UKROC attendees…

We’ve just had such a fantastic weekend at UKROC 2016 – and we hope you all did too.

There were a lot of leagues and officials making connections, but for those who didn’t manage to speak to everyone, here’s who was represented at the conference…




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(We can’t forget our Indy Official pals!)

One last speaker!

You thought we were done with speaker announcements? Well, we aren’t! We have one actual last one for you – and if you don’t have a ticket yet, and this doesn’t change your mind, then… well, nothing will.

So… after a very successful session at the last UKROC, we are delighted to welcome back the incredible Meg Le Maniac who will be assisting Rocky will all of these sessions.image-02-12-15-10-18

Meg has been tooting the whistle for almost 7 years now. She is a WFTDA Level 2 Referee, a MRDA recognised official and has had incredible opportunities to officiate the highest level of derby. Very Lucky. Known for her love of donuts and bicycles, Meg is actively trying to seek the balanced lifestyle of high level derby official on a bike mechanics salary and is the guardian to a little Westie named Gus.  Way back in the beginning days of fishnets and rule set 2.0, she lived on the other side of the track but realised that she best serves derby in stripes and she has never looked back.


On Saturday afternoon, Meg will be running the following sessions, alongside Rocky Horror Ho:

UK Officiating:  Where we are?

  • UKRDA Membership & how to move forward; what could it offer officials out with certification?
  • Improving UK Officials support networks?
  • UK Stress in Officiating Survey results and what we can do with them.
  • Coping skills (derby/Life balance)

UK Officiating: Where do we want to go?

  • League affiliation v Independence, is Independence from league affiliation (but not the governing body) the future?
  • Professionalism / Certification, how will the UKRDA support good officials being certified?
  • Improving UK structure
  • evaluation processes

On Sunday afternoon she will also be hosting the incredibly popular Officials Face to Face, something to make sure you don’t miss if you are an official!

Tickets available until noon tomorrow – no time to waste now! Click here to get them before they close.

Our last guest speaker announcement

We know, you have been wondering, when will all these announcements end? Surely, there can’t be any more space for more speakers, it;s only two days! Well, we are cramming the weekend, jam packing it full of amazing speakers to help everyone share and contribute as much knowledge and development techniques as we can.

But, you have a point – there are only 48 hours (and we did schedule in some sleeping time) so it must come to an end. And, we are ending on a high note – with the amazing Krystal Vice!

Krystal has so many accolades under her belt, we just had to list them all. Check this out:

  • WFTDA Level 2 NSO (hoping to be Level 3 by UKROC!)
  • MRDA Recognised Official
  • UKRDA Registered Official
  • HNSO – Seaside Siren Roller Girls, Southern Discomfort Roller Derby
  • Co-HNSO – England Men’s Roller Derby
  • Officiated at 2014 Men’s and Women’s World Cups and will be NSOing MRDWC in Calgary this year.
  • CHNSO at the European Smackdown tournament in Malmo this March.
  • DHNSO of Tier 2 South in British Champs in 2015

WOW. An absolute wealth of knowledge, Krystal will be supporting the session leaders in all of the main classroom sessions to give her perspective as a hugely experienced NSO in the UK derby world.

This is your last chance to get tickets, they are available until tomorrow at noon – get them here.

Speaker announcement – again!

That’s right, it’s time to tell you guys about yet another guest speaker for UKROC2016! And we are pretty excited to announce that, running a session is the Level 2 WFTDA certified, head referee of both England Men’s Roller Derby, and the Crash Test Brummies, the incredible Von Sleaze!VonSleaze

Sleaze started out in roller derby in 2007; first as a skater and league-leader, before making the move to the other side of the track where she found her niche in officiating. With five years as a league Captain and over 150 games plus two World Cups as a referee under her belt, Sleaze has spent the past two years sharing her skills in order to help leagues grow their referee herd.

