Hometown Tourist, Ch 4: Roller Derby

Hometown Tourist is my attempt to explore and document all there is to do in my current hometown. Feel free to contact me with local destination requests or questions. Happy Reading!

I was introduced to Roller Derby and the DC Roller Girls about a year ago. A friend was going through a difficult period and to help him, another friend created a “challenge.” The challenge was a list a list of all kinds of things to do around Washington DC. One thing on the list was Roller Derby. Having seen Drew Barrymore’s WhipIt, i definitely had a preconceived notion about Roller Derby: cheeky. But, we had done several challenges with our friend and they were always fun. So, why not this one?

I think I was hooked from the beginning and firmly believe everyone in DC should experience at least one Roller Derby match. As a tourist, it’s a commitment because it’s off-the-beaten path, but i’d still consider it simply because it’s fun and such a different side of Washington DC. It’s exactly like you’d imagine: women on roller skates going around a track trying to “jam” and get points for their team. Sorry, after going to several games during the past year, i still can’t explain the rules.

Lining up and getting ready
Lining up and getting ready

What i can explain is how much fun it is. The crowd is a mix of parents with young girls, friends of players, hipsters and some truly wacky fans of DC’s four teams: Scare Force One, DC Demon Cats, Cheery Blossom Bombshells and the Majority Whips.

The announcers know the game and make it fun and engaging for the audience. And the players names? Awesomeness. If you follow Roller Derby enough, you’ll learn that no two players can have the same name. So creativity is key. Check these out: Lenore Gore? Ovary Action? Yankee Scandal? Sharp Shredder? Marion Barrycuda? Bruisehilda? I love how some of the players connect their names to DC figures. Makes me giggle live an eight-year old.

Here is a short video i took at this weekends game. This is just one “lap around” the track but you get the idea.

In going to Roller Derby, i have come to realize that i would be really happy if any of my four nieces took up this sport. It’s obviously tough but i love the fun and sportsmanship that i see at the matches. Many activities my nieces are involved with are so competitive, you can tell from the look on their faces that they are not into it. You never see unhappy Roller Derby players. They all clearly love what they are doing. I also have a deep appreciation for the ‘no-expectations’ that surrounds Roller Derby. It’s pretty much come as you are and have fun. This makes attending enjoyable and stress free. Things that don’t happen very often in our adult lives.

There are only two matches left for the 2013 season so mark your calendar:

  • Saturday, April 27
  • Saturday, May 18

Matches are held at the Armory; food and both adult beverages and beverages are available. They also sell homemade baked goods with profits supporting the DC All Star traveling team. All attendees are also invited to a post-game after party. The location is announced at each match.

Tickets (adult) are $16.00 and can be bought at the Armory or in advance via the DC Roller Girls website. The costs covers two matches. If you go, I recommend taking the Metro (Stadium-Armory on the orange or blue lines).



Author: Judi Kennedy

Wanderlust. A professional aunt, fitness enthusiast, dog owner and avid reader the rest of the time.

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