Ever since I first got word that there was a roller derby league in Los Angeles a few years back, I embarked on a quest to experience the awe inspiring, fast paced action that is the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. The derby dolls are some of the toughest women I have ever seen because this is a FULL CONTACT sport. They put themselves on the line every game and they give it everything they have with every jam.
It’s hard to describe what the roller derby is about and what the derby dolls do at every game because it all takes a life of its own. The anticipation that looms in the air before the bout begins. The chitter chatter of everyone rushing in into the doll factory, waiting for the mayhem and chaos to being. You can feel the excitement in the air as the clock counts down.
What’s more impressive about the derby dolls is not just they’re athleticism and commitment to the derby, but the fact that they all run the entire league themselves. They coordinate the bouts, teams, advertising and everything else that goes into the bouts every month. All on top of holding down a regular job, finding time for practice and living their lives. How do they find time to do all of this is beyond me, but that just shows how much commitment and passion they have for the derby and it shows at every bout.
I’ve only been to the derby twice, including the last time and every time I walk through those doors I feel as if I’m stepping into the factory for the first time around. The murals, the people and the vendor village all set the mood for a night full of roller derby action. Once thing that amazes me is that every time the derby rolls around, NO ONE I tell is down to go. I tell them about it, describe it and tell them when the next bout is, but come show time no one shows up. Bunch of flakers. This time around I took Messy Jane with me after I told her about it and she was down for some roller derby action.
The league is made up of five teams and at this bout the Tough Cookies were up against the Sirens in a bout that had the crowd on its feet. Partly because only the people in the V.I.P section had a place to sit and everyone else is standing room only. Which is why I HIGHLY recommend that when you attend a bout, show up early and with friends so you can nab a great spot, while everyone switches back and forth checking out the doll factory. Some of the teams bring along mascots to rally fans and to get them hungry at the same time.
So once you settle in and you find yourself a nice view of the ring, the game will begin. Ohh and for those of you that don’t know the rules of the game, the program has a quick rundown. Plus the rules are explained before the bout beings so pay attention because if you don’t know what’s going on the entire bout will be lost on you. Here is a link from the dolls site about the rules of the game.
Once the basics are done the real action officially beginnings and the dolls take the stage. The teams all consist of coaches, jammers and blockers all coming together to take home the win at the end of the night. The bouts are broken into four quarters and scoring can get a little confusing if you don’t pay attention to the rules. The dolls have also adopted nicknames like the Tough Cookies captain Iron Maivan and her co-captain Gori Spelling who laid the smackdown. But the Sirens didn’t let themselves get pushed aside as their captain Amber Alert and co-captain Roxy Cotton held it down till the very end.
Even though booth teams wanna take the win for the night, they don’t do it at the expense of any of their fellow dolls. These women dish out a lot of hard knocks but when ever someone takes a spill, the derby’s on site doctor, Dr. Rick is on hand to make sure they’re alright and ready to get back on the track and cause some more mayhem.
With two teams competing for the night, I had to make a tough call and put my money on one team for the night. after the first quarter, Messy Jane and I made up our minds and we put our hopes and dreams on the shoulders of the Sirens and one of their best jammers, Kung Pow Tina. And let me tell you that TIna can move.
With a jam packed night filled with derby action, there has to be a winner and the Tough Cookies proved to have the upper hand that night against the Sirens. But at the end of the night, it’s all good as these ladies take one last turn around the track as fans rush the ring to congratulate these ladies with a two finger salute, the official salute of the derby dolls on another thunderous night filled with thrills and spills. Their next bout is later this month on June 27. Same derby time, same derby channel and you can bet I’ll be there supporting these amazing women.