Roller derby


The Roller Derby season is upon us. It’s a squished up one this time around – the first two bouts were within a week of each other.


I feel like a bit of a bandwagon jumper. But I love roller derby for a lot of reasons. I love the costumes. I love the speed. I love the crowds of excited people. I love the catcalling. I love the way it’s totally a real sport (a hardcore one) but without offputting blokiness. (Butchness, now… that’s a whole ‘nother thing.)

I love that, because it’s pretty new in Adelaide (it’s been going for a while but most people hadn’t heard of it) lots of people don’t have a team to barrack for. Personally I have favourite players, but I generally barrack for whichever team is losing. It’s more exciting that way.

I love how camp it is.

I love the punny Derby Names – my favourite umpire is called ‘Or Elsie’. I LOVE the socks and short skirts and frilly knickers. I love how cute the Derby girls are…

Yes, she is offering her butt up for slapping. Why do you ask?

…and how badass.

But the thing I love most – about the individual players, the teams and the people who come to watch it – is its alternativeness.

There are people dressed up in rockabilly retro clothes, in stockings and short skirts, in ripped jeans and a tshirt. There are girls wearing suits and men in checked shirts with piercings and spacers. There are complicated updos and dreadlocks and rad undercuts. Fat chicks, big guys, skinny ladies, kids. There are people in so many shades of costumery. All just hanging out. Just being themselves, having fun. So many different kinds of awesome. All together in one big arena, watching women in sparkly tights and terrifying face paint whizz round and round, giving each other high fives – and thumping each other.

Apparently, the tactics are also excellent. I wouldn’t know – I have a pretty loose grasp on the rules, I’ll admit. I can tell you who is the lead jammer for a bout, and that’s about it. And that’s an improvement – last season I couldn’t remember the names of the positions and I kept calling them names from quidditch. I think ‘beater’ and ‘seeker’ are perfectly appropriate, frankly. Be that as it may, the first bout of the season was totally thrilling:

So. Tense.

The Mile Die club was THRASHING the road train rollers in the first half. But in the end, Kit Cat Krunch scored a grand slam in the last few seconds of the final point… so that to RTR won by ONE POINT. (Reading that sentence back it sounds totally hilarious. But it’s not! It’s deadly serious!)

Rolla JunkyKit Cat Krunch is the stripey-socked blur on the right there

That was weekend before last. Last weekend, the Salty Dolls managed a win over the Wild Hearses – it was a pretty tough battle, too. There was screaming and shouting and gasps as Derby Girls hit the concrete. Barrelhouse Bessie did NOT flash the crowd again, but she did give the umpires plenty of lip.

Next bout is in a week and a half. I cannot wait.


5 thoughts on “Roller derby

  1. I am roller derby wannabe. I LOVED rollerskating as a teen. I played roller hockey for a bit (then I moved from Alice Springs to Bairnsdale). Roller derby or hockey in Bairnsdale…can’t see it happening. Lack of venue is the major obstacle. Nowhere to hold a derby. Oh, but I WANT to be a four wheel skater, none of this in line skate stuff. I’ve tried the inline skates but the brake is at the back and, having cut my teeth on “old school” skates which have the brake at the front…well, I just fell flat on the footpath. Occasionally I cruise ebay for speed skates. It seems they’re scarce, thus commanding BIG (for me) dollars.
    I want to skate up and down the uneven footpaths around here with the speedy dog. you know of a website for buying skates? Ask those roller derby women. I want a pair of Proper skates, boots or shoes, I don’t care, front brake is imperative. Unfortunately I have only about $150 (perhaps more) to spend. So, I’m angling for a second-hand pair. Probably third or fourth hand, given my budget.
    Can you you quiz the roller derby women and men? MUCH appreciated.
    Umm, thankyou.

    1. Hey, Sue, sorry it took me ages to reply, I was trying to find more skate stores. The only one I know of is Da Klinic in Adelaide, they sponsor our Derby and have a table at all the games. They have an online store here It looks like they have a few things in that price range, but they are very friendly so maybe it’s worth calling them and asking for help? They also have ‘fresh meat’ packs with all the safety stuff etc. Much more than $150 though! I was going to save up and buy one of those but then I found some second hand roller skates for $15 in a country town op shop, and S found some wrist guards for me. I was reluctant to pay that much money straight out because unlike you I never skated as a kid and I’m not sure I am even capable of doing it. I realise there must be more ways of stopping than crashing into something, but I’ve never managed to figure it out!

      Does that help? The people at Da Klinic probably would know about buying second hand skates – I can ask them this weekend at Derby if you like? I want you to be able to take the dog for a skate, too!

Whadya reckon?

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