In a combination of hockey and football, roller derby brings a whole new level to contact sports.
Women of opposing teams pushed and shoved for the purpose of allowing another teammate to get by and around the track. Both teams were dressed in their
uniforms and some spiced up their outfits by wearing colorful leggings or rainbow tutu and socks.
The derby was held on April 24 in the URC, as part of EWU’s Pride Week. Spokane’s Lilac City Roller Girls took on the Palouse River Rollers.
The Palouse River Rollers took an early lead and won the derby, winning 177 to 102.
Lilac City Roller Girls member and EWU’s events and visits coordinator Whitney Meyer, has been trying to bring a derby to campus for a couple years now.
“I have always worked really closely with the pride club and then I did roller derby, so it was like, ‘Oh hey, why not do it?’” Meyer said.
While students may know her as Whitney Meyer, on the derby floor, she stands at 6-feet tall as ‘Gingeraffe.’
“Every derby girl has to have their own name. I am tall, I have red hair and I have really long legs,” Meyer said. “So, what do you call a tall redhead? Then I saw it online and was like, ‘Oh, yeah.’”
Her teammates and opponents also had different names like Joyful the Destroyful, Syn with a Gryn and Heckno Techno.
According to Lilac City Roller Girls volunteer Elerie Dial, who was at the derby selling merchandise, there are five people from each team allowed on the floor at each time. There is a jammer, who is the only person that can make points for their team, and the four blockers, who try and keep the opposing team’s jammer behind them.
“Imagine [the jammer] as the ball and they have to make it through the pack. Every time she makes it through that pack, she gets a point per person she passes and if she passed their jammer, she makes a point for that person,” said Dial.
The seats were packed with the roller girl’s family, friends and plenty of EWU students.
“It’s very exciting, all of the pushing and stuff, it’s very aggressive,” said EWU freshman Joseph Denmead.
Meyer said, once the competitiveness is set aside, her teammates are pretty cool.
“I originally started because I needed something to occupy my time. It’s just great getting to work with such a great group of women,” Meyer said.
The Lilac City Roller Girls’ next derby will take place at the Spokane Convention Center on May 17 at 7 p.m.
Meyer and Dial encourage anyone who is interested in getting involved to check out their website for more information.
“[The Roller Girls] are open to women 18 and older, housewives, students, all religions and all ethnicities. We take them all,” Dial said. “It’s a really great bonding experience.”