Tiger Bay Brawlers
The Tiger Bay Brawlers' first public roller derby bout is on Saturday 15 January in Newport Centre.
This will also be the first ever roller derby bout in Wales.
But what is a roller derby, who are The Tiger Bay Brawlers, and how can folk get involved?
CLIC caught up with the all-girl outfit to find out what to expect.
The Tiger Bay Brawlers – sounds violent, what’s that then?
We are a ladies-only roller derby team based in Cardiff, South Wales.
How and why was the team formed?
We formed the team in April 2010 as a group of friends, enthusiastic to bring the sport to life in our city.
Tell us about the rules of the game
The game is played on quad rollerskates and consists of a series of two-minute countdown jams played over two 30-minute periods. A flat oval track is marked out and players skate anti-clockwise.
At the start of each jam, five players from each team line up on the track. These are:
- A pivot, wearing a striped helmet cover (lead blocker and last line of defence)
- Three blockers, with no helmet covers (defensive / offensive players), position themselves behind the pivot forming ‘the pack’
- The jammer, who is positioned 20 feet behind them wearing a helmet cover with two stars (the point scorer)
The pack start on the referee’s first whistle, and the jammers go on the second. The aim of the jammer is to make it through the pack of skaters without penalties to gain lead jammer status and skate a full lap to enter the pack again. Once they re-enter the pack, they score a point for each opposing skater they legally pass.
Not really. Whilst the jammer is trying to get through the pack first, the opposing team are doing everything they can to stop her and help their own jammer through. They can do this by using hits to the shoulder and hip to throw them off balance, or to the floor.
Ouch. Do you need to be a pro skater to join?
No, some of us couldn’t even stand in skates when we first started. It just takes a lot of determination and practice.
Why is it just girls?
Most current leagues are all female as the sport was adopted by women looking for an alternative DIY sport, playing under the WFTDA (Women’s Flat Track Derby Association) guidelines, but there are some co-ed and male teams about. Men take part within our team as referees and non-skating officials.
Are there many teams in the UK?
Roller derby is growing rapidly in the UK and there are already over 40 leagues.
This is the first Welsh public bout – what can we expect?
A lot of screaming! The league has trained hard and we are very excited to show everyone how far we’ve come in less than a year. The game will be fast paced, competitive and fun. Bristol Harbour Harlots started around the same time as us so it will be interesting to see what they bring to the game.
How can people get involved?
You’ll need to be over 18 and can either ask about for your local team and find out when they’ll be recruiting, or if you’re local check our Facebook or website www.tigerbaybrawlers.com.
We will be recruiting skaters shortly and are currently offering limited spaces at our training sessions for ladies to come along, skate and see what we’re all about before the official recruitment date.
We are always open to men and women looking to help out as non-skating officials and referees.