Roller derby may not be synonymous with "American pastime" but it's a growing national and international sport that's been entertaining rowdy fans for decades. Exciting and athletic, it's a contact-sport on roller skates -- and while there are no official rules about uniforms, it's become de rigeur to wear some pretty fly outfits. Players adopt intimidating pseudonyms and colorful alter-egos, adding further theatrics to this aggressive and physically jarring sport.
Today roller derby can be a co-ed, all-male, or junior team sport, but it was originally played by women only. Two teams of five members each race around a track; each team has a designated "jammer," the one player who can score points by lapping members of the opposing team. The most challenging aspect of roller derby is that the teams simultaneously assist their jammer while trying to hinder the efforts of the opposing jammer, effectively playing offense and defense at the same time.
An "indie" sport with a culture all its own, roller derby has blended with elements of feminism in the 21st century to create a counter-culture phenomenon with strong DIY and grassroots support. It's not something you can see just anywhere, so be sure to check out Sacramento's local team, the Sacred City Derby Girls, if you're in town during their 2014 season.
Tickets are $10-$20 and can be purchased online at http://sacredcityderbygirls.com/