Wednesday, December 2, 2009

DC Roller Girls

A small group of us went down to DC Armory on Saturday afternoon to see a roller derby. This was my first experience of the sport and after reading about it in the Washington Post a while ago, I was excited to see it first hand. I was impressed that we could get so close to the circuit. As well as bleachers, there were chairs close to the ring and I was also able to sit on the floor feet away from the skaters as they passed.   
This mother held a sign for her daughter AKA Hoova Dayum, who as well as being a great pusher was also very fast.
The rules in a nutshell are points are collected by 'jammers' who are sprinting skaters. There is one on each side and four blockers who form a pack. So there are two jammers on the circuit trying to pass eight blockers. The blockers will obviously block the opponent jammer while trying to help their own jammer pass through the pack. A point is gained once the jammer passes through the pack. Each 'jam' or session lasts for two minutes or until the lead jammer calls off the jam. The team with the most points after two 30 minute periods wins the game. 

Each jam commences with the pack skating off at the first whistle and the two jammers behind starting on the second whistle. It's a fast and furious pace with many tumbles and much encouragement from the audience.

I loved this shot! It's obviously not a totally glamorous sport having to wear mouthguards!

This is Condoleezza Slice, featured in the above Washington Post article.
 I spent quite a lot of time sitting here on the floor which turned out to be a great location as I ended up having the whole Cherry Blossom Bombshells team sitting next to me, so my camera was clicking like crazy.

There were so friendly too and more than willing to let me have a photo with them.

Here they are on the edge of the circuit cheering their opposition as they're introduced. It's a very friendly sport and each player is introduced to the crowd as they do a lap.

This guy is an avid supporter of the Heavy Metal Hookers, a team from Philadelphia.

This was Condoleezza Slice and her Scareforce One team after the match, slapping hands with their opponents and anyone else who wanted to come to the sidelines and take part. Of course, I had to do that.
This was a brilliant afternoon out and I immensely enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and joviality of the teams. It seems to be a sport building rapidly in popularity, and now uses a flat track as apposed to the banked tracks from the 70's. There are now more than 400 flat track derby leagues worldwide.


Sam said...

Great piece - As a member of DCRG meat and a derby fan myself I am glad that you enjoyed yourself. I also appreciated your pictures - the one was with Lois Slain and Soledad with their mouth guards are classic.

Debby Karalee said...

Thanks Sam, I appreciate the comments, and thanks for the names of the two girls. I hope to attend another session very soon!

Heideldy Deideldy said...

Oh yeah Girl! LOVEEE me some Roller Derby! And the crowd is usually just as exciting as the Roller Girls!

jb said...

Heidi and I recently attended our first match Northstar Roller Girls - AWESOME ! and they are running themes at each match and encourage the crowd to dress up..great people watching - very diverse crowd and everyone is SO Nice!