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March 2017

It’s the last bout, the Femme Fiana’s chief leprechaun mascot, proudly waving an Irish flag in his green trousers. The Marauding Molly’s purple-skinned, fireball whiskey drinking mascot is screaming “Molly” to the crowd. The game ends at 307-86, over a 200-point lead.

This may seem odd for any sport to have this many ponts, but if you know the rules, you understand that’s just part of the game.

Points are earned when the jammer, or one of the faster skaters, passes a player from the opposing team. Each team has one jammer, so the jammer who passes the other team first is the lead jammer, however, no points are earned in the first jam. Four blockers on each team, form a pack to block the other jammer, because the more jams (or passes) means more points. Bouts are rounds that last two minutes and jams are how many times the jammer passes the opposing team. There are other fine details, but those are the main rules.

This Championship is what player Connie “Con-Tagious” Gardner calls “the super bowl of derby.” Roller derby is about as complicated as football, just more punk with skates. The announcer was wearing a studded jacket and there were more than a couple people with dyed hair and colorful beards. The first two teams—the Spokannibals and the Trampires—brandished themselves in war paint. The Spokannibals reigned victorious as the score was finalized at 211- 141.

Back to the Championship game. In the first period, the game was tight at 21-15. This game would determine who would win the large roller-skate trophy and be the victor of Season 11. However, the destiny of the game changed when jammer Lil Mean Sunshine from the Femme Fianna zipped around the track four times, almost flying into the bleachers, gaining an impressive 21 points.

For the rest of the night, the Marauding Mollys were desperately trying to catch up with their competitor, but soon the Femmes were ahead by 50 points, then 100. Each competitor earning about ten points each.

The most effective players were Slainbow Brite and Lil Miss Sunshine from Femme Fiana and SkateOphrinic and KC Chaos from the Marauding Mollys. Some of the most infamous highlights were when SkateOphrinic blocked Krackin and sent her toppling; when Slainbow Brite parried left and right between Molly blockers, scoring 16 points; even when Femme’s jammer Paulie pocket knife slammed into Molly blockers and took a 180 degree flip to the ground. The move that sparked riotous applause was when Slainbow scored the largest jam of the night, earning 35 points.

Even when Marauding Mollys had almost no hopes of winning by the second period, fans were loyal to the end of the game. Several of the fans shouted “Molly” alongside the purple mascot. Derby fans can be the most passionate cheerleaders and even the fiercest team members, congratulating the opposing team at the end of their games. In this sports subculture, skates, make-up, and zany derby names create this close community that is unlike any other mainstream sport.

Team Femme Fiana wins Roller Derby championship: Project
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