Posted by IconoclastOfColor on:
This past Saturday, Santa Barbarians were treated to more than unseasonably warm weather. We had full-contact women’s roller derby action. Our local team, the Mission City Brawlin’ Betties had their debut roller derby bout against Ventura County’s Derby Darlins' Battalion of Skates. After months of fundraisers at both the Creekside Tavern and Whiskey Richards, people’s interest in this unique all-women league had reached fever pitch; most especially since it was a well-known fact that one must have health insurance to even be on the team.
Spectators such as myself descended upon the Earl Warren Showgrounds July 18’ uncertain of what exactly we were about to witness other than a gaggle of attractive ladies. Competing ladies of the punk persuasion adorned in fishnets and helmets whilst defending their city’s honor on roller skates. For a mere five-dollar admission fee, this enticement was more than sufficient for a multitude of observers of all ages and races.
Understanding the rules and regulations to the sport proved tenuous for most during the first half of the bout. Thirty minutes later, the fog of confusion was lifting over the flat-track and the audience was getting louder and more involved.
The objective of the sport is to protect and support your “jammer.” Each team sends out five players onto the track: three BLOCKERS for defense, one PIVOT as the last line of defense and one JAMMER that is the scorer. The jammers for each team start out twenty feet behind their line of defense and are given two minutes in which to score once the proper formation has been reached by the leading pack. Jams can be called off and fouls are handed out sending players into the penalty box. Sound confusing? It is until you see it with your own eyes, and then disappointment is unlikely.
Our lovely and rather petite team, the Brawlin’ Betties were down by 22 points by half time. Many spectators succumbed to the rare pounding heat and humidity and left early... Those that remained witnessed the birth of a team. Jammers switched positions with blockers and our roller derby team found their groove. As the energy shifted, cohesion ensued and the tides of enthusiasm turned. The Brawlin’ Betties went on to win their inaugural bout at home 80 – 69.
If you are comfortable signing a release form to enter the track at your own risk, or any of the preceding sounds enticing, then supporting the Mission City Brawlin’ Betties is for you!