Flash back to 1988 every Friday night at ten o’clock on Fox 29 out of Buffalo. The show that was on… Roller Derby. My memories include a crazy banked track, over the top outfits, fast action, and some of the worst acting I had ever seen.
Roller derby has seen a resurgence in the last few years thanks to the 2009 movie “Whip It”, and the 2006 A&E Television series “Rollergirls”. Well now there is a Roller Derby team right in our own back yard. The South Simcoe Rebel Rollers were formed by Ken Stanbury in June 2010. Stanbury was inspired to start the team after attending a roller derby event in Hamilton. Anywhere from twenty to forty members attend practices at The Roller Skating Place in Orillia up to twice a week, from all over the region. The team members work hard, while still having fun learning the plays and improving their skating skills.
This isn’t quite the same roller derby that I remember from TV. The over the top outfits are part of the standard uniform for any team. Fast action you bet. One major difference is the track, instead of the banked track that I remember, this is a flat track. As for the acting, if you get a chance to see the team I’ll let you be the judge.
A roller derby game consists of two periods each being 30 minutes in length. Each of the two periods is broken into jams that last up to two minutes. The teams both field 5 players, consisting of one Pivot, three Blockers, and one Jammer. The Pivots job is to set the pace of the Jam and call plays to the rest of the team. The three Blockers work together to stop the rival teams Jammer and move their Jammer through the field. Lastly the Jammers, they score points for their team by lapping the rival team. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.