Ragnarok Rollers host first official bout during Little Norway Festival
The Petersburg roller derby team has been practicing and gearing up all winter and spring for such an event but what should derby spectators expect?
“They should expect to see a bunch of women in really tight pants skating around in circles hitting each other,” said Roller’s head coach Rebecca Anderson.
Anderson said roller derby bouts are similar to football games.
“Take a football field and imagine both teams are lined up at one goal line,” Anderson said. “Imagine that both quarterbacks, instead of passing the ball, the quarterbacks are going to race to the other side of the field. The blockers in the field are going to try and stop the other quarterback.”
The first ‘quarterback’ who breaks through blockers is called the lead jammer and, as long as she is ahead, can score points for each blocker she passes. She can also call a break in the two-minute jam if the opposing jammer is close to passing.
“Jammers can call it off so others don’t get points,” said Roller Lisa Nilsen. “A jam might last 30 seconds or up to two minutes. It can get confusing but it’s one of those things that is a lot of fun to watch. Just cheer. Just cheer for your team.”
It takes at least three referees to keep track of what’s happening in roller derby bouts but Anderson said eight is ideal. Bouts consist of multiple jams that take place over two halves.
Although heckling Wrangell is encouraged at the bout, Nilsen said the Petersburg girls are tough, but sweet.
“We always joke around that Petersburg doesn’t do a good mean face because we’re pretty much loving it and it’s a lot of fun,” Nilsen said.
The derby will be in the Petersburg High School gym Friday at 8 p.m.