Like learning to use chopsticks, roller skating takes patience, dedication, and a particularly dexterous set of toes. Show off how flexible your feet are with this Groupon.
Choose Between Two Options
- $17 for one month of beginner roller-derby boot camp for one ($35 value)
- $35 for one month of beginner roller-derby boot camp for two ($70 value)
Roller Derby: Helmets on Wheels
Roller derby has reemerged in recent years across the country. Read on to learn more about this fast-paced, full-contact sport in Groupon’s guide to roller derby.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that many roller-derby leagues refer to their matches as bouts: the modern game is a fast-paced, full-contact sport that pits teams of five skaters against each other in a battle for speed and positioning. During competition—which most often takes place on a flat, circular track—designated blockers congregate in a pack, where they push, shove, and bully each other in order to clear lanes for their team’s selected jammer. Jammers, in turn, attempt to maneuver through the pack as many times as possible, earning a point every time they lap a member of the opposition. Bouts are typically divided into halves, which are in turn divided into jams of varying lengths. Although roller derby is not confined to any one demographic, participation is primarily female.
Roller derby’s peculiar brand of carnage first wheeled its way onto the rink about 80 years ago under the direction of Leo Seltzer, the man recognized by many as roller derby’s creator. Specifically, Seltzer introduced physical contact to otherwise polite roller-skate races—subsequently attracting a larger audience. According to the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA)—roller derby’s largest governing body—the popularity of roller derby boomed in the 1940s when the sport rolled onto television screens, but it waned in the 1960s, and Seltzer’s original roller-derby organization closed its doors in 1973. After several revival attempts, the gritty sport has been experiencing a resurgence since the start of the 2000s.