Race Between Jammers, Providence/Steel City
Even without being in school anymore, it seems as if September is still the time of learning for me. Last week I was lucky enough to visit the Met for the first time as part of Caitlin Thomson's project, A Month at the Met. Yesterday I met up with another great SLC writer, Melissa Faliveno, to check out some roller derby. Suburbia Roller Derby of Westchester was hosting the East Regional Tournament, bringing together 12 teams from Montreal to Carolina, with the top three heading to Chicago for Nationals.
Like the Met, I'd never experienced something quite like that before and I couldn't have had a better tutor. Melissa, a former derby girl and Rookie of the Year from Wisconsin, was the perfect tutor, not only pointing out the rules, but which players were the stars, what kind of styles teams were known to have (never would have guessed that Philly was a physical team), even evolutions in the rules.
In terms of excitement, the seating was totally unique. The crowd is allowed to sit within seven or eight feet of the boundary line, and on more than one occasion I found myself within inches of derby girls sent tumbling out of bounds. Made for some scary moments when staring through a zoom lens. The "Sit at your own risk" signs were serious. The photos leave something to be desired, but for a first attempt at photographing a new sport, I can't really complain.
My only problem now is one of timing. With only the National Tournament in Chicago left, there is no more derby until next year. Guess I'll have to convince Melissa to go with me in January to a Gotham game so she can re-explain all the stuff I forgot.
Boston/Philly Bout: Ref Signals Lead Jammer:
Jostling For Position:
Jammers Battle, Steel City/Providence Bout