It’s Saturday night and the smell of Roller Derby is in the air.
Oklahoma City Roller Derby (OKCRD) hosted a single-header with the Alamo City Roller Girls at the Historic Farmers Market in Oklahoma City March 17.
I got to the bout (that is the appropriate name, not a match.) in time for Rollergating, which is equivalent to tailgating — grilled food and drinks.
Rollergating lasted until about 5 p.m. when the doors opened. I was too busy with Rollergating to notice the line that formed at the doors leading into the street. I was surprised that people would line up that far in advance to get tickets or a seat.
As everyone made his or her way inside, it was a madhouse. People were everywhere, getting food, visiting the bake sale table, or at the bar. Roller Derby is family friendly so the little ones were running around having fun too.
OKCRD raises money for a different charity every month at the Farmers Market and this bout was a special charity dear to the roller girl’s hearts, St. Baldricks.
The charity gets people to raise money that it is donated to research for childhood cancer. The catch? Roller girls were shaving their heads. The point is solidarity, plus people will pay you to do stuff like this, so I think everyone wins.
As the bout started, the intensity of the crowd — supporting their local Roller Derby team — was out of sight.
It was so loud; the crowd was chanting OKCRD all night, even when the hometown team was falling behind on the scoreboard.
As the bout went on, roller girls were flying, Roller Derby is definitely a full-contact sport.
OKCRD gave and received some hard hits from the Alamo City girls. In the beginning, it was a close score but as the clock was ticking, the penalties racked up. Alamo City began to have a rather large lead on OKCRD.
During half time, the head shaving began. Roller girls from both teams were getting their head shaved as well as people from the audience. It was amazing to see everyone just make donation after donation to this charity. Of course, it was also thrilling I am sure to watch the shavees under the shears.
In the second half of the bout, Anomellie, skater of OKCRD, was ejected for too many majors. The crowd was not pleased. OKCRD just pushed through and continued to play as hard as they could.
Alamo City came out with the win but OKCRD did not go down without swinging. Even though OKCRD didn’t win, the girls were all good sports.
Overall, the bout was fun. Even first-timers who were ignorant to Roller Derby felt included and up to speed by the end.
I recommend getting tickets at www.okcrd.com and going to their next bout April 21.
To contact Emily Schorr, email firstname.lastname@example.org.