When I first started Roller Derby I would hear this question being asked at various times. At first though I didn’t know what was meant by that. How do I know and no one could really tell me. I think it is very important for the trainers/coaches to have a really good idea of everyone’s capabilities before throwing newbies into the scrimmage. safety for everyone should be the biggest concern and a big factor in determining if you are scrimmage ready.
Our team did something different for the first time at our scrimmage practice which was suggested by the Refs and worked out awesomely well. We split everyone up between seasoned (advanced) skaters and the intermediates and newbies. One jam was only advanced and the next jam was intermediates/beginners against each other and the next jam was 2 advanced skaters mixed in with intermediate/beginners. We rotated this way the entire time and it not only worked out really well it was awesome to watch each jam be competitive and no one got hurt. I personally had a great practice and I hope everyone else felt like they did too. Having enough players to make this work is a key factor too.
It is difficult as a seasoned skater to dial back when scrimmaging with not so seasoned players every time and this was a way to get them out there so they could go hard and work on their game as well. And then have the opportunity to help teach the other girls and provide guidance on the track.
As with all things in life you must study that which you want to conquer or become good at! Every single practice will give you exactly what you put into it. There are always those days, when I don’t feel so great, tired, cranky or just wanting to not do anything. I have found out that if I make myself go to practice and get on the floor by the time warm ups are over I have renewed energy, better focus and much better attitude. It is what keeps me going. I love doing and helping and learning and teaching. And most importantly I have learned not to give up trying something even when I am struggling with it! So you will be ready to scrimmage probably sooner than you think but the harder you work on the drills at practice the better your scrimmage time will be! Get out there and Get it Done!!