When Brevard Happening found out that Brevard County has its own competitive roller derby team, the Molly Roger Rollergirls (MRRG), we had to learn more. Because come on, there’s something just plain cool about a contact sport… happening on wheels… played by women unafraid of blood, sweat and tears (not to mention the occasional scar).
Roller derby is a sport played on quad skates by 10 people at a time, five from each team, skating around a track. The team who wins is the one whose jammers have made the most passes through the pack by the end of the bout.
BH: What’s a jammer? For that matter, what’s a pass, a pack and a bout?
Roller derby kind of has its own lingo. Here are some key terms:
- Bout: The full game, consisting of two 30 minute halves and usually a 30 minute half-time.
- Jam: The individual sections of the bout where jammers attempt to score by passing the pivot and blockers of the opposing team or “pack.”
- Jammer: The player who passes members of the opposing team to score points (after their initial pass).
- Pivot: The player who assists the jammer on his or her attempts to pass the opposing team.
- Blocker: One of three players in a jam who plays full defense to create a path for the jammer to pass through the pack.
- Pack: The full group, including both teams pivot and blockers, which the jammer tries to pass through.
You can find more information by visiting the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association website.
BH: How long have the Molly Roger Rollergirls been around?
The Molly Roger Rollergirls formed in 2007 when two local teams, the Space Coast Slashers and the Brevard County Derby Girls, came together. We currently have our main team, the Molly Roger Rollergirls, and two teams, the Yeti’s Betties and the Molly’s Swallows, where all skaters have been split up to play each other in scrimmages. The main team takes the best from the Betties and the Swallows to compete with other teams around Florida.
BH: And all the players have nicknames, right?
More or less. Some just use their first or last name, but most use a nickname. Some examples include Weeble, Buxom Basher, Circus Peanut, Deep Space Fine, Hex Files, Islamay Q. Scream, Julie Black ‘n Deck-Her, Kikkin’ Puppies and Daddy’s Little Ghoul.
BH: So, Shirley Mayhem, why roller derby?
I love to skate and roller derby gives me extra time on wheels. What I like about roller derby is the endless possibilities it gives me for learning new skating moves and the thrill of joining together with my team to conquer another league.
Roller derby is different than most other popular sports. You not only have to be in great shape and be willing to get aggressive to make a path for your jammer, you also have to be able to play offense and defense from second to second. At times, it’s difficult to decide which to play. There are jams where you’ll have your jammer coming through with the other team’s jammer immediately behind her. In these situations you have to make a space for your jammer to pass and, within milliseconds, go back to blocking your opponent. This means that we’re exercising our minds as well as our bodies. This style of play makes roller derby different than football or soccer or basketball. In those sports, you know what to do depending on which direction the ball is heading. In roller derby, you have to be constantly assessing the situation to best assist your team and deter the other team.
BH: Why should Brevardians—those who are just learning about the sport for the first time right now—care about roller derby?
Brevardians should care about roller derby because it’s a very enjoyable sport to watch and it is up-and-coming on a national level. What would be better than supporting a team now and one day watching its players advance to playing in the Olympics? Another reason to come watch a match: There’s intense action—you can pick a player or a team to root for—and when it’s all over, you can hang out with the team at the after party.
BH: Anything else we should know about Brevard roller derby or the Molly Roger Rollergirls?
We have many causes that we support throughout the year including gathering school supplies for Devereaux and participating in the breast cancer walk to raise money for research. Please like us on Facebook to learn more!
BH: Thank you, Shirley Mayhem. To you and the rest of the Molly Roger Rollergirls, we wish a successful season and as few serious injuries as possible. (We get that sprains and bruises come with the territory!)
Brevard Happening Contest!
Want to win a pair of tickets to a Molly Roger Rollergirls’ home bout? Come up with your own rollergirl nickname and post it in the comments section below. It can be a play on words, a funny pun, edgy innuendo or just plain tough. We’ll choose our favorites from the nicknames with the most thumbs-up to receive two tickets to an upcoming MRRG bout. Make sure to share this article and get your friends to vote on your submission!