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:
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!)
Kit 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.