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Derby Disaster Facts

Close up of Jesse carving, wood shavings flying.

Close up of Jesse carving, wood shavings flying. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Television

  • There are over 1,000 women's flat track roller derby leagues.

  • Roller Derby started in Chicago in 1935 as an endurance competition between male-female duos.

  • Roller derby matches used to be scripted much like wrestling.

  • Roller derby injuries range from bruises to broken bones and even concussions.

  • Roller Derby has an international competition called the Roller Derby World Cup.

  • Most players go by pseudonyms like, "Lil' Paine", for example.

  • To score a player must lap the opposing teams skaters.

  • Roller derby was considered for inclusion as an Olympic sport in the 2020 games.

  • Stars or stripes on player helmets indicate which position they play.

  • In roller derby, the term "Jam" refers to the two minute playing segments.

  • Players can not push each other using their hands.

  • After 7 trips to the penalty box, a player is ejected from the game.

  • Boston's Derby Dames are part of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association.

  • In the earliest forms of roller derby, teams would skate 57,000 laps around a rink – the total distance was thought to equal a trip across the USA!

  • Professional roller derby dwindled in the 1970s and it wasn't revived until 2001, in Austin, Texas.