By John Anderson
When I saw that a roller derby was heading to Horgan Arena on Saturday, I must admit my curiosity was piqued. Hollywood images of women cruising around a wooden track was what I was thinking about, not the cold hard concrete of Horgan Arena without ice.
I spent about an hour watching a match between the Worcester Warriors and the Hartford Wailers, game two of a double header, and this was quite an education. A roller derby has more officials than an NFL game and more whistles than a field hockey game. I didn’t think the later was even possible.
Points are dependent upon a single skater on each team known as a jammer. They start collecting points after their initial pass of the opposing players. From that moment forward, a point is scored for each opposing player who is passed.
Four blockers on each team, including the striped “pivot”, try to impede the progress of the opposing jammer while pushing their own jammer forward. There are some serious falls during this process, and all are protected with a helmet and various pads. Still, it has to hurt a bit when you hit solid concrete.
I can’t even begin to talk about penalties and other rules during the game. One needs to watch a lot of this to understand the big picture. Nevertheless, it was entertaining.
With less than two minutes left in the first half of Saturday’s game, Worcester briefly tied the game at 77-77 thanks to the efforts of “Puke Face”, one of their players. Prior to her efforts, the Warriors had been trailing most of the game.
We don’t have any final results, but if this sport is of interest, visit Horgan Arena on August 1st and 2nd when a Roller Derby Tournament will take place. Auburn Mass Daily will provide more information as the event nears.