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Think Out Loud

Roller Derby

Pete Springer/OPB

If you’re in a room with the Break Neck Betties, the Axles of Annihilation and the Wheels of Justice you can pretty much bet you’re surrounded by roller derbyists. And this weekend is a big one for people who play the sport. It’s the Bridgetown Brawl. The top three teams from this playoff will compete in the national Championships in November.

According to the Rose City Rollers, Portland is home to the largest roller derby league in the world. They were founded in 2004, just as the rebirth of roller derby was gaining ground. Now the league has more than 250 active skaters who are jamming their way into the history books. But are you still wondering what roller derby is

It’s a contact sport on roller skates. A kind of sports entertainment. A (mostly) all-female jam with (sometimes) male cheerleaders. It’s a fast-paced, active game where players have derby names that are often satirical, violent, or sexual puns. And the people who play it, love it and live it. And for many in Portland, it is a very big deal.

Have you played on a roller derby team? Or tried the Fresh Meat Training Program? Have you gone to a game? What’s your experience with roller derby?


  • Deadline aka Elaine Norton: Skater for Jet City Roller Girls
  • Rocket Mean aka Kim Stegeman: Executive director and founder of Rose City Rollers
  • Scratcher in the Eye aka Genevieve Moore: Co-captian of the Wheels of Justice

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