"Girl power!!" Funny, that is my overwhelming feeling after watching ladies slam into each other in the name of competitive sports. But Sarah C and I felt proud of those rough-and-tumble women known as the Carolina Rollergirls when we watched them play the other night.
If you aren't familiar with flat track roller derby, well, I am not the one to explain it. Basically, the women work in teams to get one of their teammates (the Jammer) into scoring position. There are a lot of nuances, but that's the general idea.And flat track roller derby is brutal, tough, and fascinating to watch. The girls, dressed in uniforms that afford them a lot of individual personality and with game names like "Deviled Legs" and "Holly Wanna Crackya," bang into each other, throw elbows, roll across the track, and more trying to get their Jammer to score.
Home games are held in the Dorton Arena at NC State Fairgrounds. Games aren't all that often, but when they do happen you should think about this for a unique family adventure. This is a smaller venue, so seating and parking will be easy. You can sit fairly close to the action, too. There are mid-game shows featuring audience participants (such as rolling around the rink laying on your stomach on a skateboard) and tshirts flying out to the crowd frequently.
Of course, this is a sporting event so the idea is to sit and watch the game. Probably not the best bet for toddlers with attention-span issues. But there were a slew of 5-13 year olds at the game we were at who were getting a kick out of it. And it is fun to see a sporting event that isn't so wildly 'produced.'
On that note, the acoustics here are awful. Sarah C. and I had a tough time understanding the announcers. But, turns out, roller derby is such a great time, and the program explains the game so well, that you don't really have to hear.
Concessions food available here. There were quite a few strollers, but it is stadium-style seating.
Entry is cheap (it was $8 per ticket for adults on the night we went), and parking was free.
Raleigh is proud to have the Rollergirls. They are a winning team (they kicked some serious booty the night we went!) and people are noticing them. In fact, these powerful women inspired the men in our town to start their own flat track roller derby team, coming to the Triangle soon!
Dorton Arena, NC State Fairgrounds