Every great journey has a beginning, and for many Fountain City players that journey begins with the Zombie league. Some people call it a “Rec League” or compare it to “Junior Varsity”, but it is so much more than that.
Starting from a strictly technical stand point, the Zombie league provides an excellent foundation for skills. During the season, Zombies work on basic technique and derby fundamentals. The coaches help players broaden their knowledge of the sport through rules, training, and scrimmage. Working on basic skills quickly gives way to learning more advanced abilities and strategies that can be directly applied to game play. This style of progressive teaching helps to get skaters playing real derby, while not leaving others behind.
Zombie games are played at around 75%. That means that the speed is roughly 75% as fast as the class 2 games. The hits and blocks are about 75% of what a class 2 skater could dish out. It’s no secret that roller derby is a contact sport. “Playing down”, as it’s sometimes called, helps Zombie skaters learn to play the game, execute strategy, and still play the contact portion of the sport. These games are a great way to get experience playing before diving into major games where the competition is a bit more intense.
For many Zombie players, there comes a day when they move up to class 2 and draft onto a house team. When that happens, players tend to spend more time with their team than they do with other players. But going through a Zombie season is like having a graduating class; no matter what team your classmates end up on, you will always have your Zombie friends. You will always have that time you spent growing together that Zombie season. While people in the league are generally nice, you and your Zombie class will always have that special connection. Your Zombie classmates will see you at your best and at your worst, and you will see them at theirs. And through it all, you will develop bonds that will last you throughout your derby career, no matter where that leads.
Whether your goal is to make new friends, try something new, check an item off the bucket list, or be the best derby player around, remember that being a Zombie is a really great place to start your journey.
Some day you will fall at practice and a veteran skater will casually glide by, smile, and call out to you in their most cheery voice, “Falling is learning”.
They aren't saying it to be mean or to tease you.