It’s not your mama’s roller derby anymore. Many hear “roller derby” and automatically think fishnets, tattoos, punches and wipeouts. They are immediately taken back to the 70s, when televised bouts of brawny women in skimp outfits were consumed with bloody noses and black eyes.
While yes, fishnets and tattoos are still aplenty, derby is much more about the sport than the show these days. Whereas it once may have been likened to wrestling on wheels, I like to think of it as rugby on wheels — minus the ball.
Just like any other athlete in today’s sports world, derby girls are expected to take the sport seriously, train hard and show up ready to work.
So what is roller derby, you ask?
On game day a bout is made up of two 30-minute halves, which consist of two-minute jams. Each team fields four blockers that make up the pack and one jammer. The jammer’s job is to score points, which is done by passing opposing skaters once they make a lap around the track. Each skater is worth one point.
And no, skaters are not allowed to cold clock one another. Flat track (as opposed to banked track) teams follow a strict set of rules created by the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association.
While there’s no punching, elbowing, kicking or shoving allowed, skaters can still hit the ground hard when receiving a solid hip or shoulder check.
Roller Derby Name: Cookie Monstrosity
Team: Diamond State Roller Girls
Home Rink: Christiana Skating Rink, Newark, Del.
Playing since: February 2011