Bumps and bruises part of the fun when it comes to Roller Derby
Roller Derby is back and here to stay. This isn’t the scripted “pro wrestling” style from the 70’s. The hits are real, and the cuts and scrapes bleed. The roller girls are real but their names are not. To help them sink into their roller derby escape from the daily grind, the girls come up with creative, witty and fun names. In light of the growing popularity of the sport, however, some skaters have begun using their real names so as to be taken more seriously according to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA.)
The WFTDA is made up of 147 full member leagues and 67 apprentice leagues throughout the U.S. and abroad according to their website, wftda.com.
Mad Rollin’ Dolls is Madison’s premier roller derby league comprised of seven teams. On March 17 the Quad Squad took on the Vaudeville Vixens in the first of a fast-paced two-bout show at the Alliant Energy Center. After their bout they were available to converse with their fans, answering questions and posing for pictures.
“Allie Gator” from the Quad Squad got started in roller derby five years ago. She loves the bouting part of the sport more than anything else. It’s where all of the hard work in practicing comes together, where friends and family can come out to see you compete, and where the good old fashioned competition takes place.
She said she’ll stay in the roller derby light as long as she can, expressing interest in maybe becoming an official after having children, whenever that may be.
“Little Susie Homewrecker” from the Vaudeville Vixens has been doing roller derby for two years now and absolutely loves the bouts. The community aspect is great too.
“I don’t think I could ever give it up,” she said.
Though there is a lot of competition on the track, off the track the teams are just good friends. There is also a lot of community outreach work that they join together for. They do the Polar Plunge every year among other charities. The teams of the league get together every year to decide what charities to help out. Some of this year’s charities include Safe Harbor, Capital K9s and Open Art Studios.
There are regional tournaments for each of the four regions in the U.S. and one national tournament every year. This year’s national championship will be in Atlanta, Ga. Nov. 2-4.
Anyone 21 and over can join the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, even men. Of course, the roll of men in the league is limited to referees. For more information take a look at their website, www.madrollindolls.com.