Roller Derby: Assault City vs Roc City

Are you on the roller derby bandwagon yet? If not, climb aboard. It's fun, it's family-friendly, it's woman-positive (well, women's derby is), and it's good for the community.

Assault City Roller Derby had their first home bout of the season (thanks Crazy Diamond for getting us some seats, and thanks Black Mamba Skate Park for connecting us to them) on May 15. The defense was a little sloppy; Roc City wound up with a 182-58 win.

The Baldwinsville Ice Arena was packed for the bout. Half an hour before it started, the bleachers were packed. Here are the things I love.

Woman-positive. And better yet, girl-positive. Ever since Brandy Chastain scored a game-winning goal, there's been so much shit out there about women and sports. The only reason anybody even remembers that moment is because she ripped her shirt off, exposing a not-at-all revealing sports bra and a truck-load of emotion. Now, everything women do in sports is scrutinized with an eye toward scandal.

Not in derby. What you can see from the stands is community. Yes, these women are playing against each other; heck, they're beating the snot out of each other much of the time. But they definitely shake hands before and after the bouts, and no hard feelings all around. And you know who else sees that? Nine-year-old girls in the audience, who have been looking up to Hillary fucking Duff or whomever.

Bumps and bruises are going to be part of the game, but if I had daughters, I'd want them to be part of this community.

Family-friendly. No, your kids can't sit on the floor and watch a bout – they're a little too likely to get a derby girl in their lap, at full speed (I think I just sold Mitch a ticket) – but the bleachers are plenty safe. Beer is only served in a designated area, and not in the stands. And while you're likely to run into some foul-mouthed fans (like me), you're equally as likely to run into foul-mouthed people in a diner, so, whatever.

Community-engaged. Last year, I saw Assault City hand over a check to the Carol M. Baldwin Foundation for some $900 and change to help fight cancer. On Saturday, the Shriners were out in full force, some of them in clown regalia. A dollar of every ticket sold goes to some charity or other. That is awesome. They even kicked me $15 for my beard on a whim. They are involved in charity work, and that's just awesome.

The next bout is June 19 in Baldwinsville. Hope to see you there!



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