Do men belong in Roller Derby?

Who gets to play Roller Derby and how do they play it?

A couple of convergences this week.

There was a post on one site on facebook asking about how everyone feels about men in Roller Derby.
I thought it was odd at this time when there are about quite a number of men’s leagues now and also the MRDA championships were happening in Tacoma.

There were dozens of responses, ranging from whom are you kidding to “hey, we brought it back, it should be our game.”
Many seemed to feel that unlike other sports where the men seem to have a higher status than women who compete, this game really demonstrated what women can do on their own in one of the toughest sports with their own leagues and their own establishment.

Others said the game is there for all, men, women, juniors and can even be skated coed.
Women have their game and the strategy and style of play is what they want, although the passive game is not required by the rules, as indicated by the game up until 2010.

But the men’s game, as indicated by the tournament last weekend, has on the whole thrown out the passive offense (one coach heard screaming: NO PASSIVE OFFENSE) and I felt the tournament produced some of the best Derby I had seen in a number of years. Yes, Your Mom is composed of a number of speed skaters (is Peter Pan for real), but so are a number of women’s teams, including Oly Rollers who were WFTDA champs.
Some might say the men might be taking their game away from them, which is certainly not their intention......but what I saw over the weekend was a much more fan friendly (and maybe skater friendly) game than the one most women are skating.
Look, let’s not lose sight of the only ones you are in competition with is yourselves, and you are skating Derby because you love it and the game is what you want.  But if the game the men are skating is more exciting, then that is what it is.
Personally, I would like to see eventually men and women skating together, whether it is coed or alternating periods, but all in one game.  It can happen, you know.  All of this is only my opinion, of course.

And by the way, in the US women’s tennis is more popular than the men’s.

Meanwhile, I will be rooting for the BAD girls in the championships in Nashville and looking forward to meeting leagues from all over the world in Dallas.

Photo courtesy of John Hesse.

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