The Korea Herald


Come together

By Korea Herald

Published : Feb. 14, 2012 - 20:37

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This is a series introducing associations and clubs that expats can get involved in. This week, Expat Living spoke to Jody O’Neill/Crash Baby of the Republic of Korea Derby. ― Ed.

•Name of Club: Republic of Korea Derby

•Location(s): The league practices every weekend in Seoul, at either Seongnam Stadium or a community center in Dongdaemun, or in Daegu at Manchon Inline Skating Rink, or both locations.

•Number of members: ROKD currently has around 40 skaters, volunteers, announcers, referees, etc. We are actively recruiting and the league is open to everyone.

•Started: Four expat derby girls from the United States and U.K. decided to start the league in December 2010. The first practice was in March 2011.

Who is it for?

Roller derby is a women’s contact sport on roller skates. For people not familiar with the sport of roller derby, these sites are very informative:,

The competitors (skaters) are female but the league is open to everyone of any gender. The athletes must skate on quad roller skates. Referees can choose quads or inline skates. We also have many positions for non-skating volunteers. Off skate positions include score keepers, penalty trackers, announcers and more. You do not have to know how to skate to join, we will teach you.

What goes on?

Roller derby is a full contact sport on roller skates. ROKD practices every weekend on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. We train in basic skating skills, as well as the more advanced roller derby skills. Occasionally we participate in community events such as parades, festivals, rock shows and even just teaming up to host trivia nights at local pubs.

Any plans for the future?

ROKD would like to play bouts (games) for the public. We know there are many derby fans in the ROK and we would like to give them what they are looking for! In order to do that we need more referees, non-skating volunteers, and skaters. We are also still looking for a better private space in central Seoul where we can practice or invite people to see us play.

How can you join?

E-mail and follow us on Facebook at

Any membership fees?

Skaters are required to help share for the cost of league equipment, supplies, and practice time, which generally runs about 15,000 won a month. We do not ask volunteers to share these costs. All members are responsible for travel costs.

Skaters and referees are also responsible for the cost of their skates and required protective equipment. Currently, very little of the equipment we use is available in Korea so it’s necessary to order it from the United States. Luckily, we have some U.S. sponsors such as and the discounts they give us help with the costs.

Highlight of the year?

At this moment we are very excited that we have built up our membership enough to have private practice time. This allows us to set up the derby track and really scrimmage. With just a few more dedicated skaters and volunteers we will be ready to invite the public to come watch the action!