While out for an event last year, I chatted up someone in line in front of me who had a fancy camera like mine and we traded business cards. After following them for a bit and seeing a slew of Roller Derby photos I was reminded how much I wanted to see (and hopefully shoot) this sport myself.
So I sent my info over and after some discussion and release forms I was in! The bout was held at the Masonic Temple and turned out to be a sold out game. Since they were in their tournament season, it featured the best players of all the Detroit derby teams playing together against similar all-star teams from other states as part of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association-sanctioned national league ranking. It’s a bracketed interleague championship setup like many other league sports.
The All Stars are one of three travel teams, and the Detroit Derby Girls league has five home teams. There are several leagues throughout Michigan that have their own roster of derby teams if you’re interested in signing up.
There are a variety of places to get to know the game including this vid from the DDG themselves:
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I do highly suggest going out and seeing it firsthand however! I can’t possibly describe how energetic roller derby is. How much the ladies literally and figuratively throw themselves into every game. I tried to capture some of the speed, spirit, and hard hits that go on, but it’s never quite like being there live and in person.
On to the photos – and remember, all images can be ordered by clicking here.
The teams started off with warm-ups. Skating a few laps, and doing some practice blocking and footwork against themselves.
We’re about two hours in. The score is tied 157 to 157. Overtime is imminent (and I imagine it doesn’t happen often!). Then a single point is added to the DDG All Stars. There is a brief surge of excitement, and then refs begin to deliberate.
Finally and agreement is made – game is over at 158 – 157!!