Her training focuses on supporting each other, setting goals and realising your potential, which is why her Saturday morning session at UKROC, titled Leagues and Officials: Increasing cohesion, will be important for both officials and league members alike.


Bring your personal experiences and an open mind… and maybe a pen and paper.!

Tickets are available until NOON this FRIDAY so get yours here.


Something for the officials..

You are probably wondering how we are even fitting all these speakers in over only two days. But, we have scheduling wizards in our team, and nothing is too big a task for them. It’s going to be a busy, packed weekend but there’s so much to share and learn, we just had to get it all in.

RockySo, with great excitement, we announce yet another speaker! And this time, we have for you TWO outstanding referees! And first up, we have the undeniably great Rocky Horror Ho! A highly established referee in European roller derby, Rocky is a WFTDA Level 3 skating official, with a wealth of experience from grass roots to international level play, in both women’s and men’s roller derby. Rocky’s tournament experience includes work at 3 x Men’s European Championships, the 2014 Men’s World Cup, WET, Skate Odyssey and more. He was also Divisional HR for Heartlands 2013, co-THR MEC 2015 and Tournament Head for Tattoo Freeze 2015As one of the longest serving independent officials in UK derby, Rocky has worked tirelessly within the community to enhance the recognition of officials within their organisations. With an aim of building for the future of UK officiating and their support structure.

The first session from Rocky will cover two main focus areas:

UK Officiating:  Where we are?

  • UKRDA Membership & how to move forward; what could it offer officials outwith certification?
  • Improving UK Officials support networks?
  • Uk Stress in Officiating Survey results and what we can do with them.
  • Coping skills (derby/Life balance)

UK Officiating: Where do we want to go?

  • League affiliation v Independence, is Independence from league affiliation (but not the governing body) the future?
  • Professionalism / Certification, how will the ukrda support good officials being certified?
  • Improving UK structure
  • evaluation processes

These will be off skates sessions, and coming from a key motivator in the formation of the UKRDA’s independent officials membership, as well as the first ever independent officials member, these aren’t sessions you want your officials to miss.

As the current UKRDA independent officials representative, and additionally working on the inaugural independent officials panel, Rocky has loads of on skates stuff to share too, and he will do on Sunday, in a session called Positioning is Power : Making the most of your crew. Not only that, but he will also be running a Face To Face facilitated open discussion for UK Officials. Basically a must for all UK officials who want to keep up to date and ahead of the game.

And, as if all of that wasn’t enough.. we have another returner this year! After a very successful session at the last UKROC, we are delighted to welcome back the incredible Meg Le Maniac who will be assisting Rocky will all of these sessions.

This is truly not something any UK official wants to miss out on, so get your tickets here.


Three weeks to go – look who else is coming!

That’s right, with less than three weeks until we embark upon Salford and kick off UKROC2016, we have some more exciting guest speaker announcements to bring to you!

First up, with a lovely wee short distance to travel, we have Rainy City Roller Girls very own Cleo Fracture! Cleo FractureCleo was part of the team of skaters who transformed a derelict building on King Street into the dedicated Roller Derby training and events venue it is today, and the venue for all of our own skates sessions for UKROC2016 – The Thunderdome. Since 2011, Cleo has held director positions at Rainy City, and worked tirelessly to raise the profile of The Thunderdome, and Roller Derby in the town and beyond.

On Sunday afternoon, Cleo will be leading a session titled Going it alone: How to lease and run your own dedicated roller derby venue. The wealth of knowledge from actually opening a roller derby venue is literally kept within the walls of Rainy’s Thunderdome, being the only dedicated venue in the UK, so there is no one better to give us all an insight. We asked Cleo, what would be covered:

Expensive rentals for training grounds and venues are a concern for many leagues. In this session, hear how Rainy City got where we are today. Learn how your league can take steps to lease, manage and run your own venue… Hold training sessions 7 days a week! Schedule open games any Saturday or Sunday! Establish your league as a member of your community and reap the rewards of the exposure that brings.

