Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gruesome Twosome

Alternative names: --
Objective: Teamwork; self-confidence booster; to practice blocking.
Typical length of drill: 10-20 mins (time adaptable to how much time is available)
Materials needed: A full taped down track
Skill level required: Skaters must be cleared for contact
Description: This drill is like a mix between a game of Tag and a game of Blood & Thunder / Queen of the Rink.  The coach selects a pair of skaters who have two completely different sets of skills or ‘signature moves’ (i.e. a tall, fast jammer and a big bootied heavy hitter).  These skaters together function as IT.  They have to work together to tag other skaters.  They can never be more than two strides away from each other.  To tag a skater IT must push the skater out of bounds or knock her/him down.  The pair has two minutes in which to tag as many of the other skaters as possible.  If you have a large group of skaters (or just as an added challenge), you can chose TWO sets of ITs and the two pairs can compete for the most tags in a 2-minute period.

Note: It is not totally necessary to pair up people of different skill sets, this can also be played with any sets of partners just for fun.  The reason you would want to pair up people with different sets of strengths and weaknesses is so that skaters can learn how to use their teammates and thoste teammates' special skills on the track (for skaters to find how they complement each other on the track) and to boost confidence (to show that all skaters have something to contribute to the game even though/especially because everyone has different skills).  Roller derby is a TEAM sport so no one can be a superstar on their own.

Additional notes: I came up with this drill when I saw that we needed to work on teamwork and the skaters needed to learn a little bit more about how to use each other's strengths to fill in their own weaknesses.  I wanted to do something that both required two people to work closely together at all times (to practice partnering and not going off on your own lone-wolf mission completely forgetting about your buddy) and something that was fun so that we could do it at the end of practice and everyone could leave with happy feelings.  I also ran this drill during MayDay in Hell, the biggest roller derby event in Finland thus far.


  1. Hello!

    This seems like a relly nice drill :) Are the rest of the skaters skating on the track as a one big pack, or are everyone spread arount the track?

  2. When we've played it the skaters have been spread out around the track, but you could try it with one big pack and see how it works! I imagine it would be easier to tag people if they were in a pack, but I could be wrong :)