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Some roller derby players get dirty on the rink



In the highly physical realm of roller derby, where's the line between being dirty and merely aggressive?

"Apparently I have no idea!" said Tornado Alley Rollergirls' Brooke Burleson, aka Victory Doll Sally Strych9. "I see myself more as a mean player than a dirty player. I actually don't try to get penalties; it just happens. I do hold grudges, though. If you make me mad, I'm out to get you, and I won't stop until I do!"

Strych9 even has attempted to take out a jammer with a modified baseball slide; in one bout, she pushed a skater to the ground after they both careened off the track.

"I feel that the phrase 'dirty players' is a little inaccurate for this sport," said head referee Justin Howe. "Like hockey, there are rules, and there is a fair amount of bending in those rules. My first goal is to keep the players safe. My second goal is to keep the audience entertained. If the players are afraid of racking up penalties for everything, the game will be boring for the audience."

Most skaters agreed didn't think their peers were intentionally dirty. It's roller derby; things happen.

"And then you have the revenge aspect," said Memory Taylor, aka Lady Killigrew of the Harlots. "You can only take so much before you wanna teach a girl a lesson and hope the ref doesn't see it." "Charles Martin


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