Mon. Apr 3, 2017

5 Reasons why you should watch Roller Derby at the WSSF

By Lindsay Leathem aka Rowdy Roddy Pippa
The sport of Roller Derby dates back to the 1920’s where derby was used to describe roller skate races. In the 1930’s, it was played on a banked track and became more physical which continued through the 60’s. Then came the Roller Games in the 90’s that was more like wrestling on wheels with staged fights and even a banked figure 8 track. In 2005, the sport of Roller Derby had another change with most of the tracks becoming flat, which increased the ability for more teams to form. Fast forward to 2017 and Roller Derby is one of the fastest growing women’s sports with about 2000 leagues all over the world. So, why should you come see this sport on April 8?
1.     Full Contact – The players get up close and personal with one another and typically in the form of a hit. The jammer scores points for her team, but to do that she has to ram through the opposing team’s blockers who form walls to keep her from passing them.  Each blocker the jammer passes is a point. You will see jammers knocked off their skates regularly only to get up and try to get past them again.  The blockers will protect their points at all costs.
2.     Derby Monikers – One of the great things that continues from the early days are the names. A highlight of joining a league is to come up with your derby name. It’s your alter ego. Your chance to make that name and be it! At the WSSF, you will see the likes of Princess Slayah, Gold E Blocks, Mala Justed, and Zelda Fightsgerald on the track. 
3.     Men Play Too! – The sport of Roller Derby is a known as a women’s sport, but men also play and there are currently 72 men’s leagues around the world.  They play fast, hit hard and you will see two teams whom are currently ranked in the top 10 in the world battle it out at WSSF after the sea to sky Apex Pistols play Vancouver’s Smokin’ Laces.
4.     Boutfits – While derby is full of hits, strategy, and endurance, you want to look your best even hitting the ground.  Derby bouts usually have a theme and the teams love to go all out with extravagant, over the top outfits.  While there are now more uniforms and compression tights in the sport, there is still always at least 15 pieces of flare involved in the boutfit.
5.     Interaction – When you come to watch Roller Derby at WSSF, you sit close to all the action. You can bring signs to cheer players on, and you can yell, hoot, and holler.  Getting rowdy is welcome-think Hecklers rock at Crankworx.  At the end of the bout, make sure you come up to the track to get your player high fives in a long standing tradition where the teams do a victory lap around the edge.
While there are roller derby bouts on every weekend all over the country, this is by far the best show in Canada.  It has all the lights and hysterical announcers. Epic anthem singers and hilarious half time shows.  It also has all the reasons listed above. 
Come to the Whistler Conference Centre on Saturday, April 8th and you will see why Roller Derby deserves to be a part of the epic celebration of art, music, and sport at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival.  Get your tickets at: open at 5:00pm and the first whistle is at 6:00pm.