What does one expect? It's been what seems like decades since I have witnessed any form of organized roller competition. Not since the days of my early child hood do I recall such an intriguing unique competition. A lost art form, a groovy piece of Americana.
The atmosphere alone, is intoxicating. From the moment I walked into the arena I could not help to be mesmerized by the roaring crowd. The signs waiving, fans loudly chanting and taunting the skaters. These same skaters are so close to the fans you can hear every bone shattering hit. Two announcers commentate the bout while a DJ plays some high energy rock. Round and round the ladies went each time more pulse pounding than the last.
I must admit that even after a night with the Roller ladies, I still don't fully understand all the rules and regulations. Talking with a few of the skaters helped me grasp a few of the basics. The game is broken down into two thirty minute halves. The skaterscompete to score points by passing the other team around the track. Easier said than done... for roller derby is full contact. All hits are legal as long as they do not come from behind. In my brief visit to this world, I witnessed scornful hit after scornful hit. Theses ladies were not hitting like any type of lady you may be thinking of. "You fuck your shit up" said recently retired skater Bunnicula. Injuries are common as Bunnicula herself had multiple knee surgeries, cutting her career short. She was comfortably enjoying her ambassador role as the Old Money Honeys took on the Mob Squad at the Rhode Island Convention Center for the season opener.
The roller derby comes complete with a halftime show, courtside announcers, press box, full bar and food service. The Roller Derby packs in the fans of all walks. A rough attendance estimate of 200+ means that these ladies are attracting attention. One of the US's fastest growing female sports, the derby is a terrific presentation of home grown entertainment. I highly recommend a night with the Providence Roller Derby.
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