L.A. Derby Dolls Dominate Windy City Rollers at Red Bull Banked Jam

Started in Chicago in 1935, roller derby flourished on the banked track as a co-ed sport before reaching a high point in 1972, when more than 50,000 fans watched the Chicago Pioneers take on the Los Angeles Thunderbirds at Comiskey Park. After fading from view, the sport resurfaced in the early 2000s as a grassroots DIY movement featuring all-female teams.

Last Saturday, more than 1,200 people gathered at the UIC Pavilion to witness the Windy City Roller All-Stars take on the L.A. Derby Dolls during Red Bull Banked Jam. This was the first time the two teams competed against each other and the first time the Windy City All-Stars competed on a banked track. Although the Chicago team practiced the entire week in hopes of mastering the transition from a flat to a banked track, they were unable to defend their home turf against their West Coast opponents.

“This was the most amazing experience,” mentioned L.A. Derby Doll’s Team Captain, ‘Tara Armov,’ “we were really honored to have been asked to compete in Red Bull Banked Jam. The Windy City Rollers are a really tight team… they hit hard!”

DERBY DARLINGS

The bout started off with L.A. looking like they were going to sweep the Chicago team, but the All-Stars turned it around during the second-half. Unfortunately, they couldn’t turn it around in time to steal a victory.

There were 49 “jams” in the fast-moving game that followed a rocking National Anthem guitar solo with halftime and post performances by Less Than Jake. The competition was fierce, rough and merciless. In the end, the L.A. team scored a whopping 118 points while Chicago only scored 81 points. While serious, it was obvious the teams still managed to have fun as subtle dance-offs happened periodically on the track. The officiating members of the bout included “Thomas Refferson” and “Charlie Frown,” and commentators saying remarks like, “Nice block by ‘Hoosier Mama’.”

“This is some bad-ass, butt-bumpin’, bank track beauties kicking ass with a mouthguard smile,” mentioned spectator Micah Hilton.

CHICAGO TIES

Started in Chicago in 1935, roller derby flourished on the banked track as a co-ed sport before reaching a high point in 1972, when more than 50,000 fans watched the Chicago Pioneers take on the Los Angeles Thunderbirds at Comiskey Park. After fading from view, the sport resurfaced in the early 2000s as a grassroots DIY movement featuring all-female teams.

So will the Windy City Rollers put forward a rematch? Only time will tell as this momentous sport continues to live on. Tales from the team can be found at redbullusa.com/bankedjam.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Belongia-Barak at 312-320-6260, Jennifer(dot)belongia-barak(at)us(dot)redbull(dot)com

or Kelli Shives at 310-913-4788/kelli(dot)shives(at)us(dot)redbull(dot)com.

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Posted On: Chicago, IL (Vocus) December 14, 2010

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