First Sporting Event
About a week ago we received an email from the Lansing Derby Vixens ( a local roller derby women's league) asking us to please come and take photos of their upcoming match against Cleveland's Burning River Derby.
So what is roller derby? Prior to being contacted we had only briefly heard about the sport and had at one time seen the movie Whip It starring actress Ellen Page where the premise of the film is about the sport.
Roller Derby a roller skate contact sport played by two teams made up of 15 players . The game is played in short action filled scrimmages called jams. In each jam both teams choose one player to act as a jammer (this player wears a star on the helmet) and 4 players to act as blockers. They all skate counter-clockwise around a track. In this case the track was a basketball court at the city sport complex. The jammer scores points by lapping members of the opposing team. The teams attempt to block the opposing jammer while assisting their own.
This was a special night for the Derby Vixens as the were honoring a fallen team mate, she wore the number 536. if you browse our photos below you will see many of the women sporting her number somewhere written on the uniform or body. In addition to the 536 badge being donned many players use this opportunity to show off their wild side in adding extra costume accessories to their uniforms, some times a ballet skirt or brightly colored tights or what not.
Many of the players that spoke with us shared that being part of a derby league allowed them a sort of break from norm as many of these women work in pretty rigid occupations or are mothers and wives and spend their days tending to routines. Roller derby gives these ladies a chance to break away from those routines and maybe even get a little pent up aggression or steam off in a fun yet positive way. Being full contact they are allowed and encouraged to "rough" up the other blockers and to earn points towards they're team. Obviously the roughing up is in good nature and not intended to cause physical harm, its very much like football in the sense of tackles or hockey in the same sense.
All in all we enjoyed our invitation and even stayed to photo their award ceremony at the end of the match. Unfortunately this was a loss for the Derby Vixens to the other team but we wish they many more opportunities and wins in the future.
So, if any of you reading this are stuck in the daily grind and are looking for a fun after work activity, we highly encourage you to check out your local roller derby league and seek a position on the team. If not, in the very least go ahead and look up the movie Whip It, a fun comedy full of Ellen page type acting that is enjoyable and you'll see what the sport of roller derby is all about!