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Derby is here and likely in YOUR town!

December 17, 2010 9:27 PM
Posted by Bob Noxious aka Randy Hughes
If you've so much as turned on a television in the last few years, I think it's hard to miss the fact that roller derby's hiatus ended around 2003 and is back, BIG TIME! Skaters and leagues are featured in local market media the day a league begins to form. You'll notice derby played in the background of multiple commercials. And, it even gets the occasional "pop" on national sports programming and related Web sites.

It's a sport that's roots go all the way back to the Great Depression (well, the first one!), and it carried on to become the first televised sport in the U.S., and, possibly, the country's sport of choice. Though originally played on an oval, banked track, using teams that were made of both men and women (they alternated plays or, as we call them, jams. Not playing on the track at the same time) the concept is certainly "new era," but the basics are the same.

What started nearly ten years ago as one league, with multiple teams, in Austin, Texas, has become over 460 leagues across the nation, represents all 50 states, and is primarily all female, played on a flat track. There are a dozen or so banked track leagues and that also continues to grow. Mens derby has also taken hold. Though female flat-track derby represents 95% or more of what's out there, I've yet to see a form of it that wasn't exciting.

Derby doesn't stop within our borders. Internationally, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand approach another 160+ leagues. Yes, there have been bouts between American and Canadian leagues, as well as Americans playing British and Canadians playing in both Britain and Scottland.

Just wetting the taste buds. Run a search for roller derby right here at Brown Paper Tickets and it wouldn't be surprising if you could buy tickets for your local league right off our site. If you're interested in seeing it, playing it, or both, and can't find a local league here, just let me know. I can find out for you and there's a fair chance I can even tell you a little about them. Do something different! Go see a bout and join the tens of thousands nationwide who are doing the same thing on any given weekend.

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