The Fuzzy Nutter

Those Rock’em, Sock’em Derby Girls

Posted by MSeech on May 19, 2008



Roller derby is back, and it’s on the rise. Over the past seven years, female skaters all over the country dusted off their quad skates and hit the nearest roller derby rink. The Garden State RollerGirls, a northern New Jersey league, is part of this revival.

Although the RollerGirls wasn’t full-on competitive league, they formed in 2006 and soon became a way for “strong women to come together and do something positive.”

According to Jessica Olejar, roller derby has become more than just the flamboyant sport known throughout the 60s and 70s. “When people think of roller derby they think of what it was like 30 years ago,” Olejar said. “Roller derby now is totally real. Nothing is staged. When we fall down we get hurt. That wasn’t planned.”

But roller derby isn’t played to hurt your opponents. Jammers – person who scores – must cleanly pass the other plays in order to win points. Getting hurt, however, is inevitable. Skaters have broken their ankles, undergone surgery and months of rehabilitation, Olejar said.

“One girl did get a concussion at one of our games earlier this season,” said Olejar, “but we’ve been pretty lucky because we do train, so we can do things like fall down safely and not get hurt. But sometimes things happen.”



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