Last night I went down to National City with several compadres from SDRD to watch a “Renegade Roller Derby” bout. The promise of “no holds barred” bout was something to think about.
It certainly was something else. As the program says, there are no penalties. There are rules of some kind, but what’s the point? Anyway, there are three 15 minute periods, no timeout (except for injuries) and no refs. The jams last one minute and can’t be called off. The jammer makes it through the pack and then she scores three points for every time she laps the other teams skaters. The place had a nice track for the bout and they certainly had a fair share of vocal fans.
The skaters can do anything they want, cut the track, use elbows or even take downs. This results in some fighting here and there. Then there are three or four guys in the middle who come over to separate them. The jammers and the blockers all started at the same whistle,and the track was about a third smaller than the WFTDA one.
It really wasn’t my kind of show, overall. I like spectacles, but here it didn’t quite feel as if there was a flow. The skaters did their best to entertain the crowd, for sure, it was just lacking either the all out sports entertainment aspect or a more athletic contest. These things can probably coexist within the same sport, but it’s not been my experience to see it.
It was still a fun evening overall and I really enjoyed the company.