How exactly does roller derby work?
“So roller derby is a full contact sport,” said Claire “Rapunchel” Kapaun of the Capital City Roller Girls. “Women skate on quadskates, so that’s ones with four wheels, and they field four blockers and one jammer and you can kind of think of the jammer as a quarterback and a ball all in one. Her goal is to get past the opposing teams blockers and once she does that once, she comes back around and start making points for every other person she passes, that’s an opposing teammate.”
“There’s this misconception with roller derby, like this old image of roller derby that’s very theatrical, think of the staged wrestling kind of deal, even back then that was revolutionary that these women were doing,” said Jessica “The Big Lebowskate” Cain
In the early 2000s, roller derby was revitalized into what is today.
“So, instead of people throwing punches or elbows or actually trying to hurt someone in a theatrical way, it’s all more athletic,” Cain said. “We’re just a diverse group of women who like to roller skate and make a game of it.”
It’s a game the Capital City Roller Girls are success at, but most importantly its a game that has changed lives.
“When I joined roller derby, I was single and had no kids,” said Cain. “I’ve been skating for 6 years now and in that time I’ve had two children. So, it’s been really important to me to have something outside of my family life that I can that’s just for me.”
“I’m really lucky to have a super supportive husband and family to make sure that I can come and do this for me.”
One down side, though, is the reaction they get from people when they find out they’re a derby girl.
” They think that I’m a lot tougher than I am,” Cain said. “They think that it’s not as athletic as it really is. They think it’s some underground craziness, they think I’m like a fighter or something. No, no, no I work in an office.”
“Immediately, it’s ‘you’re way too small, that’s dangerous, you’re far too small.’ But, roller derby is for everybody, it’s not about the size, it’s not about the shape, it’s about getting on the track and doing things maybe you didn’t think you were capable of doing,” Kapaun said.