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What is Roller Derby? The Dark River Derby Coalition Will Host a Home Bout on July 13

You’ve probably heard about the Dark River Derby Coalition, Quincy’s all-women’s roller derby team. The group was created in 2010 and played their first bout in 2011. The next DRDC home event will be on July 13 at Scotties Fun Spot. Even though you may have heard of the Dark River Derby Coalition, you might not be sure exactly what roller derby is. In order to get you good information, we went to the Dark River Derby Coalition’s website for all the basics of roller derby.

Dark River Derby Coalition - Quincy, Illinois
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According to the DarkRiverDerby.com, roller derby is a full-contact sport that was invented all the way back in the 1930s.

Although invented in the 1930s and popularized in the 1970s as part-sport, part-spectacle, modern roller derby combines the athleticism of full-contact sports with the campy whimsy of the disco era. Many teams opt to skate with elaborate team themes and uniforms, and most skaters invent a derby “alias”, complete with fake names and personas.

In a way, with the fake names and characters, it’s sort of like professional wrestling… only with women…and it’s not fake.

It is a real sport. The hits, injuries, plays, and penalties are all real. Roller derby is a full contact sport, just like football, just with more rules. The teams are dedicated to good sportsmanship and many of the skaters are friends off the track. It is a family friendly sport.

Roller derby is a sport that can sometimes get sort of rough. They have a penalty box for a reason! Here’s how the game is played.

Roller derby is played on an oval track, with skaters playing both offense and defense at the same time. Two opposing teams play five players each onto the track – one jammer (scorer), three blockers (defense), and one pivot (a blocker who may become a jammer). When the referee blows the first whistle, the blockers and pivots form the pack and begin to make their way around the track while the jammers simultaneously attempt to break through the pack.

Each bout consists of two, 30-minute periods. Points may only be scored by the jammer who, by skating counter-clockwise, must make her way through the pack as fast as she can and before the opposing jammer to establish lead jammer status (the “lead jammer” is the first jammer to successfully pass through the pack of blockers and pivots). Once lead jammer has been established, both jammers continue to pass through the pack as many times as possible, picking up points for every opposing team member they pass.

The blockers in the pack must do whatever is necessary (but legal!) to keep the opposing jammer at bay while making holes in the pack for their own jammer. This includes blocking, hitting, checking, pushing, and whipping.

The jam ends when the lead jammer says so or you hit 2 minutes. You’ll know it’s over when she places her hands on her hips.

If that sounds a little confusion, don’t worry. It makes much more sense once you see it in person. The Dark Diver Derby Coalition’s next home bout is Saturday, July 13th starting at 7 p.m. at Scotties Fun Spot. One of the great things about the Dark River Derby Coalition is their commitment to the Quincy community. Each bout during the season features a donation to a non-profit organization in the area.

Tickets to the bout are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Advance tickets are available from DRDC members, or at Scotties Fun Spot.

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