CHRIS HANNANT Staff Writer
The Savannah Derby Devils defeated the Blue Ridge Rollergirls May 2 in a roller derby at the Supergoose Sports Facility in Savannah.
For those who aren’t familiar with how a roller derby works, it goes something like this:
The two teams skate around an elliptical track marked off in the middle of the rink by tape. Two skaters in the front, one from each team, are called “pivots.” They keep the pace of the “pack” of skaters, consisting the pivots and four “blockers” from each team.
In the back are the point scorers, or “jammers”. When the whistle blows, the pack takes off. When they’re 20 feet from the starting line, a second whistle blows, signaling the jammers to race toward the pack.
The goal of the jammers is to make it completely through the pack, battling through the blockers on the opposing team while being helped through by their own teammates.
A team gets a point for every opposing player a jammer passes. There are three 20-minute periods per game, with each period consisting of two minute “jams.”
The matches are filled with pushing, shoving, hard falls and even some brutal checking.
It wasn’t far off from a hockey match, except the rapport between the teams was friendly throughout the entire game.
However, the friendliness was barely discernible through the face paint that intimidatingly masked many of the players’ faces. Both teams players’ have personalized numbers and fictional names on their uniforms.
The Devils held the lead throughout the entire first period, but after the last jam were only up by three with a score of 36-33.
Savannah’s top scorer was co-captain Kristen Alonzo, wearing number KRZ8 with the alias “Madam Meshugana.” Alonzo battled through the pack multiple times in some jams, picking up at least ten points at a time.
In the third jam of the last period, things got heated when the Rollergirls skidded back into the lead at 84-75 when their jammer, number 7, “Jane Gretzsky,” or Nicole Kaysing, picked up a staggering 13 points in one jam.
Things looked grim for Savannah when a jam left the Devils’ number B-52, “Holly Smackerel” out of the game with an injured leg, but it was only two jams later that the Devils pulled ahead again at 90-88.
The game was over after the 13th jam; the Devils were still in the lead with a final score of 114-104.
Photos and video by Chris Hannant