the start of camp.

Are these league tryouts?
YES, they are!  On April 22, 2013, at the end of the ten-week boot camp, participants will be assessed and a determination will be made if they are eligible to join the league.  Participants are expected to obtain credit for at least 80 percent of the practices available to them in order to be eligible for consideration.

Can my mom come take pictures of me? 

No.  We have specifically designed this process as an intense boot camp.  These are actual CCRG practices where candidates will be interacting with members of the league.  Therefore, we will not allow guests or photography of any kind.  This should be a safe environment for skaters to experiment and get out of their comfort zone.  Skaters should inform their guests that the venue will only be open for boot camp participants, CCRG league members, and staff.

What should I bring?

  • A full set of well-fitting protective gear, which includes elbow and knee pads, wrist guards, a helmet, and a mouth guard.  Quad roller skates are also required. 
  • A shirt with your name on it so that the coaches can identify you during the session and create groups if necessary.
  • A happy attitude and patience.  This is a setting where we play roller derby for the love of roller derby.  Everyone is participating to gain extra knowledge about the game, not to attack, belittle, humiliate, or otherwise seek to disrespect one another.
  • A water bottle filled with the hydration beverage of your choice.
  • Energy-building snacks to keep your muscles fueled throughout the boot camp.
  • Sneakers for off-skates drills and exercises.

What if I don’t have the necessary equipment?
Many online retailers offer “fresh meat” or “rookie” skate packages to get you started.  Make sure to carefully review information about sizing before ordering.  Charm City Roller Girls does not endorse any of these companies.  Remember, you are purchasing at your own risk and are subject to the policies outlined by the individual companies.

Online skate shops that specialize in quality derby equipment:

How is this going work?

Each session is subject to the expertise of the CCRG coach in charge.  However, each practice will include skating skills to help participants understand the game of roller derby.  At the end of the boot camp, an assessment of these skills will be conducted by the CCRG coaching and officials staff to determine who is eligible to join the league.

The fine print…
When purchasing online, please print out your ticket or purchase confirmation and bring that paperwork to the clinic as proof of payment for your admission.

We skate per the guidelines outlined in the 2013 Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) rule set.  Visit for more information.
Participation is entirely voluntary and at one's own risk.  EMTs will not be on hand, but there are several hospitals and fire departments in the immediate vicinity. 

What can I do to prepare?
Start gathering your protective gear and find a pair of comfortable skates.  It’s wise to comparative shop online and speak to anyone you may know with expertise in this area. Make sure to read several reviews before purchasing.  Gathering your equipment may also require putting away some extra cash if you have a tight budget.  Be prepared by planning ahead.  You will not be allowed to skate without ALL of your equipment.

Go to “open skate” sessions as much as possible.  The more time you spend on skates, the more comfortable you will be during the boot camp.  Work on skating in a squatted position with your knees apart and over your toes.  This position is the basic derby stance.  It is the foundation from which all other derby skills are built.

This is a serious sport that requires concentrated effort.  Start behaving and training like an athlete. Derby is your new excuse to go to the gym and skip fast food.  Get stronger.  Build your cardio endurance through running and walking.  Do pushups and crunches to strengthen your upper body.  Squats and lunges will prepare your lower body. Do something every day.  If it's been a while since you played a sport, start small and build on it.  Every little bit helps. You CAN do it.  Derby is worth the extra effort.

Join our yahoo group by e-mailing or join  This is a great way to get up-to-date information on all things CCRG.  You will be able to interact with other new skaters and officials as well as members of the league.  This is the perfect place to ask about equipment, cross training, and “open skate” opportunities.

Volunteer for the next bout.  You will get a better understanding of the sport, work with league members, and get a behind-the-scenes look at how CCRG functions as a whole. Join our facebook group for volunteers,, or e-mail

If you want to learn more about the rules of the game or you are a candidate in the officials’ boot camp program, we urge you to help our crew of non-skating officials in any of the easy-to-learn positions that keep each bout running.  Email Bianca Dunk at for information.

Once I am there, what can I do to help make this the best possible experience?
Please arrive on time.  Doors will open at 6:45 p.m.  Each session starts at 7:00 p.m.  While it may be feasible to join the session in progress, it is disrespectful to the coach and your classmates to arrive behind schedule.  Arriving at 6:45 p.m. should provide ample time to sign in and gear up.

When you arrive for the first day of Charm U, please set your gear down and then come to the counter to sign in.  Then make sure that your business is in order by showing us your ticket or payment receipt, signing the waiver of liability, and filling out the participant questionnaire and contact sheet.  You must complete all paperwork PRIOR to putting on your gear for your initial day of Charm U.  Upon arrival to subsequent practices, put on protective gear and then sign in for attendance before hitting the track.  You may start your own warm up while waiting for the other participants to arrive.  The coaches will conduct a group warm up once everyone is assembled at the determined start time.

When skating, expect a wide range of abilities and experiences.  Avoid taking advantage of people who may be less experienced than you.  A major incentive to attend these dates is to provide a low-pressure training ground for EVERYONE involved in roller derby.  Remember, these dates are opportunities to learn.  While we all love to push ourselves and our fellow participants to become better at roller derby, if you are disrespectful to any participant, you can expect to be asked to leave without refund.  Please display your best sportsmanship and derby love at these sessions.

The coaches will provide time for cooling down and stretching before the completion of each session.  However, out of respect for our venue, we need to vacate the rink by 10:05 p.m.

What if I have other questions?
Please contact if you need more information.

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