When Delaware Tech instructor Jessica Farley went to a roller derby bout between the Wicomikazi’s and the Old Bay Bombers she knew she saw something she wanted to be a part of.
“I did a lot of roller skating as a kid,” Farley said.
Or now known by her derby name, “BloodygoreJess.”
Farley sees roller derby as taking most things about the stereotypical women and throws them out the window.
“I love that it’s so contrary of women, Farley said. “It’s an individual expression of women; we get to be tough and sassy.”
Flat track roller derby is played on a flat track with teams sending out five players at a time. The object is for one of the players, the “jammer” to completely as many laps , going counter clockwise around the track to score points while the defense the “blockers” try to prevent this.
Farley is new to roller derby but not to organized sports. She played softball and basketball growing up and played rugby in college at Frostburg State.
Upon seeing the bout Farley went about creating her own derby team, named the Southern Delaware Roller Girls. Which when they created their own Facebook group a short time ago has over 300 fans.
While only 14 girls are needed to field a team, the Rollergirls have an active group of about 44 women. Three of which are Rachel Summers, Elyane Jones and Areca Colbert.
“I’ve wanted to play roller derby for over a little over a year now,” Summers said. “I’ve been in love with skating since preschool and have a knack for athletics. It seemed like the perfect sport for me.”
Summer hopes to one day go pro.
The modern day roller derby is not to be confused with the bouts that were aired on TV back in the 1970’s. The days of WWE style staged roller derby are over. Bouts and leagues are now organized by the Womens Flat Track Derby Association or WFTDA.
“It’s not like it used to be, Farley said. It’s illegal to do a lot of things that happened back then. No punching or throwing around, they took out a lot of the sensationalism.”
The next step is now that they are an organized body, is to become an apprentice under WFTDA.
Under the apprenticeship, the Roller girls will be placed under a mentor who will guide them through the process so that they are able to apply for full memberships which occur on Jan 1, Apr. 1, Jul, 1 and Oct 1.
“I’ve been roller blading for over 15 years now, said Colbert. I’m looking forward to meeting like minded women!”
The Southern Delaware Roller Girls have called the Milford Skating Center their home rink; they have practices Monday nights from 8:30 to 10:30. The practices are open; the team doesn’t discriminate and welcome all females who wish to participate.
“I’m looking forward to bouts!” said Jones. “I love the feeling of being part of a team.”
Starting April 18th all participants will need to have full protection which includes, knee pads, a helmet, elbow pads, quad speed roller skates as well as a mouth piece.
The team hopes to start scrimmaging in late summer and have their first official bouts in January of 2012.