Monday, February 15, 2010

316/365 Roller derby

Roller derby has enjoyed a surge in interest and enthusiasm over the past few years. Indianapolis alone has four teams split between the Naptown Roller Girls and the Circle City Socialites.

But until last weekend, I'd never personally been to a bout. And boy, was it fun.

I went with a group of friends to see a Naptown Roller Girls Tornado Sirens home bout, and even though I knew it was going to be a popular event, I was still amazed to see the size of the crowd. The ladies skated at the Pepsi Colliseum, which is the same venue in which the Indianapolis Ice hockey team plays -- and there were more people at the roller derby bout than at the last two Ice games I've been to -- combined.

It was an enthusiastic crowd, too. Some die-hard, brave fans even arrive early to grab a "suicide seat." (They're the daring souls seated cross-legged right on the track that you can see in these photos.) You have to be 18 to sit here, you acknowledge that it's quite likely you'll end up with someone falling in your lap -- and you won't hold anyone but your own crazy self responsible if you get hurt.

Oh, and if you can hang onto your beer without spilling it in such an instance -- you'll be the hero of the day.

Great fun. I'll definitely go back as a spectator. I'll leave the skating to the pros.

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/4.5 at ISO 1000

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