Busty BraBender. Val Capone. Mobile Chernobyl. SpartaKris. These are just a few of the names you'll find on the roster at one of the Windy City Rollers' home team bouts, the next of which will be held on January 18.
For those not familiar with roller derby, each competition is called a bout, which is made up of a series of jams. Five players from each team line up on the track to kick off a jam. As they circle the track, the designated Jammer from each team fights their way through the pack. The first Jammer to end up out front is called the Lead Jammer. She can call an end to a jam at any time.
Teams earn points for every opposing player their Jammer passes. Each team also has blockers who do what they can to impede the opposing Jammer's progress, while helping to pave their own Jammer's way around the track. This can result in elbowing, pushing and tripping, which isn't all legal and leads to penalties.
If this didn't clear things up, Windy City Rollers, which is celebrating 10 years, can probably explain it better. Or, attend the second bout of the season this Saturday and figure it out firsthand at the UIC Pavilion, located at 525 S. Racine Ave.
Tickets are $20 at the door or can be purchased through Ticketmaster. This month's bout between Chicago teams The Fury and Manic Attackers kicks off at 6:00pm. The second bout begins at 7:30pm between Hell's Belles and Double Crossers.
In between skates, circus artist Dizzy Lizzy Delicious will perform. An after party will also be held at Bottom Lounge at 1375 W Lake St. where fans can mingle with the teams.
If you catch the roller derby bug and want to do more than spectate, you can attend one of the Windy City Rollers' open skates. In preparation of tryouts for new team members, skaters of all skill levels can learn the ins and outs of the sport.
The next open skate will be held on January 22 from 9:30pm - 11:00pm. There is no cost, but skates, pads, helmets and guards are required. Equipment can be loaned out, they just need to know ahead of time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Photo credit: Heyman Neisschott/Windy City Rollers