Today I wanted to try out my new camera (Olympus OMD EM1x) and it just so happened that the Middle Georgia Derby Demons (they are also on Facebook) were having a scrimmage. These men & women volunteer their time and money to make up this team, so I figured a little free publicity (as modest as this travel blog is) would be welcomed. I was right.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with how it is played, check out Wikipedia. It’s simple and action packed.
I watched Roller Derby on TV as a boy back in the 60s along with wrestling. In both cases, it was like watching something that horrified me. You couldn’t look away and you couldn’t look at it, but, back then, if you were watching that then the alternatives were televangelists or news. For a 6 year old boy, it was no contest.
Today’s Roller Derby Queens are real people and removing the TV detachment made the whole thing a lot of fun. I can see that it is a sport and the competitors are enjoying themselves. The names they choose are as much a part of the fun as skating and competing. There is no more spectacle here. There will be no flashing lights and thundering bass.
One of the first people I met identifies herself as Briar Rose (#3). She introduced herself as my backup photographer while holding her camera in her hand. She is a feisty young woman on the rink and if her photography is as good as she skates, then Curtsey’s Folly will soon be Briar’s Rose.
I was surprised to see men on the track, but, of course, this is the 21st Century and International Women’s Day means that women think they can (and do) hold their own with men.
I arrived during the Level 1 scrimmage. The rules are very tame and the newbies get a feel for the sport without much physical contact. Then there was a bit more rough at level 2 and they ended with level 3 which went faster and offered the most action.
The floor they were on was concrete, so no one got elbowed in the face causing them to go down on their back side. I don’t know if their bouts are more violent than the level 3 scrimmage, but if there is a bout when I am in town I plan to go see Briar Rose, Topshelf Lickher, Nat Attack, Giz Mo Rain et al take the track.
Photographer’s Note: Due to low light conditions in the warehouse where they practice I had to jack the ISO up into the Olympus’s extension area (25600). These images are not my normal quality and are very grainy, but I wanted a feel for the camera capturing action and sacrificed image quality to get that.