By Alyssa Anaya
Humboldt Roller Derby hosted a scrimmage on Thursday, Feb. 9, at the Redwood Fairgrounds in Eureka with the game kicking off with a whistle at 7:30 p.m.. The team is made of over 30 girls and is then separated into two smaller teams. The team members all have nicknames such as Harley San Quentin, Cold Shoulder, Mad Plow, Psycho Ward, Zombie Stardust and Luna Madblood.
Humboldt Roller Derby has been happening for 10 years now. It has become increasingly more popular than it has ever been before.
What exactly is roller derby? It is essentially two teams of roller skaters that each have a “jammer” signified by a star on her helmet cover (called a helmet panty). This jammer tries to skate past the opposing team as many times as they possibly can within a “jam.” A jam is a play that lasts up to two minutes. Which may sound relatively easy. If it weren’t for the opposing team creating walls and pushing the jammer to prevent them from passing.
Robert Recinos, 19-year-old sociology major at HSU, said that he had never been to a roller derby game before.
“I am still trying to understand what all the rules are,” Recinos said. “The way they play is what keeps me interested though.”
Before the game began, the girls did exercises for roughly 30 minutes. These exercises involved pushing into each other until someone falls, jumping up, then touching the floor with their fingertips and skating backwards.
Thirty-four-year-old massage therapist Tim Ward from Rio Dell said that the crowds have become bigger.
“Apparently it has always been a big thing but there is usually a certain kind of crowd that comes out to it,” said Ward. “Seems we are starting to get more people.”
Throughout the game girls were falling down, being pushed out of bounds and on the floor. At the same time there was the jammer skating as fast and as swift as possible to get ahead. One of the girls threw another down by thrusting her hip toward her.
“Nice hip check,” Ward said, “They’re out for blood tonight.”
Business major Abraham Rivera, 19, said he would be attending the next home game.
“All of them play hard,” Rivera said. “You can tell they love the game. It makes it more entertaining to watch.
Humboldt Roller Derby will be hosting their next game on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Redwood Fairgrounds in Eureka. The game will also be broadcasted live on KXGO 94.1. More information regarding their game schedule, events and how to join or volunteer can be found online at humboldtrollerderby.com