In the last couple of years, EJ’s friend has become interested in roller derby. He thinks it’s a fun sport, he likes the action and camaraderie between players and teams, and he’s amazed at the team members’ skating ability. Because he enjoys the sport so much, he likes to introduce his friends to it. Most people (us included) aren’t really familiar with the sport.
TH’s local team (Shipwreck Alley) was playing our local team (the Small Town Outlaws) near us, so he invited us to go to the game–his treat. EJ and I have never been to a roller derby game so we had no idea what to expect. My only exposure to roller derby is a brief segment in TV shows or movies, and it always looks quite brutal. So I wasn’t sure it would be my “thing.” But, hey, it’s fun sometimes to try new things…
TH explained the game to us, and after a short time we understood enough of the rules to follow the game. Basically, the only player who can score in a game is the one who has a star on her helmet. She is called a “Jammer.” She has to go around the track once before she can start scoring and then she gets one point for each opposing team member that she passes. The other players are called “blockers.” Their job is to try to block the other team’s Jammer so she can’t pass them. Blockers can only initiate a block to an opponent’s chest, front and sides of the torso, arms, hands, hips, and the front of the legs above mid-thigh. It is only legal to initiate a block using one’s torso, arms above the elbow, and legs above mid-thigh.
Small Town Outlaws (in red) was a much more experienced and skilled team than Shipwreck Alley, which is a very new team. However, I’m sure Shipwreck Alley will improve as they gain more experience. They all competed very hard and it was fun to watch. In fact, EJ and I enjoyed it so much that we would like to attend more of our local teams’ home games.