The Joan Ranger Gives You Five New Reasons to Love Derby

In no particular order, these are five elements of roller derby that make it awesome:

5.The novelty of the game is unlike anything you’ve seen. You have tough females skating fast, hitting each other, often in revealing uniforms. Even if you don’t know the first thing about the strategy behind the game, it’s just plain fun to watch! Chicago Outfit bouts include awesome drink specials, tasty food and a really fun Fan Zone. What's special about our bouts is that the fans get to interact with the skaters in a variety of places. Since we work during the bouts, you get to have derby girls sell you tickets, get your beer, tell you about the rules of the game and even sign autographs after the bout. It's not like any other sport!

4. The fact that roller derby is a female-specific sport makes is different from other sports. It is exclusive to women, so dominance between the genders is not an issue. Playing a sport with like-minded females creates an extremely unique community dynamic. Not only within the league, but in the entire sport, all leagues. We are a very diverse group of women, but (for the most part) we share the same views on being female:  Women can, and should, be aggressive, strong, independent, opinionated individuals who don’t take shit.

3. Skaters have an element of fearlessness. When you line up before a jam, you size up your opponents and think about ways you are going to dominate. You don’t get nervous that you’re going to get the shit kicked out of you… that’s not the attitude that a good skater has. For example, when I line up next to a girl who is bigger than me, I get excited because the big girls fall hard and take a longer time to get up. I know that if I am successful in knocking her down, I will be making a huge difference in that jam.

2.There is always a high risk in playing roller derby. Injury is not uncommon, and we’re well-aware of that. On our team, we have had broken legs, ankles, wrists… the list goes on. I actually herniated two disks in my back during the second season. Instead of quitting forever, I took steroids to repair the damaged disks and did two months of intense physical therapy. I was out for two home games and came back full force, ready to knock the shit out of the opposing team. Risk, shmisk!

1. The style of play is always changing. In the early years of derby, it was all about big hits and knocking the opposition around the track. Now, strategy has become the main focus. Sometimes there is a big hit available, but you don’t always take it because of the strategy you’re executing. It might make more sense to get in front of that skater you want to hit and just slow her down. Currently,

the packs are slower, and a skater’s knowledge of the rules is crucial. You can’t just go out there, skate fast and hit everyone.

The list of derby awesomeness goes on and on and on.........