Which we know is everyone league’s dream aspiration. It’s hard to even know where to begin, but Cleo assured us the session would be super packed with everything you might need to know, things like;

Learn how to:

  • Identify a good location
  • Get buy-in from your membership
  • Grow your community links
  • Get support from your local council
  • Approach funding applications
  • Work with your landlords to manage ongoing maintenance
  • Manage income, outgoings and future sales forecasting
  • Avoid the pitfalls and minimise risk
  • Collaborate successfully as a league to ensure a healthy future

And, the question of how any league in the UK would afford something like this, will also be covered:

A bricks-and-mortar not-for-profit sports business attracts a lot of attention from local government, town centre management, sports development teams and local and national funding bodies. Following a successful application due to our position in the community, Rainy City Roller Girls were awarded £50,000 from Sport England’s Inspired Facilities fund. This money was used to install Skate Court flooring, audience seating, heating and audio equipment at the King Street venue. But it takes way more than cash to ensure the success of a growing business. Our people are our biggest asset – our skaters and volunteer members who are responsible for keeping the venue running.

A seriously important session for any of the leagues around the UK looking to follow in Rainy’s footsteps and end the curse of the roller derby hall bookings forever!

Tickets for UKROC2016 available here.

BUT WAIT! That’s not all!

Xavier Bacon headshotReturning from his success at UKROC2015, and ready to present another amazing session, is the one and only Xavier Bacon! A session for officials this time, titled Growing as an official: Enhancing your personal development, Xavier Bacon will be covering things like:

Watching your game footage, self critiquing, feedback, self improvement, and using your peers.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, he’ll also be running an on skates session on Sunday titled Keeping Up With Reaper: Reffing Footwork For Game Day Survival. Sounds pretty intriguing, and ideal for all our skating officials.

Keep a look out for more announcements coming soon!

Another Speaker Announcement!

And the announcements just keep on coming… and we are still not finished with our run of LRG members – as we are delighted to tell you that London Rollergirls and Team England skater Kid Block is coming to UKROC 2016!

The co-captain of London Brawling and LRG’s Head of Training, Kid has a huge passion for both playing and coaching roller derby. She also coached and captained the Tiger Bay Brawlers to great success – and all this in just five years of skating and playing roller derby!1374155_589127944532390_8408340712985704668_n

Kid is hugely motivated and describes herself as having a “love for goal-setting”. Her enthusiasm and drive to constantly develop herself and her league are what have taken her to the top and make her sessions at UKROC must-attends.

But what are those sessions? Kid is doing three sessions on the Saturday of the conference, starting with on-skates session Own Your Roll, then moving into the classroom for Getting the Most Out Of Your Training (Coaching Tips and Tricks) and finishing with a Q&A session on League Training Structures.

Want to know more? Kid breaks down her sessions, starting with Own Your Roll:

“Edges”, “Dig”, “Engaging your edges”, “Edge work”… it’s all we hear about these days! And for good reason. Controlling your roll and owning your edges is essential in today’s slow roller derby game. To keep walls slow and jammers on our backs, we need to control our roll and engage our edges to the best of our ability. Teaching newer skaters these skills and enabling your skaters to ‘feel’ their edges can be tricky at first and can be a challenge to coach. From my time coaching leagues worldwide over the past few years, I’ve built up a fairly big repertoire of drills that allow skaters to find their edges and control their roll – with proven success. I’ll give you some tips, drills and advice on how to teach this tricky subject, hopefully enabling your skaters to get that much loved ‘lightbulb’ moment.

We are sure that session will be a hit for anyone who leads training sessions or coaches in their leagues. Next up is Getting the Most Out Of Your Training (Coaching Tips and Tricks):

If you are in a coach or training position within your league and would like some tips and pointers on how to ensure your training is focused, effective and gets results – then this is the seminar for you!

