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Things You Didn't Know About Roller Derby

Nov 20, 2013

We don’t often put on a pair of roller skates but when we do, you can make damn sure we pretend we’re badass Roller Derby girls.  We’re not actually Derby girls because we bruise like a peach, but we still love to watch the girls who do have the skills to pay the bills race around the track.
With the season starting up again very soon, The London Rollergirls have helped us put together a post about some of the things you never knew you never knew about Roller Derby.  So, if all you know of this sport is what you saw in the movie Whip It, that’s fine, we’ve all got to start somewhere.

  • Beginners are known as ‘Fresh Meat’ – new girls will spend a couple of months building up their stamina and skills before they are given proper Derby names. Until they have proven themselves, they’re referred to as Fresh Meat.
  • London Rollergirls was the first league in the UK – these girls have been skating since 2006.
  • You can skate under your real name or choose a ‘skate name’ – There is a worldwide register for skate names which are often a play on words like ‘Abercrombie & Fists’, ‘Booba Fett’ and ‘Eerie Indy Anna’.
  • Roller derby will be a featured sport of the 2018 Gay Games – Paris won the bid to host the games which gives us an extra excuse to go to France and not just for the pastries.
  • London Rollergirls competed in the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) Championships – they were the first team outside the USA to do so.
  • Originally, roller derby was an endurance race, the goal being to complete 57,000 laps around the track – Yeah we definitely couldn’t have been Derby girls back in the day. We would have managed maybe four and then collapsed in a pile.
  • There are over 1200 amateur leagues worldwide – More than you thought, right? It’s popularity outside the States has grown massively and all kinds of women from all over the world are finding their inner Derby girl.
  • In the early days of Derby, the sport provided Americans with one of their first opportunities to witness women compete in a sport under the same rules of play as men – It also gave people a chance to see women in a contact sport, which was uncommon at the time.
  • The second Roller Derby world cup is taking place in Dec 2014 in Texas – the birthplace of modern roller derby. We’re looking up cheap flights to Dallas as we speak.

If you’re excited to get into Roller Derby, you can get tickets to the London Rollergirls next event, the Season 6 Opener – All Star Bash Mash Up, right here.

Header Photo: London Rollergirls Flickr

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