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Roller Derby Forum Discussions about banked-track and flat-track roller derby events, teams, skaters, and training methods.

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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:00 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,332
Default Derby injuries?

How dangerous is derby in reality? I'm enjoying it so far! I'm small though. Used to aggressive skating but its only me falling and I can prepare for my falls. Bruises, scraps and sprains are all that happen to me. I'm getting mixed messages on derby though. I've heard that derby is MUCH more dangerous then aggressive skating, snowboarding, and other aggressive activities all combined together, others less. At the derby workshop, she mentioned many serious injuries that we could expect and how important it is to be prepared on how to use short term disability and frequent use of health insurance.

I'm really not prepared for broken bones, multiple stitches, being disabled, possibly jeopardizing my job, etc. if that what it means. Never missed a day of work from skating ramps and bowls. I'm not sure if she was just preparing me for the worse, or if this was frequent?
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Old September 17th, 2007, 07:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Overland Park, KS
Posts: 54

The impression I get is that it depends on your ability as a skater, the abilities of the skaters around you, and also depends on your league. Some leagues are more rough than others (although this is somewhat neutralized with WFTDA leagues, it can still vary even then).

Honestly, I saw more injuries per event at my brothers high school soccer games than I see during roller derby bouts. I think the difference is that when someone is injured, the injuries are more likely to be "bad" with roller derby because of the higher speeds. That's just my assumption, though. But that's comparing a "tame" sport to an extreme sport. I think roller derby is about even (in injuries) when compared to the rest of the extreme sports out there.

ETA: The above should be taken with a grain of salt, though. I'm still waiting for try-outs, so at this point, I'm just a roller derby wannabe. I do pay very close attention to the sport, though.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 30

here's my advice, from someone who has only practiced, not actually bouted-

first off, if you have no hips or ass like myself, i highly recommend the bumsaver/azzpad thingies. i am currently dealing with a bum tailbone, and it ain't pretty. my boyfriend is tired of hearing me while about my butt being broken. second, practice with people as soon/much as you can. that really helps you get a feel for falling and staying the heck out of other people's way. go slow, so if disaster does strike it won't be too bad.

as far as "more dangerous," that is a risk all athletes take. well, maybe not curlers, or maybe so, perhaps there are some wicked broom injuries! no offense to curling enthusiasts.

as far as comparison to other sports, i don't know any actual stats or anything, but it's just a chance we all take. either you get hurt or ya don't. i have crappy insurance right now (but at least i have some, a few girls have NONE on my team), but i just try to learn quickly and do the best i can! and you've probably heard it before, but live it-FALL SMALL and keep yer damn fingers offa the track!
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Old September 20th, 2007, 09:59 PM   #4
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Location: Suburbs of New Orleans, LA
Posts: 537

Injuries are a reality of any aggressive or contact sport. Derby has the added factor of speed, since we can easily reach double digit speeds around the track.

That being said, serious injuries that would involve even part time disability are rare, IMO.

I broke my ankle during a bout and did miss one week of work because of surgery for it. But then I was in a walking boot and able to ambulate. I was skating again in just over a month.

The most common injuries I know about are bruises and strains. These need RICE (Rest Ice Compression and Elevation) and common sense. The next most common are ACL/PCL injuries/tears. These may need an MRI and physical therapy, and if bad enough surgery. Then there are broken ankles which may or may not need surgery and heal up within 4-6 weeks.

BUT, all of these injuries are just as common in people who don't play sports. FOr example, a good friend of mine broke 4 bones in her foot and tore her ACL requiring surgery by slipping and falling while she walked down the street. She wasn't drunk or running or anything. Just had her heel hit wrong and went down.

I personally think medical insurance is a must if you play any sport - not just contact sports.

I can't see derby being more dangerous than aggro skating in bowls etc. I would be TERRIFIED to do that. Just be smart, warm up and stretch, and practice good safe falls. Could you get hurt, yes, it's possible. But with common sense and good practice, your chances diminish.
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