For many of you, here’s something completely different. Roller derby, created in Chicago in 1935 with a popularity pinnacle in the early 1970’s, is making a strong resurgence. Roller derby is a contact sport that requires speed, athleticism and stamina. If you’ve ever wanted to check out a bout for entertainment or even investigate joining a team, we’ve laid out a guide to roller derby in the LA area right here.
Roller Derby “bouts” are played on an oval flat or a traditional banked track with teams of five players each. The five players are a pivot, three blockers – known as “the pack” – and a jammer; the jammer is the designated scoring player. The pivot has a striped helmet and the jammer has a starred helmet.
The pivot sets the pace and leads the group of skaters. The blockers stay behind the pivot and guard each other and rough up the other team’s blockers. Points are scored when the jammer laps members of the opposing team. There is plenty of action to behold including lots of elbow jabs, face plants and more. These roller derby girls are hardcore on eight wheels.
Flat Track – Flat Track Leagues arose in 2001 due to the ease of finding places to play and have quickly become the “modern” roller derby tracks. Any surface suitable for skating can be used; roller rinks, basketball courts etc. You can find a complete list of official Flat Track Leagues at: WFTDA – Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
Banked Track – Banked Track Leagues use the traditional sloped roller derby track. Banked tracks allow faster speeds and more action. However, capital needed to create and maintain a banked track is higher. There are only a few Banked Track Leagues left: the Derby Dolls in Los Angeles and San Diego, Arizona Derby Dames in Phoenix, Tilted Thunder Rail Birds in Seattle, OC Rollergirls in Orange County, and the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls in Austin.
LA Derby Dolls – Banked Track League
The L.A. Derby Dolls are a league of more than 150 skaters and volunteers, divided into five teams who skate on a banked track. The five teams are “Fight Crew, Sirens Roller Derby Squad, Tough Cookies, Varsity Brawlers and the All-Star team the L.A. Ri-Ettes.
Angel City Derby Girls – Flat Track League
The Angel City Derby Girls is a local organization of several teams and programs. Like most derby organizations, they are completely volunteer run, member owned and member operated. The teams are The Hollywood Starlets (chartered travel team that represents ACDG nationally) and the Rocket Queens (local travel team for regional bouts in the Western region) Rising Stars and Fresh Meat.
Long Beach Roller Derby – Flat Track League
Created in 2009, the Long Beach Roller Derby league is comprised of 120 skaters and volunteers, and is skater run and operated. The teams are: Terminal Island Tootsies, 4th Street Retro Rollers, and Bixby Rollerettes.
The Renegade Rollergirls of Los Angeles
Born in 2004, the Los Angeles Renegade Rollergirls is a skater owned and operated not for profit league that is the only full-contact, no holds barred, no penalty roller derby league in Los Angeles. This league has teams in Covina, Orange and Garden Grove too.
SFV Roller Derby – Flat Track League
The San Fernando Valley Derby League is the Valley’s first and only flat track roller derby league. The SFV Roller Derby is a new league and looking for new and experienced skaters 18+ to join. Contact them now to find out how!
OC Roller Girls – Banked and Flat Track League
Founded in 2006, the OC Roller Girls believes in community participation and frequently assists in fundraising for local community nonprofits. Travel teams: Blockwork Orange and Pulp Fiction. Home Team: Crash Test Bunnies, Heebie Jeebies, Psycho Ex Girlfriends and Rolling Knockouts. Fresh Mean: Fresh Juicers and Peel Outs. Juniors: OCRG Juniors.
South Coast Roller Derby – Flat Track League
Formed in 2009, The South Coast Roller Derby League is the only flat track league in Orange County. They practice in San Juan Capistrano, but cruise the beaches for roller skating practice. Their league is run by the skaters, for the skaters.
Inland Empire Derby Divas – Flat Track League
The Inland Empire Derby Divas have been tough skating since February 2006. They practice at Cal Skate in Grand Terrace every Monday and Wednesday and at Arlington Park in Riverside every Sunday..
Prison City Derby Dames – Flat Track League
Coming from Chino the Prison City Derby Dames are bringing the spunk to Roller Derby in the Inland Empire. Practices are at the Grand Avenue Park in Chino Hills on Monday, Wednesdays and Sundays.
Gypsy Roller Rebels – Flat Track
Based out of Yucaipa, the Gypsy Roller Rebels practice in Yucaipa on Tuesday and Thursdays from 7pm-9pm at 7th ST Park on basketball courts.
Dirt City Roller Rats – Flat Track
The Dirt City Roller Rats (DCRR) is the High Deserts premiere all female flat track roller derby league. Founded in August, 2010, DCRR is a non-profit organization run by a group of dedicated women with derby in their hearts.