roller derby

TYLER – Blocking, skating, scoring, jamming, pushing and shoving – that was the action Saturday evening with the 2020 season opener of roller derby at the Flores Center. 

The Madams of Mayhem broke out the skates, pads and helmets to entertain a packed house as the Pandemonium Petticoats defeated the Contessas of Chaos 249-153.

Leading scorers for Pandemonium were Trinity with 39 first-half points and Roxy with 51 second-half points.

Contessa’s Downtown Dallis scored 38 points in the first half and Machine Grrrl scored 50 points in the second half.

This is the fifth year for the sport in Tyler, although it is being played all over the state of Texas.

The League Director is Kelly McMillan, a Henderson business owner and skater.

“When my husband and I dated, we went to Austin for my birthday,” McMillan said. “We started up a league in Denton. I thought, ‘I can do this.’ I finally went and I’ve been hooked.”

All of the participants have nicknames, in the style of the sport, from the skaters, to the officials, from the league announcer to the non-skating officials.

Reckless Endangerment is the league media spokesperson and skater. 

“This is my first official bout with the Madams,” she said. “I was a non-skating official last season.”

Reckless grew up just outside Boston, “Enough said,” she indicated. 

She found out about the team last May and was a late addition to the team.

During the day, she is a tutor for home school students instructing them in Classical Conversation.

Allison Preston is one of the coaches. Her nickname is Alli Get Her.

Preston is a personal fitness instructor and has been with the sport for 10 years.

“There have been some changes to the sport,” she said. “Where we used to have a lot of whistles for picky fouls, now we just whistle the major ones.”

The basic jist of Roller Derby is:

• five players on a side – a jammer, two pivots and two blockers.

• as the pack forms, each team’s jammer tries to break through first. The lead jammer has the ability to call off the jam ending the other team’s ability to score.

• the jammers have to skate around to the back of the pack, pass the other team’s players to score points, usually four at a time.

• each jam is two minutes long and the bout has two 30-minute halves.

• there is a penalty box where players spend 30 seconds for fouls. If a player is in the box prior to the jam’s expiration, the balance of the time is spent in the next jam.

The Madams of Mayhem will host bouts throughout the year on May 16, July 18, Sept. 28 and Nov. 14.

Road games include RockTown Roller Derby in Little Rock at The Arkansas Skatium on April 18.


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