Marine Women Battle in Roller Derby
The Devil Dog Derby Dames roller derby league played its quarterly bout at the gymnasium here Sept. 24 to keep their competitive edge.
The league, which was created a year ago, is made up of status of forces agreement personnel and service members, and boasts two teams, the Machine Gun Mollies and the Blitzkrieg Betties.
The league has a month-long training evolution, called the “dog pound,” where participants learn proper sportsmanship and the safety rules of roller derby.
“The dog pound lasts about a month and trains the girls in roller derby,” said Alisa Helin, a skater for the Blitzkrieg Betties. “It starts with the basics of how to roller skate and teaches players the rules of the sport.”
Roller derby is a contact sport, so the rules must be followed or players can easily be hurt.
“We wear protective gear from head to toe,” said Erica Kelcinski, the assistant captain of the Blitzkrieg Betties. “We wear a helmet, mouth piece, elbow pads, gloves and knee pads to help prevent injuries.”
In addition to the protective gear, there are strict rules regarding good sportsmanship that keep the competitors playing fair.
“It’s a very aggressive sport,” said Nikki Hacker, the main pivot for the Machine Gun Mollies. “You can’t push opponents with your hands; you can only use your hips and shoulders, and it must come from the front.”
There are three different types of skaters, and all are identified by their helmets.
There is a jammer, who is identified by a star on her helmet. This player scores points by completing laps around the track. There are three blockers who form a wall, so the opposing team is unable to pass through. The pivot, identified by a stripe down the center of her helmet, clears the path for the jammer to get through the pack of blockers.
Even though the sport is naturally aggressive, the members of the league still operate as a family-oriented team.
“What happens on the rink stays on the rink,” said Hacker. “We are all very aggressive and competitive, but after the jams, we all hang out. It’s almost like a sisterhood.”
A “jam” is the term roller derby uses instead of game.
The newly established league plays every three months, using the off months in between to recover.
“(The derby) is a new concept on island,” said Kelcinski. “We are always looking for more girls to come out and join the team.”
For more information on the Devil Dog Derby Dames, visit devildogderbydames.com or look for the team on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Devil-Dog-Derby-Dames/158946617476048
Story by Lance Cpl. Alyssa Hoffacker
the attachments to this post:
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2011 at 8:00 am and is filed under Military, Marines, Military, Military, Our Best: Military Women. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.