Men’s Roller Derby

gse_multipart19825.jpg In the long ago far away history of roller derby, back in the 60’s and 70’s when it was televised on ABC Sports alongside baseball and the like, and was popular enough to support exploitation films like “Kansas City Bomber” and “Unholy Rollers,” the sport was co-ed. Men and women sometimes skated together, and sometimes alternated periods, but there were always men and women on the tracks. The 21st century revival of the game has been a grassroots movement led by women who wanted to claim a sport for themselves and the vast majority of the teams have been all-girl teams. But the times they are a changin’! New York City now has it’s very own men’s derby team, The New York Shock Exchange! They are strictly an exhibition team at this point, (since there is no national men’s league as of yet) but they are having their first bout at the end of the month in Kendall Park, NJ. They are going to be alternating periods with two of the NJ women’s teams. It will be Shock Exchange vs. the Dirty Dozen, a men’s team out of Massachusetts, and on the women’s side it’s the NJ Dirty Dames vs. the Hub City Hellrazors. So for derby fans there’s a little taste of the history of the sport, the way it used to be played. Come on over to NJ and support the new boys in town!

(Just for full disclosure: I designed the logo for the Shock Exchange.)

2 Comments so far

  1. Noah (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

    Sorry if this question is a bit amateurish, but what is the actual point? Is it a racing situation? Can you hip-check? How do you score/win?

  2. Cully (unregistered) on April 10th, 2007 @ 7:19 pm

    It is more than racing for sure, but less than… rugby (barely).

    In the most basic terms you have two 5 person teams, 1 Jammer, and 4 Blockers per team. Everyone skates in a rink, the Jammers’ job is to “lap” the rest of the skaters. For every skater (on the opposing team) the Jammer can pass their team gets a point. The Blockers’ job is to prevent the opposing Jammer getting through while keeping the field open for their own Jammer.

    Blockers are allowed to block using any body part above the thigh, and below the neck, with the exception of elbows and forearms. So, yes… hipchecks, but no hands or clotheslines, or that sort of thing. Even without hands and forearms it can get pretty brutal.

    All this happens in 30 minute periods, broken into “jams.” The length of jams varies as the players call it off, but it can’t go longer than 2 minutes.

    You can see a much more thorough explanation here.

    It’s a fast paced, high scoring sort of game, and really exciting to watch. It has the pace of basketball, the crashes of Nascar, the interaction of Hockey, and the personalities of pro wrestling. What’s not to love?

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