Photography: Roller Derby
Roller Derby started in the early 1900’s as simple roller skating endurance races around a flat oval track with no contact or teams. Well, that’s pretty boring. Much like stock car racing, the crashs would be the most interesting part of the event, so why not play it up. Roller Derby reached it’s popularity in the 60’s and 70’s as a full contact “sport”, but by this time it was more of a staged event like Big Time Wrestling with clearly defined good guys and bad guys and predetermined winners and losers and lots of fights. For awhile in the the 70’s it was huge. For my brother and me, Saturday afternoon meant Roller Derby on Channel 50 – Detroit. A 1972 movie – “Kansas City Bomber” starring Raquel Welch and a young Jody Foster did pretty well at the box office. And now it’s back w/ most major cities hosting womens Roller Derby teams.