Bremerton’s Skateland is about to host an elbow-throwin’, fast-speed rollin’, rollickin’ roller derby event.
On June 29, Bremerton’s own Slaughter County Roller Vixens (SCRV) will take on a duo of formidable foes from across the Puget pond — Seattle’s Rat City Rollergirls. The double header starts at 4 p.m. The first round will see SCRV’s Death Rattle Rollers take the rink against Rat City’s Sockit Wenches. In the second matchup, SCRV’s Terrormedixxx will battle Rat City’s Throttle Rockets.
The Slaughter County Roller Vixens is an all-women flat track roller derby league. Their competitions, or bouts, are broken into four 14-minute periods highlighted with two- to three-minute jams. There are three primary positions on the track: a pivot, a jammer and a group of blockers. The pivot sets the pace for the skaters, while jammers try to earn points by making their way through the group of blockers. The blockers are there to make sure the jammers don’t make it through.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, roller derby has seen a resurgence in popularity in the past few years and not just in Kitsap. Roller girls have surfaced in Vancouver, B.C., Bellingham, Everett, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia, Portland and Bend, according to a press release from SCRV.
Women of all shapes — and elbows of various sizes — have found a home on the rink.
“I have met the most dynamic women of my life by being a part of Roller Derby. I feel a part of a real sisterhood who not only work hard at derby but also for their communities. Thanks Roller derby for changing my life,” said Kymberly Oliver of Bremerton.
The fans have taken to the sport, as well.
“For first time audience members, they can expect to be pleasantly surprised when all their preconceived notions of what they thought roller derby was all about go by the wayside. They will see just how much athleticism and strategy actually go into it,” said Jenyfer Ewig of Port Orchard. “It’s not about fighting and none of it is staged. I love roller derby because of the do-it-yourself culture that it fosters. How the skaters take on (sometimes not so) alter egos, adding props, wearing crazy make-up and customizing their uniforms to portray their chosen character. I love that it’s ‘by the skaters, for the skaters.’ I love that we inject fun and humor even when doing good for our community.”
Doors open at 3 p.m., and the first bout starts at 4 p.m. Skateland is located at 1740 NE Fuson Road, in Bremerton. Tickets are available at the door on the day of the event for $15 (adults) or $10 (children 12 and under). Advance tickets are on sale at www.slaughtercountyrollervixens.com ($10 for adults, $5 for children).
Admission for children younger than 5 is free.