Roller Derby is a contact sport where two teams of five skaters travel around an oval track, scoring points when their jammer laps opposition skaters. Bristol boasts three home teams, ADHD, Daughters of Anarchy and Smash Vandals from which skaters are picked into two league teams - Harbour Harlots A & B.
Although a team sport, roller derby has this amazing community around it from the skaters to referees to non-skating officials. While the sport attracts a more alternative crowd there are certainly parallels with grass roots cricket and football in the UK. It does differ in one major way however, the sport is dominated by all-female teams.
The very nature of derby means that bigger skaters do not have an advantage. It creates an intriguing spectacle where smaller, faster jammers are able to weave and avoid blockers with apparent ease as blockers crash into each other, left strewn across the track. The sport seems to be inspired more by the team structure of American Football than anything else - tactics and big hits included.
For me I was drawn towards Roller Derby by the DIY ethic - its style and brashness reminding me more of punk gigs than football matches.
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