I went to a roller derby match. Well two matches actually, as it was back to back games on a single ticket at Cleveland State University’s indoor stadium Saturday evening.
I was excited for it because 3 girls I’ve hung out with in the past were going as well as a few people I hadn’t met yet. I knew next to nothing about roller derby however. I saw it once on an episode of CSI:NY. But it was only in the beginning, where a girl was killed and it explained nothing. I also know there was a movie with Ellen Page about it, but I didn’t see it so no help there.
So we got there and the All-Star teams were playing first. It was actually a little boring. Very slow and apparently you can’t elbow or in general be violent like I expected. And since the two teams were the two ‘better’ teams they were using more strategy, which really slowed the game down. They were stopping really often, which also dragged the game – made up of two 30 periods – out for almost 2 hours.
When it finally ended I couldn’t believe how long it had taken. If I hadn’t made plans to go to dinner after the second match I might have peaced out then. But I’m so glad I didn’t, because the second game was sooo much better than the first!
The two teams weren’t ranked as high and so actually played through almost all of the jam instead of stopping almost immediately every time they started scoring. They were also a lot tougher and more physical. If they fell they either jumped right back up or they made sure they took out a bunch of girls with them.
The second game also went a lot faster than the first. It probably helped that at that point we had picked up a lot more of the rules and so had a better idea about what was going on. We were joking that we’d have to find a documentary or something that could help us get it better to watch together, being able to pause and rewind would really help since they’re usually skating the laps to fast to catch everything.
In the end though, as much fun as it was to watch and learn the game, I had an even better time just talking and joking with the girls. The little boy sitting right in front of me provided a lot of entertainment. He obviously had a crush on the girl I was sitting next to. Any time she or I would make a comment he would turn around and chime in. He had to have been 8 or younger.
At one point she asked me about the importance of being the lead jammer in the jam. He launched into this 5 minute explanation, none of which had to do with her question. Another time she said the f-word and then exclaimed “Oh my gosh I forgot there was a kid in front of us!”
He turned around and reassured her that she could say that around him because he’s heard it before. He goes camping and hunting with his dad so it’s fine. We were laughing too hard to argue with that logic.
But the Burning River Roller Girls are having their playoffs this summer so we might go again.
And now that I’ve been to a roller derby game, I just need to go to the Kentucky Derby (and have my own KD party) and I’ll be set!