I've got it all figured out.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ask the Magic Internet a Stupid Question No. 0034

Bad news people. It’s fruit boot season again.

Yep. These guys are already starting to clog the bike lanes. Doing those little spins at traffic lights and even going backwards from time to time. Is there anything gayer than rollerblades?

Nope. There isn’t.

When I was a kid there was only roller skates. There was a roller rink in Burlington called Roller Gardens. I was never much of a skater so I didn’t really go there. But sometimes I’d go with my dad to pick up my sister. My only memories of the place was watching guys try to play the arcade games on roller skates and slowly rolling away from the machine while still holding onto the joy sticks and seeing like a 7 foot black guy with a giant afro, rainbow suspenders and furry roller skates roller discoing to Boogie Wonderland. Man what the fuck was up with roller disco?

Did anyone actually buy and seriously read this magazine? Maybe the 2 subscribers met up and had heated debates on what film is better. Roller Boogie or Skatetown U.S.A.

Guys, guys, guys. Quite fighting. They’re both gay. Maybe having wheeled feet has always been gay. I can only think of 2 instances where it hasn’t been. One was this guy I kind of knew in high school who was really tough and used to hit a heavy bag in his basement while wearing rollerblades so he could fight better in hockey games and the other is the fight scene in Road Racers.

But wait. What about Roller Derby? Is that cool? I know it was popular in the early 70s and they tried to bring it back in the late 80s with Roller Games, this wacked out show that looked like American Gladiators on wheels.

And now it seems to be popping up again as this hip underground sport for tattooed vampy girls and the men that like them.

To be honest I don’t really know much about roller derby. I’ve watched it a few times but it makes no sense to me. They just seem to go around and around occasionally hitting each other or whipping one of their own team mates forward. Are there rules to roller derby? Is there an objective, a winner even? I don’t know. But I know who does.

Question 34: What is the rules/point of roller derby?

Magic Internet Answer: Some roller derby is considered merely sports entertainment in which much of the proceedings are staged and rule sets are not closely followed. However, if we are discussing contemporary roller derby then there is points to be awarded for completing an objective and there can be a winner. There are also strict rules to follow. Rule sets for contemporary roller derby (CRD) have been put forth by a number of organizations. The Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA), the World Organization of Roller Derby (WORD) and the Old School Derby Association (OSDA) have all created rule sets but it is the WFTDA rules that seem to be used most frequently in modern CRD.

CRD is based on formation roller skating around a closed oval track, usually in a counter clockwise motion. Each team sends 5 players onto the track. Of these 5 players one will be designated as a Jammer (indicated by a star on the player’s helmet), one will be designated as a pivot (indicated by a stripe on the player’s helmet and the remaining 3 players will be designated blockers (wearing plane coloured helmets). The objective of the game is for the Jammer to lap the opposing team’s players. That is to skate in front of them, skate completely around the track and skate in front of them again. The team will be awarded one point for each successful lap of opposing team players by a Jammer. The opposing team will attempt to block the Jammer while at the same time trying to aid their own Jammer in successfully lapping their opponents. The Jammer can also hand over their position by trading helmets with the Pivot. The Pivot then becomes the Jammer and the Jammer becomes a blocker.

Here we see both helmets depicted in a highly regrettable leg tattoo.

There is a long list of other rules governing time limits, fouls, penalties and start measurements. They can be found here on the  WFTDA website. But I believe the information I have given you is sufficient for enjoyment of the sport. For I believe that is the true point of roller derby, enjoyment. With an underlying emphasis on physical exercise.

Well there you have it everyone. You now know the basic rules of roller derby. And guess what? You can’t unlearn them! They’re in your head. Possibly forever! Ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha. Isn’t the brain a wonderful thing?

High-five big, pink buddy!

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