For the past three years, Denver has been home to the Denver Roller Dolls, a female roller derby team. I found out about it from a flyer posted somewhere on Capitol Hill.

This isn’t your grandma’s roller derby.  Unlike the fake, sensationalistic game you may remember, roller derby is a sport to be reckoned with.  The hard hits and fast skating are as real as the hard concrete Coliseum floor, torn knee ligaments, concussions, whiplash, shoulder injuries, and bruises abound.

I went roller skating in junior high school—that and the McDonald’s were the cool hangouts in my south Kansas City neighborhood—but I never even learned to skate backward. Roller derby would definitely be a sport for me to watch, not play.

With names like “Bad Apples” and “Green Barrettes,” how could they go wrong?

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  1. BernardL April 10, 2009 at 9:44 am - Reply

    I watched Roller Derby when I was a kid, and it was always reassuring to me knowing most of it was fake. The skaters used to get hurt even though it was fake. I’m not sure bringing the real violence into it is a good idea. Have you ever seen the old movie ‘Rollerball’ with James Caan. That would be a pretty accurate picture of what a reality Roller Derby could end up to be. It seems between Ultimate Fighting and Reality shows, we’re getting to be like the crowds watching the gladiators in ancient Rome.

  2. Beth Partin April 10, 2009 at 2:23 pm - Reply


    Rollerball does ring a bell, unless I’m thinking of Murderball, which was about handicapped people playing basketball, I believe. I’d like to check roller derby out, since I am fond of sports like hockey.

    There is a lot of bread and circuses going on these days. I sometimes like to watch the fights because I did two years of Krav Maga, and it’s interesting to me to see the fighters using the skills I learned (not as well as they did, of course).

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Crazy About Denver: Roller Dolls

  3. Tracie April 12, 2009 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    I sooo want to see the Roller Dolls. Was just telling my friends that I was going to buy tickets to the next game. I am terrible at roller skating…but I would love to be a Roller Doll.

    Tracie’s last blog post..Vegas Baby!!!!

  4. Beth Partin April 13, 2009 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Hey, let’s go sometime!

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..MonHaibun: Ashes and Embers

  5. Wes Morgan April 17, 2009 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Roller Derby is one of the best things ever. If you haven’t gone yet, you have to check it out. It’s absolutely one of the most interesting sports to watch I’ve ever seen, and they make it very fun and irreverent. Plus Pabst Blue Ribbon is like their chief sponsor and they sell it in tall boys at all bouts. So good. Also the Roller Girls are hot. There’s that too.

  6. Beth April 17, 2009 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    If you’re a PBR fan, you should check out Poets Beyond Reason, who have borrowed the PBR logo for their poetry group. They’re on Blogger.

    Beth’s last blog post..Crazy About Denver: Doors Open Denver and Everything Else on One Weekend

  7. Andrea Hill April 22, 2009 at 6:59 am - Reply

    I hope you make it out to the bout – the April 25th event showcases some of our best players, playing against West Texas!

    Roller derby isn’t the fake stuff we saw on tv years ago – there’s no punching or throwing elbows. That’s not to say it isn’t a tough sport, though! Girls do get hurt as they barrel around the flat track. The rules are actually reasonably complicated, but overall it’s a ton of fun to watch (and play!)

    Hope you’ll check it out!

    Andrea Hill’s last blog post..Cross-training for derby

  8. Beth Partin April 22, 2009 at 7:01 am - Reply

    Andrea, thanks for stopping by. I would definitely like to check it out sometime.

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..The Fillmore Auditorium on Capitol Hill: Standing All Night

  9. Denveater April 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Beth, I’ll go with you. We’ve been to see a couple people we know before & it’s way un…

    Denveater’s last blog post..Hey waiter, there’s booze in my soup: Bistro Vendôme–Pearl Street Grill spoondown

  10. Denveater April 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm - Reply
  11. Beth Partin April 25, 2009 at 8:26 pm - Reply

    OK, let’s go sometime!

    Beth Partin’s last blog post..Crazy About Denver: Views from the Daniels and Fisher Tower