But just in case you're new to this whole derby world, I thought I'd post the top three questions I get asked when talking to people about roller derby.
Is there a ball? No. There is no ball of any kind in derby. Points are scored as each team's offensive player (known as the jammer) makes her way through the pack of defensive players. She scores a point for each player on the opposite team she passes legally.
Are there, like, fights? Hopefully not. Skaters who engage in fighting will be expelled from the remainder of the bout. Roller derby is a contact sport with hard hits and falls. But to keep its integrity as a sport, fights are strictly prohibited.
Do you have to have a tattoo? Um, no. You will find a wild cross-section of women on the derby track. There are a lot of tattoos out there, but having one is not a requirement for skating. And contrary to urban legend, tattoos do not make you skate faster.
Is there a banked track? Houston Roller Derby is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). This means that we skate on a flat track, which actually takes more athleticism, as you have to use your skill to stay on the track. It also keeps the skaters that much closer to the fans. If you want to really get up close and personal , sit in the crash zone where you might catch a derby girl in the lap!
Can I bring my kids? YES! Houston Roller Derby loves its younger fans. We are a little more of a PG-13 sport: there are short skirts and and you're sitting close to the track, you might hear some language. But are the skirts any shorter than those of your favorite football team's cheerleaders?? Probably not. As a testament to kid-friendliness, my one-year-old son will be there, sporting his Mini Mojo onesie.
To see these questions (and more!) answered in action, come out Saturday night, April 18th, at Kicks Indoor to see some genuine flat-track derby action! Doors open at 6pm and the bout starts at 7pm. Get your tickets from your favorite roller girl, at the door, or at the HRD website. See you there!
posted by Kiki Mojo