Roller Derby in the ArkLaTex - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Roller Derby in the ArkLaTex

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So I've noodled, skydived, and even barrel raced. But there's something here in the ArkLaTex I haven't tried yet, that many people don't even know is out there....its name...Roller derby and it came to Shreveport several years ago and south bossier Hot Wheels is home base.

We had a semi-professional team....for a while....but move over mud bugs....the Twin-City knockers are making tracks now.

Going from a simple relay race to a full contact sport....roller derby has been around since the 1930s. And since then ......has evolved from being a lot of theatrics in the 1970s to the competitive sport it is today.

And it's a growing sport with 1200 amateur leagues worldwide and eleven right here in the state of Louisiana.

It is a full contact sport that is played on quad roller skates. It is an all-women sport, currently.

Here's how it's played. Two teams.....Five members each....skate around a circuit track. Each team has a jammer or designated scoring player. The other four members of each team are blockers. So a jammer scores on the opposing team whenever they lap the pack of the opposing team after the initial lap.

And these ladies play hard. In fact...The player you really want to watch closely in a roller derby bout is the one sporting the blue star on her helmet.

Those are our jammers. Those are our point scorers.

The object of the game is to get your jammers through the pack. So that she can loop them. And for every person she passes on the opposite team she's gonna score.

The Twin-City knockers are in their infancy. But the team and it's recognition are growing from a sign-up sheet for interested women at the municipal auditorium several years ago to where it is today. This is season three for the knockers.

We are pretty much the only semi-professional team that's in this area and I think that's where we garner a lot of our fans from. Cause we're an all female team.

But don't let the fact that its roller skating fool you.....Cuts, bruises and breaks can still happen.

We train you to skate. We train you to fall. We train you how to hit. How to take a hit. So that you can avoid those kind of injuries.

So bre, I've never skated before. I can ice skate. I can't roller skate. I can't roller blade. Would you be able to teach me how to do this? Absolutely. Between me and everybody else on our team. Put some skates on you. We'll have you skating by the end of tonight. Ya'll have a pillow for somebody who falls down a lot. We don't carry extra butt pads. But we do have knee pads, elbow pads, wrist guards, helmets. You don't have body pads though? No. No body pads.

And of course...Me being me....and all so brave and athletically coordinated...I decided to give it a try.

Ok so I'm all ready. What are we going to do. We're gonna make you the jammer. You're going to be our point scorer. Is that good or bad? That's awesome. Do people like me....are they going to be friendly. All the blockers are gonna be after you. Ok, but I'm gonna have some protection though, right. Absolutely. These guys got your back. We're gonna take you straight through that pack. We're gonna get you into lead jammer status and let you score a couple of points. I haven't roller skated since I was about 4. Is that ok? We'll figure it out. Ok. We'll figure it out. It's kinda one of those things you learn as you go.

But who do I need to watch out for?

Jessica vaughan (skating name) Baughan Vaughan - team captain

Peppermint punisher. She really likes to give a guy a good hit. And she can. That is the one to look out for.

I gave it a try....and thought I looked pretty smooth out there. But lets find out what the fans had to say

You mean you were skating. I didn't see you skating much. I saw the wheels kinda hit the floor a couple of times. But looked like you were being carried.

He was way too observant and truthful. But with training, could I learn enough to get up to roller derby level? ??

At your age it probably won't happen

I think I get the hint.

Now these ladies have been at this for about three years here in Shreveport. If you would like to come out and support a local semi-professional team....the Tri-City knockers next home game is September 21st when they take on the Northshore Lethal Ladies of Mandeville, Louisiana.

If you happened to notice.....These girls have some very colorful derby names. That's part of the sport.....When you are in roller derby....you get a derby name.....That includes those who are volunteering as well. My derby name is Fowl Her Out.

If roller derby sounds like something you want to do. Well come on! The Tri-City knockers are looking for volunteers. Because it takes more than just skates to put on a roller derby. They need men for referees, people to run the scoreboard, and much more. When you volunteer for the roller derby team, you get an awesome derby name. Plus....you get into all the games or bouts for free.

But if you just want to go and watch....tickets are just ten dollars in advance from a roller girl or brown paper tickets dot com. Tickets are $15 at the door. Because it's family oriented....kids twelve and under get in for free.

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