Monday 12 March 2012

My First Experience of Roller Derby

I'm not much of a sports fan. I think the problem is that I enjoy watching a good game, but I don't much care who wins. And very often (it seems to me) wanting to win gets in the way of a good game; cf. many championship finals.

On Saturday I went to watch some roller derby, and (spoiler alert!) it was so much fun I'll very likely go again.

Last time I was in Milwaukee the plan had been to go see a bout, but that didn't work out. I've also seen roller derby in the movies, so I had at least a basic grasp of the rules.

Despite that, there were plenty of times where I didn't really know what was going on. Which really didn't matter much, to be honest!

The bout was in the Arc Sports Centre, which was of a size which made it feel like the crowd packed the place. Future bouts, I believe, are going to be in the Kelvin Hall...I hope that doesn't feel empty!

There was lots of wanting to win, but the spirit of the players just seemed so much more positive. Maybe that's a clue that my anti-sport bias has been getting the better of me. Or maybe this sport isn't big enough to suffer so much from winning is more important than competing.

Or maybe it's just different. I've no idea which (if any) of those it is...I'll keep hoping it's the latter.

And for our money, we got two bouts. Maider Grrders (Glasgow's second team, I believe) against Aberdeen's Granite City Roller Girls (website seems to be broken at the moment), then the Irn Bruisers (Glasgow's A team) against the Berlin Bombshells.

And 4½ hours of entertainment for £6 was outrageously good value.

Things I learned: roller derby is fun; the light there is terrible! Shooting wide-open at ISO1600 still left me with slow shutter speeds and very few usable photos.
Next time I'll take some of my own light. There will be a next time.

Lots of fun. I have a lot of respect for the players. And the organisers, too.
(There are just a few more of my photos over on 500px.)