25 January, 2009

Roller Derby, Yeah!

We made our second trip to see the Rage City Roller Girls last night. Let me tell you... watching roller derby bouts is *Fun*!! This is a relatively new sport here in Anchorage, but it seems to be catching on quite well. We have two teams: the Dirty Polli's (black & white) and the Sockeye Sallys (black & red). The crowds are really energetic, and it's easy to cheer for a team... any team.

How did we find out about this, you might ask? Well, it seems that Greg works with Mr. Furious, a referee at the bouts. How did we pick a team to root for? Mr. Furious's wife (Mrs. Furious) skates for the Dirty Polli's, so that sounded like a good enough connection to start. The basic rules are relatively easy to learn, so right away you can start cheering - and there's plenty to cheer about!
Dirty Polli's Mascot: Ken B. Bribed
Here's the basics:
  • Each team has five members in play: the jammer (star on helmet), the pivot (stripe on helmet), and three blockers
  • The pivots lead the pack and also act as blockers
  • The pack starts at the whistle, the jammers wait until the pack has gone 20' then they start
  • The jammers skate through the pack, lap them and try to skate through again, gaining a point for each opposing team member passed (so they have to pass through once for no points and start scoring on the second go)
Lead jammer
  • The first jammer to break through the pack without penalties the first time becomes the lead jammer (not sure what the bonus of this is, except that only the lead jammer can call off a jam)
  • Jams last for up to two minutes or until the lead jammer calls it off
Jammer for Sockeye Sallys out front;
Pivot for Dirty Polli's is down;
Pivot for Sockeye Sallys is behind the jammer
There's an animated video on YouTube for rules here. Right away, there's plenty to cheer about and people to root for; lots of pushing and bumping (but no fighting allowed); plenty of spills and thrills. The energy from the crowd is contagious and fills the air. We went early to get seats and because Greg was taking pictures as part of the event. (Pictures here are courtesy of Greg, as none of mine turned out and he was given free run of the place with his press pass.) The Polli's won this time, but lost in December so I'm looking forward to the next match: February 28th.

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