Looking for action in Sydney
Gray rainy skies got you feeling down and unmotivated? Looking for some action this weekend? Then you need to get your butt to the Sydney Roller Derby this Saturday to watch Sydney’s All-Star Team The Assassins eliminate their next target, New Zealand’s Richter City. After last month’s bout against the Sun State Roller Girls, The Assassins will be looking for some redemption and I for one will be there to watch the TAKE DOWN!
This is not a re-enactment of a Drew Barrymore film.
There will be no stopping for hair and makeup on Saturday. No sir, roller derby is a full contact sport played on quad roller skates with helmets and kneepads. That’s right quad skates, as in four-wheeled ‘70s roller disco skates with stopper and laces.
Roller Derby originally started in Chicago in 1935 but interest in the sport declined in the ‘70s. It wasn’t until 2001 when it once again became popular in Austin, Texas. Roller Derby is now an international sport. In fact the Roller Derby World Cup will be in Toronto Canada December 1 – 4th 2011 with 13 international teams competing.
Roller Derby in Sydney is still fairly young. The league has only been around for 4 years, growing from just a small group of women into a league of over 100 members and multiple teams. The Assassins represents the top skaters from all of Sydney’s inner city teams.
Sydney Roller Derby is the Really Deal.
Yep, we’re talking flat track. Each flat track bout consists of two 30-minute periods and each period is made up of several “jams”. Each jam is no longer than two minutes. Even though they’re short, they are rarely as sweet as your gran’s plum jam.
Time to Jam
There are five skaters on each team. The four blockers from each team skating together make up the “pack”. One of the four blockers is the “pivot”. The pivots control the pace of the pack.
The fifth player is the “jammer”. The jammer wears a star on her helmet making her easy to spot on the track. She is also, hopefully, the one skating pass the other players racking up the points. The jammer must lap the pack once before she can start racking up the points. She then scores a point when she passes an opponent from the other team. A jammer cannot score twice on the same opposing player if passed a second time during a jam. The blockers from the opposing team try to stop the jammer from passing by creating obstacles or simply knocking her over! (Told you it was a full contact sport.)
Oh No, She DIDN’T!
There are penalties given to players that commit a foul such as blocking out-of-bounds or using their hands and arms to block. Once a skater has committed four minor penalties she must serve a one-minute time out in the penalty box. There are also major penalties give out for things like dangerous blocking for which the skater must serve one minute in the penalty box each time. After seven visits to the penalty box a skater will be ejected from the game.
Family Fun at the Roller Derby
Roller Derby in Sydney is fun for the whole family. Doors open at 5:30pm, the bout starts around 6:30pm, usually finishes early enough to get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour. You’ll see children of all ages, from the pram to groups of teenagers. So head over to the Olympic Park this Saturday and support Sydney Roller Derby.
Sydney Roller Derby
Tickets: Adult $18/$23, Child $8/$14
Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre