My niece decided she wanted to go check out the local Roller Derby, she’s actually thinking about becoming a part of it. Her husband, daughter, father (my brother) and I joined her. It was an interesting, and enjoyable evening.
Yeah, I didn’t think they still existed either, but they do.
Now, we expected to see some serious fighting, elbowing, slamming, maiming and all that fun stuff you saw in those 1970’s movies. The truth is that it is quite a bit more organized and regulated than in the movies. They get to block each other, and there was a lot of running into opponents, even some good spills. But play actually stopped the two times someone got more than just scrapes.
I also found out how the game is scored. Each team has a “jammer” who wears a star on their helmet. Each time a jammer passes an opponent, their team gets a point. So, you have two players trying to get around the track as many times as possible, passing their opponents as many times a possible. The other 4 players on each team are doing their best to stop or slow down the opponent’s jammer.
Now, in the video you may notice that all of a sudden everyone seems to be going backwards. That’s because when the jammer gets pushed across the foul line, they have to reenter the track behind the farthest back opponent blocker. So they all go backwards to keep the opponent’s jammer off the track as long as possible, giving their jammer more time to rack up points.
Now, Roller Derby isn’t your usual high-brow sporting event. It’s held in a warehouse out on 14th South and 7th West. Seating is either on one of several aluminum bleachers with astroturf glued to the seating area, one of the many folding chairs or just on the floor. The “jumbotron” scoreboard was a computer screen projected onto the wall and the concessions were all but non existent. But the audience was very enthusiastic without being obnoxious, which made for a good evening.
All the players had interesting names, like this one. And the Black Diamond Divas’ mascot was Sassy Sasquatch.
Well, my niece is showing up to the league’s amateur night, so you may be hearing more about the Roller Derby.
P.S. – Sorry about the quality of the photos, I didn’t think to bring my camera so all I had was my phone.