Credit: Roller Derby Brno Freakshow, via Facebook

Brno To Host International Roller Derby Match In May

On 11 May, Brno will host a roller derby match between the local team Roller Derby Brno Freakshow, and the New Town Roller Derby, from Scotland.

This is the first such event in two years, and will also mark the eighth anniversary of the local team’s foundation.

Roller derby is not a very well-known sport, but it definitely has an interesting history. Created in the 1930’s as a form of sports entertainment, with predominantly theatrical elements, in the wake of the large popularity acquired by roller skating since the end of the 19th century, it had a surprising revival in the early 2000’s, predominantly as an all-female amateur sport. This gave rise to one of the sport’s most interesting features, as it began to be associated with feminist movements and alternative cultures such as punk or camp.

The main game mechanism revolves around two teams skating counterclockwise on a circuit track. The game, or “bout”, lasts 60 minutes, and is divided into two-minute sections, called “jams”. The two teams have a roster of 15 players, and for each jam, each team fields five of them with two roles: four “blockers” and a “jammer”. The teams’ main goal is to have their jammer lap as many opposite blockers as possible, while at the same time preventing the enemy jammer from doing the same.

As roller derby is practised mostly in the United States, this event is a rare chance for sports fans to attend an out-of-the-ordinary match in the Czech Republic.

The “bout” will take place at the sports hall in Tuřany on 11 May, starting at 2pm. The entrance fee is voluntary, and in the evening there will be an afterparty at Café Trojka, starting from 8pm.

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