CW3 Jessica Brewington, A Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, and Aquila Lindsey, civilian, try to stop the opposing team’s jammer from scoring points. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)
Published: May 15, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 15, 2014) -- A lot of lumps and bumps were dished out for viewer entertainment May 10 when the Boll Weevil Bruisers went hip to hip with the River Region Rollergirls in a roller derby bout.
Spectators packed Enterprise’s Fun Factory during the Battle of the Slam Rockers, where military spouses, civilians and Soldiers wearing Boll Weevil Bruiser jerseys took down the RRR in a devastating bout where they dominated the rink all night long.
The Bruisers started out strong and finished strong, only losing the lead in the game for a few jams.
Even after a teammate went down to injury, the Bruisers were able to keep their composure and discipline, and finished the game strong, winning 129 to 90.
Although the game is a contact sport, many people flock to the growing activity for its ability to provide players a stress outlet, as well as a way to meet new people and live healthier lives, according to members of the team.
“You meet people in this sport that you would have never met otherwise,” said CW3 Jessica Brewington, (a.k.a. Luscious Long Legs) A Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment. “All the players are great and it’s like a sisterhood, even with the other teams.”
Mindy Boline, (a.k.a M. Kickin`some) Air Force spouse, team assistant coach and league vice president, said she likes the game for many reasons.
“There is also the athleticism of the sport that attracts me, because anyone at any size or shape can play this sport,” she said. “And it’s good for health because many girls lose a lot of weight playing.”
Others play because it’s something that empowers them, like Deana Porretta, Army spouse and league president.
“I love to play because I do it for myself. This is my time, this is Deana’s time – I am not mom and I am not honey. I am Goldie Knocks when I get in my skates and I can just let it all go,” she said.
The team is less than a year old and welcomes new players, men and women, even if newcomers know nothing about the sport.
Teams are made up of five ladies roller skating in the same direction around a track.
The bout, or game, is made up of jams, which are short sessions around two minutes long in which both team’s jammers, or scoring players, lap members of the opposing team.
According to M. Kickin`some, the team’s four blockers attempt to assist their own jammer while hindering the opposing jammer—in effect, playing both offense and defense simultaneously. There are 30-minute halves, and at the end of the bout whichever team has the most points wins.
“The jammers have to make their way through the pack of blockers and go around the track again at the beginning of each jam,” said M. Kickin`some. “On their second pass through the pack, the jammers score a point for every blocker’s hips on the opposing team they pass.”
While this is all going on, the blockers are hip checking, shoulder checking and booty blocking opposing team members.
There are contact rules though, said Luscious Long Legs. There is no elbowing, hair pulling, biting or punching allowed, and the only legal hitting zones are the sides of the body from the shoulder to above the knee.
“Blockers may touch and interact with players from their own team, though,” said Goldie Knocks, while explaining position responsibilities. “You will always know the jammer, because she has the star on her helmet. The jammer who makes it through the pack on the first pass legally, and in bounds first, is declared the lead jammer and while lead jammer they can call off the jam before the two minutes ends to prevent the other team from scoring.”
The bouts can get feisty, as did Saturday’s, with players from both teams spending time in the penalty box for illegal moves. But by the end of the game, all of the girls were smiling and happy to have played together.
The next home game for the Boll Weevil Bruisers will be June 7 against the Mobile Derby Darlings at the Fun Factory in Enterprise.
For more information about joining the team or attending games, visit www.facebook.com/EnterpriseRollerDerby.
This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/126108/
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