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Unleash Your Inner Bad A** With Roller Derby

Fishnets, face paint and roller skates – these are the essentials of roller derby. All that and a fierce attitude as well. A sport invented in the depression, which peaked in the late 50s through the early 70s, is making a comeback at a roller rink near you.

This sport is not for the Xanadu set, but more the rough and tumble crowd since injuries are part of the games and fist fights are considered part of the fun. Theatrics are part of the strategy of winning and team cheers often include the words "blood" and "kill." The new wave of grass-roots, all-female leagues has become the rage and because it is grass roots players put in a lot of time for their leagues, not just in practicing their derby skills, but also organizing, managing and fund raising.

The organization, Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) established rules and protocol, as well as sets up intercity matches between the 48 existing leagues with dozens of teams in each league. There are teams all over the nation, and a few in Europe as well.

Interested to lean how to score at the derby, then


Matches are 60 minutes divided into periods. The periods are divided into jams that last up to two minutes. A jam works like this:

Five from each team crouch at the starting line — a pivot, three blockers, and a jammer, in that order — and they’re off. The jammers, wearing starred helmets, skate furiously, trying to fight their way past the blockers and the pivots. The first jammer who makes it past the pack is named lead jammer; she’ll be the only one to score points during this round (officially known as a jam). She scores by lapping her competitors, one point for each girl she passes.

Interested? Then it is good to know that at team tryouts, skaters are judged not on their physique, but on their ability, aggressiveness and attitude. Good skills to practice in your skates prior to auditioning are: skating at high speeds, dodging obstacles, and falling without injury. A catchy nickname can help get you noticed, but make sure your desired nickname is not already registered by some other derby queen here.

If you are looking for a league near you, check out the WFTDA listing of participating leagues. Sounds like a wicked good time and a great way to let off some steam. Plus the fashion is so excellently punk rock!


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