INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Bodies slamming, voices directing, and skates on concrete echoing; it’s all just part of an average day at Naptown Roller Derby.
“It is a full contact sport. It is very physical,” said Vivi Section, one of the Naptown Roller Derby skaters. “It’s almost as if you get to star in your own life all of a sudden.”
Roller derby has popped up all across the nation. The rules are simple: two players, known as jammers, skate around the track trying to rack up points, while their teammates block opponents.
“It’s an incredible adrenaline rush,” Vivi Section added.
The ladies of Naptown Roller Derby say that the skating part is one of the hardest things to get down, but once you figure that out, everything else comes naturally. But for a lot of these women, this sport has a much deeper meaning.
“It’s a really strong and vibrant community,” Vivi Section said. “As an adult it’s hard to make friends and connect with people. But roller derby is somewhere you can forge strong and interesting relationships.”
“Some people say ‘derby saved my soul.’ That’s actually a saying in roller derby,” said Naptown Roller Derby skater Darth Blue. “For a lot of people that is true. The people who play this sport love it, and it shows in the way we play.”
One key element to the way they play: the names! Darth Blue, NamaSlay, it all circles back to a huge roller derby tradition.
“You want a super funky or aggressive name to sort of represent who you are on the track,” Vivi Section said.
Naptown Roller Derby heads to the playoffs in Pittsburgh starting August 18th, hoping to bring a championship back to Indianapolis, one block at a time.