Have I ever made a secret of the fact that much of “classic” Roller Derby was an exhibition?
We owned all the teams, the skaters were our employees.  Our concern was to provide an exciting contest for the public to watch, and we never really hid it.

The players were marvelous athletes who really honed their craft:  most trained and learned on the banked track for up to a year before ever being picked up for a team, whether men or women.  And we played 5 to 6 games per week, so there wasn’t a concern whether the skaters were in shape.  And since there were only 8 men and 8 women on a team and the game virtually never stopped, there was constant great skating.

And is currently showing a different game each week on its website, so you can see what I mean.
The most exciting times for the players were the playoffs when they could really skate wide open without some of the showmanship that was part of the telecasts and games throughout the country.

Today quite a few of the players admire the history of the game and relish how it has developed, while others would just like to get away from the origin and the stigma of it not being a “real sport”.
I can certainly understand that, but when you realize that crowds averaged 10,000 and up, including massive stadium appearances of 30,000 to 50,000, is there not something to be gained from reviewing the history?

Everyone knows that the Harlem Globetrotters are just fun basketball, but with great players.  Did you know that hall of famer's Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jamar, and many others played with them?  And during the start of the NBA they played doubleheaders with the pros, with the Globies having to play the second game so fans would not leave after seeing them play.

Yes, there is a different playing surface in most games today, different rules, different penalties, but the game is still five on five, timed jams, offense and defense at the same time, and points scored when after lapping the field the jammers pass opposing skaters.
If you feel there is anything to be learned from the past, I would be so glad to help, having had the additional experience of 30 years of ticketing and promotion from sports, Rock and Roll, country and more.  And I work for a company that just wants you all to succeed.  I am at
There is no enemy here.  Let us together make certain this most beautiful of all sports just stays around and grows.  And maybe remember the roots.

Cover photo credit: Baron Wolman 

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the classic photo above from 1970 by


this is what the majority of our games looked like: