Roller Derby League Set to Debut

rollerderby02BARNSTABLE – A new roller derby league has been formed on Cape Cod.

Several local women came up with the idea about a year ago and the two teams, the Salty Dogs and the Dockyard Dames, will be in action this weekend for the first time.

The idea began as a Facebook post, a sort of joke, but it turned into a reality when Talia Arone, whose roller derby name is Talya Mama, saw the post and decided to organize the league.

“We had a lot of people who were interested right off the bat,” she said. Women from Wellfleet to Plymouth came out to play. They started practices about a year ago and there are now about 30 members.

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rollerderby03Those who remember the roller derby bouts broadcast on TV years ago will be in for a change, according to one of the league’s founders and the person who posted the idea to Facebook, Lynne Duquette Perrera, whose roller derby name is Lulu.

Perrera said, “It’s a little different than you used to see on TV, there’s no elbowing or hair pulling or punching, which I think was a little theatrical.”

“Now there are Safety Zones where you can’t hit but you can hip check,” she explained.

Arone expanded on the rules. “There’s a two-minute jam, the whistle goes off, the pack goes, the jammer goes, the jammer’s trying to go through the pack. . . .You’re playing offense and defense at the same time. It’s all about strategy and speed, really and balance and endurance,” she said.

The entertainment aspect similar to wrestling is no longer a part of the sport and it has been legitimized, Arone said.

Arone said she knew how to rollerblade but did not know anything else about the sport. “We taught ourselves as we went along,’ she said.

The practice facility is in Dennisport at the warehouse of the Cape Cod Media Center. The group can practice year-round in that space.

The first bout will take place on Saturday at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center.

Doors open at 4 p.m.