Catch the Action! Roller Derby Thrills Fans in Southern Maryland

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on December 27, 2018

Looking for thrilling competition and athletes who are tough as nails?

Attend a roller derby bout in Southern Maryland!

The sport has seen a resurgence across the country since the early 2000s, and two leagues are bringing the excitement of roller derby to audiences in Southern Maryland.

How does roller derby work? Each match is made of shorter competitions called “jams.” During a jam, two teams of five skaters race around an oval track. Each team has a player called a “jammer,” whose goal is to lap as many of the opposing team’s players as possible for points. The other four players on each team are trying to thwart the opposing jammer while protecting their own.

Roller derby traces its roots to the 1930s and evolved from marathon roller skating competitions. It fell out of favor later when roller derby became scripted and lost its spontaneity. The revival of roller derby that began in Texas in the early 2000s has brought the sport back to its roots.
Matches are fast-moving and unpredictable. There’s nothing scripted about
modern roller derby!

For many skaters, roller derby is more than a fun way to compete and get (and stay!) active. Teams offer comradery and a close-knit family, and in Southern Maryland, local leagues give back to the community through donations, service projects, and volunteerism.

In Southern Maryland, there are two leagues that welcome and train new competitors, referees, and other derby volunteers. Find out more about them at their websites and Facebook pages.

301 Derby Dames

The 301 Derby Dames recently moved from apprentice league status to full member status with the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association. The league is nonprofit and skater owned, and hosts boot camps throughout the year as well as training practices. Not able to afford the equipment you need? The Dames have gear you can borrow until you’re able to buy your own.

The Dames will host an open recruitment and tryout event on Wednesday,
Jan. 9.



Southern Maryland Roller Derby

Southern Maryland Roller Derby formed in January of 2012 and practices several times a week to ensure that players have the skills they need to compete! The nonprofit league always makes time for charitable giving and
volunteering. The league hosts Derby 101, Derby 201, and Derby 301 training for new members a couple of times a year.

SMRD’s next scrimmage is “Skate of Thrones” on Saturday, March 23.



The roller derby season typically runs from February through October. For more information and a schedule of events, visit the leagues’ websites and Facebook pages.

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