Mom’s Night Out … at the Roller Derby

As my friends and loyal readers know, I don’t get around much anymore. But Saturday night–not coincidentally, the night dubbed by Sir Elton John as “alright for fightin'”–I headed out for my first women’s flat track roller derby game, featuring the Cincinnati Rollergirls.

I went with my Planned Parenthood YP peeps for our group social event, so all I had to do was show up. The organizer had tickets purchased and seats waiting for us on the floor–the “suicide seats,” as they are apparently called. That’s because roller derby players frequently wipe out and land in your lap when you sit in those seats. Cool, huh?!

So what the heck is roller derby, anyway? That’s what I wanted to know, too. I had a vague image in my mind of that 70s James Caan movie melded together with elementary school rollerskating parties, where I carefully avoided contact with anyone and stuck to the edges of the rink.

At the game, I quickly learned that the “track” consists of a large gym floor marked with Christmas lights to show official boundaries. Every few minutes, two teams of women adorned in all manner of fishnet stockings and ballz-to-the-wallz jerseys (Candy Kickass, Hannah Barbaric, and Shirley Temptya, to name a few) skate like mad, going around and around. One woman from each team, known as the “jammer” (noted by the star on her helmet), tries to break through the pack, while others try to stop her. Once the jammer gets out in front during a “jam” (I’m not making this up), she skates super-fast to go around the track a bunch of times and score points. (Disclaimer: This is completely my made-up version of how flat track roller derby is played. Visit this site if you want to read the actual rules of play.)

The skaters are actually fantastic on wheels (old-school skates, no Rollerblades here) and can maneuver even as their opponents bump the living crap out of them. Sure, they fall down, trip each other, and land in spectators’ laps–but they get right back up (most of the time) and keep skating.

Even though I was pooped from a day that started at 6:30 a.m. and went nonstop with toddler fun and housework, I still thoroughly enjoyed my night out at the roller derby. The Cincinnati Rollergirls just kicked ass. They looked amazing, were so athletic and tough, and clearly had a blast competing in a sport they love.

I also was surprised how many families were there, along with all kinds of other people. I even got a toddler-sized tee for Cassie that says “My Mommy Can Beat Up Your Mommy” with a Cincinnati Rollergirls logo on the back. Sweet! Nothing stereotypical about it. And of course, it was nice to throw back a beer with my PPYP pals for a night, with only the suicide seats to worry about.


6 thoughts on “Mom’s Night Out … at the Roller Derby

  1. We have roller derby here too (Richmond VA). Some of my mom friends from daycare are on the teams. We haven’t made a match yet, but I was specifically told that it’s NOT a family activity. Maybe the River City Rollers are a rougher bunch! Sounds like a blast!

  2. Sadistic Sadie says:

    Thank you so much for coming to our game!

    Cincinnati Rollergirls work very hard to make our events family friendly. We have special events planned for this season that will cater our smallest fans, including having the Cincinnati Zoo provide half-time entertainment with animals.

    I hope to see you May when we take on the Philly Rollergirls!

  3. I’m a big CRG fan and love to watch ’em skate. Glad you enjoyed the bout too. They are a great bunch of dedicated, passionate skaters.

  4. Sadistic Sadie, I will be there! Can’t wait for the zoo half-time show.

  5. CincyRollergirls PR says:

    Thanks for coming out to the bout! I am sorry that someone had taken your seats, I hope everyone was happy that we were able to get them moved. Just to clarify, the Zoo will be at the June 7th bout. Cincinnati’s own championship double dutch squad and The Greater Cincinnati YMCA will be our halftime show and charity for the May 17th bout.

    I look forward to seeing you there!

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