Roller Derby ..
Let me just start out by saying, if you go to one of these events and think it is going to be anything like that movie “Whip It”, you will be shocked to see there are no elbows thrown, opponents getting thrown out of the track or bloody noses (deliberately anyway).
In fact in the skater try out session I attended back in February 2019, it was made very clear that they do not want any photos of injuries or the skaters being treated for the well being of the skaters as well as not to promote the stereotype of the sport that was pushed in the Hollywood film starring Ellen Page.
What you will find are the quirky names such as “Mel Bent”, “Painapple”, “Death Nell” and “Laura Gravity” and a group of ladies and men who are out to have a good time and of course get a win at the same time. Even the officials have quirky names like “Bi-Curious George” and “Max Payne”.
I have to admit, even during the training and then through the first match I managed to catch in June, it was confusing as hell. I even got a Roller Derby 101 handout the first time and it still didn’t help. However, YouTube provides the goods again and there are MANY videos about the 101 of Roller Derby explained for dumbies like myself. Below is one of the better videos I thought for explaining the basic rules and game play of Roller Derby.
More after the photos….
What do you know about Roller Derby?
I’ve seen that movie. Whip it. That’s what its all about yeh?
Ok. So real Roller Derby is nothing like that. Forget you’ve even seen the movie!
So what’s the atmosphere like? Or to use a more Roller Derby style question, what’s the Atmos Fear like? See what I did there? Ok I won’t do that again…
Well for starters, if you are over 18 you can sit right on the track to support your team. There are bake sales and other fundraising activities going on to raise money to support the league and if you’re lucky you might even spot “Over Dressed Pete” who is one of the leagues’ biggest supporters.
If you don’t feel like taking a seat next to the track, there are plenty of viewing areas along one side of the track behind a small wall.
During the introductions of each team which is done whilst they skate around the track in a huddled pack, even the opposing team cheers each player on while they are named. You don’t see that in many other sports.
During game play, both teams’ benches passionately support their own players and given that the benches are usually right next to their own teams supporters which are seated track side, they can get pretty rowdy.
At the end of each game, the teams, their closest supporters and the officials all line up around the track and each team takes a turn, starting with the losing team, to skate around and high five everyone lined up. After the losing team finishes, they take position and then the winning team does the lap of honour.
I had fun at the games and I am looking forward to heading down to the remaining bouts before the Perth Roller Derby grand final in November 2019!
Perth Roller Derby
Morley Roller Drome or Herb Graham Recreation
Remaining 2019 dates: 6th July, 31st August, 5th October
Grand Final: 9th November
$8 for kids, $12 for adults, $20 for family tickets (2 adults, 2 kids)*
More Info: Perth Roller Derby Facebook Page