It is a sport that takes roller skating and adds a twist. Roller derby is becoming increasingly popular across the globe and as our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, it is also getting quite popular in Broome County.
JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -- It is the fastest growing women's sport in the world with more than 30,000 skaters. It is also a sport that is growing in popularity in Broome County.
“I was always an inline speed skater and as I got older I stopped doing it, but I heard about roller derby and I wanted to play,” said Rachel Vallese, BC Rollers League President.
The BC Rollers is Binghamton’s first flat-track roller derby league. It hosts the only women’s roller derby team in the area, the Parlor City Tricks.
“We’re all walks of life, everybody from business owners, teachers, medical professionals,” said Rain Lindaman, Parlor City Tricks Player.
But there is more to the sport than skating in cool outfits.
“There’s a lot of endurance that goes along with it. There's a lot of practice, a lot of drills, different types of footwork, a lot to think about. It's really a lot of strategy as compared to going out skating in circles for fun,” said Lindaman.
“Mouth guards, full of gear, it’s no joke, there’s hard hits. It’s dangerous,” added Jennifer Wagstaff of the Parlor City Tricks.
The sport involves five players called blockers and one player called a jammer from each team. The goal is to get the jammer to pass as many of the blockers as possible to rack up points.
“If you don’t train hard you’re probably going to get hurt. We have to be here for six hours per week in order to bought with us,” said Vallese.
Players said what makes this league special is that they offer derby daycare for children of players, help to coach a youth league called The Savages and are looking to start a men’s team. But in order to become a player, they say there’s one thing you need to know.
“It’s really fun, but you have to be tough, because you get knocked around a lot,” said Jade Randall of The Savages.
A sport that turns roller skating on its head.
The team will take part in the Black and Blues Bruise Fest at the Chenango Ice Rink and Event Center on June 9. Tickets will be $12. They are looking for men or women to be volunteer referees and to join the league. Those interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org.