Yesterday I went out to my first ever roller derby. I had no idea what to expect, other than what I saw in Whip It, and we all know how reliable films can be when it comes to real life experience!
I understood the general rules that I could remember from the film. Two teams, each with a jammer and a set of blockers. The jammers have to make their way around the track, getting through the opposing team member blockers in order to score points. Generally speaking, that’s correct, but there’s a lot more to it!
I went to see the London Roller Girls season 3 bout 6. There were two bouts that evening. First between the Suffra Jets and Harbour Grudges. The second match was between the Steam Rollers and Ultraviolent Femmes. Not knowing a single thing about the teams I chose who to support based on team names, team member names and logos. So I ended up lending my support to the Suffra Jets and Ultraviolent Femmes.
Just as the first bout started I realised I really didn’t know enough of the rules to know what was going on. But the great thing about the roller derby is that the announcers get that there could be newbies in the crowd, quite a few of us actually, and they explained a few things as the bout was going along. Watching more of the bout I got more and more into it. However I soon realised my team, the Suffra Jets, weren’t doing so well. The Harbour Grudges were knocking them sideways. Literally. At half time it wasn’t looking good at all for the Suffra Jets. They were down by a heck of a lot of points. However, they fought an amazing fight, crawled back to nearly within 20 points in the second half. It wasn’t enough and Harbour Grudges took home the win. Big kudos to Stefanie Mainey, Sky Rockit and Lola Vulkano – they were brilliant jammers!
After a short break to load up on food and booze the London Cheerios had a little performance. They’re the London Roller Girls official cheerleaders. They certainly gave it their all!
Next up – Steam Rollers vs. Ultraviolent Femmes. This time I decided to support the Ultraviolent Femmes – what can I say, loved the logo and their name! Sadly, they didn’t win, but what an amazing bout! Right out of the gates neither team were taking any prisoners. Kamikaze Kitten just flew as a jammer. She was fantastic. She just cut straight through the Steam Rollers’ blockers and nabbed her points. Ena Flash on the Steam Rollers team was probably my favourite player of the bout. She was equal parts ruthless and super fast. Steam Rollers vs. Ultraviolent Femmes definitely had more knocks, scrapes and I reckon more bruises! Much more action packed bout – don’t think I sat down once!
There’s another bout in July, which I can’t make. However there’s an international bout in August, which I definitely will be going to. If there was another roller derby going on next weekend, I’d be there! Roller derby is my new favourite spectator sport.
After Whip It, I really wanted to go see a real live Roller Derby. Hopefully one day.
Your experience sounded like a lot of fun! What an idea for a night out!