Roller Derby

Land of the Free…

Land of the Free… Image by Quick'N'Derby.

Taking a knee is something we are familiar with in the world of derby.

There was a time when a whole team line would use it as a loophole to force the jammer release, back in the days of the single and double whistle starts.

There’s the knee drop prior to the single whistle start, giving your jammer the opportunity to draw the out of play penalty on the opposing team who refuses to move off of the jammer line.

Some people have been using it to break the pack after offensive plays.

Then there is the taking of a knee when someone has gone down hard and wasn’t able to get back up right away. This knee in derby is a show of solidarity and respect of the person on the floor.

But What About Derby? On Finding Non-Binary Space in This Sport

But What About Derby? On Finding Non-Binary Space in This Sport Photo credit: Joe Mac

“But what about derby?”

That question has been, without a doubt, the hardest question to figure out an answer to through all of this. And the one question for which I built my life around over the last 5 years, to not have to answer.

We Hear You, Roller Derby. And We Need Your Support.

Hello roller derby community!

Good morning, afternoon, evening… whatever time it is where you are right now, reading this.

It’s been great getting to know you. And we’ve loved you getting to know us. It seems the affection is mutual.

We asked you for your thoughts about our site, but in the process we got the exciting chance to know more about you. About what you see us being for the community, and what you want covered, the kinds of writing you want to read, and how you feel about roller derby more generally. We hear you.

And it seems like we have so many of the same thoughts, hopes and dreams. We suspected as much.

Race and Roller Derby, installment #2: The ‘little’ things

Race and Roller Derby, installment #2: The ‘little’ things Image credit Deadwards

Welcome back, my intrepid investigators!

We have successfully built a baseline from which to begin our conversation about race and roller derby. I suppose, considering recent events in the world, the timing of all of this could not, unfortunately, be more perfect.

So now come to visit the dimly lit space where some of your teammates dreadfully await the moment they have to choose… Derby tranquility? Or speak my truth?

This episode is about micro-aggressions and their macro impact on skaters, teams, leagues, and the sport of roller derby itself.

Sidelined: How roller derby pushes trans women out

Last fall, the WFTDA released what felt like a long overdue statement on gender, removing the hormonal requirement for transgender skaters. A lot of my friends were very excited about this. I was a little underwhelmed.

It’s not that I don’t like that particular gender statement (though I personally much prefer the MRDA non-discrimination policy because – humblebrag – I wrote it). A policy based on self-identification is essential. After all, for nearly any minimum standard of femininity you set, you could find a cis woman who doesn’t qualify.

Rather, I was underwhelmed because a change in policy does precious little for the transgender skaters I know – myself included.