SO MUCH FUN SATURDAY – (the greatest day of the week!)
Zoom – CRASH! See them tonight!
I had a friend up visiting from Florida. She got a new pair of roller blades from her honey for Christmas. Since she lives near Miami, she’s acquired a new “girlfriend” who is very manly looking and they skate together. Her friend just happens to be in the Roller Derby and has the nickname SNIP. So it got me thinking about roller derby and it turns out they have it in Chicago. How fun! I remember watching roller derby all the time on TV (ahem I am in my 40’s….)
Windy City Rollers
Elizabeth “Juanna Rumbel” Gomez and Kelly “Sister Sledgehammer” Simmons could never have imagined what was in store for them when Juanna brought the idea of roller derby back from a trip to Austin, Texas, the derby revival capital. In September of 2004, that little idea became a reality when the pair recruited and formed Chicago’s premiere all-female flat track derby league–the Windy City Rollers.
The first season started in 2005 at Chicago’s historic Congress Theater, where they attracted the largest derby audience any flat track team had seen at the time. After realizing that the small track at the Congress was detrimental to their success on a national level, they relocated to The Stadium in Cicero for their second season. As bouts began selling out the 1,500-capacity Cicero Stadium, the league looked into finding a space in its namesake city that would enable league growth to continue at the same rapid pace. An agreement with the University of Illinois at Chicago was formalized in July 2008 that made the UIC Pavilion the league’s new home.
The Windy City Rollers have been proud members of WFTDA (Womens Flat Track Derby Association) since its inception. There are now 4 national regions, and the Windy City Roller All-Stars are the currently #1 in the North Central Region.
For the future, the Windy City Rollers are focused on remaining a force in the national flat track derby arena. They strive to make roller derby synonymous with Chicago, as they remain tied to their home and especially to their fans. By continuing to train hard, the league will dominate in competition nationwide and keep the local regular season exciting and competitive.
- The Jammer: The star of the show if you will. This skater has a star helmet cover and scores all the points for her team. She’s quick and agile, and covets that Lead Jammer status.
- The Pivot: Skater with a striped helmet cover. This little lady sets the pace of the pack and is often called the “last line of defense”. The brains of the operation!
- The Blocker: You won’t catch her with a helmet cover, but she can and will knock down whomever she can to make sure her jammer gets through the pack first. Beauty and brawn all in one tight package!
Scoring is quick and the hits are crushing, so try not to blink! Five players from each team line up on the track (1 Pivot, 3 Blockers, and 1 Jammer). One whistle blows to start the Blockers (or “Pack“) and two short whistles blow to start the Jammers. The first Jammer to make it through the Pack is named Lead Jammer, which gives her the right to end the play (or “Jam“) at any time. On the next pass, both Jammers start scoring Points for each player on the opposing team they pass. Pivots and blockers from the opposing team try to hold her back or knock her down, while her own team tries its best to make holes for her to slip through. It’s offense and defense at the same time— you’ll have to see it to believe it!
Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!