A NEW TREND, ROLLER DERBY
Roller Derby is a incredible new trend in the quad skating panorama. Formerly, the very first jams (this is how the races are known) took place in the US in the mid of the 30s, when some skating fans thought adding a little violence could be a reasonable thing to attract more attendance…
It was right though. This particular extension of roller skating rose to incredible fame, first in North America and then in Europe as well, until the end of the Seventies, when it faded gradually to small niche.
But the new century brought a revamp of the sport, first (again!) in the US, especially in Texas (in Austin the first female team was founded in 2002, and a reality show on roller derby was filmed there in 2006) and then spread all over the country, in Canada and became also popular in Great Britain, France and Australia. Women are the undoubted stars of the movement, as their teams are the main attraction in each event, but men teams are growing in number and in dedicated events.
How do the teams compete? Well, on an elliptic skating rink, there are five members in each team, one jammer and four blockers; the purpose of the derby is having the jammer overtake the pack (made by both teams’ blockers) and then reach again the pack having completed a full round of the track. There are points assigned when jammers overtake the other team blockers, who are supposed to complicate the life of jammers, and that’s why everybody is wearing hard protections. The women team are usually dressed like cheerleaders, with checkered skirts and short tops… Sexy until the first crashes happen!
A derby lasts an hour, split in two sets of 30 minutes; in each set there are multiple jams of max two minutes. The team totalizing more points wins.