Roller derby returns to Trailside
Alterations be damned; roller derby will mark its second year at the Trailside roller rink with this Saturday’s Black and White open scrimmage.
Despite the recent installation of skate-park features on the inline surface, the Wasatch Roller Derby (WRD) travel team is hosting four scrimmages at the facility and has invited Utah’s three other prominent roller derby teams to participate. More than half of the Trailside rink is still reserved for roller derby use, and its suitability will be tested by this weekend’s competitors and fans.
"We’re hopeful that there’s enough space," said Heather Rayl, a.k.a. Pandora Doom. Viewing might be limited, she said, but the league hopes to keep utilizing the only outdoor facility it can access in the state.
WRD is an arm of the nonprofit Wasatch Women’s Club, and all proceeds of ticket sales go either to organizational costs or directly to charity. In addition, 40 percent of the net proceeds at Saturday’s event will benefit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah (http://www.bbbsu.org), a donor and volunteer-supported organization that provides underprivileged youth with other adults to guide them through life.
Rayl joined WRD last November after coworker Tina Terminator (or Laura Stayman) invited her to try out, and she’s been a rink hound ever since.
"I hadn’t even heard of it before," said Rayl, who hadn’t skated since she was a kid. "It’s kind of universal. Anybody can play if they want." The team’s competitors range from 19 to 43, and the different positions offer women or "all shapes and sizes" the chance to excel.
Action will start at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 17. Each scrimmage or "bout" will be 30 minutes long, with a women’s scrimmage first, then a co-ed scrimmage, then another women’s scrimmage before a final battle of the sexes for bragging rights. Don’t expect to see the gratuitous violence often associated with the sport, however.
"Most people expect it to be hardcore," Rayl said. "It’s really more of an athletic sport than it used to be."
Cost is $10 in advance at Hoppers (890 Fort Union Boulevard in Midvale) or at http://www.wasatchrollerderby.com, or $12 at the door. Children 5 and under will be admitted free. Seating is limited and guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Trackside seating is offered, but viewers must be over 18 to sit in the area. Concessions will be available, and derby women and men will meet with the audience after the game.
"It’s definitely worth seeing," Rayl said. "Most people have some history with derby, either from ‘Whip It’ (a 2009 movie) or from their childhood. It’s cool just to see how far the sport has come."
The WRD will make another stop in Summit County on Aug. 21, when three more scrimmages are scheduled at Trailside Park.
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