Big Night for Indiana Roller Derby

Race City Rebels at the Forum in FishersLast night, my family and I attended a roller derby bout at The Forum in Fishers. It was the kids’ first experience with roller derby and my first men’s bout. There are a lot of rules and strategy in roller derby, but the basic breakdown is pretty simple.

A bout consists of two 30-minute periods, with an unlimited number of (up to) 2-minute jams per period. Each team plays 5 players per jam. The jammer is the player from each team with a star on his (or her) helmet. The goal is for the jammer to get through the pack before the other team’s jammer to score points.

Players race around the flat track for up to 2 minutes, or until the leader jammer calls off the jam. A team scores each time a jammer passes one of the other team’s players. There is plenty of strategy involved in blocking and passing, which adds a lot of excitement and physicality to the event. I feel like the women are more strategic, and the men rely more on their physical strength.

Last night, we had the opportunity to see both, back to back. The opening bout was between two Indiana women’s derby, Columbus Terrorz of Tiny Town vs. Kokomo City of Fists. The main event featured men’s derby, Indy’s Race City Rebels vs. Cincinnati Battering Rams. The home team win featured a 35-point run by One Nate Stand. Yeah, that’s another fun part of roller derby — the names. I think our favorite was the referee who chose the name Brad Religion.

The final score was 180-166, after a heated final jam. It was one of 3 big wins for Indianapolis derby last night. Naptown Roller Girls defeated Ohio Roller Girls 163-140 at home in the Blue Ribbon Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Circle City Derby Girls won 129-98, over Glass City Rollers in Ohio. They continue their season at home again this Saturday.

Both Circle City Derby Girls and Race City Rebels hold their home bouts at The Forum in Fishers. Circle City’s next home bout is 5/10; Race City will race again in Fishers on 6/7. Tickets for both are just $10 in advance, and kids get in free (6 and under for Circle City Roller Girls; 10 and under for Race City Rebels).