Not one, but two whistles start the Jammers speeding along the elliptical track, pushing, shoving and maneuvering their way through the Pack. Suddenly, the Lead Jammer emerges, leaving everyone in her wake, lapping, stacking up points and pleasing dedicated fans who scream encouragement from the metal bleachers.
For those of us who remember nightly TV ending with the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner, this might sound familiar. For the younger set, it’s called Roller Derby. And it’s making a comeback here in Mid-Missouri through our hometown league, the Como Derby Dames.
If you check out the Dame’s website you’ll see some pretty tough cookies, with roster names like Deth Block and Slamrock. But attend an event and you’ll find their philosophy of positive conduct (aside from the necessary crowd-pleasing rough and tumble competition) holds true. Additionally, their mission “…to support female empowerment through the structure of this alternative sport” is just as apparent in the strength and agility of the team players.
The September intra-league bout, featuring the Con Vixens versus the Violent Phlegmmes, certainly proved this sport can fire up both teams and fans. About 200 spectators were in attendance.
Along with the bout, refreshments like $3 mozzarella sticks, were readily available (along with wings, corn dogs and a variety of soft drinks).
A table full of Roller Derby gear and gifts, everything from t-shirts to guide books were for sale.
And for a buck (or more) you could enter the halftime raffle for cash and prizes!
Of course, for those who want to experience Roller Derby first hand, the league is always on the lookout for fresh meat (new recruits). You have to be female and at least 18 years old. Additional requirements include: comfortable workout clothing, a small fee, an insatiable need for speed, a boilable mouth-guard (good idea), a sense of humor and a unique derby name (essential).
If you want to be a part of this fast-paced sport, but are not crazy about bruising, men and women can help ref, set up, cheer-lead and take stats.
Mid-Missouri Roller Derby is held at the Boone County Fairgrounds, but they will be changing their venue in the future. Consult their website for more information.
The next bout will be Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011, followed by another on Saturday, Dec. 3. 7pm start times.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and kids under 12 get in free. Advance tickets can be picked up from Maude Vintage (The District), from a Derby girl or online at Brown Paper Tickets.
Come for the speed, the costumes (extremely creative) and the fierce competition. Overall, great fun for all ages.