I went to my first roller derby match! Oh my goodness people.
I’ve wanted to go to a Jacksonville roller derby for a year. Ever since I found out we had a team… Well, it turns out they have FOUR! Three home teams and one away team. And a few weeks ago, they were competing in a double-header not too far from my home.
I immediately recruited my very awesome friend, Amanda, and we dolled up to watch the mayhem.
Spoiler alert–we had so much fun. We hollered, we learned the rules, we rooted for a fight, we ate nachos…we also discussed being roller girls for Halloween, lol.
Probably like any sporting match, if you don’t know anything about the sport and have no interest in one team over the other, you probably won’t have as good a time–just to be honest, it’s girls skating in a circle for an hour. Soooo:
Here’s what you should know if you want to go
And you should want to go! 🙂
- Roller Derby is an “every-girl” sport. Although many wear lingerie, this is not a models-only sport. It embraces that every body type and personality can shine and have advantages. Girl power 😉
- These “girls” are the women who do your taxes, teach your kids, wait your table, manage your department. Oh yeah, but they also practice at 10 o’ clock at night for a sport they enjoy and put on a heckofa show for those who come out. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll run into one you know! I ran into an old college friend who used to wait tables with me and it was awesome to catch her (Hi Heather!).
- I don’t know about others but the Jacksonville group is a WFTDA league, which stands for Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. Flat track is just that, flat. The track they skate isn’t pitched or raised on the edges. There’s definitely still scrambling and wipeouts but there aren’t as many brawls. Probably because skating is harder and gravity isn’t helping fuel the speedier attacks.
- The food is bowling alley food. But if you burn it off yelling and jumping, you should embrace the experience of overpriced and less-than-healthy experience of slushies, beer, nachos, hot dogs and warm pretzels (and the potential pounds and indigestion to follow).
- Bring lawn chairs. The flat tracks don’t have stadium seats or benches for spectators so take care of yourself. However, maybe don’t bring a six-foot lounge chair or eight kid chairs if you are going to let them run around the whole time since there is limited floor space.
- Get there early. There is a line to find parking, there is a line to get in, and then once you do, it’ll be full and there won’t be room for your chair.
- The skater names were definitely one of my favorite parts! So many are really clever or just plain hilarious. Amanda’s favorite of the night? “Wargasm” Hearing the emcees announce it was just awesome. My favorite was a girl called “Great Wall of Gina.” I totally want a roller derby name!
Have you been to a roller derby event? Apparently, Jacksonville has a men’s roller derby league, too. What would your name be? I’m considering “Helen Wheels,” “Helena Handbasket” or “Knockout.”