After more than a year of practice, Kodiak’s roller derby team, the Rock Island Rollers, are ready for competition.
The team hits the floor 6 p.m. Saturday at Kodiak High School for a scrimmage — the first open scrimmage since the team came together in November 2011. Afterwards, the team is throwing a party at Tony’s with live music from Little Ronnie and the Tube Screamers beginning at 9:30 p.m.
“This is an opportunity for people to come and see what we do every Tuesdays and Thursdays for the last year,” Rollers coach James Murray said recently on KMXT-FM’s “Jock of the Rock.”
The team will split into two teams and bout against each other in the hour game that is split into two 30-minute halves. Each half is broken down into 2-minute jams.
“We will demonstrate for the crowd, let them know what is going on,” Murray said. “We will stop and explain why we have done certain things, just so people don’t get lost in what is happening.”
Each team has five players on the floor — four blockers and one jammer — and points are scored when a jammer passes an opposing blocker.
The scrimmage is a warm-up for the Rollers first official bout on April 27 against some members of Anchorage’s roller derby team, the Race City Rollergirls. That event will also be at the high school.
“I believe we will be able to pull this off in April,” Murray said. “A lot of girls on the team are putting a lot of time in to getting this ready.”
One of the other purposes for the scrimmage is hopefully get new recruits. The Rollers currently have 23 members, which includes skaters and referees. The team is in need of non-skating officials to keep score and stats.
“It takes a lot of people, which we are just starting to realize, to put on a bout,” team member Chris Lynch said.
It has taken the team more than a year to get up to speed on skating and learning the rules of roller derby. All the players on the team have to pass a skills and written test to be able to bout.
Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at firstname.lastname@example.org.