I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and last weekend I was visiting old friends in Portland, Oregon. It was girls’ night out so we decided to catch a match between two Rose City Roller teams, the Heartless Heathers versus the Breakneck Betties.
I hadn’t been to roller derby before, despite having had it on my to do list for quite some time.
We arrived at the location, a warehouse that was already packed with fans – the Rose City Rollers nearly always sell out. We ordered PBR tall boys, a roller derby prerequisite drink, and found our seats.
Thankfully I attended with someone who knew her stuff and she explained the entire game to me before the match started. However, once the match got underway, it took me several jams to figure out what the heck was going on. A jam is sort of like a bout. There is a short pause between each jam making the two 20-minute halves, plus halftime, around two hours long.
My verdict? Roller derby is awesome, and wow do those girls wear short shorts.
The game is fast and ferocious, and it’s ridiculously fun. In the late 1800 and early 1900s, roller derby was an endurance race on roller skates. Eventually it became a team sport in and the 1970s was considered an “entertainment sport.” In the mid-2000s the roller derby experienced a revival and teams started cropping up everywhere.
Thanks in part to the 2009 movie “Whip It“ the sport has now become mainstream.
I will definitely start catching roller derby in Colorado, and there’s no shortage of teams to root for here.
Here’s where to find roller derby along the Front Range:
Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Derby Dames
Denver, Denver Roller Dolls
Denver, Rocky Mountain Rollergirls
Greeley, Slaughterhouse Derby Girls
Fort Collins, Choice City Rebels
Fort Collins, FoCo Girls Gone Derby
Pueblo, Pueblo Derby Devil Dollz
Let me know if I’ve missed any teams!