No more official 27/5? Now what?

Posted on: December 17th 2020

In the derby world there’s always been mixed feelings about having the 27/5 be a requirement to become bout eligible, because for some skaters it has been a barrier to play (within the WFTDA ruleset). These mixed feelings include some players feeling that removing it and other Minimum Skills Requirements (MSRs) will endanger other athletes on the track. Some skaters aren’t mad about it no longer being required, some feel they had to do it so others should too and then some are just indifferent.

Up until today the 27/5 was officially included in the MSRs, as a way for leagues to deem skaters ready to move onto the next level of derby, but it’s now on the way out. WFTDA is not requiring the 27/5 and other baseline requirements to be included in the new skater curriculum, but of course individual leagues are free to still use at their discretion.

For some skaters, it took longer to pass the 27/5. It was a frustrating experience trying to tick off that one last box from the MSR list. We’ve heard of skaters experiencing this over extended periods of time, which would then discourage them from continuing to practice with their team.

Regardless of how you felt about it in the past, or regarding the recent update to the “New Beginner Curriculum”, ultimately the 27/5 is a good tool to utilize for cardio conditioning and endurance. 

We asked the Roller Derby Athletics Coaches about relevant training in place of the 27/5 :

With 27/5 being removed from the MSRs, it is still important for us to train for the endurance long haul of skating in a derby bout. Adding in HIIT and other recovery training techniques will be beneficial, putting your heart rate and recovery rate to the test. Obviously, 27/5 is conditioning in a way that is specific to our sport, so making sure you’re working in endurance type cardio to your routine as well, whether that’s simply walking, biking, running, rowing, etc.

Another important aspect of 27/5 specifically is the importance of muscular endurance- being able to maintain solid and consistent skating form throughout all 5 minutes, while also focusing on stable core and hip musculature. Add in skater strides, lateral skater hops, any core stability workouts of your choosing, as well as single leg stability movements to up your game!”

– RDA Coach Maloik





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“Weirdly enough it was practicing and completing the 27/5 that got my butt in gear to do better endurance training and conditioning. I will say, fast laps with falls and hops included not only helps passing this time trial, but also helps with my running in general. I’m not fond of running, but if I find myself doing it, I can adapt to any terrain thanks to the way I practice my laps. It’s mutually beneficial: the way I train laps betters my running which betters my skate stride even more.”

– RDA Coach Johnnie Knocks’Em



If you’re the type of skater who loves working on the 27/5 to maintain or improve, we have some more tips for you that can help.

The 27/5 is a great way to practice proper form and bio-mechanics while also using physics to utilize the track to your advantage. When it comes to training, a focus on hip and core strength and muscular endurance is of the utmost importance. Nothing is more important in our sport than a stable core and hips. Things that I primarily focus on during this drill are maintaining a low stance throughout all five minutes, a proper crossover stride in the straightaways, pushing myself out of the apex, and skating what I learned as “the sevens” or “the diamond” shape to utilize the track shape to my advantage. For some people, it is also helpful to time your laps. If you can get a lap in 11 seconds and maintain that pace throughout, then you’re golden!

– Coach Maloik

EXTRA! Here’s a fast paced Spotify playlist that can help keep you pumped up throughout the laps.

Most leagues utilize the MSRs since they’re a jumping off point/ recommendation to test someone’s level of safety on skates. WFTDA isn’t saying the 27/5 is going away completely, just that it isn’t officially required by them for a player to be eligible to play in WFTDA sanctioned games. Next year as we’re allowed to return to practice, leagues will decide how they prefer to use the Minimum Skills Requirements to gauge when new skaters are ready to move up to the next level. This can be using the new revised version, the older version or a mix of the two.

Let us know your experiences with the 27/5 in the past, how do you feel about it no longer being an official requirement? Tell us below! Also, who’s ready for derby to come back soon? 🙋‍♀️

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