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Roller Derby Survey Results – Part One

Roller Derby Survey Results – Part One

I’ve been involved in roller derby for 10 years.  As a skater, league president, business owner, fan & volunteer.

The growth and development of the sport has fascinated me.  And so much has changed in such a short time!

A few months ago I was chatting with some fellow derby nerds, swapping stories about the challenges our leagues were currently facing, and I thought “I wonder how many of these are local based challenges, and how many are affecting our sport as a whole?  Are there things we can learn from other leagues, rather than trying to figure it all out ourselves?”

So the idea to create an international, unaffiliated survey of all things roller derby was born.

After some crowd sourcing for questions – apparently there are lots of things we want to know about each other! – The State of the Roller Derby Survey was written and released to the public on March 28, 2017.

To date it has been filled out by 1,744 individuals from across the globe.

And it is still open – so go fill it out if you haven’t already!

Although there are MANY hours of analysis contained in the survey results, we thought we’d release some of the simpler ones to start!  So here are some of them….

49% of respondents were from USA   –   0.4% were from Brazil

76% were currently skating   –   6.5% were active officials  –  6.8% were retired officials

45% started skating in 2013 or later  –   35% retired in 2016

Roller Derby people are aged: 20-24 (6%)  25-29 (19%)   30-34 (26%)  35-39 (22%)  40-44 (12%)

The percentage of derby people that are married/common law with kids is the same as those who are married/common law without kids (approx 31%)

50% of people spend between $0 – $1,000 annually on derby. 50% spend between $1,000 – $3,000.

The majority of Roller Derby Seasons start in: January (37%) February (24%) March (12%) or September (9%)


roller derby uniforms pivotstar FLYLYTE sublimation sublimated dye-sub


30% of you don’t have an Off Season. 60% take between 1-2 months off a year.

Over 50% of respondents have only 1 or 2 teams in their league.  1.2% have 10 or more teams.

24% of leagues have less than 20 skaters in their league. 52% have 20 – 50 and 18% have 50 – 100 skaters.

10% of leagues have zero on-skates officials at the moment. 67% have between 1 and 5 officials.  3.8% have 10-20 on skates officials in their league.

League Growth: 55% said their league had grown in the last 3 years.  45% said their league had shrunk in the last 3 years.

Most leagues added between 1 and 10 skaters in the last year (77%).  4% said they added more than 20 skaters.

87% of leagues had between 1 and 10 skaters retire last year. 26 respondents said they had more than 20 skaters retire in 2016.

Why did people leave roller derby?  Injury (6%)  Career/Life – had to move (21%)  Career/Life – no time for derby (34%)  Burn out – derby demanded too much time to continue (21%) Other (16%)

Junior Roller Derby: 35% of respondents said there was no junior derby in their area. 24% said there was junior derby, but it was unaffiliated with the adult league, 17% said the junior team was combined with the adult league, 22% said they were unaffiliated but worked with the junior league.

Top League Priorities: Recruiting Skaters (31%)  Retention of Members – skaters & officials (21%)  Being more Competitive (26%)

Phew OK that’s a lot of data! And there’s still LOTS more to sift through!

BTW if you or someone you know has a background in data analysis and is interested in working on this project I’d love to hear from them!  Get them to contact us through the website.

Thank you to everyone that filled out the Survey – to everyone else GO DO IT NOW! Data is power people!

xo Luludemon #44    –  Pivotstar Founder, Derby Coach and Drinker of Proper English Tea



This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Why did the derby ages only go to 44? I’m going to be 60 in a few months and another lady on my team is 62. Although, I’m currently not skating as I look after my terminally ill husband, I do plan to return one day.

  2. Hey Scorpion, Apologies for the misunderstanding. What I should have written is “the majority of people involved in roller derby are aged..” The survey itself had a broader range of ages but these were the ranges that included the majority of respondents.

    That’s awesome you and your friend are playing derby! I’m 36 right now and it’s my goal to be playing when I am in my 60s.

    xo Luludemon

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