Roller derby attracts women of all kinds, styles and shapes. When I played, I bumped elbows and hips with moms, waitresses, a parole officer, teachers and a librarian. For me, roller derby was fun, social and a great way to stay fit. That was until I broke my wrist last April during practice.
While I miss strapping on my skates twice a week, I’ve decided to stay off my wheels for now and cheer in the stands at area games (this is for my own safety and others, BTW).
And the roller derby lovin’ doesn’t end. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Tracey Farrow a.k.a. Charm City Roller Girls’ ThoroughBled for Smart’s May/June issue. She is known on the roller derby track as the “queen of the penalty box.” Be sure to check out my interview with her later this month!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ROLLER DERBY
According to Tracey Farrow, roller derby is exciting but it can be confusing. “It’s not fake or scripted like roller derby was in the ’70s,” she said.
HOW YOU PLAY ROLLER DERBY
Roller derby is a contact sport where two teams of five players on each side skate around a track, forming a tight, pack-like group. This group is actually called “the pack.” A jammer is a position in roller derby that is usually the team’s fastest skater. The jammer’s job is to get through the pack.
Each team has three blockers who try to help the jammer get through the pack and stop the other team’s jammer simultaneously. The blockers can do this by hitting the opposite team’s jammer with their hips or elbows or grabbing onto their own jammer to push them forward, helping them gain momentum.
Pivots are blockers who skate at the front of the pack, setting the pace for the other skaters. Points are scored in roller derby when the jammers go through the pack a second time. Jammers try to go through the pack as many times as possible in order to gain points for their team.
THOROUGHBLED SHARES HER STRATEGY
Tracey Farrow plays pivot on Mobtown Mobs, and in the All Stars, she plays outside blocker, the position of one of the more aggressive pack skaters. The outside blocker protects the pivot as well as the outside of the pack and doesn’t let anyone pass. According to Farrow, “this position plays wrecking ball to the pack and is one of the hardest hitters.” Read our full interview with Tracey here.
WANT TO PLAY ROLLER DERBY?
Check out these teams near York:
Find out more about Tracey Farrow, aka Charm City Roller Girls’ ThoroughBled here.