Like learning to use chopsticks, roller-skating takes patience, dedication, and a particularly dexterous set of toes. Take in a bout of competitive toe-twinkling with today's Groupon: for $5, you get one ticket to any match in the Randall County Roller Dames 2011 season (a $12 value). All bouts are held at The Courts of Amarillo. Children 12 and under get in free with one paid ticket.
Fiercely competitive and charitably conscious, the behelmeted Randall County Roller Dames laced up in 2008 to conquer the sacred circle of female roller derby while aiding the community. Upon entering the arena, a mystical pair of four-wheeled skates transmogrifies winsome women, with day jobs as dental technicians and insurance salespeople, into wheel warriors with sinister tags such as Patience Payne and Elsie D. Poundsystem. Each bout consists of a series of jams around a circular track where a team's jammer attempts to score points by blowing past adversaries—avoiding the opposing team’s blockers and loudly shouted trivia questions. Though the sport's rough-and-tumble nature suggests barbwire baseball bats are par for the course, skaters will be sent to the penalty box for disregarding the official rules with trips, holds, or overzealous fist bumps.
Boasting a dedication to their community as well as the vicious vortex, the Randall County Roller Dames have skated in support of Habitat for Humanity, as well as charities benefitting multiple sclerosis, cancer, and juvenile diabetes. The Courts of Amarillo, which unfolds across 70,000 square feet, gratifies derby devotees with a snack bar, retail store, and upstairs observation area offering a panoramic view of the board-checking ballyhoo.
Randall County Roller Dames
As an affiliate of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, the Randall County Roller Dames challenge a lineup of regional rivals to fast-paced bouts of derby, eliciting cheers from an adoring flock of fans. The athletes sport helmets, skates, and tough nicknames based on obscure Cockney rhyming slang as they race around a circuit, elbowing and knocking away enemy skaters in a dizzying display of skill and teamwork. The Roller Dames exhibit a lasting loyalty to their home turf, not only through a series of six exhilarating home bouts, but also through yearly charity benefits for nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity and Make-A-Wish Foundation.