Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be a Roller Derby Girl. Many, many moons ago, I was even going to try out, then I fucked up my knee and that dream was temporarily blown. Recently, I started getting the itch again seeing posts of my friend Renae’s Roller Derby team. Also, it’s a really effing good work out! However, it will need to wait, heck, I don’t even own skates any more. A girl is never too old to dream though.
How did I originally fall in love with Roller Derby? Believe it or not, after watching a re-run of Kansas City Bomber with my Papasita. The movie itself is sensational and showy, only showing the Hollywood version of Roller Derby, but it got me interested. I then started watching 1950s footage of women’s Roller Derby, started reading up on what it really was, the rules, about the teams and really fell in love. I grew up in a small town and we sadly didn’t have a league, but that didn’t stop me from harassing my parents until they bought me a pair of skates. Luckily, our arena had roller skating every weekend and I was there every opportunity I had. That’s another thing I’m really missing right now, roller skating.
I digress. More on actual Roller Derby! The first game of Roller Derby was played in 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, USA and was banked-track roller-skating marathons. I love that the Roller Derby was originally an extension of dance-a-thons, walk-a-thons. A truly depression era twist to it. It wasn’t until the 1940s when Roller Derby became a professional sport. If you want to dive into the full history of Roller Derby, Wikipedia has a really good article! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_roller_derby
The Rules from the WFTDA website.
And a video for those who want a quick summary!
1950s Roller Derby If you are willing to search there are some great videos of footage of live bouts from the 1950s on YouTube. This one is pretty good quality.
Modern Day Roller Derby Toronto Roller Derby vs Queen City Roller Girls
If you want to watch a few Hollywood movies about Roller Derby here are two suggestions!
Kansas City Bombers
If you would rather read a lovely, fun fictional tale, my friend Heather Wood has a book called Roll With It. I highly recommend this.
Leagues According to the WFTDA there are currently 454 WFTDA Member Leagues on 6 continents. For the full list, so you can go check out some bouts once we are out of pandemic jail, click here!
If you live in Toronto or surrounding area, here are our teams, please get out to hoot and holler them on as soon as we can!
Durham Region – Durham Region Roller Derby — https://wftda.com/wftda-leagues/durham-region-roller-derby/
Hamilton – Hammer City Derby — https://wftda.com/wftda-leagues/hammer-city-roller-derby/
Toronto – Toronto Roller Derby — https://wftda.com/wftda-leagues/toronto-roller-derby/
All of Canada (the website copyright is 2017 — not 100% sure how up-to-date this list is) https://www.rollergirl.ca/rollerskaters.html
Canadian Flat Track Stats (also not sure how up-to-date this is) — http://flattrackstats.com/teams/results/canada-travel-team