By Sarah Bauman
MSUM mass comm major
I went to my first roller derby bout not knowing a thing about the sport.
I hadn’t seen “Whip It,” I didn’t know what a Lead Jammer or a Pivot Blocker was and I knew nothing about Passing the Star.
But that first bout was nothing but enjoyable.
I’d been talking about going to a bout for months, ever since the first time I saw the Monkey Wenches listed on a poster. I’m a sucker for clever names.
Learning the rules
From what I’d seen and heard about roller derby, I was expecting an exciting bout and lots of violence. The ladies of the Monkey Wenches and the Haute Dishes didn’t disappoint during the pre-bout. The rules are a little confusing, but I caught on about halfway through the first game. Thankfully the rules were explained between the pre-bout and main bout.
The game got more interesting during the main bout between the Northern Pains and the Harbor City Roller Dames from Duluth, Minn. It was a longer, faster-paced game, which made it easier to figure out the rules.
Roller derby brings a unique crowd. People of all ages were there, and one fan was enjoying the game while knitting. While there was a lot of cheering and shouting, it was all in good sport.
I was pleasantly surprised with my first experience at roller derby. It’s worth the cost, it’s a lot of fun and I can’t wait to go to another bout.
Katie Schroepfer and Jared Swanson, both students at MSUM, offered some advice to first-timers:
- Know the rules before you go
- Watch “Whip It”
- Bring cash, no cards are accepted
- Learn players’ names/numbers so you know who to look for
- You can stand on the floor around the track to watch the bout, just follow the rules
- Get there early for a good parking spot
The FM Derby Girls next bout is Dec. 18 at the Fargo Civic Center. There is also a meet and greet/recruiting event Dec. 20 at Skateland in Fargo. Click here for more information
For a full list of events and more information about the FM Derby Girls, check out their website here