And finally, League Training Structures:

As Head of Training at London Rollergirls, I have had my biggest challenge to date… three travel teams, three leadership groups, 10 coaches and just eight hours a week of training time. In this open Q&A forum, I will happily take on your most challenging of questions regarding structuring your leagues training to ensure everyone’s working to their full potential.

Places in each class are limited so get your tickets fast to ensure you get a spot in these sessions! Tickets, as always, available here.


UKROC 2016 square 300dpi

We’ve had a lot of questions about scheduling, and we have been working super hard to get everything ready – and we are excited to say that we should have a full schedule out with you all by next week!

In the meantime, we know people are keen to hear a bit more about what the weekend will look like, and a week is a long time to wait.. so, here is a huge load of information about what UKROC will look like.

ukrocskinnerbagWe kick things off on SATURDAY 6 FEBRUARY with registration from 8:30 – 9:30am. This is where everyone will come and get their programme, schedule, goodie bag, and pass for the weekend, and start chatting to each other before the classes begin!

CLASSROOM SESSIONS will run from 9:30am – 4:30pm, and you can choose from the following off skates delights…

Princess Die (ARRG) ‘Media Madness – DIY tips for the best freebie Marketing!’

Juke Boxx – ‘Coaching: Building Drills, Breaking down manoeuvres’

Kitty Decapitate & Juke Boxx – ‘Logistics, Culture & Roller Skates’

Kitty Decapitate – ‘League and Team Values’

Ballistic Whistle – ‘Bench Coaching Tips’

Ballistic Whistle & Juke Boxx – ‘Game Day and Tournament Prep’

Exciting speaker to be announced – ‘Getting the most out of your training’

Exciting speaker to be announced – ‘Training Structures QA’’

ukrocglassesWe will bring more news of our officials related sessions soon but here is a taster of what to expect on Saturday. Back by popular demand, we’re bringing you sessions led by Rocky Horror Ho, and Meg Le Maniac alongside other officiating focused speakers to be announced! These guys will start with some great sessions:

‘’Leagues and officials. How to get the most from each other?.’

‘Growing as an official: Enhancing your personal development’

‘UK Officiating – where are we now?’

‘UK Officiating – where do we want to go?’

We also have a couple more exciting speaker announcements for Saturday to come! Some additional sessions to explore FIRS & Roller Derby, National Teams and wider issues that we can all influence. Watch this space for more announcements in the next couple of weeks.

ukrocclegstinchyON SKATES SESSIONS for skaters will run from 9:30am – 12:30pm at the Thunderdome. Transport will be provided from the University to the Thunderdome, so you’ll be taken straight there after registration, and the buses will bring you back in time for the afternoon classes. Some of the classes will be:

Ballistic Whistle – ‘Explorative Training’

Exciting speaker to be announced – ‘Training Tips’


AND THEN…. SATURDAY NIGHT FUN!! We have a 3 hour scrimmage that everyone is invited to come and skate in! This will be at the Thunderdome, and again, there will be transport provided. After the scrimming is done, everyone who is staying will be transported to the Hotel where we will begin the facilitated networking. This is just informal, relaxed chatting in a group setting, with UKRDA directors and guest speakers available for chats and drinks!

The next morning, SUNDAY 7TH FEBRUARY, we’ll be up bright and early – everyone will enjoy a lovely breakfast whilst we welcome the day delegates, who will report for registration from 8:30 – 9:30am.

CLASSROOM SESSIONS will run from 9:30am – 4:30pm, and you will have a chance to take part in some facilitated sessions so you get to discuss your most pressing issues! DIY derby at its best! Sessions like:

‘WFTDA Leagues closed session – face to face’

‘League to League – from 0 – 2 years old’

‘League to League – from 2 – 5 years old’

‘League to League – 5+ years old’

‘Governing Bodies, National Teams’

‘Officiating – Face to Face Discussion’

And, on top of all the facilitated sessions, we also have even more speaker led sessions from the experts…

Hannibal Lecturer – ‘Hey, who moved my wheels?’ Managing change in derby teams

Hannibal Lecturer – ‘Conflict / Change Surgery’

Freya Gosnold – ‘TGI Awareness – 101’

Freya Gosnold – ‘TGI awareness QA/Discussion’

Cleo Fracture – ‘Owning your own Venue’

Exciting speaker to be confirmed – ‘Event Management’

In addition we’ll have the UKRDA AGM on Sunday afternoon for those who want to attend.

