For those who remember the glory days of Roller Derby, this weekend’s competition will be a blast from the past as five teams take to the boards at the Carson City Community Center.
The Carson Victory Rollers are hosting the event. Spokesperson Merideth Taylor said it’s a tournament to settle who will be the first team to claim the title of Nevada Day champions.
In addition to the Carson team, Reno’s Battle Born Derby Demons and Elko’s Nevada East Roller Girls will compete as adult teams. Carson’s Junior Rollers and the Sin City Junior Rollers of Las Vegas will meet in the junior competition.
She said all five teams are female.
“It’s like a UNR/UNLV game where they fight for the cannon,” Taylor said. “We thought why not bring everybody up here to the capital and hash it out.”
She said competition will start at 1 p.m., Saturday and continue until 7. at the Community Center gymnasium. Sunday competition will begin at 9 a.m. and run until about 4 p.m.
Taylor said admission this weekend is free.
She said it’s not about the money. In fact, Carson Victory Rollers is a 501c3 nonprofit registered with the federal government.
“There’s no money going on here,” Taylor said. “It’s just about bragging rights.”
Roller Derby started near the end of the depression at the Chicago World’s Fair and grew most popular in the 1960s and 1970s.
Unlike the professional teams that ruled the rink from the 1940s through the 1960s, these games are played on a flat, not a banked track almost exclusively by amateurs. But other than that, the rules are pretty much the same with each team fielding a rotating cast of four blockers and one jammer.
The goal is for the jammer to lap the other team’s players while the blockers try to prevent their opponent from doing so. Each “jam” lasts about two minutes and a competition is played in two 30-minute periods. The jammer scores a point for each member of the opposing team she passes.
Roller Derby is very much a contact sport.
The sport has been experiencing somewhat of a revival in recent years and there are a growing number of teams now in Nevada and an estimated 4,500 clubs nationwide. As of this year, the women’s Flat Track Derby Association had 423 member leagues.
Taylor said the public is invited to come and watch the action both days. For those who want a preview, she said all five teams will skate with The WheelHouse in the Nevada Day Parade.