When you think of roller skating, you might picture a relaxing time with your family as you skate around an indoor track, like at Rollerama or Guptil’s. But for the ladies on the local roller derby team skating is anything but relaxing.
The Hellions & Herculadies
Many may not realize, roller derby is a very contact-heavy sport complete with bruises and blood. The Hellions, an all-women’s roller derby team based in Troy, knows all about how to stay strong out on the track.
The team recently won their opening bout of the season against the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Roller Radicals, and they’ll be up against the Seven Valley Rollers on April 1st.
The Hellions also have a B team, the Herculadies, which is where newer team members start out. New participants are called “fresh meat” and they learn and train from a “meat mistress.” Each new lady gets a “meat name;” later, they choose their own special derby name.
“Other derby teams have similar programs,” Hellion member Heather Eustace, known on the track as Miley Virus, told The Troy Record. “But I think meat mistress is something very unique to the Hellions.”
The next few bouts for the Hellions are taking place at opponents’ arenas – the next time you can catch them locally is on July 8th at the Rollarama when they will be up against the Albany All Stars. You can check out their full schedule for the season here >>
About Roller Derby
The rules, according to the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby Association:
Roller Derby is played on a flat, oval track. The play is broken up into two 30-minutes periods, with units of play called “jams” within each period. There are 30 seconds between jams.
During a jam, each team fields five players: four blockers and one jammer, who is identified by a star on her helmet. The jammers start out behind the blockers, who are known as a pack. The jammers score a point for every opponent they lap, each lap.
Because they start behind the pack, the jammers must make their way through the pack in order to score, while the blockers attempt to prevent them from advancing; at the same time, the blockers are trying to let their own jammer get through. The jammers must get through the pack and then all the way around the track to be able to score points on opposing blockers.
Although it’s a full contact sport, roller derby does have strict rules on not using heads, elbows, forearms, knees, lower legs, or feet to make contact with opponents.
- The Troy Record: Hell on wheels: Local roller derby team ready to kick off new season