What's the most badass sport a girl can participate in? That's right, roller derby. A group of badass women playing a sport that makes them tough and sweaty. YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.
It just so happens that my hometown has a roller derby team. The team is fairly new as the league started in August 2012 and began participating in bouts (DerbySpeak for games, matches, etc) in April 2013. The team is called the "Kerr'Ella De'Villes" - it's an adorable play on the name of my hometown along with the badassery of the puppy-skinning character that instills fear in the heart of every person's 5 year-old self.
|KCRD Logo. Seriously? SO badass.|
This is my pal, Hermighty Danger (Kathryn Dover).
|I know what you're thinking.|
DIZ-AMN, those are some photo-licious skillz.
Anyway, because of Hermighty Danger, I was able to observe these wicked cool ladies at one of their practices. Now, readers, these practices ain't nothing to mess with. The scheduled times are 6PM to 9PM on Mondays and Thursdays and consist of off-skate exercises, on-skate exercises, countless drills, skating practice and scrimmages. If you're thinking about joining KCRD, let me start off by saying that roller derby is not for weaklings. I mean, you don't have to be strong in the beginning, but you have to have stamina and determination. My first question about roller derby was about how often people get hurt...because I'm a baby. However, my informant told me that hardcore breaks and injuries really aren't that common. In fact, KCRD has only had two broken ankles since August 2012. What are more common are sprained ankles or hurt knees that get worse because the player just won't let the injury keep her on the bench (I told you they were badasses). So, in my opinion, roller derby is just like any other contact sport in that it is entirely possible for minor injuries to occur, but as long as you let the injury heal properly, you won't be permanently benched.
My next question was about MONEY...because I am a cheap-skate (GET IT?!). Hermighty Danger told me that roller derby has the potential to be expensive, but that it is worth it. I was told that what most girls are recommended to do is buy a "starter pack" which includes skates, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, a helmet and sometimes a mouth guard. Now, this starter pack can be around 300 bucks a pop, but I'm told that it will last a long time. Eventually, you will want to upgrade and customize your gear, but the starter pack is great for beginners! Each player also pays $40 in dues each month to cover the rent for the team's facility and other costs that may arise.
I also had questions regarding how to actually play the game and my informant gave me very detailed information that I couldn't recreate if I tried. So, I'll summarize: there is a lot of fast skating, blocking while skating, and scoring points while skating. The cool thing about KCRD is that you don't have to know how to play! Or even skate! They will teach you the rules, give you tips on skating, and encourage you every step of the way. How cool, right? The thing is that they need reliable girls to play on their team. So, the question of the hour: are you badass enough join a roller derby team? YES! KCRD needs players, non-skating officials, referees, and any kind of volunteer that you can think of. Even if you're too afraid to skate or too broke, you can still help out!
Want to join? Do this: "like" Kerr County Roller Derby on Facebook, message them and tell them you're interested. They will let you know where and when to attend a practice so that you can observe the practice and meet all the girls. Everyone is super friendly and ready to accept new girls into their team. The only real requirements are the dues and gear mentioned above and players have to attend 80% of practices each month. Seriously, check these ladies out. Even if you have a medical condition that you think might keep you from playing, message the team and they'll let you know for sure.
Not sure that roller derby is for you? That's fine! The resource these girls need the most is support. Watch a bout or a practice. Once you find them on Facebook, you can see all the information about upcoming bouts. In fact, their next bout is in Corpus Christi on July 5th. You can also purchase KCRD merch to support the team:
"It's freakin' fun!! I think everyone should at least WATCH a practice or bout. Once you understand it, you realize how much fun it is! It has seriously kept some of our girls from drinking everyday or from depression. You get exercise and you gain a whole new, awesome family! Everything is worth a try. I am glad I am doing this. It is one of the best things I have ever done." -KCRD member
|These ladies are a BLUR on their skates.|