The Hits Keep Comin' for the Detroit Roller Derby's Women, Men and Junior Leagues
By: Scott Davis
April 22, 2019
Do you want a sport that hits a little harder? None hit as hard as roller derby, and Detroit Roller Derby has been giving fans the hard hitting goods for well over a decade.
Michigan’s premier roller derby league features four home teams and three travel teams, rostered with some of the most talented skaters in the country. Their matches are held at the historic Masonic Temple in downtown Detroit.
“Detroit Roller Derby bouts are a family-friendly event, where you can witness, up close and personal, a unique and growing sport,” Elle O’Hell, a skater for Detroit Roller Derby, said. “[The Masonic Temple] itself offers a lot of character and intrigue and we try to contribute what we can to help make sure our fans enjoy their roller derby experience, whether it’s their first time or their fiftieth.”
The organization started in 2005 as a women’s flat-track roller derby league and was one of the founding members of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The women still compete with WFTDA organizations around the country, and even compete internationally as they traveled to Spain last year to compete in the WFTDA playoffs. Many of the skaters from the Detroit Derby Girls even appeared in the Drew Barrymore film, Whip It.
The popularity of the Detroit Derby Girls led to the overall growth of Detroit Roller Derby as the organization now features seven teams. Bouts at the Masonic Temple will feature the four home teams as they compete for the coveted Olive Trophy at the end of the season.
No matter if you follow the bouts all season long, or if you want to check out a family-friendly sport, there’s something for everyone to do.
“During our events we try to have a variety of entertainment, such as a live-auction raffle of our VIP Lounge Track-side seating, live bands at intermission, or our annual Star Wars themed bout with characters and free goodies in the crowd,” O’Hell said.
Detroit Roller Derby’s new co-ed junior roller derby league is open to kids and teens from ages seven to 17. Players and coaches from the organization show youngsters the ropes of roller derby along with developing character, confidence, and social skills. You can find all the information on how to join on the organization’s website.
The 2019 home season continues with the aforementioned Star Wars themed bout taking place on Saturday, May 4. The night will feature two bouts with both the Detroit Men’s Roller Derby and Motor City Disassembly Line taking to the hardwood. Pre-sale tickets are available at a discounted price until Friday, April 26, with regular tickets available at the door until sold out.
The league also hosts a variety of fundraising opportunities throughout their travel season and are always recruiting throughout the year. You can stay up to date with everything the Detroit Roller Derby has coming up on their website and Facebook page.