Have you ever seen roller derby?
The roller derby I remember was on an oval track with banks in four corner areas. There were high-speed chases and crashes and some brutal stuff. Roller derby, apparently, is still around.
But it’s on a flat track.
I noticed this a few months back, but thought I’d have to travel to watch it. That’s until one of the area places got a team. The Oneonta Derailing Darlings made their home debut this past Friday.
It was too interesting to not go see it.
First, I was shocked at the crowd. I realized people would go watch, but there were several hundred people packing into Interskate 88 to check out the hometown’s new sensations.
So the gals took their warmups and such and then did a quick “jam” to explain the rules. Basically, the person doing the scoring gets a point for each opponent she passes during the two-minute jam. The jammer who is in front can call it off whenever she wants, too, so if one team’s jammer is in the penalty box, for example, and the on-track jammer scores a bunch of points — she can stop the jam before the other team’s jammer returns.
The game isn’t as fast as I remember. It has some quickness, but not like the old-school teams who used to be on TV. That being said, it was pretty entertaining.
There were a few decent wrecks. And some pretty sweet moves.
As someone who has never roller skated (I’ve roller bladed, though), this was interesting to watch for sure.
There were some bad things — like the opposing team’s coach, whose piercing screams didn’t seem to form any words, broke any nearby glass and shattered people’s ear drums. Seriously, you can hear it some in the video I took below. It was obnoxious and I believe I wasn’t the only one hoping some vocal chords would implode.
It was pretty entertaining. I thought it dragged a little too long. Halves are supposed to be 30 minutes, but with stops and jams stopping and breaks, it took a while. It started at about 7:15 and we walked out about 9:35. That’s a little too long when a lot of people are standing and all. My only other complaint is the amount of whistles. It was like field hockey. But I think if I learn the rules a bit better, those whistles will make sense.
Jonna, of Tattooed Mommie, who once played roller derby commented recently with a link to the flat-track rules. If anyone is interested, you can check ’em out at the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
The rules of the game seem easy enough and it wasn’t too hard to follow along with. And these gals really put forth quite the effort. For $10, I can’t complain for the entertainment value and I’d go back for sure. It was fun to watch.
Now, for my end.
This sport is TOUGH to photograph! I have a couple of photos in this post and more can be seen in its set on my Flickr, but wow… tough. I had a tough time keeping focus and many photos came out soft. There’s no place to bounce the flash really, so I needed to have it pointed. Other people taking photos were there and using an off-camera flash, which is smart. Alas, I don’t have the equipment needed to do that. So I’ll have to think about what I can do the next time. I also realize I can sit much closer than I did, so I will be trying things a little differently next time.
I hope this team succeeds and they keep getting support. This area can use things like this. It’s cost-effective entertainment and it’s worth going to see. I’ll look forward to when their full schedule comes out to see when they are home again.
Oh yeah — Oneonta lost the game. But had some good moments. I have a feeling with time, this team will be competing with anyone.
Below is a video I shot at the event. It’s not too light, but it gives you an idea of what we were watching.
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