1. Roller Derby traces back to “skating marathons” in the 1930’s.
Originally, the goal of the sport was to complete a particular amount of laps around the track. In the 1940’s it began to evolve into a competitive contact sport.
2. There are three positions in roller derby: jammer, blocker, and pivot.
The Jammer laps the opposing team members. The blockers help create a pack that protects the Jammer. The Pivot is a blocker who can be designated as a jammer during a jam as long as their helmet colors are transferred over properly, they can also act as a temporary captain to the pack.
3. Points are awarded by the jammer passing opposing team members.
4. There are two different helmet covers: stars for the jammer and stripes for the pivot.
5. Team members usually have neat “skater names”.
Some of these awesome pseudonyms include things like Michelle O’BamYa, Punky Bruiser, and Princess Lay-Ya Flat.
6. Names of bouts and tournaments also tend to be really awesome.
Bouts tend to have fun, clever event names like “Night of the Rolling Dead” or “Knocktoberfest”.
7. Roller derby hit its peak in the 1970’s.
In 1972, 50,118 fans broke the record for the highest turnout to a game.
8. ‘Rink rash’ is when a skater falls and skins their legs.
9. These ladies are fearless.
The chest is usually the number one target zone in roller derby. Other areas that are allowed are the hands, hips, abdomen and front/sides of the player’s legs. The neck, back, and leg below the thigh are illegal target zones and can result in a penalty.
10. Roller Derby as we know it was revived in the early 2000’s.
11. Sugar Ray Robinson’s son was a derby champ.
His son Ronnie Robinson was a derby star in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He also acted as a coach for various leagues!
12. There are over 1,200 amateur leagues worldwide.
Some countries who participate include the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Brazil, and Australia.