ON SKATES SESSIONS will run from 9:30am – 12:30pm at the Thunderdome…and will be for the refs!

‘Reffing Footwork for Game Day Survival’

Another secret session – yet to be announced!

The conference will wrap up at around 4:30pm on Sunday just enough ukrocmistress time for everyone to head home for tea. We know everyone will be exhausted by that stage, so there’s no nonsense at the end of the conference – just a big group goodbye and everyone will be on their way home!

It’s going to be a really amazing weekend, with so much to learn, so many people to meet and so much time on and off skates, we just can’t wait. Get your tickets here, and we will see you there!



Guest Speaker – Mystery Guest revealed!

Well, as if we hadn’t brought you enough excitement already this year (and we are only a week into it) we have saved one of the best for you guys!

We’ve teased you with a mystery guest.. and now it’s time for the reveal. And, we know you won’t be disappointed when we tell you that the incredible Ballistic Whistle will be at UKROC!

BW_Headshot Famed for his work with London Rollergirls & Southern Discomfort Ballistic has been involved in Roller Derby since 2006. At various times since then he has adopted the role of official, player, and coach. Those experiences combined have given him a breadth of knowledge to many facets of the sport. Over the past 5 years Ballistic has bench coached London Rollergirls‘ all-star travel team London Brawling, most recently to 4th in the WFTDA at Champs in 2015.

For the previous two world cup campaigns, he has also been the coach for England’s National team, seeing them take the Bronze in 2011 and Silver in 2014. As a player he has represented Southern Discomfort Roller Derby since its official founding and participated in both MRDA Champs campaigns in 2014 and 2015. As a coach, his his hunger to learn is matched by his desire to teach and has spent much of his time sharing his experiences and knowledge with those around the world who are just as enthusiastic for the sport. What a guy! We are super excited to see what he has to bring us at UKROC.

But, we bet you are wondering, what’s the session on? Well, there’s another piece of great news – there’s more than one session. In fact, there’s three! Ballistic will start off with an on skates Explorative Training session, followed by an unmissable session on Bench Coaching Tips. Then, in collaboration with Juke Boxx, a session on Game day and Tournament Prep. All these sessions will run on Saturday.

Want to know a little bit more about what to expect? Let’s start with Explorative Training:

This session is all about understanding the strengths and weakness of individuals to ensure that you get the very best out of your players and your team as a whole. Two of the main methods used for training are repetition and exploration. Repetition is about drilling what you know and explorative training is all about discovering those strategies that work best for your team so you can drill them later.

Sounds amazing! And, bench coaching is something that every team in every league needs, so this next session on Bench Coaching Tips, sounds literally invaluable – who doesn’t want to bench like Ballistic!

Bench coaching is about far more than just standing on the sidelines, there are nuances to the information you prioritise. Your communication, who you deliver it to, and how you deliver it are also vitally important to gaining advantages for your team. We’ll also be covering a number of tips and tricks which help to make sure you capitalise on the strengths of your own team and the weaknesses of your opponent.

No one will want to miss that session, I am sure we’d all like to know some of LRG’s bench tips and tricks! So, what about the final session, Game day / Tournament Prep:

Learn about the things that Brawling does to help prep for any game – both away and at home. This class outlines all the things that help gets players and leadership prepped to get the most out of your performance on game day.

WHOA. Everything sounds amazing! Places in each class are limited so get your tickets fast to ensure you get a spot in these sessions!

Tickets, as always, available here.