If you’re looking for a fun date night that includes beer, women wearing spandex and something called on-the-floor “suicide seating,” look no further than live Roller Derby.
The Savannah Derby Devils were formed in January 2006 by a small group of women with big hopes. Now, they are at the top of the D.I.Y. league with a 5-0 winning streak.
I was asked to attend one of their “bouts” against Jacksonville, Fla. at the Savannah Civic Center on Saturday.
I didn’t think I’d enjoy watching sweaty, spandex-wearing women skate around in a circle trying to beat each other up quite as much as my male date would, but let’s be honest, I did — maybe even more so.
It might have been the feeling of female empowerment I got while watching these women skate so aggressively to “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Or maybe it was all the excitement from the crowd, but either way I was hooked within the first two minutes.
It took a little longer for my date to get into it. But as soon as he saw one of the women use her butt to knock a member of the opposing team onto the concrete floor, he was hooked too.
Neither of us really understood the rules or how most of the points were scored, but I don’t think any of that is necessary to enjoy the sport. We knew that these women liked to skate fast and knock each other down and that was entertainment enough for us.
The programs did have a Derby 101 section though, so we were able to learn the basics of the sport during halftime.
Each team appoints one jammer and the remaining skaters are both offensive and defensive blockers. The jammer is the one who scores points by lapping as many opposing players as she can and the jammer that gets through first is called the lead jammer. She can call off the jam before the clock ends and deny the opposing team the opportunity to score.
As far as I could tell, SDD’s two best jammers were Ira Fuse and Catatonic Crush.
However, I was most impressed by Jacksonville’s jammer Nuke. She was by far the fastest skater on the floor and was able to dodge blocks that seemed nearly impossible to get past. There was one point where I swear I saw her leap between the locked arms of two SDD players.
My favorite part of the night was seeing one of the Jacksonville RollerGirls knock everyone to the ground, including her own teammates.
Overall, I think this would be an enthralling date for any couple. Plus, it’s kid-friendly.
You can see the SDD face off against the Greenville Derby Dames on Saturday, Aug. 18 at the Savannah Civic Center. Tickets range from $12- $16 for adults and kids ages 2-12 get in for $2.Contact Danielle Austin.