So, on Saturday I was an usher for the London Rockin Rollers' Malice in Derbyland event. Started by helping to tape the track down. This involves simple tape lines to mark the track, and also taping mini foam barriers down around the outside. We then hit the streets to do some last minute flyering. We certainly raised some eyebrows!
Once the doors opened I took people's tickets and gave wristbands. This was all dandy apart from a couple of people who were a little peeved to be told downstairs was full, and they had to sit upstairs (they just sat downstairs anyway!!). Once everyone was in, I was free to watch the action.
So, to give you a taste of roller derby, here is a video...
My basic understanding of the rules that I will explain here are in no way the actual precise rules, but just seemed to give me enough to get excited about what was going on. You have a 'pack' of girls with both teams players in, and two girls at the back. The girls at the back basically score points by passing members of the other team in the pack. The other team are trying to block you from getting past, while your team members try to help you get through. There is of course more to it than that, but I reckon that's all you need to know to get started.
The crowd was mixed, from babies, through to teens to beyond, and it creates a very relaxed atmosphere. Half the crowd sit, some stand and some sit cross legged on the floor. The people near the track get warned that girls may fall over onto them, but most seemed excited at the prospect!
I enjoyed the female empowerment angle of it, and loved the little girls in the audience, who then got to meet the team afterwards. What great role models to have in this day and age.
Headed down to the after-bout party which had a great atmosphere too, despite it not being the type of venue I would usually go to (its always good to try new things!).
Having now watched the Drew Barrymore film Whip It, it gives a slightly different view of derby, so I'm not sure whether it will have any impact on the sport. The film portrays quite a lot of negatively and aggression, which I just didn't see in Saturday's bout, but who knows whether it will inspire loads more ladies to sign up, watch this space......